I can barely recall a memory of her getting tired or dozing off when there are still work to do. She has always been on the move, on the look out on what else to improve in her or around her. I have witnessed a lot of her staying up late until the wee hours just to finish assignments in grad school and tasks in the office.  

That is why when the lockdown in Luzon was implemented and when their office stood up to the challenges encountered by medical frontliners and of ordinary citizens, it didn’t come as a surprise that she volunteered to work for more than what was required of her.

“Na-assign ako sa shuttle service as dispatch officer, tapos sa repacking of relief goods, and now sa PPEs section where we sort out donations and work on the inventory before the goods are delivered to the hospitals and select areas,” my friend Cariz said.

The 12-hour duty at the shuttle service post was particularly tiring but she said “we do this for the nurses and doctors who sacrifice a lot more to serve the nation.” For Cariz, serving and sending love to the frontliners will eventually equate to serving and sending love to the people they try to save.

“Yung tumatak sa akin sa karanasanang ito ay kahit na may iba-iba tayong karakter o pinanggalingan, ibinubuklod tayo ng mga puso natin para maglingkod sa Diyos at sa bayan.”

Asked if she was afraid to get the coronavirus, she said, “inspirasyon ko yung mga kapwa ko empleyado, dahil sa kanila at sa mga natutulungan ng programa ng opisina, bumabangon ako nang may dahilan. Daig ng saya yung takot, daig ng puso para sa serbisyo yung pangamba.”

Cariz is truly an admirable public servant and… a certified foodie as evidenced when she blurts, “gusto ko sana mag-samgyeupsal pagkatapos ng lahat ng ito.”

For now, she makes sure each PPE passed the alcohol and water tests. “Sa gawaing ito, buhay man ang nakataya pero maraming buhay naman ang maililigtas.”

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