In Negros Occidental, Plastic Wrapped Birthday Girl Hugs Frontliner Police Sgt. Dad!
Lory Joyce Andagan | April 30, 2020
Birthdays are one of the special occasions that we shouldn’t miss celebrating. But, with so many quarantine restrictions, how can you celebrate it? What’s more heartbreaking is when you have a family who is in the frontline where they can’t even touch you nor be with you on this special day. Fortunately, this is not the case with Police Chief Master Sgt. Raphael Palacios who made a special effort to join his daughter's birthday celebration in La Carlota, Negros Occidental.
It has been more than a month since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented and Sgt. Palacios is one of the police officers who are in the frontline in Bacolod City. On 20 April 2020, his youngest daughter celebrated her 3rd birthday. The officer asked his superiors if he can go home just to see his family. He couldn’t contain his excitement about going home for the first time after a month. “I was very happy and excited nga makita ko sila in person kay sa chat lang kami permi [gaistoryahanay] kag sa messenger. (I was very happy and excited that I’d be able to see them in person since we only talked on chat and messenger)," says Sgt. Palacios. His wife, who is a doctor already briefed their daughters to observe physical distancing since their daddy was coming from the frontlines. The moment they saw their father, however, they couldn’t help but cry because they really want to hug him. To ease the pain, they found plastic sheets to cover the kids so they can hug their dad safely without exposing themselves to him directly.
Sgt. Palacios opted to stay in their balcony to watch his daughter celebrate her birthday inside their house. On the same day, while his daughters were asleep, he went back to Bacolod for his 5 PM shift on the border of Brgy. Sum-ag.
He wasn’t able to say goodbye to them but the short visit and a warm hug given by his daughters were enough to give him the strength to fulfill his duty as a public servant. He says that as a police officer, it's given that there are times that he will be away from his family. “Para man ini sa ila future kag gusto ko sa ila pagdako mangin ihemplo ako sa ila kag sa ulihi sundon nila nga ang ila ginikanan service-oriented (It’s for their future. When they grow up, I want to be a good example to them and they will follow our footsteps, that both their parents were service-oriented).”