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Picture of resilience: PWD defies pandemic, transport woes to still earn a living

Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2020 11:57 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2020 12:15 AM

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Willie Ogaro is assisted by his cousin, Jayson Pereyra, as they traverses Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City from Barangay Pansol, selling various goods, to his home in Barangay Bagong Silangan on June 9, 2020, amid the general community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Not even COVID-19 could stop Willie Ogaro from making a living.

Ogaro, 42, a person with disability, continues to sell various goods to small stores around Barangay Pansol using a wheelchair while coming from Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City, even as Metro Manila remains under community quarantine. 

ABS-CBN News caught up with Ogaro on his way home traversing Commonwealth Ave. with his cousin, Jayson Pereyra, assisting him.

Ogaro carries on making a living amid the quarantine as he is the only person in his household that could provide while his father, a carpenter, remains at home because he is 70, an age considered vulnerable to catch the virus.

“Kailangan kong lumabas kasi kailangan naming kumain ng tatay ko. Bale wala sa'kin kung may COVID man o wala,” says Ogaro. “Hahayaan ko pang magutom kami dahil sa COVID na ’yan? Siyempre uunahin namin ’yung sikmura namin.”

Ogaro says that he did not receive any aid except by extension due to his father as a senior citizen. 

Even during the enhanced community quarantine, for three times a week, either Pereyra or his brother would assist Ogaro in travelling to and from Barangay Pansol, even without any other transport available. 

They took the tricycle from their home up to Sandiganbayan when it was allowed once again during the modified enhanced community quarantine, but they walked for the rest of the trip.

To minimize his exposure to the virus, Ogaro avoids barangays that have reported positive cases. He makes sure to use alcohol during his transactions. And when he arrives home, he makes sure to disinfect first, take off his clothes outside the house, and let it dry before he washes it.

Ogaro hopes his wheelchair, which is a tad large for his, size can be replaced soon as it tends to break down lately along with aid.

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Willie Ogaro and his cousin Jayson Pereyra traverse Commonwealth Avenue. It would take them around an hour and a half to walk going from Sandiganbayan to Barangay Pansol and vice versa during GCQ. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Ogaro sells a variety of products, from pepper to sewing kits to sponges, to mostly small sellers around Barangay Pansol. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Either Jayson or his brother would assist Ogaro in going around, depending on their availability. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Before the pandemic, they would use the jeep to get to their destination since a jeep route services their barangay to the areas where Ogaro goes around to earn a living. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Ogaro and Pereyra head to their home in Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Pereyra assists Ogaro after riding a tricycle. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

A neighbor helps Ogaro and Pereyra clear a hump leading to their home in Barangay Bagong Silangan. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News