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Van Gogh is Bipolar restaurant owner distributes food donations in his bicycle

"Wala po akong personal na sasakyan... Minsan, random po akong pumapara ng kotse sa kalye na willing magdala ng mga pagkain, lalo na sa mga hospitals," Jetro Rafael says about his relief efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
PHOTO/S: Van Gogh is Bipolar on Facebook

From crafting personal protective equipment to donating cash to fundraisers, there are many stories of ordinary citizens helping others during the coronavirus pandemic.

It's impossible to overstate the importance of generosity and selflessness in times of crisis.

The founder and proprietor of Maginhawa Street landmark Van Gogh is Bipolar is no exception.

For weeks now, Jetro Rafael has opened his restaurant to people in need of a hot and filling meal.

He has also been donating food to nearby communities using his own resources, including his trusty bicycle.

"Wala po akong mga specific na sponsors. Ang ginagamit ko po sa mga pagkain na niluluto at inihahain sa tao ay galing po sa aking personal resources," he said in a Facebook post uploaded on May 4, 2020.

"Minsan po ay may mga generous and compassionate individuals na nagbibigay ng suporta sa abot ng makakaya nila.

"At nakapalaking inspirasyon ko po ito para maipagpatuloy ko ang community project na ito."

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He continued, "Nagdedeliver din po ako sa mga bahay-bahay malapit sa aking tinitirhan dito sa Q.C. [Quezon City] gamit ang aking bisikleta.

"Wala po akong personal na sasakyan.

"At sa mga pagkakataon na kailangang magpakain ng malaking bilang ng tao (more or less 100 people), ako po ay nakikisuyo sa aking butihing mga kaibigan na may sasakyan para magdala ng pagkain sa mga iba’t ibang vulnerable communities dito sa Metro Manila.

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"Minsan, random po akong pumapara ng kotse sa kalye sa mga good samaritan na willing magdala ng mga pagkain, lalo na sa mga hospitals."

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Van Gogh is Bipolar has been around for about 10 years and has become one of the most innovative and quirky restaurants not just on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, but in all of Metro Manila.

Jetro, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, said he started out with his own homeopathy solutions to address his condition.

After friends began seeking out his homemade recipes, he decided to open a restaurant and has been drawing a steady stream of curious customers ever since.

This month alone, Jetro has been distributing food packs as well as rice to hungry residents of nearby communities.

He has been posting announcements regarding his donation drives on his Facebook page.

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"I am blessed and humbled to be in this position," he said in one of his Facebook posts.

"God knows, my resources are limited and yet I will try to sustain it by continuing to raise funds from my own food business."

If you'd like to help, contact Van Gogh is Bipolar at 0922-8243051

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"Wala po akong personal na sasakyan... Minsan, random po akong pumapara ng kotse sa kalye na willing magdala ng mga pagkain, lalo na sa mga hospitals," Jetro Rafael says about his relief efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
PHOTO/S: Van Gogh is Bipolar on Facebook
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