How Filipino athletes are pitching in to fight the coronavirus pandemic

Beatrice Go
How Filipino athletes are pitching in to fight the coronavirus pandemic
Filipino athletes and coaches spearhead initiatives to support frontliners battling the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country

MANILA, Philippines – After two weeks of no sports action due to the Luzon lockdown, several athletes and sports teams who should be busy conditioning at home are also helping frontliners battling the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. 

Here are some sports personalities who are doing their part to help amid the outbreak. 

Nieto family  

The Nieto family has been busy mobilizing donations of food and medical supplies to help various areas, especially in Cainta, Rizal. 

The family collected canned goods, rice, face masks, and face shields, and donated them to local governments (barangays) distributing “subsidy packages” in communities. They also set up sanitation tents at the Cainta public market.

FACE MASKS. The Nieto family procures medical supplies like face masks for distribution. Photo from Matt Nieto's Facebook

Jeff Cariaso 

Alaska Aces head coach Jeff Cariaso spearheaded the initiative to raise funds and donations for non-regular employees of the PBA

Cariaso on Saturday, March 28, said that he received donations from players, coaches, and PBA teams and officials. 



UAAP and NCAA schools 

The University of the Philippines (UP), the De La Salle University, the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB), and the Adamson softball team have also done their part in contributing to relief efforts for those affected by the lockdown. 

La Salle and CSB opened their doors to and provided shelter for the homeless in the midst of the “enhanced community quarantine.” There are 79 guests inside the Enrique Razon Sports Complex in La Salle, and 80 guests inside the covered courts of CSB. 

SHELTER FOR HOMELESS. The De La Salle University's Enrique Razon Sports Complex becomes a home to 79 people affected by the Luzon lockdown. Photo from UAAP release

The UP College of Human Kinetics (CHK) recently offered its gym – where the UP teams train – to be used for the testing of sanitation tents. 

“When they perfect it, they are planning to invite the initial local government units that have signified their intention to use it,” said UP CHK dean Francis “Kiko” Diaz. 

“On the part of UP, if they are able to perfect everything, they’ll fast-track production in order for them to be delivered to UP Philippine General Hospital.” 

The Adamson softball team, who were supposed to begin their bid for a 10th straight UAAP softball crown, showed that they are champions on and off the court as they packed goods that will be distributed to various parts of Manila.

CHAMPION TEAM. The Adamson Lady Falcons who stayed behind in the school dormitories help in packing relief goods. Photo from UAAP release

Philippine Swimming Inc 

Philippine Swimming Inc president Lani Velasco provided 120 mattresses that will be distributed by the Philippine Sports Commission to 30 barangay tanods and 90 health care workers. 

120 MATTRESSES. Philippine Swimming Inc president Lani Velasco hopes that the mattresses will be put to good use. Photo from Lani Velasco's Facebook

Jia Morado 

Philippine volleyball star setter Jia Morado and her beau Miguel de Guzman started a drive to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for the country’s frontliners by auctioning off players’ jerseys. 

Aside from Morado, who put her final playing year Ateneo jersey up for bidding, Ara Galang, Eya Laure, and other former University of Santo Tomas girls volleyball team members have joined the initiative. 

The Sta Lucia Realtors were the last team to donate their jerseys to Morado’s cause. 



Morado announced that they have raised P265,056.79 as of Sunday, March 29. 

The auction for the players’ jerseys will end on Wednesday, April 1, at 12 noon. 

Ravena family 

The Ravena family was one of the first sports personalities to help those in the frontlines. Kiefer, Thirdy, Dani, and their parents Mozzy and Bong, together with volleyball star Alyssa Valdez prepared packed meals and distributed them to several military checkpoints in Cainta, Rizal. (READ: Ravena family shows support, provides meals for coronavirus frontliners) –


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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.