Arvin Pascual, 44, passed away last April 1, 2020, from COVID-19. After news of his untimely death quickly spread, what followed was an avalanche of stories hailing the dedication to work and heroism of this registered nurse. And we believe there are more inspiring tales about this young, brave medical frontliner out there.
As the coronavirus crisis worsens in many parts of Luzon, so does the steady increase of fatalities. Pascual was working at the Dr. Paulina J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City. There, he assisted doctors in attending to sick patients with his usual cheerful and tireless disposition. Little did he know he would never be able to go out of the facility alive again.
While at the hospital, Pascual initially thought that he was just having asthma attacks, still casually exchanging messages with his friends. But later test results showed he was positive for the deadly virus, and immediately he was restricted to a room on the eighth floor, away from his family, friends and riding buddies. Unfortunately, Pascual’s wife—who is also a nurse—was in London when he was isolated. They had no children.
People who knew Pascual were shocked upon learning of his untimely death. Only the immediate members of the family were allowed to attend the burial of his cremated body.
To get additional details, we linked up with Arvin’s friends from the Pinoy Ninja Club (PNC) through Atty. Gilbert Espinosa of Justitia Lex Machina. “Nagtanong pa nga siya kung may ride kami kinabukasan habang naka-admit siya,” recalls Cata Asuncion, his friend who works as a medical technician at the same hospital. The photo above shows Asuncion (left) with Arvin (center) and another PNC rider.
Arvin’s passion for big bikes fired up when he rode a Kawasaki Ninja 650R and became active in many motorcycle activities, including charity rides. Determined to level up his riding skills, Arvin regularly attended track days of Wheeltek and Pirelli at the Clark International Speedway.
More than his riding passion, his barkada remember Pascual for his kindness; he would not hesitate to stop on the side of the road to help not only fellow riders but any motorist who needed help. He was always among the first to respond whenever a rider figures in an accident nearby, and he consistently does it pro bono.
It was unfortunate that his riding had to come to an end, temporarily. Two years ago he decided to augment his earnings from working in a government hospital by venturing into farming. With a heavy heart, Pascual sold his Ninja to pay for the down payment on a utility vehicle, a Nissan Navara pickup. He also ended up joining the Navara Nation owners group.
But even without a motorbike, Arvin would regularly hang out with his rider friends, especially those from Cabanatuan City. “Dati madalas siya (Arvin) ang nag-a-arrange ng ride. Friend siya ng lahat. Siya ang tipong pwede mong iwan at kakausapin niya maski sino—kahit bago sa grupo. Kaya madali siyang nakagaanan ng lahat,” relates Aleta, also a member of the Pinoy Ninja Club.
This year Arvin is set to complete the payment of his pickup, and he had set his eyes on his dream bike—a Kawasaki Ninja Z1000. “Pina-plano na niyang bumili niyan,” said Aleta. This was probably one of the reasons why he was so upbeat in reporting for duty.
Asuncion vouched for the dedication of Pascual to his nursing duties, even if it entailed serious risk. As a medical frontliner like Pascual, Asuncion calls on his colleagues to exercise extra caution in performing their work.
“Aanhin pa namin ang P500-plus per day na hazard pay kung ganyan ang mangyayari sa amin,” Asuncion lamented.
To the medical professionals out there, stay safe. Meanwhile, the riding community is mourning the death of another fellow rider. For being a good man, we’re pretty sure you will be rewarded with all the big bikes you wish for up there. Ride in Peace, brother Arvin!