COVID-19 frontliners highlighted as modern-day heroes during Araw ng Kagitingan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 9, 2020   •   1085

While the rest stay at home to keep safe from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), frontliners are risking their lives in service to the country.

Health workers continue to treat the sick while exposing themselves to the virus.

The police and the military man checkpoints to ensure peace and order amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), while blue-collared workers make sure everything else remains in order.

“I cannot stay at home, I’m a nurse.”

This was the hashtag Raul Della Eslao captioned in his profile picture. A registered nurse in the United States (US), Eslao fulfilled his duties as one of the frontliners in Michigan. Twelve days after he changed his profile photo on March 19, he succumbed to the virus.

Dr. Greg Macasate was among the first frontliners to fall to the virus. He dedicated the remainder of his life to treating COVID-19 patients.

The Manila Doctors Hospital called Macasaet a brave man and one of the best anesthesiologists in the country.

These are just a few of the brave modern heroes who served the country during the fight against COVID-19.

Araw ng Kagitingan or the Day of Valor commemorates the bravery of Filipinos during the battle in Bataan on April 9, 1942.

On the 78th commemoration of the Day of Valor, the Philippines is giving praises to the modern-day heroes.

As the country continues its fight against COVID-19, it is the bravery of the frontliners that gave Filipinos hope that this will all come to pass.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), 252 health workers have already been infected with COVID-19 with 11 confirmed deaths.

The PNP also recorded 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 7 with two recorded deaths.

Meanwhile, netizens, including known personalities, dedicated this day to the frontliners and thanked them for their valor and service to the country.

Franklin Jucaban Jr. decide to become a full-time Grab driver after the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). In a Facebook post of Grab Philippines, they lauded his efforts as a frontliner who serve his fellowmen.

“Hindi na nila kailangang umalis sa kanilang trabaho o tahanan para bumili ng gusto nilang kainin (They no longer need to leave their work or homes to buy the food they want),” he said.

Several of the frontliners have already fallen but the fight continues, and this time, there will be no surrender. –AAC

OVP to provide free shuttle service for Cebu City frontliners

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) will be providing free shuttle service for frontliners and healthcare workers in Cebu City, a statement released on Sunday (July 5) said.

The statement read that the OVP Free Shuttle Service for Cebu health workers and frontliners will start Monday, July 6, as part of #BayanihanSugbuanon — the Vice President’s COVID-19 Response Operations in Cebu.

“Our pilot run will have initial three routes, with two trips each for morning and afternoon. Kindly refer to the individual cards for the full schedule for AM, AM reverse, PM, and PM reverse trips,” the statement further read.

“We are grateful to our partners, UBE Express, Seaoil, and Genergex Petroleum, whose support made this initiative possible,” it added.

The schedules and routes may be subject to adjustments, based on the needs that will be seen during the pilot run.  

Meanwhile, the OVP and its partners will also start opening free dormitories for Cebu frontliners.

The first dormitory is located at Brgy. Banilad, Cebu City, near the North General Hospital. 

The statement said that the dorm is open for health workers, medical practitioners, and other frontliners involved in offering essential services amid the COVID-19 crisis on a first come, first served basis. —/mbmf

Wife receives anniversary surprise from late husband

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

Ten months after the death of her husband, a wife still received a heart-warming surprise from him for their 25th wedding anniversary.

Aly Mendoza received an email from her late father regarding instructions for an anniversary surprise. The email also contained a letter for her mother.

“Apparently before my dad passed away 10 months ago, he planned everything, he even contacted and paid for a florist to deliver flowers to my mom for the coming years on every special occasion, my mom’s birthday (August 19,) Valentine’s Day, and their anniversary (June 10),” she wrote in her post.

“Even if they’re not physically together, even though he’s no longer here, he was still able to surprise and make my mom happy. Not even death could stop my dad from loving my mom and showing her how much she meant to him,” she added.

Aly said her dad picked the flowers for the bouquet: white and pink.

“White roses are special to my parents because when my dad was courting her, my mom had two suitors. She told herself that whoever gives her white roses was ‘the one and obviously it was my dad who gave her white roses,” Aly said.

Aly felt the joy her mom felt when she saw the surprise. She shared how her parent’s love endures—and not even death could make them part. AAC

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Why corals matter: PH celebrates Coral Triangle Day

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2020

Did you know that corals are not rocks? They aren’t plants either.

Corals are animals. At a glance, we picture corals as uniquely-shaped rocks with seaweed-like leaves but in reality, corals are composed of tiny creatures called ‘polyps’.

Coral polyps are tiny organisms that are more closely related to sea anemones and jellyfishes.

What do they do exactly?

Corals serve as home to numerous sea creatures. It also protects coastlines to dissipate huge waves. Scientists can also determine prehistoric climate patterns by studying coral reefs which can make a huge impact on how we should live in the present.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle which is a marine area located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is considered as the center of global marine diversity.

The Coral Triangle covers areas in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Solomon Islands. It is the home of 2.5 million hectares of coral reefs, 500 species of corals and 1,763 reef species.

In celebration of Coral Triangle Day, the DENR sets out to raise awareness on the importance of corals and the Coral Triangle in the country.

“There are 130 million people directly dependent on its marine natural resources,” the DENR said.

What can we do?

CleanSeas Pilipinas reiterated the importance of preserving coral reefs especially when climate change and pollution in the ocean continue to threat marine life.

Here are some of the actions we can do to help save the coral reefs:

  • Don’t touch coral reefs!
  • Use reef-safe sunscreens
  • Don’t purchase corals from gift shops
  • Volunteer in local beach or reef cleanups

“Protecting them is essential to food security as coral reefs contribute to 70% of fishery production in the world,” the organization said. –AAC

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