South Korea honors Philippine frontliners

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A nurse, a driver and a teacher were among the frontliners who were cited by the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in the Philippines for sharing their passion and hope in this time of global pandemic.

In a statement, the KCC the South Korean embassy’s cultural arm said its campaign hopes to “offer inspiration and much-needed healing” through K-Healing Packages that were given to the select frontliners, considered as modern day heroes.

Davao-based nurse Mae Joy Cruspero, who was supposed to follow her sister to New Zealand, decided to serve at a local hospital.

“This is my passion, this is the job that I’ve chosen for myself. I’m here to serve the people, give back to the community, and serve my parents,” Cruspero said when her sister Divine, who nominated her, asked her to let go of her job due to the “danger and risk.”

Romelynn Subio nominated her father, Romeo, a jeepney driver from Butuan City, who would do carpentry work and vehicle repair for some households in the area because he was not able to drive and work when the government imposed a lockdown.

“When we would talk, he was worried about the loss of income and how to sustain our family’s needs,” Romelynn said.

Evelyn Setias, a teacher at the West Fairview Elementary School, was nominated by her son for balancing her duties as a mom of three while helping her students with their schoolwork.

According to her son, Setias would “spend a lot of time preparing for school, work for hours, even losing sleep, to accomplish her tasks for class and also had to skip meals in order to help out her students.”

Another nominee is Beverly Mae Manansala, a nurse at the OB Department of Adventist Medical Center Manila, who “chose to go to the hospital every day despite the risks and to be of service for others.”

Manansala brought her two children and 65-year-old mother to the province for their safety and has not seen them for more than six months.

The KCC chose 15 winners each for the individual and group categories after receiving 156 nominations for over 900 frontliners nationwide.



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