CULTURE

LOOK: Manileños share how life under lockdown is like

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

A photographer goes to the streets of Manila to ask around about people’s sentiments toward the community quarantine and the state of the country amid the pandemic. Photos by MOHD SARAJAN

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Restrictions due to the enhanced community quarantine, or ECQ, have brought about numerous concerns for the general public, on top of the threat of the coronavirus. The suspension of business operations and public transportation services meant a lack of income for several workers, particularly laborers who are engaged in “no work, no pay” employment and those who are unable to perform tasks at home. Financial aid from government agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Social Amelioration Program and the Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program, alongside the provision of relief goods from the local government units, have been the primary lifeline for hundreds of thousands of displaced workers and underserved communities across the country.

Still, not everyone was able to receive this promised help. Citizens from Metro Manila claim that some barangays have not been reached by government aid. The strict assessment for social amelioration qualification also posed a challenge for some who were not included in the government’s priority list.

As Metro Manila braces itself for a more relaxed form of quarantine, with all mayors from the capital region unanimously recommending a shift to general community quarantine for the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Under GCQ, citizens will be granted the opportunity to work again as public transportation services and more business sectors resume operations — all, however, while the COVID-19 remains uncontained.

It is crucial not to exclude the public’s opinions especially at a time when their very lives are on the line. Photographer Mohd Sarajan went to the streets of Manila to ask people to share how life under the community quarantine is like for them.

“I just want to represent the [actual] situation here in Manila,” says Sarajan. “It can be good or bad, it depends kung ano gusto nila i-share.” Asking citizens to write their thoughts on paper, Sarajan records their explanations as soundbites that accompany his photos.

“With all the things happening right now, some people can walk around with no money, cant pay rent, no work... So all they have is their story,” he adds.

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Mahirap bilang tricycle driver e ‘di na tayo bumabyahe. Umaasa na lang tayo sa ayuda, e hindi naman sapat para sa kagaya ko na mayroong pamilya. Kailangan ding gumawa ng paraan. Kaya 'yung [sa] tricycle ko, binaklas ko ‘yung motor ko, para sumideline sa ibang pagkaka-hanapbuhay gaya ng [pagiging] Food Panda rider.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Ang daming mga bata, mga taumbayan naghihirap, nagkakasakit dahil sa COVID. Maraming naghahanapbuhay ang natigil. Mga natulong lalo na’t sa hirap ng buhay. Sana po matigil na. Ang Diyos na lang po ang nakakaalam. ‘Yan lang talaga ang pag-asa natin para matapos na ‘to.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Kasi kagaya namin dito… na-trap kami dito, kasi normal ang every 15 days, nagsasahod kami tapos marami kami ditong na-trap kasi hindi kami nakauwi sa probinsya. Parang salit-salit ‘yung ano, iba-iba ang nagduduty ngayong araw, bukas iba na naman, ganun. Para at least, may allowance kami. E 'pag sinabing ‘no work, no pay’ wala kang trabaho, e ‘di wala kang bayad.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Para sa akin, sobrang thankful ako kay God kasi kahit may dumating na problema, ito[ng COVID], masaya pa rin ako kasi po nandiyan ang pamilya ko.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Una sa lahat e, mas maganda itong [pangingisda bilang] bisyo, nakakatanggal ng stress. At higit sa lahat, puwedeng kasama ang pamilya mo o kaya barkada mo kesa sa bahay kayo mag-iinuman, mas healthy itong fishing. Ta’s may ulam pa kayo pag-uwi niyo.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Ako nararamdaman ko dito kaya ako namimingwit, masaya ako 'pag nakakakuha po ako ng isda. 'Pag nakakakuha po ng dalawa, tatlo pang-ulam. 'Yun lang po, masaya po ako. Sa nangyayari po ngayon e medyo po ako nandito, dahil nga sa nananakit po ang katawan ko 'pag nasa bahay lang po ako e. Kain, tulog, kaya dito ako naglilibang-libang 'pag wala po ako talagang ginagawa sa bahay. Andito po ako, naglilibang po.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Sa buhay ko, mahirap dahil 'yung mga sinasabing ayuda galing sa gobyerno, sa ibang barangay naman nakarating pero para sa akin, may nakarating pero 'yung isang libo lang saka 'yung bigas. Tapos 'yung inaasahan [galing sa] DOLE wala namang dumating, 'yung ₱5000 o ₱8000. Wala namang dumating, parang hokus-pokus lang. Pero sa ibang barangay nakarating. Ang masasabi ko lang, ayos naman ang ginawa ng gobyerno dahil hindi naman para lang sa akin, para naman sa lahat.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Kasi sa ibang bansa nga mas progressive e, ilan na ang namamatay? Italy, ilan ang namatay, namamatay hanggang ngayon? Naka-lockdown pa ang Italy hanggang ngayon. Tayo hindi na lockdown ang iniintindi natin e. Ayuda e. O ito, sabihin ko nalang, mayroon akong nakita doon, pumipick-up kami sa isang tapsihan doon sa Makati, 'yung isa binebenta yung pagkain niya, adik e. [Para sa] ₱150, binebenta 'yung bigas, isang pack na ganun, binenta [nang] ₱150. 'Yun ba ang dapat tulungan ng gobyerno? Ayun ba 'yung bumubuhay sa gobyerno, nagpapatakbo sa gobyerno? Hindi. Middle class hindi din pinabayaan nila e.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Stay at home because I miss my family.”

Photo by MOHD SARAJAN

“Kami nahihirapan kagaya ng iba, walang makain, ganiyan. Ta’s 'yung iba hindi makakuha ng ayuda.”