Dawn / Bukang Liwayway
As dawn breaks, a health worker switches on a lamp and edges her way along a rickety footbridge connected to an open washing area. She ablutes in preparation for Fajr. The juxtaposition of the area seemingly fades in the faint morning light and reveals picturesque stilt houses of a once war-torn island.
In the town center’s health facility, a nurse opens the refrigerator and transfers the vaccine vials they need for the day into special carriers, while expressing her apprehension of visiting villages considered “lairs” of kidnappers and how kidnapping became their source of income.
Water drips from a latrine where a soldier preps for the day. He gathers his things and starts coordinating the day’s escorting task with base command through his 2-way radio. He knows the danger his team may face through this work.
This marks the start of their day. Later, this team is seen delivering polio vaccines to eight children in a far-flung village with the intent of “leaving no child behind.” Despite the sheer distance and absence of decent access roads for transportation, they trek and cover the farthest house first and the nearest to the village center last. It takes them nine hours.
In the process, they each reveal growing concern about the looming threat of COVID-19. They are on the lookout, keenly patrolling provincial borders because lack of preventative measures will put more strain on their critical public health resources.
The following day, as dawn breaks, they start vaccinating a different village.