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5 Inspirational Filipinos Who Didn’t Let COVID-19 Get Them Down

The pandemic may have cost them their jobs, but hard work and creativity are all it took for these Filipinos to get back up on their feet again.

If there’s one word to describe Filipinos, it would probably be “resilient”. Amid the pandemic and the economic crisis in the Philippines, Filipinos are still able to find ways to stay sane and happy.

When the number of positive COVID-19 cases began to rise, the national government has placed Luzon and some parts of the Philippines under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Naturally, it became a domino effect as some jobs closed their offices and laid-off workers. With that, many Filipinos were left with no income and had to resort to various other sources of income to survive the pandemic. (Read: 5 Ways to Manage Your Finances Amid COVID-19)

Here are five individuals who were able to succeed despite the crisis.

Minda Nacario

Photos from Minda Nacario Nacario Facebook

Prior to the ECQ, Minda Nacario owned a print shop. But because of the lockdown, Minda was forced to close down her business, leaving her with no source of income for her and her infant child.

With P2,500 as initial capital, Minda started selling a few chickens online. Now, she’s selling five tons of chicken, which earns her P50,000 on the daily. In a matter of three months, Minda now has three stores and two cars. She was also able to help her relatives who lost their jobs during the pandemic by hiring them to help out in her business. (Read: 5 Local Brands To Check Out Amid The Pandemic)

Lorrie Mae Parungao

Photos from May Prngao Facebook

Since March, Lorrie Mae Parungao has been on a floating status as a flight attendant of Pan Pacific Airlines. A breadwinner of the family and a mother, she is now selling fishballs and various refreshments to augment the loss of income. Though she admits that the income is far from what she gets as an FA, it’s enough to put food on the table for her family.

Mike Quinzon

Photos from Mike Quinzon and Flying Bae Facebook

Mike Quinzon has been a flight attendant since 2018, but since the pandemic hit many parts of the world, commercial flights were forced to temporarily suspend operations. Mike lost his income and had bills to pay.

He then thought of starting a business—he would make his favorite desserts and sell them. His food business easily took off, thanks to his connections and the use of social media. (Read: Chemical Engineers Start Online Baking Business Amid Pandemic)

Mela Franco Habijan

Photos from Mela Franco Habijan Facebook and Miss Mela’s Peanut Butter Instagram

Actress and content creator Mela Franco Habijan was also affected when the pandemic hit the Philippines. Because of the lockdowns, Mela lost projects. Her acting, hosting, and speaking engagements got canceled. Though she can still create content at home, she began to worry about her future.

In the middle of an anxiety attack, Mela had the idea to make her own peanut butter and sell it. Her love for peanut butter saved her sanity during the pandemic.

Manolito Divina

Photos from Manolito “Tolitz” Divina Facebook and Instagram

One of the badly hit industries amid the pandemic was sports. Manolito Divina has won many races and was part of the Philippine team who won gold in the team assist 400-meter obstacle race at the 2019 SEA Games. His career was really looking up, until the pandemic happened and he was laid off in the gym he was coaching for. Sports events were canceled as well.

But these did not hinder Manolito. Instead, he found another way to support his income—he turned to the “pabili or pasabuy delivery.” Since he is the breadwinner and is a father of five, he says he can’t choose jobs. As long as it can provide for his family, he’s ready to “run for it,” so to speak.

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