Citizen Reportr: Jobless Man In COVID Shelter Lives Out His Medical Dreams

Considering everything that he had gone through at the start of the enhanced community quarantine, Glenn Mark Cabael has been seeing better days recently.

The 29-year-old has found refuge in the Paco Catholic School temporary shelter, after the coronavirus-induced lockdown left the former stay-in service crew jobless and homeless. Since March 25, Cabael has been staying there with other displaced people caught in the COVID-19 crossfire.

Jerome Ascano
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"Okay dito sa shelter, halos napo-provide lahat," he told reportr. "Kung tutuusin, maswerte kami kasi nakakakain kami dito three times a day, minsan more than pa. Salamat sa mga tumutulong sa'min, nagdo-donate."

Before Paco took him in, Cabael was down on his luck. When their restaurant in Pasay closed down, he and his fellow laid-off employees ended up along Roxas Boulevard, looking for a place to sleep. These days, he has the luxury of using a clean comfort room.

Jerome Ascano
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"'Di kami masyadong makatulog kasi pinapaalis kami ng authorities, mga barangay (tanod), pati ng coast guard nun," he recalled. "Ngayon, well-maintained na kasi may binigay na hygiene kit sa'min. Merong toothpaste, toothbrush, bath and laundry soap. Tapos araw-araw nakakaligo."

Cabael, who grew up in Manila, has kept in touch with his family in Quezon City through social media. The eldest of four siblings actually had the chance to return to their household, especially with the metro transitioning to general community quarantine earlier this month. He ultimately decided not to due to internal conflict, which made him pack his bags in the first place.

Future frontliner

Jerome Ascano
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Reportr lensman Jerome Ascaño spotted Cabael flipping through a couple of medical books that the shelter provided for recreation. The latter explained, "Hilig kong magbasa at saka mag-aral ng mga medical na bagay. Pangarap ko rin dati kasing maging doctor."

The Computer Science undergraduate has already finished both paperbacks twice. Using his acquired knowledge, Cabael is also somewhat fulfilling his medical aspirations by assisting the house parent in dealing with health concerns.

"Interested ako kasi sa mga ganitong panahon, masarap tumulong sa may sakit. Tapos malaman din kung paano mo (pwedeng) mapagaling 'yung karamdaman ng isang tao, sa pagbabasa ng libro."

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