Compassion Still Exists In The Philippines #WeHealAsOne

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Posted April 3, 2020 from Philippines

In times of crisis, let us lean in to hope instead of fear, unity instead of division. We all need to #HealAsOne

Someone remarked about the recent events that took place on our country, “What happened to Compassion?” . The news about our President’s recent speech has been polarizing. Really, it’s the least we need at this time of crisis. 

I am sharing Gia Indonto- Simbolan’s Facebook post. She calls herself “just a concerned citizen”, not a government employee nor journalist. She clarifies she is not affiliated with a party nor support a particular politician. Again “just a concerned citizen”.

It gets tricky in the Philippines, when one shares an opinion, you can get tagged as an anti or pro administration. As a World Pulse Ambassador, I remain apolitical because it’s part of our role.

I am sharing this to inform the world that compassion still exists in our country. In fact, our Bayanihan Spirit (Spirit of Solidarity) has been heightened in this time of crisis more than ever. If there are word wars happening in online spaces, it is because we care too much for everyone’s sake. 


Here is Gia’s post: 

“Disappointed by the president’s speech (March 31, 2020) not so much because of what was said but what was left out. 

It was basically a rehash of the previous press conference, peppered by a line that could easily be taken out of context ("Napakaswerte nila na namatay sila para sa Bayan"), and an ode to China.

This morning before coming in for work, I read post after post of frustrated friends. I was fighting the urge to be reactive.

-- So I did a little research. 

If you are looking for inspiration, know that the different government agencies are working non-stop. 

Here are some of the things they’ve done: 

1. DSWD is providing cash assistance (From PHP 5,000.00 to PHP8,000.00 a month for 2 months) This is other than the DOLE assistance of PHP 5,000. This includes those with no work no pay. See Sen. Grace Poe’s Soc Med infographic below. 

DOLE is also active in several other COVID-19 initiatives than can be found on their official website, The link can be found below. 

The TUPAD program also deserves a shout out. Link below. 



2. Department of Agriculture is giving out seedlings and coordinating with LGU's for the distribution of fruits and vegetables along with food packs, Kadiwa Mobile markets are also bringing farmers’ goods to the people 


3. For a breakdown of the IATF responsibilities, and appropriation, see attached photos. PLEASE take time to read them, it includes funeral arrangements, the DSWD’s aid to the indigent.

4. The DOH is working to include more testing centers. At the moment 8 centers(As of April 3, 2020) are testing a total of more or less, 3000 tests daily. See attached photos. Also attaching the picture of tests per institution. 

The DOH has also procured 1 million complete PPE sets and are arriving this week. 

Mass testing will be conducted this April 14. If you check the process of accreditation of institutions you’ll see that there are specific requirements before it can be signed off. 

The DOH also prioritizes your mental health, there are multiple hotlines. see link for details. 


5. Toll is free for essential personnel (SMC tolls and MPIC under the leadership of DPWH) 


6. There will be a moratorium on rent, loan payments etc., refer to my previous post on Bayanihan Heal as One Act.

7. The BIR has moved their deadline to May 15,2020


8. The DTI is making sure that goods are being sold fairly and are actively going around suppliers for price gouging. 


9. The Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, Rizal Memorial Coliseum, and Philippine Sports Complex has been approved for use as quarantine facilities for COVID-19 PUIs. They are also anticipating the surge of patients and planning thoughtfully before it happens. 

See photo and article attached. 

A massive forced quarantine will also be prepared for those who cannot self-quarantine effectively. See article below 

Apart from the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls, the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the following sites will also be converted: 

1. Amoranto Stadium

2. Quezon Institute

3. Dutyfree

4. FTI

5. Filinvest Tent 

6. PhilSports Complex

7. Quezon City Circle

8. Veterans Memorial Circle

9. New Clark City Government Center

10. New Clark City Athlete's Village

Sample photo of DPWH Progress and map of facilities below. 


