In appreciation of their efforts, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has lauded Shawarma Shack for helping the government carry out its humanitarian response measures in the aftermath of disasters, providing logistical support to first responders and relief goods.
Chief Executive Officer Walther Uzi Buenavista personally received the award for the company in a ceremony held at the coast guard headquarters in Binondo, Manila last May 20.
Scores of disasters pummeled the country last year—from volcanic eruption, to typhoons, to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—which brought many people to their lowest point. It highlighted the need for society to work together in a bid to resolve the suffering experienced by many.
In January, the eruption of Taal Volcano forced thousands of families living in the province of Batangas to flee their homes in order to be safe from the plumes of ash and lava coming out of one of the country’s most active volcano. It took Filipinos by surprise since its last eruption occurred more than four decades ago.
Typhoons later pummeled the country towards the latter end of the year which submerged numerous towns in floodwater for weeks. Homes, infrastructure, and commercial facilities were destroyed.
Bicol suffered the worst from these back-to-back storms as it was pounded by three powerful typhoons within a span of two weeks—Super Typhoon Rolly, Typhoon Siony and Typhoon Ulysses.
Cagayan Valley and Isabela in the northern part of Luzon also witnessed a massive trail of destruction from Typhoon Ulysses after it brought the worst flooding in these areas in almost four decades, according to local officials. Even Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces were not spared from the devastation which refreshed memories of Typhoon Ondoy in 2009.
Shawarma Shack stepped up its efforts in reaching out to the people affected by these natural disasters. Knowing people’s needs during these trying times, the company coordinated with the PCG and other government offices to bring their initiative closer to Filipinos, helping them recover from the crisis.
Trucks loaded with food, water, and other essential supplies were deployed to badly hit areas in Bicol, Cagayan Valley, and Rizal province. Smiles were evident even behind their masks, showing how Filipinos continue to display their strength and resilience in the midst of difficulties.
Most of these disasters happened amid a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. It altered people’s way of life not only in the Philippines but everywhere else in the world, challenging health systems and societal norms that have been kept in place for so long. Every sector faced serious tests throughout the public health emergency.
Shawarma Shack also made it a point to help frontliners at the onset of the crisis, donating thousands of shawarma products as a way of expressing their gratitude to medical workers and security forces who have been standing on the frontline of crisis mitigation.
The bayanihan spirit is indeed very much alive among Filipinos no matter the situation. It’s a testament to the great lengths people would go to in order to help uplift one another after a string of adversities. Through these collective efforts, Filipinos can surely surpass these challenges and wield a better future everyone can look forward to.