Speakers: Julius Neil Piala + Aliah Baito + Nicole Riva Sarto
The surge of the COVID-19 virus highlighted the long-existed crises already present in our society—inefficient health and civic systems, volatile market, inadequate public scheme, food insecurity, low wage, job precarity—and the various crisis responses—panic buying, recession, job layoffs. Despite the rising COVID-19 cases and the risk of infection, the medical frontliners continued to serve all throughout the pandemic. The pandemic, in this regard, also brought out the extraordinary and everyday heroes in all of us.
The journey to becoming a hero is never be a walk in the park. Most of the time, the risk becomes an everyday reality. Most of time, the passion to give service ends up taking their own lives. The ability to do beyond than what is expected becomes commonplace. In this episode, the team interviewed two pandemic heroes.
Both are medical frontliner professionals from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Davao City. Ms. Jan Marie Palileo, R.M.T. and Ms. Ruth Valdez, R.N. were interviewed regarding their experiences while serving during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[T]o do beyond your capacity or beyond what is expected, beyond ng usual mo na ginagawa,” says Ms. Palileo. “You are going the extra mile outside of what you are expected to serve and being able to…. [H]indi lang yung sarili mo yung iniisip mo kundi yung kapakanan ng buong bayan.” (To do beyond your capacity or beyond what is expected, beyond than what you normally do… You are going the extra mile outside of what you are expected to serve and being able not to just prioritize your own good but the good for all.)
Despite the risk of contracting the virus, the medical frontliners persisted and continued to serve the people wholeheartedly.
Though the pandemic revealed heroes among us, what does it really take to become an ordinary hero in this extraordinary time? Were the pandemic heroes given the due recognition and appropriate compensation they deserve? How can we help and, to an extent, become heroes in our little ways?