October 24, 2010
The Danao Association USA (DAUSA) medical-surgical-dental-scholarship mission has become not only a yearly commitment of the association since 1998 but also one of the highlights of the fiesta celebration of Danao City, Cebu every September, in honor of St. Thomas de Villanueva, the patron saint who was known for his generosity in giving alms to the poorest of the poor.
The sources of medications, medical supplies & monetary assistance for the DAUSA medical mission include charitable donors like the AmeriCares, Medical Assistance Program International (MAP), Inter-church Medical Assistance (IMA), Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), individual sponsors & pharmaceuticals.
Every September since 1998 is a much awaited month for the DAUSA members because it’s the time to “Balik-Danao” or return-to-hometown Danao City. They are named the “Balikbayans”.
They don’t only visit & enjoy the fiesta-celebration, but also extend blessings to deserving underprivileged fellow-Danawanons through the medical-dental-surgical mission & scholarship program.
The nostalgic ‘Balikbayans’ or those who return-to-hometown, & the DAUSA medical mission team experienced once again the warm hospitality, entertainment, & enjoyable participation in the traditional welcome luncheon at the residence of Mayor Boy & Tita Durano, lunch with the scholars, the Balik-Danao Night, the mission-break lunch in the farm of Sany & Tita Barriga Tomayao, the Fiesta Parade & Culmination Night.
The Balikbayans were also invited to other special events like Search of the ‘Matron of Danao’, Karanza competition & search for ‘Karanza Queen’, Photo Contest, individual Barangay celebration & procession & of course sumptuous luncheons & dinners.
Before the medical mission, a meeting of representatives of the mission volunteers, local & from abroad was called. Danao City Councilor Dr. Cynthia Duterte, previous Chief of Danao General Hospital presided the pre-mission meeting, attended by the DAUSA Medical Mission Team & the chairpersons of the different committees that the Danao City Government organized for the mission.
The DAUSA team was represented by Cecilia Barriga Ford, incumbent DAUSA president, Crosine Roble, head of the dental mission, Nanay Marrieta Palos, preceding DAUSA president, Noemi Laurente Sigrist from Switzerland & outgoing Balik-Danao queen, & Dr. Anita Cal Jackson, Chief of Medical Mission.
There was a good interaction between the “Balikbayan” team & the hosting Danao City government representatives. The family members of Noemi Sigrist & Ricky Mata helped in sorting & labeling the medications, & grouped them according to their indications. Afterwards, the organized boxes of medications were kept in a locked room.
Early Wednesday morning on the first day of the medical mission, the boxes were transported to the civic center. After the first day of the mission, the boxes of remaining meds were transported safely to the house of Genis Cabahug, brother of past DAUSA president Gemma Montegrande.
Genis’ wife Zorina Cabahug served as the licensed Chief Pharmacist of the mission. There was more than sufficient supply of medications for the 2nd day of the medical mission. The free consultation & dispensing of prescriptions at the pharmacy went smoothly at the air-conditioned civic center.
The physicians from the Danao City Health Center & Dental office offered their free services in consultation & prescription, & tooth-extraction. Knowledgeable registered nurses were assigned in the pharmacy.
Since the operating room of the hospital was temporarily closed due to its renovation & expansion to become the Provincial Hospital of Cebu, only minor surgeries could be performed in the emergency room. Surgeons from Cebu City & their resident physicians offered free surgical services.
Since there were extra medications, an impromptu medical mission was extended to a barrio of Danao, Santa Rosa. It was a noble idea of the DAUSA president Cecilia Ford. It was managed by three people, Cecilia & her sister & Dr. Jackson. The barrio Capitan sent a messenger house-to-house.
Patients of different ages, newborn, children, teenagers, adults & seniors came with various problems. Registration & traffic were well-controlled; & consultation, examination, prescription & instruction were accomplished for every patient, one at a time, & in one setting.
