Mother and daughter are seen in this photo posted by Liza Paqueo.
Liza Paqueo via Facebook
Daughter of 1st local Filipino COVID-19 fatality grieves mother, appeals for kindness
Ratziel San Juan ( - March 13, 2020 - 5:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of condolences have poured in for the family of Nida Paqueo, the first Filipino COVID-19 fatality locally who passed away earlier this week, after her grief-stricken daughter Liza broke the sad news to friends and relatives in a now-viral social media post.

Described as “healthy and fit,” the late matriarch first experienced symptoms on February 29 and was admitted to Manila Doctor's Hospital on March 5 for localized pneumonia.

Nida was reported dead by health authorities on March 11, the same day she was confirmed positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

She had just celebrated her 67th birthday.

RELATED: 67-year-old woman in Manila is first Filipino COVID-19 fatality

The circumstances of her final moments, as described in Liza's post, offer a sobering reminder of the reality that an untold number of families are forced to come into terms with during the pandemic.

“Dearest family and friends: A few hours ago, my beautiful mother, Nida, was cremated. She died alone without her loving family and friends around her. She was cremated, alone, without ceremony or tribute,” the post opens.

(PLEASE SHARE) Dearest family and friends: A few hours ago, my beautiful mother, Nida, was cremated. She died alone...

Posted by Liza Paqueo on Thursday, March 12, 2020

“My father is alone as well. He is at a Manila hospital, in stable condition and in quarantine. But he is in deep grief over the loss of his wife of 47 years--the love of his life.” 

Liza then revealed that she lives abroad with her brothers and that they are prohibited from joining their father during this time under health protocols in force.

“My brothers and I are together here in the United States, but we are not allowed to visit my dad. We are not allowed to manage and advocate for him. It has been painful not just for my nuclear family but for all our extended relatives and friends who love my parents and cherished my mom,” she mourned.

Nida had no history of travel or exposure to COVID-19, but this didn’t stop some online users from hurling accusations against her husband and herself.

“To compound the grief and pain, rumors and malicious misinformation have circulated on social media about my parents. This has all resulted in panic, violence, threats, and stigmatization of our family and loved ones. Disclosure of private information has circulated as well,” Liza opened.

She called for kindness and even asked netizens to refrain from making hurtful comments including those that taint the image of her deceased mother.

“It is DANGEROUS, counterproductive, libelous, and ignorant to spread false information that could result in harm to our family and friends. BUT it can also be dangerous to public health and welfare. Please stay calm. If you have questions, contact me.”

Liza then said that she is willing to accommodate questions since her family has been in “constant communication with infectious disease specialists, medical professionals and with each other to be socially and medically responsible.”

“HOWEVER, please do respect our family during this extremely painful time. We want to concentrate our energy and our prayers on our father's recovery (sadly from afar) and not on quelling damaging and dangerous rumors and threats,” she appealed.

“We ask for your continued love, support, healing energy and prayers for my father and for our extended community.”

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