DAY OF APPRECIATION FOR FILIPINO FRONTLINERS IN AUSTRIA

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Crisis begets heroes. In this COVID-19 pandemic that continues to cripple the world, courageous  Filipino frontliners are stepping up.

The Philippine Embassy in Vienna, under the leadership of Ambassador Maria Cleofe Natividad honored  the sacrifice, bravery and heroism of the Filipino frontline health workers, grocery clerks, cooks, household and airport workers  amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

The event dubbed as „Day of Appreciation for Filipino Frontliners in Austria“ aims to give recognition to the outstanding performance of individual frontliners and the services they rendered to the Austrian populace. Sixteen remarkable Filipinos and former Filipinos received the award of appreciation. Ambassador Natividad applauded the  awardees since they have answered  many challenges posed by the  ongoing global health crisis. The Day of Appreciation was held on 28 August 2020 at the Wolke 19, Ares Tower, Donau City Strasse, 1220 Vienna.

The event likewise documented exemplary individual stories of heroism and outstanding team dynamics leading to service excellence in healthcare management and in other sectors, where they willingly served  the community despite personal dangers and sacrifices that duty entails.

„All your contributions to Austria’s COVID-19 efforts positively highlight how well-integrated the Filipino community is in this country, as well as its contribution as a group in building a more inclusive and robust multi-ethnic society, based on shared values, common challenges and mutual benefit. Our people remain at the heart of Philippine-Austrian bilateral relations and continue to competently represent our homeland in every possible front,“ Ambassador Maria Cleofe Natividad said.

In her video message shown during the program, Austrian Ambassador to the Philippines, Ambassador Bita Rasoulian praised the Filipino and Austrian frontliners who responded with courage , resilience and compassion in the forefront of the battle against COVID 19.

„Allow me to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all frontliners for your valuable dedication as our countries continue to grapple with COVID pandemic. You are the true modern day heroes and heroines at hospitals, nursing homes, care centers and more, holding the line, setting aside self-interest and putting others before yourselves. With this, you are not only providing medical relief, but also some measure of happiness, hope and inspiration,“ Ambassador Bita Rasoulian said.

The representative of the Mayor and Governor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Ludwig delivered his message. The Viennese government is very proud to to have witnessed how the frontliners worked for the sustainability of the city’s health system  in time that the whole world  faced the pandemic.

„It is admirable to know that these frontliners stood up and exercise their duty. The Filipino community is one of the oldest immigration group here in Austria. We all recognize the effort that the  community has undertaken  to make our city a better place to live in,“ Mayor Ludwig said.

The Vienneses government expresses its utmost gratitude to the frontliners for the services they rendered to the populace.

„It is a nice feeling and I want to express my gratitude to the organizer of this  day of appreciation. The award is a good motivation for us  as frontliner,“ Rodolfo  Jabile, an awardee. Mr.Jabile administers the psychosocial and physical needs of elderly patients at the Pflegewohnhaus Baumgarten.

Marjorie Akistoy, nurse and President of Filipinas in Austria  and a proud Igorot expressed her gratitude for the appreciation award  bestowed to her as a frontliner.

„I just want to take time to express how grateful I am for this  appreciation award I accept this in the name of all other fellow Filipino frontliners  who work hard and making sure that all of us are safe and healthy. Thank you to the Philippine Embassy for taking time to acknowledge the Filipino frontliners in Austria“, Akistoy said.

„Thank you so much! I bow my  head in deep gratitude and honour! I am moved with heartfelt love and compassion for this Award of Appreciation,“ Arthur Quitoriano, also an awardee who works at Hausfranzborgia, a Home for the Aged in Vienna.

Bessie Salonga, who works as care assistant at Pflegewohnhaus Baumgarten, has continued to fulfill her duties by caring for her patients with courage and compassion amidst the COVID 19 pandemic.

„I would like to thank my children for always supporting me and giving me strength to carry out my work,“ Salonga said.

Melrose Salazar also an awardee, thanked God for his protection  and for keeping her healthy and strong. Salazar works as cashier in SPAR Gourmet. She carries on doing her essential task to ensure that the public has continous access to food and basic commodities.

„I would like to thank the Philippine Embassy for giving me this huge honor being a frontliner. I want to thank my family, my friends, especially my husband for being there always to support me in all my endeavors,“  Mary Ann Bouzek, an awardee and works at the  Vienna General Hospital.

In Austria, thousands of  Filipino  healthcare workers and in other sectors are on the frontlines of battling the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These  heroes  are putting themselves in the path of this virus — in Austria and around the world — in this unprecedented crisis.

Philippine-Austrian Press says also Thank you to the Awardees and to all the Filipino frontliners — for the sacrifices you make, every day and especially during this pandemic. Your dedication, commitment and courage deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration. Your service is saving countless lives and making thousands of differences. 

  • Hector Pascua, Philippine Press/AustrianPress.com
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