Hospitals No More!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


IN 1937, Felipa Carillo of Macabebe graduated as the valedictorian of Pampanga High School. She became a doctor with obstetrics as her specialty. She married a doctor, Quirino Flores – of Bacolor. They founded a clinic located in Sto. Tomas and named it FC Clinic, obviously based on the first letters of their surnames. It was the original birthing station of the Province. Pregnant moms used to be attended by hilots until FC changed the whole practice. Deaths arising from child deliveries became far and between. Casualty of infants was reduced drastically.

FC became the center of child birth. Dra. Carillo dutifully attended to several buntis who sought her medical help. Ask your mother, chances are – she gave birth to you at FC. Then it happened. Dra. Carillo passed away. Dr. Quirino became partially blind. Their children-doctors opted to practice somewhere. FC was abandoned. The looters were so unforgiving that even the toilet bowls were carted away. Now, everything is gone. Not even a shadow of FC is left from where it stood. What a waste.

Dr. Benjamin Roa, at one time was the National President of the Philippine Hospitals Association. He was a Bicolano but chose to practice Medicine in Pampanga. He founded the Virgen de los Remedios Hospital situated between barangays Sto. Rosario and Del Pilar. The hospital was highly regarded for its professional treatment of patients. May puso at malasakit para sa may karamdaman. When the older Roa died, his son Ronnie took over. For some reason, Virgen de los Remedios faded and closed shop. Interestingly, this is the place where Dr. Reynaldo Espiritu met Dra. Louella. They were resident-doctors there. They got married later. But that is another story.

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In the 70’s, St. Francis Medical Center reigned supreme. Dr. Ramon Panlilio was a young surgeon who led the medical staff. Dra. Eufrocinia Maldia was the Pediatrician. Dr. Pedro Dizon held clinic thereat. Dra. Tita Magtoto was the anestheologist. Then it happened. There was a rift among the incorporators and the hospital stopped operations. It was offered for sale. No one was interested until a doctor from Marikina came. St. Francis was no more. San Fernandino became its new name as mandated by its new owner, Dr. Edgardo Deoduco.

FC Clinic, Virgen delos Remedios and St. Francis deserve to be remembered. They were part of what San Fernando used to be. Change is the only permanent thing in this world.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 26, 2014.

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