FB group gives ‘tributes’ adulting tips during lockdown

MANILA. The group uses as its over photo an image showing a scene from the movie “Catching Fire”, the second in “The Hunger Games” series.

A LAW student from the University of the Philippines and his sister have created a Facebook group that serves as a support group for young men and women chosen to serve as their household’s “tributes” who can go out to buy food and other necessities during the lockdown period.

Less than 48 hours after the “Quarantine Tribute Tips” group was created on Facebook (FB), it has attracted over 20,000 members.

Their posts range from grocery tips, such as how to choose the best meat or vegetables and what kind of cooking oil is the best, to household cleaning tips such as what to do with a clogged toilet.

A question on how to use a senior citizen’s card and booklet drew several helpful comments. Some members also shared recipes and troubleshooting tips for cooking mistakes.

The term tribute is taken from the popular young adult book and movie series “The Hunger Games”. It refers to the young man or woman who represents his or her district to the annual survival games in a dystopian society.

In this FB group, a “tribute to the outside world” is a young man or woman chosen by his family to do the supply run during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.

Under an ECQ, only one person per household is allowed to go out to buy necessities. Public transport systems are suspended, domestic air and domestic sea travel are halted, food supply is regulated, and checkpoints manned by uniformed men are set up to control movement of people.

The entire Luzon is under an ECQ until April 14, 2020 in a bid to slow the spread of the highly infectious novel coronavirus, the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

So are several provinces and cities across the country. Cebu City went on a one-month lockdown at 12 p.m. March 28. The rest of Cebu province will also implement an ECQ at 12 a.m. of March 30.

Socrates Jerome de Guzman, who created the FB page along with his sister Lea Maris, first posted on Twitter Thursday evening, March 26, about the need to create an FB group that will provide adulting tips to young men and women who have been chosen to represent their households during the quarantine period.

Barely two hours after his Twitter post, the siblings created the FB group since “kailangan na naman namin bukas maggrocery (we need to go to the grocery again tomorrow)”.

In just 24 hours, the group attracted between 16,000 and 17,000 people, including some from Cebu.

“I initially tweeted it to see if people wanted to join and after getting a few likes, we decided to make the group,” De Guzman said in an interview via Messenger chat.

His Twitter post has gained more than 36,100 likes and 3,790 retweets as of March 28.

De Guzman said he and his sister are overwhelmed by the response.

“Overwhelmed, to be honest. My sister and I only made the group because we wanted to know how to properly pick vegetables at the market. We didn't expect it to have that many members so fast,” he said.

“It actually feels kinda good kasi we get to help out fellow ‘alays’ and sobrang dami rin kasing people from different parts of the country who were willing to help out,” he added.

To cope with the hundreds of posts that are made everyday, De Guzman said they have organized the posts into topic tags for easy navigation. The topic tags are grocery/palengke (market) tips, recipes and kitchen tips, housekeeping, quarantine pass Q&A, pets, delivery services, donation drives, and tribute experience.

“Since yesterday (March 27) po actually, andami na po talagang posts. So I think one thing we did is to organize the group into tabs for easy access. We divided it into grocery tips, quarantine pass questions, even donation drives so even from the comforts of our homes, we do what we can to help those outside,” De Guzman said.

They have also made some ground rules to ensure that the group stay true to its purpose, which is to “help the tributes to the outside world pick out out the best things for their families”.

There are actually only two rules: keep posts related to tribute tips; and be a nice person.

De Guzman wrote, “Anyone who is offensive or mean will be dealt with accordingly. Boom.” (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)


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