Sometime in September last year, I met Rolando Torres and his son Gabriel at the Kitchen of Hope of the Assumption College of Davao.
Almost every Tuesdays and Thursday, Rolando and his son had to walk, with empty stomachs, at least four kilometers from the riverside community near Grand Menseng Hotel just to avail of the free hot meals at the Kitchen of Hope.
Organized by the Missionaries of the Assumption sisters through its Paglaum Philanthropic Development Office (Paglaum PDO) , the Kitchen of Hope serves free breakfast to people from different walks of life. (Read story here)
For over a year now, the Kitchen of Hope has been serving hot meals to the homeless and daily commuters passing by the Assumption College of Davao along Cabaguio Avenue in Davao City.
Rolando lost his job as a construction worker due to the pandemic. Since then, he depend on community kitchens, food aid and begging just to feed his son and take care of her ailing wife.
This morning, I caught him again at the Kitchen of Hope with his son. I asked him why his son looks so tired. According to him, Gabrield must be very tired from yesterday’s hike from Grand Menseng to Deca Homes in Cabantian, where they went around asking for food.
He admitted that he could not find a job these days because a lot of jobless people are also vying for a spot in construction sites.
Since they could no longer afford to pay rent for a bedspace, they are now spending their nights on the cold pavement beside Grand Menseng Hotel along Magallanes Street.
Before leaving, boarding a jeep to downtown area, he said that his wife passed away last December.
Perhaps Rolando and his son are just one of the many starving Filipinos who has yet to recover from the adverse effect of this pandemic.
(To those who want to help Rolando and Gabriel, try to catch them at the Kitchen of Hope every Tuesdays and Thursday between 6am and 9am. )