3rd Place: Building Up defenses: Coexistence of Precaution and Responsibility


“Many kids nowadays spend most of their time doing trivial things on social media. Why not do something productive to help earn for you and your family? Why not showcase your inner talent and skill so that the ailing world will be inspired to heal again?”

This was the motivation that inspired Attorney Gonzales RJ to organize an essay writing contest for the youth. High school and elementary students were invited to answer the question: “How Could the World Be a Safer Place for You and Me?”

Below, we share the 3rd place winning essay.

3rd Prize Winner | Sta. Fe National High School, Siargao


The evolving COVID-19 situation across the globe undoubtedly threatens our social cohesion as well as the survival of the important living system of the planet – its people. As manifested, COVID-19 has taken its toll on people, but humanity always has the choice to fight it with vigilance and positive interdependence. In this time of global uncertainty and vulnerability, survival of the fittest profits from self-discipline, and responsibility is not a selfish act.

It is rightly said that the world is our village and what happens in one place affects all the rest for we only live in one planet, one atmosphere, one environment, thus; the need to strengthen our strong defense to withstand the current global pandemic and its associated challenges that affect the humanity is all the more imperative.

In the first place, acknowledging our significant role [to at least stay at home] during these trying times is of immense value. Before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, there is already wisdom from China’s COVID-19 experience. Indeed, the tales of the wrath of this novel virus should compel us to remain safe by abiding the directives of the authority and do our share to flatten the curve by preventing the spread of the virus.

social Photo by Cheng Feng

While we view COVID-19 crisis as a fatal and a chaotic scenario, hope remains not elusive especially if we will attend to the precautions of the persons in authority. However, the culture of negligence, heedlessness, and bullheadedness within us weaken the national and local efforts to combat this pandemic.

Citing the rudiment of the DepEd’s mission and vision that is hoped to inculcate to every Filipino learner, the school continuously reminds its learners to give back to the community as we are regarded as the future nation builders. While we are expected to make this aspiration come into reality, the unbecoming attitudes of the students during these very difficult times defeat the good intention of the school in molding the students to become righteous citizen and be of great help to the community especially during this crisis.

Needless to say, this must be the right time to serve and set a good example so other people would do the same. This simple yet helpful act can definitely influence the community to follow which will lately overturn this adversity into unity.

As we focus on this stressful situation, it is also important to note that this pandemic has brought some positive implications to humanity and these must be valued as life’s lessons because what matter most after all are the practical lessons of this COVID-19 outbreak that are meaningful to life.

True enough, this global pandemic strengthens our faith to God. The novel virus may seem enormous as it already tormented the global village however, nothing can really defeat the power of prayer in these uncertain times. This pandemic may set us apart from our loved ones, but it also brings us closer to God through our prayers as we hold fast to faith. No matter how hopeless our circumstance may seem, if we raise our faith to Him, we are all assured to see the light despite the darkness and turmoil.

Also, the spirit of Bayanihan in this crisis is so overwhelming that lightens the burdens and sufferings of the people across time. Time like this is truly a test of Filipino characters. Political leaders have displayed their true colors. The wrath of this pandemic has allowed the people to identify the public servants who remained true, steadfast, and faithful to their commitment to serve the people to the best of their capacity. Others have tried, but in the long run, they burnout.

While looking also the news at home, we were apprehended how our frontliners have risked their lives at the expense of helping the lives of others. We are also entirely aware that they spent their time away from their own families to save the lives of those who are at risks. Acknowledging their sacrifices through extending moral supports, prayers, and comforts won’t help at all if these are not coupled with our shared cooperation – an act that is geared to break the chain of the viral infection.

Meanwhile, staying at home for the whole duration of quarantine time made us realize that people nowadays became health-conscious. The ever neglected adage ‘health is wealth’ now comes alive as boosting the immune system is deemed necessary to fight the grievous pandemic.

There were also inconsiderate people who chose to remain heartless despite the serious problem we are facing today. Raising their irrelevant concerns in social media have caused chaos in different social media platforms. Logic dictates, it should not be the right time to raise our political attacks and criticisms against anybody as it would only result to the fragmentations of our efforts to win over this COVID-19 pandemic.

This fight is ours to conquer and we should not let this pandemic surpass our solicited efforts. Beyond these uncertainties, we know we still have a long way to go to totally defeat our unseen enemies, but if we “socially engineer” our behavior to act as our “social vaccine” since we don’t have cure at the moment according to the World Health Organization (WHO), we can surely break the chain of the viral transmission which is also responsible for the increase of the total number of recoveries of those who were tested positive with COVID-19.

In conclusion, it has been said that the aspiration for a better quality of life is universal yet, the pandemic we are facing negatively implicates in providing an improved quality of life for all which in turn may lead to jeopardize the future of the present and the coming generations. Literacy and information campaign must be better understood that the choice to make this world a better place to live in depends on our critical thinking and understanding of our individual role during this quarantine period.

May we take advantage of this time to do some practical works to maximize our time and be productive while doing our roles as a citizen in the comfort of our homes. Doing so, we can surely break the chain of transmission and make this place safe again by letting our attitude refine our well-being with the coexistence of precaution and responsibility.

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