A Tribute To: How We Can Remember The Lives We Lost to COVID-19
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, April 29, 2020 1:58pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
It’s hard to be alone and isolated in this time of pandemic. But to minimize the spread of COVID-19 we have to abide by the Enhanced Community Quarantine, ordering us to stay at home at all times. The worst part? The disease has taken hundreds of lives in the Philippines alone and we can’t even commemorate them properly.
Authorities have made it clear: for deaths unrelated to COVID-19, only immediate family members and officiates are allowed to attend the wake. For those who have died because of the virus, they should be cremated or buried within 12 hours to avoid the spread of virus.
As we can’t afford the time to say goodbye properly, two friends, Meryl Ligunas and Stel de Vera created a platform so people can give tribute to those we’ve lost. A Tribute To, an online space, gives us a chance to celebrate and mourn the loss of our friends and loved ones meaningfully, together.
A Tribute To is filled with stories of doctors, parents, and siblings we lost. The messages tug heartstrings and make us realize those people are not just part of the statistics; they are people with families who loved them dearly and are heartbroken they can’t pay proper respects.
One who paid tribute was Ria Bautista. She is the sister of Nicko Bautista, the young doctor who died during the Lionair aircraft accident. Ria remembered Nicko being affectionate with an infectious laugh. She regrets not having enough time with the younger brother.
Vincent Thomas Evangelista also shared his message to not one, but two, dearly beloved relatives. For him, he considers doctors Dennis and Helen Tudtud as second parents and it’s a challenge to accept the mother and father figures he once had.
If you are facing the same grief, you can submit your entries through this link. Sharing stories about losses can lighten up the load and show how great these people were. May you find comfort even though the situation’s not in our favor. Yet.