Despite lockdown, Lyceans find ways to help frontliners, Filipinos in Batangas

Jhon Cedrick Suarez

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Despite lockdown, Lyceans find ways to help frontliners, Filipinos in Batangas
Students, faculty members, and personnel of the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas express their support for frontliners and Filipinos affected by the coronavirus outbreak in different ways


BATANGAS, Philippines– Despite the Luzon lockdown, the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas (LPU-B) community sought ways to provide support to frontliners and affected Filipinos during the coronavirus outbreak.

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To help hasten the process of COVID-19 testing, LPU-B will lend its own real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment, genomics and proteomics laboratory, as well as its technical expertise to the Department of Health (DOH).

These resources will help enable the setup of a molecular laboratory in DOH’s designated testing location.The DOH had especially requested the use of the PCR machine, so it can set up a COVID-19 testing facility at the Batangas Medical Center.

“As of the moment we are waiting for communication from them. We are ready anytime as we already coordinated with our supplier to help us safely transfer the equipment,” Dr Cecilia Pring, Vice President for Academics and Research of LPU-B, said in an interview with Phoenix, the university’s official student publication.

Two faculty and staff members of LPU-B’s College of Allied Medical Professionals (CAMP) will be part of the team in the COVID-19 testing facility – CAMP Consulting Dean and pathologist Dr Annie Valdez, and CAMP laboratory administrator Oliver Dumaoal.

Supporting the heroes

Aside from offering its equipment and resources, LPU-B has also given lunch meals to Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection personnel stationed in checkpoints throughout Batangas province, under its Feed the Heroes Project.

Frontliners were also given sets of personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of infection from the virus. (READ: LIST: How to help healthcare workers, frontliners during coronavirus pandemic)

This institutional project was spearheaded by the LPU-B Community Extension office.

The university also provided food packs to students stranded in their respective dormitories, as well as basic living assistance to employees affected by the lockdown.

LPU-B’s Counseling and Testing Center also launched online mental health support services for students and employees. (READ: LIST: Groups providing free online counseling during the pandemic)

“The inspiration of the management to engage in these activities is the opportunity to help during this difficult time and be part of the solution so that we can win this battle together,” Pring said.

Healing power of art

LPU-B students, faculty, and staff didn’t let the lockdown restrictions stop them from supporting frontliners battling the coronavirus. (READ: Volunteer your skills during the lockdown through these initiatives)

Flambeau, the official student publication of LPU-B High School, initiated “Letters to the Frontliners,” an art drive wherein high school Lyceans are encouraged to send postcards or letters of appreciation to medical and military frontliners.

Some students also sent get well soon cards to coronavirus patients.

The letters project was inspired by the COVID Letters initiative led by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine’s Dr Nicole Perreras, who urged Filipinos to boost the morale of patients and medical frontliners in the institution through letters and postcards of appreciation.

Hoping to do the same, Flambeau posted letters submitted by students in their official Facebook page and encouraged people to send their support.

“We hope that through our project, we were able to put smiles on the faces of the patients and frontliners, so that they can have a mindset that [they] will get through this battle soon,” said Flambeau editor-in-chief Dana Alejandrei Cueto.

Leading a tribute for frontliners and Filipinos, LPU-B High School’s theater guild performed Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, as well as a spoken word piece written by its pool of writers.

LPU Stagers President Julia Castillote said the piece hopes to highlight the need to show gratitude to frontliners and give hope to fellow Filipinos in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We had this thought that if we can’t leave the house to help frontliners or donate, we still have the means to help in the form of art. We know that [frontliners] need emotional support and that is something we can provide as artists,” Castillote said in a mix of Filipino and English in the interview with Phoenix.

Wanting to help in his own way, LPU-B grade 10 student Emman Ramos wrote a song titled “Muling Pagbangon” to inspire Filipinos to stay strong during the crisis.

Naaawa ako sa mga pamilyang namamatayan dahil sa virus na ito, at napahanga naman sa kagitingang ipinamamalas ng mga frontliners na handang ibuwis ang buhay nila para sa mga mamamayan, at iyon ang nagsilbing inspirasyon ko sa pagkatha ng kantang ito,” Ramos said.

(I felt sad for the families who lost loved ones because of this virus. I was also amazed by the courage of our frontliners, as they prepared to sacrifice their lives for the people. They serve as my inspiration in writing this song.)

Faculty members and staff from various departments of LPU-B made their own tribute to frontliners as well, as they performed the popular OPM Christian song “Lead Me Lord.”–

Jhon Cedrick Suarez is a Mover from Batangas City and probationary staff writer at Phoenix, the official student publication of Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas. He is also a first-year BS Accountancy student from the said university.

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