We continue our series on personal pandemic heroes with stories about family members and friends who brought joy to people during these challenging times.
Our mom Evelinda Reyes has made our quarantine life much more tolerable, tirelessly looking after us and our well-being. She would not just cook delicious meals but would ensure we eat healthy food until our bellies are full. When the current work-from-home setup would be a bit challenging, she would motivate and remind us that we’re fortunate to have jobs amid the pandemic. We are blessed to have a mom like her who unconditionally loves us and brings light to our lives and to our home. —Eric Reyes and Mervin Wenke
I find it a blessing to be able to take care of my son Savvy every single day, especially being stuck at home during these time. My wife Ricca, the real rock star of the family, and I are never bored. Because of all the happiness we share every day as a family, it’s making Savvy the happiest kid. I am in love with the fact that he loves us so much in return. Why is our son my hero during this pandemic? He is the reason we want to be alive every day. —Nicholas Lazaro
As an associate at Walmart, the biggest grocery store in the United States, I am considered an essential worker.
When the stay-at-home order started in California, it felt like everything stopped. Panic kicked in! The person that I turned to was my wife, Maria Carla Antonio, a gas turbine mechanic senior chief of the US Navy. She made sure I had everything that I needed. My wife made my life tolerable during the pandemic by waking up early to prepare my baon. She would drop me off and pick me up from work every day. My work started at 4 a.m. and would end at 1 p.m. She would cook dinner for us. She was always there to cheer me up and give me words of encouragement whenever I felt down. —Maria Cecilia “Chela” Gahuman
I thought I would just remember 2020 as my worst year, but it also turned out to be the year when I got closer to the best people on the planet. My emotional support group—Joon Shin, Lim Marasigan, Suzy Uy and Sophia Talens—always checked on me during those tough times. Kat Mendoza, Bryan Reyes, Euson Go, Marianne Dinsay and the entire Taft Initiative became my second family and made me stronger. I’m thankful to them for not giving up on me. And sometimes, you’ll meet random people who will turn out to be your foster family. Phil Sicat, Ana Saldua and Suzy Uy, thanks for taking care of me. I appreciate all of you. —Josh Magalong
Two moms and dad
My parents have definitely kept me sane during this pandemic. Even though we don’t see each other regularly because of the lockdown, daily messages and calls from Nanay Tessie and Mommy Vilma drive me to always function at my best. Since I live on my own, they would send me food and essentials which I truly appreciate. Apart from my two moms, my Tatay Nemie has also been my light. Although he is no longer with us, I know he is constantly watching over me and that inspires me to just keep on moving forward in life. —Janlee Dungca