The global health crisis has affected so many people—not only those who lost their lives and the families they’ve left, but also those who have lost their means of livelihood, and worse forcibly separated from their loved ones because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
When Angelo Sandig, a telecom engineer for PLDT’s North Luzon Fixed Access and Trans Operations, was on a service call in Bustos, Bulacan, someone frantically blocked the vehicle he was riding with another field personnel. According to Angelo, the elderly man approached them and asked help to apply for a PLDT service because he has no way to contact his son who’s working in Manila.
Recognizing that the poor elder was desperate, since his family doesn’t have means to see his child in Manila, Angelo said: “Tay, kung okay lang ibigay mo yung number ng anak mo at ako na lang tatawag para sa iyo.” [“If it’s okay with you, please give me your son’s mobile number and we will call him for you.”] Angelo then lent his mobile phone to the overjoyed, grateful old man, who would then finally speak to his child. He said, “After noon, nakita ko si Tatay na masaya. Nagpasalamat sya. At least alam nyang okay yung anak nya.” [“After the call, he was happy. He thanked us for helping him. At least we know that his son is safe and doing well.”]
Angelo said encounters like these motivate them as frontliners in continuing to serve despite the health risks and dangers of COVID-19. He emphasized, “Ito yung isa sa maraming magagandang bagay sa trabaho na nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa akin at sa mga kasama ko kapag may inaayos kaming mga internet connections sa kabila ng pangamba tungkol sa COVID-19. Hindi kami pwedeng huminto. Kasi hindi lang kami ang apektado kundi maraming pamilya din lalong lalo na yung mga magkakahiwalay na pamilya or may nagtatrabaho sa malayo. Kung hindi kami tutuloy sa trabaho, paano na lang sila?” [“This is one of the many things that give us strength despite the threats of COVID-19. We shouldn’t stop doing our work because many families will be affected especially those who are away from their families. If we don’t do our work, what will happen to them?”]
He said helping the elderly man was simply part of his mission to serve, not only as a telco frontliner but also, more importantly, as a fellow human being helping those in need.
“Si Tatay na na-encounter namin, ordinaryong tao sya at sapat lang ang kinikita sa isang araw. Gusto nyang magkaron ng access para makausap yung anak nya. Nagdecide kami ng kasama ko na makatulong kahit sa maliit na paraan,” Angelo pointed out. [The man that we encountered was an ordinary citizen with enough daily income source. He just wanted to find a way to contact his son. That’s why we decided to help him in any way that we can.”]
As a telco frontliner, Angelo would make field visits to customers in his assigned area in Malolos, Bulacan to resolve broadband access issues. His tasks are critical, especially in such crises as the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein Internet connection is crucial for people to communicate and gather information, and for businesses to continue to operate. “On call kami 24/7. Pag tinawagan kami, lalabas kami at pupunta sa site or sa field,” he noted. [Our work calls us to serve 24/7. Whenever needed, we will go out to there and serve at the site or field.”]
But even with his resolve to continue serving, Angelo admitted that he still fears for his health, especially because he has two young kids with his wife, who is a hospital worker at the Bulacan Medical Center. Since his frontliner duty, his wife would care for his children while working at home, although she is on-call if the hospital requires her presence.
“Sa akin, pag lumalabas ako, andon yung pangamba o takot. Kaya sinisigurado namin na nakasuot kami ng personal protective equipment at sumusunod sa safety protocols every time na nasa field kami. Pero andoon pa din yung pangamba kasi may mga anak akong maliliit sa bahay. Kasi baka mamaya, since iba’t ibang lugar pinupuntahan ko, meron akong mabitbit na virus. Pero syempre, dobleng ingat talaga at may kasamang dasal sa taas. Pinagdadasal ko na sana paglabas at pagbalik namin, safe kami ng mga kasamahan ko sa field. Tiwala sa Dios ang pinanghahawakan namin,” Angelo noted. [I feel worried whenever I go outside for work. That’s why we ensure that we wear our personal protective equipment and strictly follow safety protocols. But still, I feel worried for my kids at home because we never know if we encounter or carry the virus from the places that we visit. We always make sure to take care of ourselves and pray. I pray for our safety wherever we go. I always trust in the Lord.”]
For Angelo, the value of service and sacrifice for the benefit of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is deeply instilled in mind and heart as a PLDT employee, just like any frontliner in this crisis. Angelo said, “Para sa akin, pusong PLDT means public service. Malasakit at buong pusong paglilingkod. Makita man nila o hindi, masaya ako na marami akong natutulungan at napapasayang pamilya sa pamamagitan ng pag-install o pag-repair ng Internet. Happy ako na maging instrument para makausap nila ang kanilang mahal sa buhay at mga kaibigan, maging productive kahit naka quarantine, at maka pag-aral at ma-entertain ang mga bata.” [For me, ‘pusong PLDT’ means public service. It’s about serving with all your heart. Whether the customers see you or not, I’m happy to be of service to them by providing them the internet service for their family. I’m happy to become an instrument for them to connect with their loved ones and friends, be productive at home while in quarantine, and for their children at home to be able to study and entertain themselves with the help of PLDT’s internet connection.”]
Angelo’s story is just one of the many heartwarming tales of PLDT Heroes who are serving as telecom frontliners during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Be inspired and read more of the PLDT Heroes stories at www.pldthome.com.