The rest of the medications were donated & delivered to a pharmacy for identified indigent residents of the capital of a neighboring island, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, known as ‘Botika sa Katawhan’ established by a previous Chairman of the Tagbilaran Association of California (TAC), of which Dr. Jackson is the incumbent Chairperson. (See, more photos as: http://picasaweb.google.com/DAUSAInc/2010DAUSAMedicalMission#)
September 24, 2009
Meanwhile, in appreciation for the efforts and financial contribution of the members and officers of the Danao Association USA, Inc. as well as the participation of local medical practitioners and other volunteers, the Mayor of Danao City, Ramon Durano III, tendered a culmination dinner and distribution certifications of appreciatio at his residence in the evening at the last day of the Medical Mission on September 24, 2009.
Earlier at known that day, all volunteers also got a barrio fiesta treat at lunch time at the farm of Barriga-Tomayao Family in Taboc, Guinacot, Danao City, hosted by the Barriga and Tomayao families.
During the culmination dinner DAUSA President Marietta Palos experessed her profound thanks and great appreciation to the tireless efforts of surgeons coming from Cebu Doctors Hospitals and to visiting surgeons from the U.S. (Dr. Julian Banzon & Dr. Lorenz Alaan, the U.S. based and local nurses and all the volunteers who greatly contributed to the success of the 2009 Medical Mission.
September 27, 2008
The Chuuk State Government thru Gov. Wesley Simina and Lt. Gov. Johnson Elimo together with the FSM National Government under Secretary of Health Dr. Vita Skilling in a collaborative effort has confirmed that it has sent two prominent surgeons in the Western Pacific to the prestigious world conference :EHRLICH II –2nd World Conference on Magic Bullets Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Nobel Prize Award to Paul Ehrlich, Nürnberg, Germany on October 3-5, 2008.
Dr. Julius Caesar “Jojo” Arsenal , a pioneer volunteer of the DAUSA Medical Mission, currently chief surgeon and Dr. Kennedy “Ken” Remit , chief of staff / co-surgeon both based in Chuuk State Hospital were sent to represent the country of FSM wherein they are invited as an oral RESEARCH paper presentor in the said prestigious conference .
The research paper they wrote about slingshot injuries “filippin” to the heart in Chuuk were already presented before an audience in the Pacific Basin Medical Association Conference in 2005 and in Pacific Island Surgical Association in 2006.
Lately this research paper was presented before the officers , men and women of the USNS MERCY Hospital Ship in “Truk Lagoon “ on August 31, 2008 in which both of them were commended for their humanitarian works under extreme working conditions .
There were a total of 4,550 research paper entries around the world that were submitted to the prestigious conference and only 30 research papers around the world that were invited to present including this research paper from Chuuk State Hospital
The letter of invitation by Professor Dr. Fritz Sorgel , the conference chairman mentioned that to present at this prestigious conference will certainly represent the country before a global audience and it will add new information in serving the country’s needs in treating various diseases . Also the conference commemorates the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Dr. Paul Erhlich one of Germany’s foremost researchers .
Little was known in the entire Western Pacific that all these years from 1999 onward today these surgeons at Chuuk State Hospital were performing open –heart surgery for emergency trauma cases despite limited availability of surgical equipments/ facility and poor working hospital conditions . They admit they perform the procedure by heart in order to treat and save lives of Chuukese people as so goes
their motto : Everybody Deserves to Live “ . All of them were admitted at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in the Surgical Ward of the said Hospital a fter surgery , the first SICU / critical care unit in the FSM that has been existent for the past 8 years now that save a lot of lives.
September 24, 2008
The annual DAUSA Medical Mission in Danao City jointly sponsored by Danao Association USA, Inc., the City Government of Danao City and the Philippine College of Surgeons ended Thursday, September 18, 2008, with a record breaking performance by surgeon volunteers from Cebu Doctors Hospital, led by Dr. Lito Almendras, who successfuly performed 30 major surgical procedures in 3 days.
Three U.S. based surgeons, Drs. Julian Banzon, Florentino Lleva and Lorenz Alaan, Danao Hospital Chief Dr. Indino and Dr. Melba Arribas from Manila jointly performed around 150 minor surgical procedures, such as cyst removal, etc., performing the procedures at a corner of the hospital building, under a very hot and humid condition.
For the first time consultations and medicine dispensing which used to be done right at the Danao District Hospital compound, had been moved to the newly renovated and air-conditioned Danao City Civic Center.
