Advocate Dr. Burden Passes Away

The sudden passing of Dr. Rowena Burden, a prominent physician and outspoken critic of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, has sent ripples of shock and grief throughout the community and beyond. On December 15, 2023, at the age of 58, Dr. Burden succumbed to a cardiac arrest, leaving behind a legacy of activism, courage, and an unwavering commitment to social justice.

Dr. Burden’s advocacy was not limited to her medical practice; she was a forceful presence in socio-political circles, known for her relentless pursuit of accountability and her support for the marginalized. Her critiques of governmental policies and actions, particularly those of Governor Garcia, were rooted in a deep desire for transparency and the betterment of society.

Her involvement in social causes was extensive. She participated in protests against the Pork Barrel System in 2013 and later became a coordinator for the Cebu for Duterte movement in 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led humanitarian missions and contributed medical aid to communities in need across the province.

The impact of Dr. Burden’s activism extended to the digital realm as well. Her Facebook account, which now serves as a digital memorial, was a platform where she frequently shared her thoughts on governance and social issues. Her voice resonated with many, and her decision to run for governor in the upcoming 2025 elections had ignited hope among her supporters for potential positive change.

Dr. Burden’s sudden departure has left a void in the hearts of those who knew her and in the activist community at large. Her family, including her two children, Kimberley Therese Gothong and Khrys Burden, and her four grandchildren, mourn her loss alongside countless friends, colleagues, and supporters.

As the Cebu community and the broader society reflect on Dr. Burden’s contributions, her legacy stands as a testament to the power of individual conviction and the importance of civic engagement. Her life’s work, marked by courage and intellect, will continue to inspire those who strive for a more just and equitable world.