Angelica Panganiban, don’t shame frontliners like a kontrabida would

Filing this under self-owns

preen angelica panganiban swab red cross

More than a year into the pandemic, it’s safe to presume that all of us are well aware of the difficulties faced by frontliners by now. Overworked and underpaid, healthcare workers who continue to fight against COVID-19 deserve nothing less than our grateful support. This is one of the reasons why Angelica Panganiban’s series of admonishing tweets against the Philippine Red Cross swabbing facility in Zambales earned her a lot of flak. 

On May 25, the actress claimed that preferential treatment in the facility was the reason why she and her companion waited for more than an hour for the swab test. “Hello redcross subic!! [sic] Isang oras na kami sa dito sa parking area niyo. Nakaalis na din mga nakasabay namin. At inuna niyo pa yung ibang bagong dating. Okay lang naman kung palakasan 🙂 tweet ko na lang,” she wrote.

“Taray ng red cross dito sa subic [sic]. D [sic] sila namamansin :),” she quipped. Panganiban claimed in another tweet that she received an email from the Philippine Red Cross in the past which stated that she was COVID-positive. However, the attached document contained a negative swab result. She said that it took 12 hours before the error was corrected.

Mark Evangelista, the swabber who conducted the test on Panganiban’s companion, replied to her tweet. “Be grateful na lang sana na na-iswab yung kasama mo ma’am without queueing at maramdaman yung init sa tent while waiting for their turn,” he wrote. 

He noted that those tested ahead of her were sick, with one even coming from an ambulance. 

“Ang pagiging artista ma’am di kasama sa priority list, yet, lumabas ako to swab yung kasama nyo,” Evangelista said.

Evangelista also tweeted a photo of himself with Panganiban after a past swab test which he also helped conduct by her car. He left her with some advice: “Next time punta kayo maaga, we‘re open at 9 AM, make sure may appointment kayo and better pila kayo so that malaman nyo na di lang kayo ang client namin.” 

He quipped, “Mas nakakapagod palang lumabas sa tirik ng araw to swab such artists tapos more rant lang. Kala ko pa naman happy ka dito o.😝”

A doctor with the Twitter handle @ercg explained in a series of tweets why there might have been patients who were rightly prioritized. “Palakasan? No. In the medical world kasi, we exercise prioritization. It is called triaging… ah, this patient will undergo a procedure VS asymptomatic patients… and you don’t have an appointment, you will be placed at the back of the line,” she wrote. “So I will still be grateful na the frontliners exercised compassion kasi pinayagan pa rin ako mag-walk-in, pero on my part, maghihintay ako at di ko sisiraan yung mga taong nagbigay sa akin ng konsiderasyon.”

Panganiban’s tweets not only received negative reactions from frontliners, but from people who looked up to her as well. Some expressed disappointment that she seemed to expect special treatment. Others noted that she should have filed a proper complaint instead of ranting on social media.

May this serve as a reminder to all of us that we must practice compassion in these trying times. Think before you try to dunk on frontliners and service workers online. Do you really want to broadcast a self-own?

Preen has reached out to Panganiban and has yet to receive a response.


Photo courtesy of Mark Evangelista

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