The provincial health officer of Pampanga succumbed to COVID-19 on Tuesday night, his daughter announced in a Facebook post.
Dr. Marcelo Jaochico, a former community doctor, passed away at 6:37 p.m.
"Please do not remember him as someone who just died because of COVID-19. Sobrang dami niyang ginawa para sa bayan," Cielo Jaochico said.
"Please pray for his soul. Please pray for the souls of those who are still fighting," she added.
Cielo grieved over not being able to spent a moment again with her father.
"I didn’t even get the chance to spoil him. We are fools to think of time as a luxury. Tell your parents you love them and tell them now," she said.
"Dad, sabi ko pa naman pag nakapag-abroad ako, bibilhan kita ng gusto mong massage chair sa Ogawa na lagi mong tinitignan sa Fairview Terraces. Sinabi ko iyon habang nasa kotse tayo tapos tumawa ka lang at na-touch ka kaso wala ka na, dad," she added.
Due to the virus, Jaochico died isolation, a fact her daughter had a hard time accepting.
"Dad, you didn’t deserve to die alone, nang di naririnig gaano ka kahalaga sa amin at gaano ka namin kamahal. Di man lang namin ikaw narinig sabihin ulit iyon. Dad, we didn’t even get to hug each other for the final time," she said.
When she would see her father again, Jaochico will already be cremated as protocols dictate that a body should be handled within 12 hours of its death.
"Ang sakit, daddy. Deserve mo magkaroon ng lamay at ng libing where all of your loved ones are there. Daddy, mahal na mahal ka namin," she said.
"Kami na po ang bahala kay mommy. Ako na po ang bahala sa mga kapatid ko. Ipapatayo ko yung bahay na pinapangarap mo para sa amin, daddy," she added.
In his time, Marcelo became the "all-around doctor" of Calanasan, Apayao where he became the community's residents obstetrician, pediatrician and family doctor.
"Natuto siyang pangalagaan ang kalusugan ng mga tao nang may kaunting resources. They battled Dengue, Malaria and different outbreaks in their munting munisipyo," his daughter said.
The doctor gained numerous awards and certificates for his accomplishments, but some of these were lost in a fire that hit their house in Masantol, Pampanga.
Cielo said the most notable was when her father became a Jose P. Rizal Memorial Awardee.
"Natagalan ng tatay ko roon for almost 16 years. Ganoon talaga pag mahal mo yung ginagawa mo. During his stay in Calanasan, nakatanggap siya ng iba’t ibang mga parangal," she said.
"He also fought for his people, na maging pantay at level-headed ang pagsingil sa mga diagnostic tests sa mga ospital na nasasakupan niya (lalo na noong nagka-Dengue at Measles outbreak)," she said.
"Marami siyang mga nakaka-clash na mga tao, but I know his heart is in the right place because he has always served the people. Padayon, daddy. You have always had good intentions for the masses. I wish I can be more selfless like you," she added.
Prior to serving as Pampanga's Provincial Health Officer in 2013, Jaochico worked for the Department of Health where he held a position at the Bureau of Local Health Systems and Development for two to three years.
Jaochico took part in recovery efforts of the people of Tacloban, Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda. He also headed the assistance of the Kapampangan Medical Team during the Taal Eruption.
"He stayed there for a week. Dalawang beses pa nga atang bumalik. Halos walang ligo, walang tubig at matanda na rin siya," her daughter said. —Joahna Lei Casilao/NB/LDF, GMA News