XAVIER BATCH 1996 AND ITS MEANINGFUL ADVOCACY IN THE TIME OF COVID 19 PANDEMIC
Xavier Batch 1996 continues to pursue its meaningful advocacy in making a difference in this difficult time of the Covid 19 pandemic shunning binge watching at home for a chance to be of help to the medical frontliners and others.
What they have started, initially seeing to it that the medical frontliners of Philippine General Hospital have a place to stay near their places of work, have expanded in scope and breadth.
When the pandemic exploded to the country’s consciousness, the Xavier Batch 1996 were deep into preparations for the 25th anniversary of their graduation when they collectively realized they had to do something.
What prompted that initial foray by Xavier Batch 1996 to wade into the emerging pandemic was a call from a batchmate, Dr. Ancoy Lopez who told his classmates about the need to help PGH frontliners.
At that time, the Enhanced Community Quarantine was just announced and the stark possibility of the nurses and other frontliners walking to their respective homes tired and then going back to their work with not much restful sleep loomed large.
Thus a core group of that Xavier Batch 1996, namely Fritz Dy, Solomon Tansipek, Adrian Te, Jose Miguel Dy Buncio, and Jose Antonio Aliling decided to do something about the problem of the PGH frontliners.
Xavier Batch 1996, composed mostly of entrepreneurs, family business owners, and professionals in myriad fields, then thought long about the problem and came up with a solution: “temporary homes.”
That “temporary homes” concept turned out also to be a defining moment for their advocacy, which has now gathered momentum and have created a ripple effect that has touched the big guns in industry and government officials.
For suddenly, their alma mater song “give a helping hand to lighten someone’s load” resonated with the others that followed them in their path. It was, to them, something to be proud about.
In an interview with The Financial District, Jan Aliling said that the “most engaging moment” in their Covid 19 advocacy was when Malate Stay Hotel, where they lodged the frontliners so they will have restful sleep, returned what they paid “so we can continue to do more good.”
The Xavier Batch 1996, to a man, teared up whooped it up and forthwith bought PPEs, other medical kits and expanded the scope and breadth of their undertaking that started with finding frontliners a temporary place to stay.
“After that, Aliling told The Financial District, we were pretty much stuck to having to finish this mission.“ Back then, when Xavier Batch 1996 started with the PGH frontliner problem, the group said ”we had no illusion that our small group will save the world or solve the problem.” “All we wanted to do was buy time for the big guns to come in. So we thought about how much time would this batch of PPEs buy. Our goal was to buy 5 to 8 weeks’ time.” And true enough, others came in.
TFD’s Mike Nolan Olalia, who chronicled the doings of the Xavier Batch 1996, said that the noble purpose of the group is something that should reverberate within the walls of board rooms all over the country for the simple fact that “kindness is its own reward.”
And for the Xavier Batch 1996, it was not just kindness playing out. It was much, much more. “We realize that the best way to help ourselves is also to help others, especially those who have their necks out for us. So that’s what drives us, we got to help those frontliners alive so we have a good chance of getting our lives sooner,” the Xavier Batch 1996 said. Aliling summed it best: “We just did not want to feel helpless; we did not want to sit out the fight. “
[Photo: Allen Silvano]