The Covid-19 Reality: Loving, Earning, Sharing, and Succeeding (LESS)


As a people, our individual journeys are interwoven with how we have faced together the many challenges that came about every moment of our history. The lessons we gathered personally and collectively both reflect and celebrate our deep love and strong faith in God through our Ina, Nuestra Señora de Peňafrancia. These two realities of who we are pervade all the sectors of our society, including the intricate and delicate tapestry of the economic sector.

For so many years now, the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) has been at the forefront in leading our local entrepreneurs in their quest to nurture and sustain different business endeavors and activities that are all meant to address the various needs of the growing population of Metro Naga communities. MNCCI has indeed proven itself to champion the cause of the business sector, particularly the people who are dedicated and focused in working to enrich the quality of life for all.

Then, the Covid-19 pandemic happened and nobody was prepared, not even the rich, famous, and powerful; not even the richest, wealthiest and most developed nations on Earth. Without exception, all and everything were in a frightening darkness. The world stood still. All were left stunned, lost, fearful, and unsure. Each one of us realized our limitations and weaknesses, reminding us of our mortality.

The community lockdowns increased the depressing pressures and many questions that invaded our thoughts and governed our now extremely limited movements. The rights and freedoms, many of us took for granted for a long, long time, have become very rare commodities. A lot of ironies in life presented themsevles. All learned to adapt and thrive.

Amidst the many harsh realities and life-threatening health risks that Covid-19 brought to light, MNCCI arose to the challenge to help LESSen the burdens and anxieties of life for many of our people. In my mind, the loving, earning, sharing and succeeding was actually the heart of the matter in fighting the pandemic.

MNCCI, with the many colorful characters behind it, stepped forward to initiate the “Hot Kitchen Meals” project in full force. It was undertaken in partnership with the Naga City government, BISCAST and the total support of many individuals, group and organizations that sustained it for more than a month, from April 1 to May 10, 2020. The project was able to serve more than 1000 hot meals per day for our different frontliners in the city.

The chamber, led by its untiring and committed president, Ferdinand “Don” Sia, has once again made this moment of our history a rare opportunity to be able to show the deep love and strong faith in God through “paying it forward” to the people in our locality by humbly serving them with kindness and compassion. Nothwithstanding all its achievements, MNCCI holds the conduct of the annual Bicol Business Month as the feather in its cap.

On its 16th year, with the theme of the Bicol Business Month (BBM) 2020 “Rebound, Reboot, and Reinvent Beyond Covid-19,” starting on August 20, Thursday, will be a virtual one.

This year’s BBM is chaired by MNCCI Director Randy Aman. For us all, this year’s theme is making a statement of hope that our local economy will be able to stand many tests of time; and that we, like MNCCI, believe that while history will judge each one of us on how we faced the challenges that Covid-19 brought at our doorsteps – inside and outside our homes, making us prisoners within ourselves – in the end, we will all triumph because we have not taken all these sitting down, but chose to stand united, “to heal as one” and look forward to the very best harvests of our labors from the ashes of Covid-19.

Below is the schedule and program of activities for this virtual experience of the Bicol Business Month 2020. Tessa S. Rey August 11, 2020, Tuesday.