Bayanihan in US: New Yorkers support COVID-19 frontliners through food from Pinoy café

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 07:03 PM

Watch more on iWantTFC

NEW YORK - Health care workers here take a much-needed break from saving lives of coronavirus patients thanks to New Yorkers who opened their hearts and wallets to celebrate the heroes of the medical battle against the disease. 

Customers donate funds via Venmo to Kabisera, a Filipino-owned cafe in New York City, for drinks and snacks for frontliners.

"A Filipino café in the lower eastside called Kabisera, for the past week they’ve been doing coffee runs, they’ve been delivering coffee to the frontline workers in New York City hospitals. I thought that was very commendable and admirable and I hope that they stay safe while doing so," said one of Kabisera's donors Eric Fong.

This is what bayanihan in America looks like, according to Kabisera’s Augee Francisco.

"We want to do our part, and we fill the needs of our frontline workers, we know the risk that they are taking. We need to do our part, and our part is to bring happiness to people," said Francisco.

Some call it a circle of giving. Exhausted frontliners get to catch their breath with free food and drinks, while businesses struggling in an economy on pause get a lifeline from New Yorkers stuck at home wanting to give back to those who save the lives of many.

"It gives business to small businesses like us Kabisera. It gives jobs to workers, it gives benefits to our frontline workers, this is a cycle of goodness," Francisco said.
This cycle continues in the neighboring state of New Jersey where some Filipinos are serving free meals to frontliners.

"We just wanna thank the health care workers, especially at this time of global pandemic," said Celeste Rolda of Max's House of Fried Chicken.
Food drop organizer Maricar Taiño said: "The giving out of the food and helping the delivery is really a small act, but it could be expressed in a bigger way if the community do their part and give back."

Roselle Militante, a nurse at the Jersey City Medical Center, said these are stressful times.

"All these donations, the prayers, the messages of hope that we’ve been receiving really help to relieve the stress," she said.
Read more on Balitang America: