Celebrities who battled COVID-19 at the start of the new year

Leah Salterio - The Philippine Star
Celebrities who battled COVID-19 at the start of the new year
Candy Pangilinan and son Quentin.
STAR / File

“COVID-19 is really dangerous.”

By this time, two years into battling coronavirus around the world, that line from comedienne Candy Pangilinan, a two-time casualty of the dreaded disease, will perhaps be merely an understatement. Everyone knows that COVID-19 is not something to be simply ignored.

“It’s out there and you really don’t know when you will get it,” Candy cried on her YouTube channel. She first battled with COVID-19 in December 2020. This month, Candy contracted the disease again. She recently announced it and prayed she doesn’t infect her immuno-compromised son, Quentin, or transmit the virus to her other family members.

The biggest celebrities are in the COVID-19 eye. Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, all the way residing in Europe, got COVID while vacationing in the United Kingdom before the New Year. Pia was fully vaccinated and even had her booster shot, yet, she experienced all the symptoms.

“COVID is real and the numbers are going up exponentially,” Pia warned. “Please take this seriously, because anyone can get it no matter how healthy you are. Being fully vaccinated doesn’t stop you from getting the virus, but helps you overcome it.”

Pia even had her flu and pneumonia vaccines. She completed her isolation with her sister, Sarah, who also caught the virus. As of writing, however, both already tested negative.

Senator and vice presidential candidate Kiko Pangilinan had to take a break from any campaigning activities to isolate from his family after he tested positive for COVID-19. A few days after the birthday of his wife, Megastar Sharon Cuneta, last Jan. 6, Sen. Kiko learned about his condition.

Aga Muhlach and his wife, Charlene Gonzalez, thanked the group of Filipino medical professionals who took care of them while they battled COVID-19 in the US West Coast.

The couple spent the Christmas holidays in the US, where they met up with their son, Andres, who recently returned to Spain, COVID-free, to resume his studies. Charlene also visited her brother, Richard Bonnin.

Kapuso host Iya Villania, who is pregnant with her fourth baby, also tested positive for COVID-19. On her Instagram, Iya released a photo in isolation behind a glass door, separating her from her three kids — Primo, Leon, Alana — and hubby, TV host Drew Arellano.

“Try not to cry, because the tears will cause nasal congestion and lengthen recovery,” advised Iya, who had to struggle because she cried after seeing her kids away from her. “Ang hirap.”

As of the latest family update, both Primo and Leon also tested positive for the virus. Iya, nevertheless, felt glad that she was “pretty much recovered to be able to care for these monkeys.”

Iya’s fellow Kapuso broadcaster, Arnold Clavio, disclosed his COVID-19 experience. A diabetic who was serious in taking extra precautions every day, Arnold tested positive recently.

“The only way to fight this virus is a positive thought,” Arnold declared on his Instagram.

Despite going to great lengths observing safety measures — “wearing of mask, hand washing, social distancing, vitamins, immune booster, lots of Vitamin D, tinamaan pa din ako” — Arnold was not spared. He didn’t know how.

Kapamilya sweethearts RK Bagatsing and Jane Oineza had no choice but to isolate themselves, when they both got symptoms of the coronavirus and subsequently tested positive. The couple was first paired in the afternoon drama, Araw Gabi, back in 2018. Last year, they were both seen in the romantic film, Us Again.

“Don’t forget to rest up, drink your vitamins, eat well and be kind to yourself,” Jane reminded everyone. “We got this. One step at a time. Stay strong and stay safe.”

Jane stars in the third season of the youth-oriented series, Click, Like, Share, on IWant TFC, with Elmo Magalona, Belle Mariano, JC Alcantara and Vivore Esclito.

“Vaccines really save lives.” That is what Kapamilya showbiz chronicler Gretchen Fullido shared on her social media account. After getting her booster only last December, Gretchen experienced all the symptoms and tested positive.

She is among the mild patients, though, after she suffered headache, sore and itchy throat, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, joint pain and fatigue. She felt feverish, too, and also lost her sense of taste and smell, normal symptoms of COVID-19. She advised everyone to strengthen their immune system. “Let’s be responsible and compassionate to one another,” said Gretchen.

Similarly, another Kapamilya broadcaster, Karen Davila, took a longer vacation after her family — husband DJ Sta. Ana and two sons — tested positive for COVID-19 when they returned from their holiday vacation. The family simply had to quarantine from home, although Karen missed the return to free TV of TV Patrol, when it started airing on A2Z Channel.

After returning to the outside world, Pinoy Big Brother finalist and beauty queen Samantha Bernardo lamented the positive result of her PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. She found it unfortunate that she had to observe home quarantine and rest. Samantha finished as one of the Final Five housemates in the celebrity leg of the PBB Kumunity edition.

Another beauty queen, Miss Globe 2021 Maureen Montagne, got the virus while vacationing in Arizona in the US to visit her parents. She was thankful, though, that she was already fully vaccinated when she got sick, so the symptoms were mild. Maureen was crowned Miss Globe in Albania last November. She is the second Miss Globe title holder from the Philippines after Ann Colis in 2015.

The whole family of Ina Raymundo had a COVID-19 outbreak. She said she got the Omicron and her family — husband Brian Poturnak and five kids (Erika, Jakob, Mikaela, Anika, Minka) — also yielded COVID-positive results. Yet, Ina was very pleased with all those who prayed for them and wished them to get well soon. She was the last one who got sick, so she was able to take care of her family members.

Morissette Amon regaled her followers on Instagram with a song number, the day she announced she was COVID-positive. Although her virtual concert, Phoenix, has been taped even before the Christmas holidays, Morissette has been preparing to promote the show, which already has a number of presenters and ticket-buyers on KTX.

Sofia Andres admitted on Instagram she tested positive for COVID-19. “Please wear your mask, be kind, drink your vitamins, eat healthy and love yourself,” she advised all her followers.

Volleyball star Alyssa Valdes and Pinoy Big Brother celebrity housemate tested positive for COVID-19. She merely had to stay at home to quarantine and on Twitter, thanked all those who prayed for her.

From 2020, prominent showbiz stars such as Iza Calzado and Christopher de Leon immediately landed in the hospital after they were sidelined by COVID-19 early on. At that time, there weren’t any vaccines available yet, that was why they had to be confined for a longer period.

There were celebrities like Claire de la Fuente and photographer Raymund Isaac who even died last year from COVID-19.

Everybody who got sidelined by the virus is willing to share his/her battle through social media. There is nothing to hide or be afraid of. No one is apparently spared from COVID-19. Hence, all those who experienced getting sick are strongly reminding everyone to take all the necessary precautions.


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