10. FDA has approved rapit test kits that can detect the virus in five minutes, FDA is also expediting imports of ventilators 


11. There is a 24/7 COVID hotline that aims to reduce hospital traffic. 


There’s also an app that can help if you need testing:

12. Department of Finance adapts a three pronged approach to mitigate social and economic effects of COVID 


13. DOE  has suspended meter reading and bill delivery, also controlling oil prices


14. CHED initiatives: 

- CHED signed the guidelines to allow LGUs to use the facilities of state universities and colleges as quarantine centers.…/ched-sets-guidelines-for-quaranti…/

- CHED Also helped the stranded students abroad because of the community quarantine.…/256037-filipino-students-repatriat…

- CHED has been monitoring all HEIs on their initiatives like producing their own ethyl alcohol, hand soaps and food packs to the frontliners in their respective communities 



16. The DILG has launched a TRANSPARENCY TRACKER for the projects funds and plans, link here:

If you have any information on what other government agencies are offering, please share in this thread. 

I added the first report to the Presidential Oversight Committee dated March 30, 2020.

Everyone is welcome to review this. 

Also, whoever your PR team is, Mr. President sir, they could have had so much to work with. 

So it’s come to this-

If we aren’t given the information the way we want it to be given, then let’s find it ourselves. 








ALSO, please visit the COVID-19 Official PCOO website -

You may check the photos and documents on her FB post. Source:

As I said COMPASSION STILL EXISTS in the Philippines. 

Leaving you this song composed by our National Artist,

“Together we are being called

To make a future world

The test we face is for us to prove

That we can heal as one

We heal as one with kindness

We heal as one

We serve, we share, we show compassion

We heal as one”

World Pulse sisters, Let us heal as ONE.

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 32

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Apr 03
Apr 03

Thanks for sharing Dear Sister Karen

You are welcome, dear. :)

Dawn Arteaga
Apr 03
Apr 03

Well said, Karen! It's important to hold our countries, leaders, communities, families, to the highest standard and to know that compassion and love will triumph. Standing with you in solidarity!

Thank you, dear Dawn. :) Yes, I really hope we can all heal as one as a nation, and as citizens of the world. May love, empathy, and compassion triumph above all. :)

Apr 03
Apr 03

Karen Hi :) I agree... thank you for the updates and links.

You are not alone, we heal as one!
Encourage World Pulse Sisters:
#SheTransformsTech #LogOnRiseUp #WorldPulsePH
"We Heal as One"

Thank you, dear sis. I love that song. I posted it here, too. #WeHealAsOne

Apr 06
Apr 06

Its nice all artist came together to sing as One :) brings us together us One.

Jill Langhus
Apr 04
Apr 04

Hello Lovely Kaye,

I'm glad that compassion does indeed exist in your country. I was definitely shocked by what the president said, however. That's what I was referring, too. I'm glad to see that several areas are compensating for what appeared to be a lack of compassion on his behalf. Thanks for sharing:-)

Hope you and your family are safe and well.


Hello, Jill,

There was no excuse for him to say those words. It was directed to leftist groups as a warning that if they will be causing riots, they will be detained and will be released after the COVID crisis. He warned them not to cause chaos and not to test his warnings. If they want start a riot, then he will not hesitate his soldiers to shoot them. That was the context of his controversial speech.

It was not directly to the poor and hungry who by the way were used by the left to stage a rally (

This is not the time to destabilize leadership by spreading unverified information. I am happy that our president and vice president are working hard to keep all of us safe, protected, and provided. Our senators are donating portions of their salaries for the fight against COVID-19. Our president is donating his one month salary to do the same. If that is not compassion, what is?

Private sectors are also donating millions, religious groups are offering their public spaces. They are working with government to fight a common enemy. May all politicking be set aside and just focus to heal as one.

Thank you, Jill. :)

Jill Langhus
Apr 06
Apr 06

Hello Kaye:-)

Oh, I see. Thanks for clarifying more. I'm glad there's compassion in place, basically, and that it was just taken out of context, then. I agree. We need more connectivity at this time, and less division.

I hope you're all safe and well on your end today:-)


Metiege Noel Eve
Apr 04
Apr 04

Thanks for sharing sis

You’re welcome, dear.

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 04
Apr 04

Dear Karen,
Thank you so much for this. This is wisdom, held by a woman claiming her right to speak as a citizen and this is the world that we as women know is not only possible but needs to happen. You have laid out some very important priorities and programs that your Government has already created, and this is the knowledge that is so important for us to have, not only across our own countries, but as proof that some governments are planning to help everyone and pay attention to the Earth. Our global economy is one, and so are we here in World Pulse.
Love in sisterhood,

Hello, Tam,

Thank you so much for your lovely message. Yes, we all need to work together to fight this COVID-19 and heal as ONE. These initiatives are not perfect though because no one anticipated this to happen.

