MMalabon, a city of heritage and food, is known for the hospitality of its people. But during this time, it is the creativity and resiliency of the Malabonians that shine brighter.
In times of crisis, every little help counts. Volunteerism is alive among the people, and bayanihan brought together businesses and companies to share their resources to those who are less fortunate.
One of the Malabonians who thought of helping immediately is 25-year-old Roman Sebastian, a fashion designer now making a name for his wedding gowns and creative use of local fabrics. A true Malabonian from birth who lives in Barangay Ibaba, he says the Covid-19 pandemic is a time for everyone to help.
“After the lockdown, there were so many events that were cancelled. But instead of just doing nothing, I decided to use my talent and time to help, especially the frontliners,” said Roman. “All the frontliners are heroes, from the ones doing their best to bring relief around the barangays, to those who give care to patients in the medical centers and hospitals.”
Roman learned that Malabon Mayor Lenlen Oreta was researching online on how to create the proper medical suits for Malabonian frontliners. Roman realized that he could help – he has a friend who works in a hospital who showed him what a personal protective suit is. He decided to enhance the pattern of the suit to make it more wearable. At the same time, he made sure that it follows the safety standards on how a medical suit should be.
Roman then forwarded the enhanced design of the personal protective suit to Mayor's wife, Melissa, who also helped. Through Roman, they got the services of sewers and dressmakers who were temporarily out of work, to produce hundreds of suits that will be used by the frontliners.
The suits came in two colors – white and pink. White is for all the health workers and the pink is for frontliners who are non-health workers. The personal protective suits are also given to frontline team – drivers, barangay health workers, police members, etc.—who are first respondents if there are suspected cases of Covid-19 in any barangays — because they are the ones on the ground and the one who will bring the person in designated quarantine areas around Malabon City.
The frontliners in pink distributed relief goods in all of Malabon’s 21 barangays, and the pink suit brought a sense of hope and delight to those who see it. It brought out the smile in people. Some even took photos of it, while observing social distancing.
Roman is happy that his little contribution has created a big impact on making the frontliners do their tasks well in a safe and comfortable suit. Roman has also created his own design for a face mask, using the inabel fabric as material. So far, he has already donated 250 pieces for the use of Malabonians.
The made-in-Malabon suits only show that with cooperation, creativity, and love for community, the battle to fight Covid-19 is not an impossible task in Malabon City.