UP Fighting Maroons cheer on frontliners in video call

MANILA, Philippines – As the battle against coronavirus is led by frontliners working day and night in hospitals, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons expressed gratitude and appreciation for them through a video call.

Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, a number of other UP men's basketball team members, and head coach Bo Perasol called up the medical and healthcare workers from UP’s Philippine General Hospital (UP PGH) and the UP National Institutes of Health (UP NIH) on Friday, May 8 for virtual chat called "Zoomustahan".

"While we are here sitting in our homes, comfortable, you are out there risking your lives for us so I want to say thank you," said Paras. 

Rivero added the team hopes that they were able to spread good vibes to the hardworking frontliners even for just a few minutes. 

"We’re facing this really big challenge and nandito lang po kami to listen to you, extend our support and continue to pray for you. Hoping for your safety and for sure kakayanin natin ‘to, babangon tayong lahat (we can do this and we'll rise up again)," Rivero said.

UP coaches Ricky Dandan, Rodney Santos, Moriah Gingrich, Chappy Callanta, Mark Dandan, and Kenneth Raval joined the call as well.

The cheer-up call was received by PGH Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, Dr. Edgar Eufemio, Dr. Anthony Geronimo Cordero, Dr. Louricha Opina-Tan, former Fighting Maroon Dr. Czarlo Dela Victoria, and interns and nurses on the PGH side.

NIH health workers and laboratory personnel led by UP Manila Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology science research specialist Stessi Geganzo also chatted with the team.

The frontliners thanked the Fighting Maroons for taking time and effort to do the "Zoomustahan".

"This is really a treat for us – to see faces that are not sick," quipped Dr. Legaspi. "We are getting all the support that you’re giving us and you keep us inspired to move on. It’s really amazing how the whole UP community stood up to the challenge and are helping us get through this. We’re looking forward to your first game."

UP NIH staff and scientists, who were waiting for their shift in the testing center, managed to get into the call and thanked Fighting Maroons for their thoughtfulness.

The Fighting Maroons hope to reach more frontliners in the days to come to show their support through this initiative. 

The team looks forward to meeting more medical and healthcare workers, grocery attendants, and other groups that man the frontlines and continue to serve the country during this pandemic. – Rappler.com