As Money Heist continues to be the phenomenal TV series on Netflix this year, the whole world remains on lockdown and people feel like hostages of the great Life Heist in the 21st century – the coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic. It has given people the mental and emotional tortures of death, infected reports and the echoing cries of unemployment and starvation. Worse, reports have confirmed that a number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Thailand are financially unprepared for this global crisis.
However, these fears and threats injected a BAYANIHAN vaccine in the veins of Filipinos to help boost their hope system. Thus, the helping spirits of four ALSE OF-LIFE LSE Bangkok secretariat members and one volunteer started singing “Isang Lahi” as they identified themselves as the Team NORTH BANGKOK.
Along the road, stories of laughter, tension, exhaustion, hunger, and success were rapidly printing like the banknotes in the Royal Mint of Spain. Just like the cast of Money Heist, the team has the perfect blend of personalities and a strong foundation of friendship. The challenges began in comparing item prices, playing “hide and seek” with the hawk-eyed sales personnel for purchasing more than the required number of items, and performing a contortion inside the car to fit with over 200 kilos of rice and other food products.
Then, the distribution days rolled out instructions like, “You will pass by a pink building, then a blue building, then an orange building before you finally reach my building,” which formed foams at the mouth of the human GPS in the group. But, tension and exhaustion were always resolved with good food coupled with the sweet aroma of coffee. Another member of the group diagnosed himself with extreme germaphobia, so he brought along with him a big gallon of 80% alcohol and 20% water to SPRAY-ffocate the rest of the members from time to time. The other member fully equipped herself with “White Flower,” “Efficascent Oil,” and “Thai Nasal Inhaler” while listening to the volunteer’s Air Supply and Scorpions music playlists. But the “Berlin” in the group has the voice of an Ilonggo which remained sweet even when he got tired of pushing the heavy trolleys, got confused with the recipients’ instructions, overly showered with 80% alcohol, mistakenly bought a small-sized face shield, got annoyed with some text messages, or got hungry in the middle of nowhere. Indeed, each moment weaved a tale of friendship.
Yes, it was a long and life-threatening food delivery for our 48 kababayan in Lad Phrao, Ram Inthra, Minburi,Laksi, Ngamwongwan, Rangsit, Pathumthani, Lam Lukka, and nearby Nonthaburi areas. But, the tears forming at the corner of their eyes, the most genuine “thank you” from their mouths, and the simple smile on their face felt like saving a few hostages amidst the world’s greatest Life Heist in the 21st century.