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Untold and Inspiring Stories of Frontliners Get the Spotlight in this Facebook Page

Frontliners share their fears and inspirations in the time of pandemic.
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Not all heroes wear capes, but some of them wear masks. Masked Heroes of PH puts the spotlight on the personal stories of our masked frontliners to inspire hope and kindness in a time of uncertainty.

One such story is about a flight attendant, who shares that despite hiding her fear every time she flies, it is the passengers’ kindness that keeps her going.

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Sharon Villanueva, a nursing attendant at the National Children’s Hospital shares her experience when she made a grocery run while wearing her scrubs.

Minsan, kapag nag-go-grocery ka, ang tingin sa’yo ng mga kasabay mo parang pinandidirihan ka, lalo na kung mismong may COVID-19 kayo sa ward ninyo.”

(“Sometimes when you go grocery shopping, people look at you with disgust, especially when you have a COVID-19 case in your ward.”)

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Dr. Maria Isabel Atienza is a pediatric pulmonologist at hospitals in Quezon City and Taguig. “This is one time when the doctor’s oath is the driving force,” she says. “This is who I am and who we are in our profession. Love for family, our patients, community, and country prevails over personal concerns.”

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Juan Encinares Balaguer is a garbage collector. He shares how the pandemic has affected his family.

“Dati, tatlong beses pa kami nakakakain. Dahil sa COVID-19, nagkaroon ng problema, kaya ngayon, dalawang beses na lang. Naranasan naming magutom.” But despite everything, he finds inspiration in his family. “Inspirasyon ko po ang pamilya ko na lagging nakasuporta sa akin.”

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(“We used to eat three times a day, but because of COVID-19, we now eat twice a day. We experienced hunger. My family who always supports me is my inspiration.”)

Mariel Cunanan, who is an administrator of the Super Tsuper Facebook group, shares how she saw kindness through the thousands of Filipinos who are willing to support jeepney and bus drivers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

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“The donors don’t stop at donating and really make it a point to interact with the drivers,” she says.

An anonymous radiologist shares how he is scared for his own life because of the pandemic. “The job I have is essential in these trying times, and I have never felt a greater sense of pride in being a physician than I do now. I am not saying I am not scared for the health of my family, friends, those who I meet every day, and for own.” The doctor says he is afraid of running out of personal protective equipment and being exposed. He advises to pray and count the blessings we overlooked a long time ago.

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Jessica Louise Hizon is a hemiodyalisis nurse in Quezon City. Despite the option to go home, she and her fellow nurses decided to stay put at the hospital.

“…me and my fellow nurses and doctors have decided that we will be staying in our center so we can deliver prompt and efficient care to our patients in these trying times. I definitely miss the comfort of my home and spending time with my loved ones.”

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Albert Arnedo is a rider for Grab Food. He became a member of Order Hero, the app that allows other customers to purchase cancelled orders from food delivery services. He shares what keeps him going despite the danger of the pandemic.

“First, pangako ni God sa atin. Second, my family. Third, ’yung mga taong umaasa sa aming mga frontliners.”

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(First is God’s promise to us. Second, my family. Third are the people who rely on us frontliners.”)

Meanwhile, the students behind PandeSmile.ph share their passion for helping people. “Since one of our core members know how to bake pandesal, we thought of selling and giving the net profit to beneficiaries,” said the team. They created a win-win situation for the buyers and the people they are donating to.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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