Reading sociologist and writer Randy David in his Sunday column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer about generosity makes a well-rounded thought on the issue surrounding the creation of community pantries all throughout the country. Community pantry, since its familiarity when a certain Ana Patricia Non built her own at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, has been sweeping the entire nation to its generation. Unluckily, it became suspect to Red-tagging, a very unfortunate incident if not branding when a person just wanted to help others in times of distress and scarcity.
It is very well said by David that “true generosity arises from reason, not from instinct or feeling.” Generosity, Randy argued, doesn’t emanate from love or compassion because something is given in the absence of love unlike giving something to our loved one or to a member of the family. Of course, in my own inferring, reason also breeds love in its “scheme of things” especially selflessness and humanity but it’s not the be-all and end-all to it.
Yes, true generosity doesn’t expect something in return. The giver gives away at his or her disposal of kindness and free will. The receiver, on the other hand, gets his or her share with gratitude and self-discipline. In the context of a community pantry, queuing up orderly for one’s turn must be observed.
In the case of the celebration of the recent birthday of Angel Locsin when she altered it to a community pantry where there was jostling and line-cutting simply because she was a popular figure the prospective recipients might have thought “she would give more than the ordinary” if not “giving her fortune away” thus swarmed with people especially from the poor and the underprivileged section of society. According to reports, Angel gave out only 300 stubs to single recipient but 3,000 hopefuls turned up.
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries in Ana Patricia’s community pantry might also be in throngs but not as much as Angel’s but this must not be compared and contrasted out of context simply because they were two different persons but one in vision.
Locsin and her coterie of leaders have been literally doing a lot of socio-civic actions since God knows when especially if there are natural and man-made catastrophes like ravaging typhoons and floods; disastrous earthquakes; volcanic eruptions; displacements of workers in the labor fronts; health crisis as the COVID-19 emergency; elderlies, PWDs, orphans in home cares etc. the victims if not patients or internees are aided with essentials like food, water, clothing, medical items etc.
It just so happened that there was a casualty in the performance of Angel’s community pantry when a Senior Citizen man fell unconsciously while in queue and died eventually in the hospital.
Blame not Angel because there are other circumstances surrounding the death of the old man. Let’s all be objective about this. Besides, Locsin took comfort of the dead’s family and would seek forgiveness from them all her life.
Meanwhile, talk about generosity in show business.
We ordinarily hear many showbiz people professing generosity of such and such particularly in monetary fashion.
There are stars and celebs who are genuinely generous in assisting welfare institutions without the benefit of publicity or so what if they are published as long as their generosity is sincere and no feudal debt of gratitude in the wrong notion like wronging the right or simply, real philanthropy without expecting anything in return even in the deepest recesses of themselves.
On the other side of the fence, though, there are showbiz denizens who mistake or mislead true generosity with bribery which is a shame to the virtue.
Actress and writer Bibeth Orteza is very proud of Ana Patricia and her initiative of a community pantry.
Bibeth appeals to the public that before casting doubts, accusing organizers of community pantries having selfish motives and even Red-tagging them, we must be discerning and intelligent about the true goals and objectives of altruistic people.
“Pag-aralan po muna natin ang lahat ng gagawin o sasabihin natin. Magsaliksik po tayo. Tingnan nating mabuti ang mga tunay na pagkatao ng isang tao. Huwag po tayong maghusga agad (Let’s analyze first what we gonna do and say. Let’s research first. Let’s look closely the real character of a person. Let’s not be easily judgmental),” said Orteza.
Bibeth confirmed that even a posh a village as Forbes Park is planning to organize a community pantry not only for the members of the subdivision but for the outsiders as well.