Over the last month, four foreign nationals provided foods to over 700 families in 31 different Barangays of the island Capital of Romblon, Romblon province.
Spearheaded by Pastor Ricky Shetty from Canada along with Kyle Hunniford, Francesca De Donno from Italy, Messi Singh from India, and Jonalyn Miraflores from Tablas Island.
Their supposed short stay in the province was extended due to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a phone interview with Pastory Shetty, they arrived in Romblon on Friday, March 13, and were planning to stay for only 2-3 days before continuing their travels to other islands in the region, however, due to the implementation of the ECQ, their plans were placed to an abrupt halt hence the creation of OPERATION HELP ROMBLON, a self-funded intiative to provide relief goods to every single barangay in the Municipality.
The team provided rice, noodles, canned goods, instant coffee, soap, detergent, matches, kids toys & games, and more to about 700 poorest of the poorest families in every single barangay including the islets of Cobrador, Alad, and Logbon.
The team was assisted by Clark Pardinas, a local tricycle driver, who helped them by carrying the food donations in his tricycle as well as Ronnie Castañeda, a local tour guide, who provided them with 2 electric bicycles for the duration of their stay.
They worked alongside Barangay Captains and Kagawads to help coordinate the outreaches.
Further, Ricky also mentioned his passion for VOLUNTOURISM, the action of volunteering, doing good, and making a difference while traveling and sightseeing. The future of travel will focus on tourists doing similar acts of kindness as they travel from place to place.
Currently, the team is accomodated by Former Vice Governor and Sangguiniang Panlalawigan Member Sam Romero, who allowed the four tourists to stay at his house free of charge as an act of Christian and Filipino hospitality.
The team has raised over 26,000 pesos from their own money as well as private donors that was used to already distribute food to all 31 barangays. Ricky also mentioned that they are planning other volunteer activities to our fellow Romblomanons since the ECQ was extended.
To find out more info and see additional pictures and videos, check out their Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/OperationHelpRomblon