Actress Angel Locsin on Friday apologized for the commotion that occurred at the community pantry she set up in Quezon City.
The actress turned 36 on Friday.
To celebrate her birthday, she installed a grocery-like community pantry in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City to honor those who led the community pantry initiatives in different parts of the country.
The pantry is located at Titanium Commercial Building, 36 Holy Spirit Drive, corner Don Matias St. at Don Antonio Heights, Barangay. Holy Spirit, Quezon City. It was supposed to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until supplies last.
“Anyone is welcome. But please make sure to follow protocols 🙂 If you can, please bring your own ecobag para hindi makadagdag ng basura,” Locsin said in an Instagram post on Thursday.
The commotion at Locsin’s community pantry
On Friday, several residents flocked the area to receive their own packed goods from Locsin’s community pantry.
The situation turned grim after a senior citizen who was lining up for the pantry lost consciousness. The man, identified as Rolando dela Cruz, was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
This prompted Locsin to discontinue her community pantry.
In an Instagram video, the actress said the community pantry was initially orderly until a problem on queue occurred.
“Nagsimula naman po kami nang maayos naman po, though mahaba po ‘yung pila, may social distancing po…” she narrated.
Locsin said some residents who do not have stubs cut the line, causing further crowding.
“Nagpatulong rin po kami sa munisipyo na mabilis naman po ang pagtugon sa aming barangay din po. May mga pumunta rin po dito na mga pulis at saka mga military na tumutulong naman po pero ‘yun lang po, hindi lang po talaga nila ma-control ‘yung mga tao,” Locsin said.
“Hindi po ito ang gusto ko at nagsimula po kami na maayos ang layunin, pati po ang pagpaplano ng social distancing. Nagkataon lang po talaga, siguro po gutom lang po talaga ‘yung tao na kahit wala po sa pila, sumingit na po sila,” she added.
The actress then apologized for the commotion and the crowding her community pantry has caused.
“Sa lahat po ng naabala ngayon, pasensya na po. Hindi po ito talaga ang intensyon natin. Kahit anong paghahanda namin para ma-avoid ‘yung gantong gulo, hindi lang talaga siya ma-control kahit na nandito na ‘yung munisipyo, military, pulis, barangay,” Locsin said.
“Sa mga hindi po mabibigyan today, nais ko din humingi ng pasensya. Gustuhin ko mang mag-abot, I don’t think papayagan ako ulit na gawin to. Baka ipahatid na lang namin ‘to kung ano mang matitirang goods sa area para mapakinabangan ng iba. Pasensya na po. Gusto ko lang po talagang i-celebrate ang birthday ko na makatulong sa ibang tao. Hindi ko po intensyon na makagulo,” she added.
Prior to this, Locsin tweeted a reminder for the public to observe physical distancing protocols.
The actress also assured the public that the volunteers serving in the pantry have all tested negative for COVID-19.
Likened to ‘Darna’
Before opening her community pantry, many Filipinos, including Locsin’s fellow celebrities, lauded her selfless initiative.
“Go Angel!!!!” Bianca Gonzalez commented on her Instagram with a series of clapping hands emojis.
“Happy birthday, ma’am!! Waaayyy to go!” Arci Muñoz exclaimed with emojis.
Locsin’s supporters likewise applauded her efforts on Twitter, where they greeted her with a reference to her past television role as “Darna” on GMA Network.
She played the part of the Filipino heroine in 2005 which helped cemented her iconic status today.
“Darna,” a comic book character created by Mars Ravelo, fights against common criminals and forces of evil, most famously the snake-haired villainess Valentina.
Locsin’s efforts prompted the keyword “Darna” to enter the microblogging platform’s top trending list in the Philippines on Friday morning.
Locsin has been dubbed by her supporters as a “real-life Darna” due to her constant humanitarian efforts, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last January, Locsin received the “Spirit of Philanthropy” award from humanitarian organization Philippine Red Cross.
She was also hailed in Tatler Asia‘s “Gen T List” which recognizes young leaders who are shaping Asia’s future with their initiatives on society.
The actress was recognized for her philanthropic work such as donating $300,000 to “scholarships for the less fortunate.”
Forbes Asia in 2019 also noted her as one of the top altruists in the region due to her hand in disaster relief efforts and donations to different causes.