MANILA, Philippines -- Former University of Santo Tomas (UST) star Sisi Rondina got a boost from an unlikely source in her drive to raise funds for the frontliners in Barangay Luz, Cebu.
Rondina launched the drive on Sunday, and immediately received help from fellow UST athletes Mark Nonoy, Renzo Subido, Imee Hernandez, Milena Alessandrini, Rhenz Abando, and Ysa Jimenez, who all volunteered their jerseys for the auction.
Rondina will auction three of her own UST jerseys and some pairs of shoes as well.
On Tuesday, she told ABS-CBN News that she continues to receive help from other athletes. Charo Soriano, the founder of Beach Volleyball Republic, will send personal protective equipment to Cebu, thus allowing Rondina to focus on buying face masks, face shields, and gloves.
"Nagpapasalamat ako kila Abando, Subido, Milena, Ysa Jimenez," said Rondina.
More jerseys will soon be available for auction, including that of last season's Rookie of the Year, Eya Laure.
"Ito, pinaka-the best. Si (June Mar) Fajardo," Rondina also told ABS-CBN News. "Buti na lang, nadala ko pa sa kiliti."
Rondina revealed that she is distantly related to Fajardo, and was relieved when the San Miguel center replied to her message.
"Pinsan ko 'yun eh," she said. "Ang alam ko kasi, pinsan namin 'yung pinsan niya. Basta pinsan kami, kahit malayo, pinsan pa rin."
"'Yung champion niya na jersey," Rondina said of Fajardo's contribution. "Maganda, kasi tagadito rin 'yun eh, taga-Cebu din siya."
The Season 81 Most Valuable Player expressed her gratitude to all who answered her call for help. As of Tuesday, they have already raised some P35,000.
"If ever may maiwan, may matirang pera dito sa akin, dito ko naman sa town ko ang tutulungan ko," said Rondina, who returned home to Cebu on March 12, just before the enhanced community quarantine was put in place.
Rondina said she wanted to first send help to Barangay Luz, which was placed under community lockdown last week. Sitio Zapatera, in the barangay, is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Cebu City.
"What matters most is 'yung protection din ng mga tao doon," said Rondina. "Kasi doon talaga, contaminated na eh. So naisip ko, baka makatulong ako in some ways."
Rondina is also accepting donations via:
Cherry Ann Q. Rondina
0917 185 0998
For more information, visit their Facebook page: PPEs for the Frontliners of Brgy. Luz, Cebu.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).