By Daniel Franklin E. Pilario, CM

The Payatas Pandesal Program started on the first week of the lockdown. Since then, we have distributed around 239,000 bread serving 23,000 families around the dumpsite areas and all the areas of the parish.

I have only heard the stories of the women-leaders about their joy and the gratitude of the families who receive it in our weekly assessment meetings. Today, I decided to go with some of them as they distribute along small alleys, waking up some of those who are still asleep. We started from the bakery to the areas at around 6 AM, and finished at around 8.

As I followed them through the alleys, I was wondering how the 20 pesos of bread can serve as breakfast for one family, can infect joy, and generate thankfulness for God's goodness. It is not only bread that is multiplied but also community and friendship. A mother who distributes it daily shared how a neighbor who has not talked to her for years, now exchanges smiles, words of thanks and friendship. How someone from another faith was touched that everyone can avail of the bread from us.

There are many more stories of the multiplication of the bread of life which we can only recount after the end of this ordeal. At the moment, we just keep feeding the multitude in this time of hunger.

We thank our donors and friends who inspired us to do this: Bread of Salt Initiative (Rach Tambay and friends); Wiseowl (Oya Arriola and friends), Sandra Judy Uy and friends, Karen Ricardo, Tanging Yaman Foundation, and many others whom we do not mention here who make this project possible.

Thanks to Thelma Sarol Mantos, Susan de la Cruz, Rodalyn Abuid and more than 30 mothers (and fathers) and their assistants who distribute pandesal each morning. Tomorrow will be rainy and the ground muddy and slippery. But these same mothers will go around those same alleys again to bring this bread of joy for free.

We keep on until the end of the lockdown. For God does wonders for us. If you want to help us, please follow and support us @ #VincentHelps.

Danny Pilario, CM 
St Vincent School of Theology
Adamson University