Sen. Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ Zubiri was the fi rst high-profi le fi gure to publicly admit that he was infected with COVID-19
Migz still ‘in isolation’
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 21, 2020 - 12:00am

A few days before Christopher “Boyet” de Leon did, Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri was the first high-profile figure to publicly admit that he was infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“I possibly got it in the Senate from a visitor Wednesday, March 11, last week,” Migz recalled to Funfare in a phone chat last Thursday, March 19. “That same night, I had a mild fever, sinat lang, and my temperature was 37.5. I also had a slight cough. That was the time that I felt different. Iba yung pakiramdam ko.”

Losing no time, Migz went into self-quarantine, along with Senate colleagues Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay, isolating himself in one room away from his wife Audrey and their three children aged 12, 10 and 5 who stayed in another room.

With wife Audrey Tan-Zubiri

“I had some chills that Wednesday night,” added Migz, “so I took two paracetamol and bioflu. I was sweating profusely in bed and I slept it out. I felt much better the next morning. No more fever, no more cough.”

The next day, Friday, March 13, Migz decided to have himself tested for COVID-19. Last Monday, March 16, Migz said that Health Sec. Francisco Duque informed him that he was COVID-19 positive.

“I was feeling healthy, I had no symptoms and my temperature was normal,” continued Migz, “and Sec. Duque told me that it was possible that I was asymptomatic. First thing I did was tell my wife and our children. Of course, they were sad.”

Migz has been in isolation since then, with his food left outside his door. He has been taking glasses of ginger/lemon tea, exercising by walking back and forth in his room, staying in the sun at the terrace for 30 minutes for Vitamin D, and watching a lot of TV shows and movies on Netflix. He communicates with his family via Viber.

Christopher de Leon with wife Sandy Andolong

Migz said that he will be in isolation until next weekend (around March 29) when he takes another DOH test.

“I decided to come out in public to let people know that no matter how careful you are, especially with your dealings with people, puede ka talaga mahawa,” he added.

Meanwhile, Boyet’s wife Sandy Andolong was quoted in a tabloid interview as saying that Boyet is doing okay in a hospital.

“He’s physically strong,” Sandy said. “Colds lang naman, no other symptoms so doctors are not worried. The doctors said that he would stay in the hospital for only one week.”

4 Pinoys win in UK music fest

Good news amidst these trying times: Four Filipinos won in the 2020 Stars of the Albion, the seventh International Performing Arts Festival & Competition held from Feb. 28 to March 1 at the Musica Nova Academy in the United Kingdom.

During a courtesy call on Philippine Ambassador to the UK Antonio Lagdameo, from left: Hannah Faye Miguel, Reign Macalinao, Jin Aaliyah Pizarra and Abrahsm Azur

Declared Grand Prix winner was Reign Macalinao, 14, who hails from Laguna. He beat 19 other contestants including those from the UK, Colombia, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria and Malta.

A member of the La Salle University-Laguna’s Campus Koro Lasalyano, Macalinao got 500 sterling pounds, a certificate and a golden trophy.

In his report, Funfare contributor Celso de Guzman Caparas said that it’s the third year in a row for the Philippines to bag the Grand Prix, after Rachel Gabreza in 2018 and Marlon Macabaya in 2019.

The three other winners in the 2020 event were Hannah Faye Miguel, 12, of Pampanga, third place; and Jin Aaliyah Pizarra, 13, of Angeles City, and Abraham Azur, 25, of Nueva Ecija, both second place. They received trophies and certificates.

According to Celso’s report, the jury was chaired by singer/producer/vocal coach Yulama Green of Georgia. The other jurors were renowned personalities in the music industry from Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, UK, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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