THE sun, in many cultures including ours, has been worshipped and loved for its nurturing and life-giving power. Like rays of sun, Natonin's adopted son, "Hara" (aka University of Baguio president emeritus and banker Dr. Reynaldo Bautista Sr.), promised a month ago during this scenic Mountain Province town's Sas-alliwa festival that he will bring forth free medicines and medical care to Natonians as their adopted son.
This promise became a reality. Taking the lead in a four-day medical and dental mission, Dr. Bautista led 45 people in a mission, not only focused on health aid, but bringing development to this fifth class municipality last June 24 to 27.
Fourteen hours of travel, amidst the searing heat of the sun, through paved and unpaved roads from Baguio to Natonin did not dampen the spirit of volunteers, all of various fields of specialization.
Volunteers from the University of Baguio - all medical professionals, from medical technologists to nurses and dentists, and students were all selfless in their quest to give aid to this town of 9,171 people.
Aside from the medical and dental mission, social workers from non-government organizations with Dr. Bautista's guidance, like Project Luke also joined the mission giving free eye and ear examinations, mostly to children and the elderly.
Like the luminous rays of the sun, other organizations in the spectrum of Dr. Bautista's able leadership like the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation's social workers conducted personal rural appraisal workshops for barangay leaders and visited homes of indigents.
Also, representatives of Rural Bank of Itogon and First ATM also went around town doing feasibility studies to come up with a rural bank in Dr. Bautista's beloved Natonin.
And as an educator for many years, Dr. Bautista also spearheaded the literacy workshops and educational aid with University of Baguio's education department in extending help to the Natonin Central School in the town's Poblacion barangay.
For Dr. Bautista this is just the beginning, a start of his altruistic endeavors to this town, which has embraced him, as one of its own.
For all the volunteers, it is a life-changing experience. An experience to Dr. Bautista's adopted ili (or village) which has forced them to offer their all for Natonin's and Natonians' sake.
Indeed, all the volunteers composed of the Fernando and Rosa Bautista Foundation, University of Baguio, Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc., Project Luke, Rural Bank of Itogon, First ATM, Sun*Star Baguio and Marien Platz, were as nurturing, caring and life-giving as the rays of the sun with the town's "Hara" taking the lead.