As maintenance technician, Teddie Grabillo likes fixing things.
The store’s oven. The warmer. Even the roof.
He would follow his schedule of “preventive maintenance” everyday, as well as attend to emergency repairs needed by Chooks-to-Go stores in Manila, North Caloocan, and Quezon City.
Then covid-19 ground the world to a halt.
Teddie’s work routine and family life changed.
He moved back to his elderly mother in San Jose del Monte (Bulacan) together with his teenage daughter.
“Sa ganoong paraan naaalagaan ko sila pareho,” he says.
He also started assisting in Chooks-to-Go’s rolling store, roving through various corners of the metro.
With the pandemic wreaking havoc everywhere, it seemed that, finally, here was something Teddie couldn’t fix.
But it seems Teddie is unfazed.
“Naisip ko yung mga dating kapitbahay ko sa Imus (Cavite),” he says. “Karamihan sa kanila, nagtatrabaho sa mga construction sites. Siyempre, ngayon, hindi sila puwedeng magtrabaho; wala silang kita.”
So when Teddie received his pay on April 15, with his quarterly incentive and accumulated hazard pay included, he immediately contacted a family friend in Imus.
“Kinausap ko yung ninang ko kung maaaring sila ang magbigay nung ibibigay ko na tulong,” he says. “Mahirap na kasi ang access papunta doon.”
Teddie eventually sent food packs to 50 families in Imus, as well as dozens more to store crew members whom he knew needed help.
“Nakita ko rin yung mga nasa daan. Naisip ko, paano kung wala na silang pangkain pag-uwi nila?”
He gave food packs even to security personnel manning checkpoints on his way home.
Teddie may indeed be unble to fix a pandemic, but he’s ‘fixing’ how people cope with it.
“Kahit hindi tayo mayaman, kailangan tumulong dahil maraming nangangailan.”