The move was hailed by medical volunteers, patients as well as by hosptial staff as it lessened the crowd at the hospital. Only patients scheduled for minor and major surgeries were entertained at the hospital and all the rest were comfortably seated, waiting their turn at the air-conditioned Civic Center.
As usual over 2000 indigent Danawanons were seen by doctor volunteers at the Civic Center, received their needed medications and some multi-vitamins that were contributed by well-meaning DAUSA members and supporters.
Aside from medicines and medical supples provided by DAUSA’s regular donors, IMA World Health of New Windsor, Maryland and Americares of Stamford, Connecticut, the City Government of Danao through the City Health Office also provided several boxes of medicines to meet the needs of people seeking help during the 3-day medical mission. IMA has been assisting the DAUSA Medical Mission since 1999, and Americares since 2002.
The Free Dental Clinic with a 6-seater Mobile Dental Van provided by the City of Cebu was also moved outside the Civic Center and listed over 300 people getting dentral extractions, free tootpaste and medicines.
Around 20 DAUSA Members and officers led by Dr. Anita Cal-Jackson actively did their share in making DAUSA’s commitment to help the city’s poor get the medical assistance they badly need a huge success.
The DAUSA Medical Mission has always been a big success, since it started in 1998, has become an institution and eagely awaited by many people who cannot afford to go to Cebu City for treatment, especially those needing surgical interventions.
On Friday evening, September 19, 2008, the City Government of Danao led by Mayor Ramon Durano III and other city officials tendered dinner and entertained all medical mission volunteers, Balik Danao people, and distributed certificates of recognitions to all participants. (Monching)
July 5, 2008
AN OPEN LETTER TO NORTHERN CEBU AUXILIARY BISHOP EMILIO BATACLAN
July 4, 2008
Msgr. Emilio Bataclan
Auxiliary Bishop for Northern Cebu
Danao City, Cebu
Dear Msgr. Bataclan,
I am writing on behalf of myself and for several Danawanon friends and relatives who like me were disappointed to learn, too late, you have decreed changing the date of our fiesta from the traditional 3rd Monday to 3rd Sunday of September, thus making this year’s fiesta celebration dates to September 21-22. If tradition is followed it should have been September 14 – 15, being the 2nd Sunday and 3rd Monday.
There is no problem with us if changing fiesta dates is really necessary, regardless a week before or after from the date it used to be. However, we feel there should have been reasonable time for information to reach far and wide before a change of date of an important event, such as a town fiesta, can be made. There are many of us extracted from our homeland, trying to make a living in places oceans apart. Despite the distance we still consider ourselves parishioners of our home parish and have faithfully remained or perhaps even more devoted to our patron saint.
Regardless of status in life – professionals, seamen or OFWs – Danawanons do make an effort to set aside from what little we earned, so we can visit our hometown and see our families after several months or years away from home. And there is no better time to visit than during a fiesta when friends and relatives show up to get reconnected and reminisce the good years together.
Here in California or perhaps anywhere in the U.S, employers require employees to apply, at the beginning of the year, specific dates of a planned long vacation within the current year. Generally, U.S. employees enjoy 2 or 3 weeks paid vacation leaves for each year of service. For us Danawanons we use this yearly vacation privilege to visit our hometown, usually in the month of September. On my part I had filed and had my vacation leave approved for September 8 through September 22. I cannot change that unless someone dies in the family.
Further, scheduled to visit Danao City Fiesta 2008 are 20 Danawanons, from Southern California alone, who have booked and paid non-refundable round-trip tickets as early as June, with departure date on September 8 and a return flight on September 21st or on the 22nd. Then the other day we learned the fiesta date has changed on order of the Auxiliary Bishop.
During the past 11 years this same group had sponsored an annual medical-surgical mission at the Danao General Hospital, scheduled 2 days after the city fiesta. For the 2008 Medical Mission we scheduled it on Sept. 16 -18. Many U.S. based volunteers join the mission, for two reasons, to attend the fiesta and also give something to the community they left behind through their professional services and/or financial support. Although the medical mission can still go on schedule, yet a number of our volunteers would be deprived from attending the fiesta, because their scheduled return is on Sept. 20 or 21.
