Organized chaos: Riders flood ECQ checkpoint at Cavite-Manila border

Stay safe out there
by Drei Laurel | Apr 17, 2020
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

If you think you’re having a rough day stuck at home, just imagine what frontliners are going through right now. We’re not just referring to healthcare workers, either—even personnel manning enhanced community quarantine checkpoints have their work cut out for them.

This was the situation at a checkpoint along the Manila-Cavite border earlier today—hundreds of motorcycle riders packed tightly together, waiting in line to cross into the nation’s capital. We can only think of two words to sum up this sight: organized chaos.

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These images were captured by photographer Jerome Ascaño, who protects himself by wearing a respirator (which he bought from Amazon when Taal Volcano erupted), goggles, and long-sleeved shirts when he heads out to document the COVID-19 pandemic in Metro Manila.

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According to Ascaño, this scene is already an organized one. “Marami din daw talaga na naka-motor sa Cavite—yan lang yung nadaanan kong checkpoint na madami, sir,” he tells us. “Nung Tuesday kasi, may nakita akong picture sa Facebook niyan na kumpulan talaga. Mas maayos na ngayon kasi two lines sila pagdating sa checkpoint.”

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These images are in stark contrast to the photos Ascaño took in Quezon City earlier this week, which showed an eerie calm surrounding usually busy streets as nighttime descended upon the hardest-hit city in the country.

Again, consider yourself lucky if you’re at home. Others don’t have the luxury of choosing whether or not to head out during this pandemic. Stay safe out there, everyone.

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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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