By Jun Ledesma

Optimism amidst Covid-19

DEPENDING on one’s character and motivations, the Covid-19 pandemic can be a bane to many but a boon to those who see opportunities under the new normal. Of course, the crisis shocked and dislocated us from our comfort zones. We lost jobs, kept us un the four corners of our home, movements were limited and some of our vices. The lucky among us received “ayudas” in many forms but many are starting to realize that the government will eventually run out of money.
The hard realization had sunk-in thus we see thousands of locally stranded individuals and families lining up for a free ride back to their home province. We have seen hundreds of OFWs losing jobs. Lucky are those where transport is still available but not a few hundreds are still stranded. If we think we are this miserable, who would ever imagine that in the glitzy New York City, the one that never sleeps, people are queueing for food?
And we hear politicians saying the government is not doing enough.
But amidst the difficulties of the time, we have seen and observed people shifting interest and plans. Every day in our respective subdivisions we see cooked food deliveries, ambulant vendors peddling fresh fish, crustaceans, vegetables, and whatever. We learn of bank employees who lost their jobs that are now into baking. A former corporate executive came home and revived his poultry farm and on the side raised a variety of vegetables. Some lawyers turned to serious farming and we expect to see four years from now more fruits produced in Davao.
Take this enthusiasm from a Davaowenya who settled in Metro Manila and fought it out amidst the outrageous pandemic:
“Last June when the ECQ was lifted it was such a pleasant surprise that real estate here in MM is alive! The demand was a bit less but there is a demand! Lease and sale! Many business have closed but there are businesses that are prospering and expanding based on the new community needs! I just leased out a 230 sqm warehouse to a veggie provider. Before Covid-19 it was housed in a regular apartment. Now it can afford P180,000 rent per month! And another mariner documentation comp representing Panama and 4 other countries just leased a 475 sqm office space in Taft ave. And inquiries on P85k/mo tent for residential condominium units! And resale buyers too! So you see, I sense that the economy will eventually revive. I feel it on the ground. It was different during the Marcos upheaval. It was really down...not much activity afterward. It took 2 years to be active. The foreigners left the country! Yeah, I was already a broker then in 1976.
Oh yes! We are a positive bunch! Yes, I'm a realtor. Mid to the upscale market. Dasma Forbes and BGC. Light Industrial zones. Commercial spaces and recreation. Property management too. Total management. Got Dabawenyos on my long term client list. Pero for friends whatever is needed I help out”.
What optimism, and she is not alone.


About the Columnist

Image of Jun Ledesma

Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.