We are now earnestly appealing and hoping you reconsider your decision and have the 2008 Santo Tomas Fiesta date in Danao City, stay as per tradition, on the 2nd Sunday and 3rd Monday of September i.e. Sept. 14 -15, 2008. Then on the following year you may go ahead and implement the dates you want. And we will be guided accordingly. .
Thank you. May God bless you and the rest of your flocks in this part of Cebu.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Ramon H. Barriga
8211 Winnetka Ave.
Winnetka, CA 912306
September 28, 2006
Despite her much anticipated Catholic Church wedding with husband of 22 years – Ben, scheduled on Friday, September 22, in Tagbilaran, Bohol, DAUSA President Dr. Anita Cal-Jackson, still took the task of spearheading the 9th DAUSA Medical Mission on September 19 – 21, with Ben helping out.
And she did it with same enthusiasm and energy the way she did as Chief of Medical Mission since 1998, as if there was no other major forthcoming activity to prepare.
Her attention was totally focused on the activity at hand – the DAUSA Medical Mission. As usual, the Medical Mission – this time Anita serving as President and Chief of Medical Mission – was another huge success – helping indigent Danawanons in a big way.
Surprisingly, the couple even attended the culmination program hosted by City Mayor Ramon Durano III, held at the Mayor’s residence in Guinsay, Danao City, Thursday evening, September 21.
Ben and Anita got up 3:00 a.m., Friday, getting ready for an early morning drive to the Pier in Cebu City to catch the 6:00 am boat to Tagbilaran.
September 27, 2005
A large number of indigents wanting surgical procedures, medical check-ups and free medicines overwhelmed U.S.-based and local medical volunteers during the 3-day DAUSA Medical-Surgical & Dental Mission conducted September 20 – 22, 2005 at the Danao District Hospital.
The DAUSA Medical-Surgical and Dental Mission is jointly sponsored by the Danao Association USA, Inc., the City of Danao, Danao District Hospital and the Philippine College of Surgeons, East/Central Visayas Region.
Newly elected DAUSA President, Dr. Loretta Montesclaros reported that on the first day of the 3-day medical mission, over 1,000 people showed up at the hospital with various ailments, children as young as 3-month old with fever, to 85 year-olds seeking free medications for diabetes and/or hypertensions.
Chief of Medical Mission Dr. Anita Cal-Jackson, who heads the medical mission team since its inception in 1998 reported that 23 major, mainly thyroidictomy cases, and over 200 minor surgeries were performed.
Dr. Jackson gets a chicken and bunch of bananas from boy-patient
July 5, 2002
[Note: Originally posted on Kaming Danawanon, Vol VII, No. 5 Oct-Dec 2001.]
Dr. Julian Banzon , who had been conducting a one-man medical mission before DAUSA started in 1998, donated an Electro-Cautery Machine worth ,000.00 to the Phil. General Hospital in Manila.
A year earlier Dr JB donated the same surgical machine to the Danao General Hospital which was put to use during the recent DAUSA Medical Mission.
July 5, 2002
[Note: Originally posted on Kaming Danawanon, Vol VII, No. 3 Jul-Aug 2001.]
To be called a ‘cabo’ in Danao can be unflattering, meaning vote-buying pagador or goons, but in Los Angeles County, they are virtuous men and women whose hearts bleed for their less fortunate brothers and sisters back home in Danao City.
DAUSA Cabos are taking the lead to reach out and make a difference.
July 5, 2002
Dr. Halbert Capoy of Augusta, Georgia, president of Philippine-American Association of Georgia has pledged his association’s and personal support to the yearly medical-surgical-dental mission in Danao City.
Dr. Capoy was born and raised in Carmen, but his parents originally came from and currently reside in Danao City. In a phone conversation with Monching Barriga, Dr. Capoy confided that PAMAG conducts medical missions in the Philippines once every four years and in different province each time.
“Hopefully, in 2004 it will be in Danao City”, he said. Meanwhile, he will help the Medical Mission in terms of medicines and supplies and even plans to join the medical team in the Sept. 2002 DAUSA Medical Mission.