Quarantine Story of a British in Davao Oriental will Inspire You to Keep Going!
Kenneth Mheil Mangaya- Ay | July 08, 2020
Photos by Kyle Jennermann “BecomingFilipino”
There are many inspiring quarantine stories in the Philippines, not just of the Filipinos but even of foreign nationals. For instance in Cateel, Davao Oriental, Kyle Jennermann shared one on his Facebook page BecomingFilipino about a foreign national, a broken-down house in a small Filipino Barangay, the coronavirus lockdown, and a local fishpond business which he considers one of the most fascinating, inspiring, difficult and local “quarantine stories” you will ever hear in the country.
Anselm, 28-years-old Welshman was married and a permanent resident in Davao City. He recently started a fishpond business in Cateel, Davao Oriental. With no background in this industry and no local connections, he literally started from scratch. Spending many months preparing his pond near the river, Anselm taught himself how to drive a little boat, prepare a fish pond, and immersed with locals in Barangay Baybay.
October 2019, Anselm had his first harvest of crabs. Unfortunately, some of the locals he employed and worked with were not honest, resulting in huge financial losses. But, it didn’t deter Anselm from powering on. He immersed more and found locals who he believed would give him better advice without taking advantage of him. In February of this year, he started Bangus (Milkfish) in his ponds. He was determined to be successful and provide locals with work. Anselm would commute from Davao City to Davao Oriental many times every week to work on his ponds. But, during the implementation of the community quarantine, he had no choice but to leave his family in the city and live in Barangay Baybay by his pond.
For three and a half months, Anselm stayed in a little broken down hut with no lights, a hand pump outside of water, and a tragic looking comfort room. If he will not stay in Davao Oriental, he cannot look after his pond and would certainly go out of business. Because of his love and respect for our country, especially the locals in Davao Oriental, Anselm learned to speak good Bisaya so that he and his staff could understand each other clearly.
After three and a half months of harsh living conditions and hard work with the community, they are now ready to harvest Bangus (Milkfish) from the pond and things were a lot better than his first attempt with crabs. It is still not a sweet victory for Anselm and his team because fish prices plummeted due to coronavirus but instead of giving up, Anselm is going to give it one more go. He believes enough in the local community and feels he’s now working with the right people. Just like a true-blooded Pinoy, Anselm exemplifies resiliency which is one of the positive traits of Filipinos. #BuyNaKayJuan