May: Yung achievements ko achievements niyo rin po. 

Photo by Rainiel Angelyn Figueroa/ THE FLAME

What are you most excited about returning back to the Philippines?

“I’m excited to meet ‘yung new nurses. I’m excited to meet [fellow] Filipinos. I’m excited to meet student nurses—all of the people that I could influence and inspire. I’m so excited to meet them all! I welcome everyone to speak to me and I will make time for everyone to ensure that they would feel proud the way that I do.

Yung achievements ko achievements niyo rin po

So all of the filipinos that are here kahit anong profession po kayo, I hope I did you justice to represent ung mga Pilipino kasi iba po talaga pag Pinoy and I’m more than happy. I’m most happiest representing Filipinos around the globe.”

What should Filipinos learn about our nurses?

“Actually alagaan niyo po ang mga nurses niyo kasi kung ‘di niyo inaalagan, ‘di po sila mag-s-stay and also kailangan po natin ng nurses kahit saan po tayong lupalop na lugar pumunta […] kaya kung di niyo po sila inalagaan, aalis sila. So we need to look after them properly.”

What is a short memory you have of UST?

“Yung first clinical duty ko. That was the day I actually decided hindi na ‘ko mag-me-med, mag-nu-nurse na ako forever. It’s [about] making a difference in people’s lives, [which is] actually impactful.”  

          – May Richell A. Cestina-Parsons, the Filipina nurse who administered the first COVID-19 vaccine

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