MANILA, Philippines -- A pair of jerseys by former Ateneo de Manila University star Jia Morado and another by former De La Salle University standout Ara Galang have fetched over P100,000 in an auction meant to raise funds for frontliners and health care workers.
The jerseys were auctioned through the Every Little Thing Counts Facebook page, a fundraising effort started by Morado.
Morado initially put up her jersey from UAAP Season 79 -- her final year with Ateneo -- for auction, with the last bid accepted at 12 noon on April 1. A bidder offered P40,000 for the jersey, but a last-second offer of P40,100 came in.
After a discussion with both bidders, Morado arrived at a "win-win solution." As both bidders were more than willing to donate to the cause, Morado eventually decided to give another one of her jerseys. Her UAAP Season 79 jersey went to Aprille Gem de Vera, who offered P40,100, while Jec Cares received Morado's Philippine team jersey for his bid of P40,000.
Meanwhile, Galang's La Salle jersey fetched P30,000.
There are still several jerseys up for auction on the Every Little Thing Counts Facebook page, including a complete set from the University of Santo Tomas' girls' volleyball team. They will continue to put up jerseys for auction until April 5, with the last day of bidding on April 10.
Even before the jersey auctions, Morado had already raised over P385,000 in donations. The first batch of equipment is set to be delivered Thursday to the Philippine General Hospital. They are also set to send donations to the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center.
"We are planning to extend help to other hospitals" with the money raised from the auction, said Morado.
"We've been looking for a way to help in any way we can," said Morado, who organized the fundraiser together with her boyfriend, Miguel de Guzman. "We're safe within our own houses, we're not the ones risking our lives to battle COVID-19 and help patients affected by it."
"We were desperately trying to find a way to be able to help, even in a small way," she added. "We're thankful that our cause reached a lot of people, even people from other countries."
Morado is not the only athlete who stepped up and raised funds for COVID-19 frontliners. Several volleyball players are also doing their own part, while PBA stars have banded together to ensure that the league's game-day personnel are taken care of during the enhanced community quarantine.
Recently, Olympic-bound boxer Irish Magno distributed rice to affected families in her community in Baguio.
"We know naman na a cause like ours, maliit lang," said Morado. "Pero marami ding maliliit na initiatives around the country, and kasama na doon 'yung sa ibang athletes."
"No matter how small our initiatives are, if you put all the small initiatives together, it might be enough to help flatten the curve," she added.
There are 2,311 reported cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).