Living in the new normal has really got us facing major changes not just in our lifestyle, but also in the places around us. Almost everywhere you go—malls, banks, grocery stores—you'll see signages that remind you to wear your face mask, practice social distancing, etc. Restaurants have had to make adjustments with their setup too, and some establishments have even gone as far as private dining pods to ensure safety.
At St. John Bosco Parish in Tondo, Manila, one area also went through a certain transformation. Because of the pandemic, their 8,000-meter football field was no longer being used. Luckily, with help from the government, they were able to convert an empty stretch of land into a ~beautiful~ urban vegetable garden. Check out its before and after pics!
According to Fr. Gaudencio Carandang, Jr., SDB, the idea came up when several people started asking for help or ayuda from the parish because of the pandemic. It was overwhelming on the parish's end, but they thought of a possible solution. "Ang unang naisip namin is, 'Anong puwede naming gawin para matulungan sila?' And one thing [we thought of was] tingnan natin [kung] ano bang puwedeng gawin dito sa football field natin."
In October 2020, the Department of Agrarian Reform and St. John Bosco Parish worked together to pioneer the Buhay Sa Gulay project. Joined by the Department of Agriculture, the City of Manila, and 17 barangays, the goal was to help make help make the soccer field into a vegetable garden that could provide sustenance and be a source of income to those in need.
More importantly, Fr. Gaudencio shared that the initiative aims to unite the community and spread camaraderie amid the pandemic. "I think we all have to look together and see [what the problem is] and tingnan natin kung paano makakatulong sa isa't isa. [We] all had a very strong commitment to each other, [at] ito yung naging produkto nun."
Watch their inspiring story in the video below.
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