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DURING last year’s early months of the quarantine, I wrote an article about the blooming of small businesses inside our subdivision. At that time, even though proud of that development, I had felt a deeper sense of compassion because I instinctively knew that people were slowly going through a hard time as a result of the job stoppage which, in turn, had been brought about by the lockdown.

In the typical sense (or iconic fashion, as a foreigner-friend would say), we Pinoys still smile through hard times, and this had been no exception. What had actually developed because of the unfolding quarantine, was a steady influx of smiling street vendors (in face masks of course) at our door, peddling anything, from the edible to the wearable.

Then as expected, more than half of that ‘spectacle of wares’ began to slowly shift online. A Facebook account put up by a community-minded admin had suddenly appeared and was accepted by all, thus serving as our subdivision’s one stop-and-shop venue. There, you could choose and order anything, with door-to-door delivery services at that. One needn’t go out anymore, and since this also fell under quarantine protocols, everything else had naturally slid into place.

And that aptly described the whole phenomenon at our tiny community, a natural sliding into place, like water, because it always seeks its own level (So sorry, had to use that as a segue. Wink-wink).

As I had also written about a few days earlier (seemed like a year ago), the pump supplying our subdivision’s water conked out. While we learned later that only parts of the subdivision were affected, the initial reaction and resulting course of action by the people had been what mattered most.

The water stoppage happened on the evening of Dec. 29, and the next day, Thursday, had unfortunately been declared as a holiday. As such, the volume of calls and griping directed at the subdivision office on the 30th went unheeded so, as usual, our stop-and-shop FB page evolved and became a bulletin board of sorts where now, everything from gripes to Q&A took place.

Then, one sign after another appeared on the threads: FREE WATER. Residents with water were actually offering theirs to the rest who had none. Most surprising, in our business-only FB account’s page, nobody had taken the opportunity to make a business out of the whole thing! I had surely thought that in the real world, the dog-eat-dog mentality would have prevailed (Not to worry, it is just the jaded grouch talking).

At present, the situation stands, no water during the day for the majority of residents. However, there is free water available in some houses and one only had to bring their containers to avail of some. Then, every other day, water trucks go around to distribute free water, courtesy of homeowner volunteers coming from the different phases of the subdivision.

Through all this, despite having a quarantine and the COVID pandemic still hanging like gray clouds over our heads, the fact that we still survive because of a common unity (or community), is always something to be thankful for.

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