Over a hundred people recently flocked to District 6 in downtown San Francisco to celebrate the life and legacy of Fil-Am community leader German Yambao.
Yambao was one of the core leaders of United Playaz, a violence prevention and youth development organization based in the South of Market. Yambao, who chose not to get vaccinated, became another casualty of Covid-19.
His sister Elizabeth Quezon believed that "if he had gotten vaccinated, I think that would have saved his life. So on behalf of my family who are all vaccinated, I just want to urge people to get their vaccine because it can save your life."
As a young man, Yambao made decisions that sent him to prison for a life sentence. Not to be crushed by incarceration, he turned to God and was released in October of 2007 after serving time for 28 years. He continued his service to others as an ordained pastor and as a mentor to many young people.
"He took good care of me," Quezon shared. "If there's three words that could describe German: he cared, he protected, and he loved. And God used him for a bigger person in prison. He didn't start off good but he ended well."
Cesar Domantay, who spent time in prison with Yambao when they were only 18 years old, said that he just lost a brother. He pledged to take care of Yambao's two young daughters and to continue Yambao's legacy of being a messenger of positivity to others.
"I corrupted his life. I showed him the street life and he showed me the good life. He showed me God's life. He just kept on preaching because he's a good man. That's why I love him so much," Domantay said.
While many gathered to remember Yambao, a vaccination drive was also made available. "We're here celebrating the life it [Covid-19] took," Everet 'Boogie' Butler of United Playaz, who finally got his first vaccine shot, said.
For Quezon, "German didn't die in vain. Even in his death, he's still helping people so I urge people to get vaccinated."
San Francisco has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. at nearly 90%, but with the highly contagious Delta variant, officials are hoping that more people get their shots.