However, the series of natural calamities our country faced could have trained us on how to be resilient during this global pandemic. We don’t have the same level of medical facilities like first world countries do, and some of our medical professionals migrated abroad. We are left with our resilience, faith, sense of humour, and the spirit of Solidarity (Bayanihan).

This too shall pass, dear Tam. May we as women live to tell our survival stories on how we let our compassion, empathy, love and kindness shine amidst fear, panic, confusion, and oppression.

Hugs to you from Cebu!

NWANKWO Emeka Johnson

Hi Karen
Am glad to go through this and it's helpful
Compassion and love keeps us going
Achieve it
#TogetherWeWill continue to make impact
Thanks for sharing
I hope you and your family are safe
God bless our efforts always

Hello, Johnson,

Yes, it is only by working together that we can heal as one. Thanks for reading!

Tarke Edith
Apr 05
Apr 05

Hello sister Karen
You have said it all dear
Let us heal to each other so that we can help each other in this degerioug to us now
Thanks for sharing Karen.
Stay save ooooooo dear sister.

Hello, dear sis Edith,

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, let us heal as one and let us make love, compassion, empathy, and kindness rise above all. Please stay safe, dear.:)

Sampada Sapkota
Apr 05
Apr 05

Hi dear Karen,
Thanks for sharing this with us. Was very glad to learn how your country is fighting against the virus being united. And truly dear, Let's heal as ONE!!
Hope you and your family are safe and well!
With love,

Hello, dear sis Sampada,

Thank you for your encouragement. How is your country dealing this pandemic, dear?

I hope you and your family take care and please stay safe always.

Angel Lasona
Apr 06
Apr 06

Always praying every single day for a better tomorrow for everyone. Thank you very much Ambassador sis Karen for putting these into words. LET'S HELP EACH OTHER UP AND TOGETHER WE #HEALASONE. ❤️

Hello, sis Angel, my apology for this late reply. Yes, let's keep praying, sis. We continue to heal as one. :) It's my pleasure! Please stay safe always.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Apr 06
Apr 06

It is good to know that there are organizations in your country that offer strong social protection services for the vulnerable. I wish my country had accountable organizations. Kudos to the individual who could fearlessly express her views.

Hello, sister Oluwatoyin,

Sorry for this late reply. Yes, there are organizations that are proactive enough to provide service and relief goods. It's not perfect, but we're trying to survive. Oh, yes, I desire that for your country, too. Thank you, sister! Please stay safe always!

florence kekong
Apr 06
Apr 06

Hello, Karen,
You are doing fine as I can see. The Healing Spirit radiates in your write-up. A detailed one with facts indicating the sources. When I read about the Concerned Citizen, I said to myself, World Pulse talks true- saying that your story could be another's story. I recall how my father had a great followership of our community people who were named, "Concern Citizens" for fighting for just cause in the community, when some others were deep into corrupt practices, even at the community leave. Gosh!
Thanks for sharing. Truly, we must thrive to ##HeslAsOne###.
Stay safe and blessed.

Hello, my dear Florence,

Thank you for your kind words. We also have our share of corrupt leaders even in the community level. I'm grateful for governmental leaders who wholeheartedly continue to be of service to the people.. Oh, thank you for sharing about your father. Happy Father's Day to him (belated)! Yes, let us heal as one. Thank you so much! Please stay safe.

Kika Katchunga
Apr 07
Apr 07

Hello karen
Thank you so much for sharing
God bless you

You're welcome, dear Kika. Thank you for dropping by to read. God bless you, too!

Apr 07
Apr 07

Hi Kaye,
Thank you for sharing this to us. It's sad to heard that in times of crisis some people are still not cooperating to the government and finding fault to the government. This is not time of pointing each other who commit the mistakes, it's time to help each other and heal as one.

It is also sad to read the news in Philippines that some of the barangay captain or some mayor never give the proper exact amount of relief goods. But I'm glad and happy to see some of my friends and classmates, they show their compassion to others who really need help by giving some relief goods.

Keep safe Kaye and your family :-)


Hello, Jack,

I agree. No one is prepared for this pandemic. As of now, there are 36,000+ cases in the Philippines. I barely listen to the news because it is distressing. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comments. Please stay safe always!

Apr 10
Apr 10

Thanks for sharing....

You're welcome, dear.