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Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds are found among rocky terrains and mountains. Diamonds are hard to dig up and tedious to polish, but shines like no other stone.


The same is said about doctors willing to work in underserved communities with substandard qualities of life in the Philippines.

They chose a simple life of service over luxury,
said Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity alumnus Dr. Jose Tiongco during his opening address at the fraternity’s “Diamonds in the Rough” (DITR) Awarding ceremony last March 3 in Century Park Hotel, Manila.

Tiongco said that we should be thankful for such doctors.

Sixty-two percent of Filipinos die without seeing a doctor, 88% of doctors and nurses are abroad,
he said.

The three major awardees are doctors from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. All have been progressively helping their communities in terms of the population’s health and well being.

Vietrez Panganiban David-Abella, M.D.

is the winner from Catanduanes, Luzon. Mennie Cabacan, M.D. is the winner helping in Eastern Samar, Visayas. Afdal B. Kunting, M.D. is the winner from Zamboanga, Mindanao.
These doctors’ hearts are big and strong like diamonds. And our search for them is as hard as finding diamonds,
said Lucie Medina from the Rotary Club of Paco Manila who co-sponsored the event.
It is also the Phi Kappa Mu’s 75th or diamond anniversary,
she added. Thus the name of nationwide search for young, community doctors.

Abella’s leadership

Abella’s community in Virac, Catanduanes has a population of over 64,000, but only has two physicians.
Being a doctor in the community, I am empowered to be the leader,
she said. Being thrown to a leadership position was not one she chose, but openly embraces.

In the communities, she said, doctors are given “instant respect.”

Because people look up to Abella, she said she has the power and people’s support to solidify different organizations to improve the overall quality of life in Virac.
It is possible that everyone improves together,

she said.

She has organized various literacy programs, Cataract missions, anti-drug campaigns, a breast cancer group and a lot more. She is doing a lot but her main project is the blood drive.
There is so much we can give from ourselves, donating blood is so simple. But above anything else, in giving, I have to be the best person I can be to serve others well,

Abella said.

By Maria Althea Teves, | 03/08/2009 6:04 PM
as of 03/08/2009 6:05 PM Source: ABS-CBN News - Diamonds in the Rough

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