Iba Yan pays tribute to medical frontliner-dads

As we celebrate Father’s Day, Iba ‘Yan featured in latest episode last Sunday, June 20, the heartwarming and inspiring stories of two dads, who are not only braving the threats of the COVID-19 virus as medical frontliners, but have also been the best father figures that their children are blessed to have.

In the previous episode, we’ve already met Ana May Mariñas and Gregnon “Kate” Melindo, two dedicated and hardworking medical frontliners who have been continuously sacrificing their lives in order to be of service to the Filipinos.

Host Angel Locsin first met Roan Lardizabal, a loving father and a diligent nurse in Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium in Tala, Caloocan City. He used to also work as a medical frontliner in Saudi for four years, but he and his wife eventually decided to stay here in the Philippines for good. 

Assigned to the Intensive Care Unit or ICU, he has 12 hours of duty in a day, goes to work three days in a week, and spends his day off three days as well. He uses his tricycle going to work. Roan admitted that having to wear the personal protective equipment or PPE the whole day can really bring huge discomfort when they’re working, yet they have to endure that because it’s needed for their safety.

He confessed that it’s hard for him and his fellow medical frontliners to witness patients who don’t survive their illness. But Roan himself would always make sure to give the best that he could to save lives. Although he pledged to fulfill his duty as a nurse, Roan would sometimes feel like he couldn’t put up with the difficulties of his work. He also always fears the possibility of affecting the health of his family because of his exposure to patients stricken by COVID-19.

Aside from the difficulties at work, what’s even harder for Roan is having to strictly observe measures just to protect his family, especially his kids. When he goes home, he doesn’t immediately come in close contact with his children. As much as he wants to hug them after a very exhausting day at work, Roan just couldn’t do it. Even though it hurts him, Roan doesn’t have a choice but to do it just to ensure the safety of his children from any virus.

Iba ‘Yan gave Roan gifts including vitamins, one-month supply of groceries, and vacation package for him and for his family. He also received rubber shoes, tumbler, and backpacks, as well as customized shirts, masks, and a bag designed by Roan’s children. A study desk was also given for the home schooling of his eldest child.

Angel then met another hardworking frontliner and a dedicated father, Kevin De Guzman. He also works as a nurse in the same hospital and has been assigned to the COVID ward since the pandemic started. When Kevin started to work as a nurse way back in 2013 after he graduated, he only lasted for months because he realized that the job was very demanding. Thus, he tried working as an emergency medical technician (EMT) instead and he liked the work more because he gained more experience working in the field.

In September 2019, he decided to work again as a nurse. During the height of the pandemic in March 2020 and there was already a recorded COVID patient during that time in Tala Hospital, Kevin bravely volunteered to be one of the medical frontliners to be deployed in the COVID ward. 

He shared that sometimes, patients would wonder why they don’t have visitors and it’s still hard for them to explain the situation but they, as medical front liners, always reassure the patients that they will be the ones to take care of them. This time, Kevin challenged himself to stay strong in order to give service to the patients who need help the most. What keeps him going is his family whom he looks forward to spending time with after exhausting days at work.

Iba ‘Yan also gave him surprises, including a brand-new air conditioner, one-month supply of groceries, and vitamins for him and his family, as well as a tablet for the home schooling of his son. He was also given personal needs that he can use for his work, such as rubber shoes, tumbler, and backpacks, as well as customized shirts, masks, and bag designed by Kevin’s son. 

Lastly, Angel gathered Ana May, Gregnon, Roan, and Kevin, together with Samuel Sumilang, RN, EMT-B, MAN, the chief nurse of Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium, to present more gifts and surprises to them. 

Iba ‘Yan gave the hospital N95 masks and sets of PPEs, as well as other equipment that they can use, such as the adjustable wrench and pulse oximeter. The program also donated 10 hospital beds that would be very helpful for them to accommodate more patients. Several Kapamilya stars and news anchors also delivered their heartfelt messages of gratitude for all the sacrifices and hardwork that they have done in order to be in service to the Filipinos. OPM icon Martin Nievera also offered a song called “Buhay Mo, Buhay Ko” to our valiant and dedicated medical frontliners.

Lubos po kaming naghahatid ng pasasalamat, pagpupugay, at panalangin para sa inyo, mga IbaYaning frontliners!