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Bayanihan at Bakuna by the Sea

DAVAO CITY, July 6 (PIA)- “Bayanihan” is the age-old Filipino custom of communal unity, people working hand-in-hand to achieve a common goal. And this was witnessed in the recent Bakuna by the Sea, a vaccination program intended to inoculate an estimated 9,000 tourism industry workers in the city.
 
The gargantuan task was made possible thru the efforts of the City Government of Davao particularly its attached offices such as the City Health Office and the City Tourism Operations Office in partnership with the Davao Tourism Association, a private organization of tourism stakeholders plus the mammoth generosity of Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.
 
Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao to meaningfully celebrate its 60th year provided the venue and major logistical counterpart in conjunction with DATA which is composed of various tourism and allied businesses in the city.
 
DATA was able to gather several tourism industry associations to bond as one cohesive unit. 
 
The participating industry associations include Davao Wellness and Spa Association (DAVWELL), Davao Association of Tour Operators (DATO), Tourism Security  Professionals Association of Davao (TSPADI), Guide Union for Inbound Destination and Ecotourism (GUIDE), MICE Davao, Davao Events Suppliers Association (DESA), Davao Travel Agencies Association (DTAA), Davao Hotels Resorts Sales and Marketing Association (HRSMA), and the Tourism Educators Association of Davao City (TEADC). The unity of these industry associations provided the much needed lift for the project to be realized.
 
Other government offices like the Department of Tourism, Department of Health had also supported the vaccination program aimed at the first step in the recovery of the once vibrant tourism industry in Davao City. Business establishments like Matina Town Square and Garden Oases also readily pitched in to aid the major initiative.
 
But aside from the government and major industry stakeholders, several groups such as the Social Event Industry of Davao (SEID) and individuals like Kenneth Howell Nazareno also contributed to the cause.
 
“Naisipan ko tumulong dahil gaya ng mga volunteers ay event supplier din kami, halos makasama ko na sila parati sa mga events Happy ako na kahit hindi kami naka volunteer at least man lang may maitulong ako sa kanila kahit papano, yun nga sakto may extra ako yun na ang pinambili ko ng additional food para sa kanila,”says Kenneth Howel Nazareno, a proprietor of a multimedia production company who donated lunch packs to the volunteers in the site.
 
Nazareno says it is a sense of camaraderie among industry peers which inspired him to share and as a way of thanking the efforts of the volunteers.
 
“Kung tutuusin maliit na bagay lang yung mga donation namin para pasalamatan sila sa effort na binuhos nila para maging succesful ang Bakuna by the Sea,” Nazareno said.
 
According to Vaccination On Site supervisor Elinor Marcelino there were about 167 volunteers for the five- day event which started on June 30. Aside from the volunteers there were also additional manpower coming from the Waterfront Insular Hotel,  Davao City 911, Filipino Chinese Firefighters Medical Rescue Team, Holiday Bus Drivers, Coast Guard personnel and the Davao City Police Office.
 
Bayanihan by the Sea
 
Elinor Marcelino, a  major events organizer and president of the Davao Events Suppliers Association (DESA) and who also serves as the Medical and Manpower Team Leader at the vaccination site calls the event as bayanihan by the sea with many individuals and organizations contributing to help.
 
“The government cannot control the curve because we, the citizens are the curve. The government is there to make sure that resources will be available for both the frontliners and the people. Therefore, actions and initiatives must be coming from us,” Marcelino said.
 
The DESA prexy supervises the vaccination proper. The verification stage, or the first step upon entering the vaccination site and is handled by corporate events company Zygen who volunteered their expertise in organizing large MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions Exhibitions) events.
 
Generous individuals from the events industry also lent a helping hand chipping in cash donations to help sustain the large-scale private sector-led vaccination program.
 
Events industry organization DESA and the group Social Events Industry of Davao contributed P50,000 each, while their colleagues also gave cash which all amounted to P130,000. This aside from food packs and personal protection equipment (PPEs). There are also pledges and contributions coming in.Meanwhile Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao which provided the seaside vaccination site said their participation is part of a meaningful celebration for the hotel’s 60th anniversary.
 
“As a way to give back to the city that welcomed us six decades ago, Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, headed by the Gatchalian Family aims to give back to our fellow Davaoeños,“ Waterfront General Manager Jennifer Romero said during her opening message at the launch of Bakuna by the Sea on June 30.
 
The bayanihan yielded positive experiences for those who were inoculated at Waterfront.
 
“Bakuna by the at the Waterfront Insular Davao was my most memorable experience to date. One for the books The most orderly vaccination site I’ve seen. The lines were long but the processing and movement was fast, health protocols were observed and enough medical staff to cater to around 1000 vaccinees that day. The bonus, fresh air and free snacks,” wrote online content creator Lovely Consing-Boiser.

Boiser was one of the more than a hundred media and online content creators who were accommodated at the vaccination site, an initiative facilitated by Philippine Information Agency-XI.
 
From its opening in June 30 to July 4, the team at Bakuna by the Sea had vaccinated nearly 4,000 people. They are targeting 5,000 more from July 7 to 10. They will also be holding the second vaccine dose at the same seaside venue, 28 days after the first dose.
 
The fifth day of the vaccination held July 4 saw the team administering vaccine doses to 1,011  individuals, the first time they breached the 1,000 vaccinee mark.

Marcelino says the positive experience stems from the way she and the volunteers treated the vaccination site as a HOME, where everyone, the volunteers and vaccinees feel safe and secure.
 
“Bayanihan by the sea is like a home. A home is a place where everyone is taken care of, valued, and loved and the way we nurture our people through the Bakuna by the sea is a manifestation that this is really a home. The only place where we feel safe and secured,” Marcelino said. (PIA/RG Alama)

About the Author

Rudolph Ian Alama

Regional Editor

Region 11

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