MANILA—There is no better kind of honor people can get for their achievements in life or for unique contributions to humanity but from those bestowed by their own peers. And that is what the 22 alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) who died from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) received.
Last week, UP released a 3-minute video giving tribute to those alumni who were in the frontlines of the fight against pandemic. It gave a heartening rendition of their contribution even to their last breath to serve those who came to them for help in their call of duty.
“They died alone, with no relatives around to hold their hands as they breathed their last. Some still have to be buried, and others were cremated with no ceremony and no one to bid them goodbye,” UP said.
According to UP, the first frontliner from their ranks to fall from the virus was Dr. Greg Macasaet, an anesthesiologist at the Manila Doctors Hospital. The state university also lost Dr. Marcelo Jaochico, the provincial health officer of Pampanga; Dr. Raul Jara, considered as a pillar of cardiology in the Philippines; Dr. Francisco Lukban of the Capitol Medical Center; Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, assistant director of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine; Dr. Leandro Resurrection III of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center; Dr. Dennis Ramon Tudtud, a prominent oncologist in Cebu; and Dr. Ephraim Neal Orteza of the Ospital ng Parañaque, among others.
Based on the records of the Department of Health (DOH), the number of health workers infected with Covid-19 in the Philippines reaches 1,934, which includes 34 fatalities and 449 recoveries.
The state university also noted the loss of veteran actor and an alumnus Domingo “Menggie” Cobarrubias who appeared in over 100 film and TV productions who also succumbed to the virus.
Perhaps the most decorated UP alumni who passed away due to Covid-19 is former Senator Heherson Alvarez who turned to be a staunch environmentalist after serving in the Philippine Senate from 1987 to 1998.