Assistant secretary Charade B. Mercado-Grande, Dr. Jaime Dy-Liacco (PITAHC former director general), Lucentales (BOT member), Director General Dr. Annabelle Pabiona-de Guzman, Dr. Amelia Biglete (Director IV-CHED), Dr. Isidro C. Sia (former director general), Patricia Javier and Dr. Alfonso T. Lagaya (former director general).

Last September 5, 2019, the inauguration of Philippine Institute of Traditional And Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) Building at East Avenue Medical Center Compound in Quezon City signified the attainment of a dream of its avid supporters. 

The inauguration program which started at 10:40 a.m. began with the ribbon cutting and photo opportunity for invited guests and officials. Soon after, guest speakers rendered their beautiful and touching messages that ring with profound truth.

Reverend Joey Pagadora was the first on the microphone as he gave his special dedication of the PITAHC building. 

“We should not despise small beginnings, everything starts small. And this facility is a beginning. Yes, it is a renovation of a place where people can find a complement to traditional medicine, and find health and hope’, the reverend said.

He quoted the Scriptures by saying, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” He, likewise, addressed the guests that this message is something PITAHC could be telling everybody that comes here. “When they come here, they are desperate fro help. We can point them to the One who can help them the most. We are to respect Him, who can minister to both soul and the body. And we want to encourage, remind ourselves that we are instruments of God. Our intelligence, even our ability to empathize with the patients— sometimes they just need somebody to talk to, they just need someone to listen to them. As we become the listening ear to them, may we also be the hand they will point them to Him who has the answer.”

(Second from left) Dr. isidro C. Sia (former Director general), Dr. Jaime Dy-Liacco (former Director general), Dr. Annabelle Pabiona-de Guzman (PITAHC Director general), Dr. Alfonso T. Lagaya

Everyone in attendance was silent as they absorbed the reverend’s message. He proceeded to say, “As we dedicate this place, may it not be just a dedication of a place for physical cure, not  just a place to find help for physical ailments. Let this be a place for hope, a place where they will find the answer and that answer is found in the God who gifted us, gifted you all with the ability to help others—and that is God himself.”

A heartfelt song number with a positive message was then rendered by Dr. Marilou Renales and Christine Abcede, respectively, to the delight of the attendees.

Former Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial was next to stand to give say her piece. Her presence added prestige to the event, thereby confirming its importance.

“I am so glad to be here, so happy to be a part of this miracle of PITAHC. It has been in the backgrounds of our heath-care delivery system for so long. It was established in 1997 by one of my idol Health Secretary then-Senator Juan Flavier and from that time almost 22 years that PITAHC has been in existence and yet when I chaired a focus group discussion last week of integrating traditional and alternative health care in the medical curriculum, unfortunately, most of the participants, they did not know PITAHC existed. It is sad that we have not fully integrated and accepted traditional and alternative health care in our health system but I believe Universal Health Care cannot be attained without traditional and alternative health care. It is an essential part of the Philippine health system,” she said with conviction.

She then recounted how she and Dr. Annabelle Pabiona-de Guzman, director  general of PITAHC go way back and adding that this building is the fulfillment of de Guzman’s dream.

“Great things happen because God decides it to be, but it takes a person with a dream to make it happen. What is important is we have a mission and we share a vision with our important others and make that vision happen through the mercy of God. Congratulations to the staff of PITAHC, the members of the board and all the significant others  in the PITAHC community. Thank you very much. Mabuhay!” 

Skip Pizzaro, DC. Cecil A. Lucentales (Standing)

Assistant Secretary of Health Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande then gave her two cents worth on the joyous event.

“This building is a rebirth, a new marvel. This building in which I was part of when it opened. This building becomes significant to all our people to complete the healing.  Healing, as I learned when I was new with PITAHC, I thought healing is just going to a hospital and asking for medicines but my perspective changed when I joined PITAHC. Indeed, former secretary Ubial is right. It is the whole process of wellness and this whole building will bring service to all the people so congratulations to PITAHC. We have to create awareness. We have to make our services known to the people so they will come here. Good morning and thank you.”

Dr. Pabiona-de Guzman, director general of PITAHC, was the last and much-awaited speaker of the inauguration program. She stood behind the reception table at the lobby to deliver her speech. She started of by mentioning a lot special guests for the special event, taking extra care not to miss out anyone. Then she read a passage from the Bible, “Ascribe Strength unto our God, His excellency is over all of us and His strength is in the Heavens. Oh Holy God, You are terrible and great from out of Your Holy Places; You give strength and power to Your people, Blessed be Your Name!”

Colonics by the Richter Naturopathy clinic. Acupucture treatment by the Philippine Academy of Acupuncture Inc.

“Almost two and-half-years ago , when I was appointed to this position by the President of the Philippines, his Excellency, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, having been endorsed by then-Secretary of Health Dr. Paulyn Rosell-Ubial, I came to PITAHC and was greeted by an eyesore! It was then my dream to put up clinics that will showcase all the accredited TAHC modalities and will broadcast their services to the general public so that the Filipino people will be able to taste the beauty of the traditional, alternative and complimentary health care. I also wished upon an eatery that will promote wellness, safe and nutritious meals and give us a semblance of healthy living. Today that dream has been fulfilled. Praise God! 

From history I have learned that it was Dr. Cirilo Galindez who asked for this piece of land from then-Medical Center Chief of East Avenue Medical Center Dr. Roland Cortez, and it was Dr. Ordona who had this building built from scratch. Over the years, it needed a little improvement, so we had some renovations done in the lobby, in our offices, in our ground floor, in our toilets, in our dormitories and in the fifth floor. We will give you time to see these improvement later on. 

The Divisions of Research and Development will also be moving to their new office space in the ground floor, together with the Standards and Accreditation Division…COA has also moved to their new office in the second floor.

I would also like to announce that we will also be adding personnels and we have 11 vacant positions for this third quarter and another six vacant positions for the last quarter of this year. Truly the Lord has blessed us!

We would like to thank the support of our former secretary of Health, Dr. Paulyn  Rosell-Ubial, our present assistant secretary of Health, Atty. Charade Grande, our Board of Trustees, the Commission on Audit, our very good friends who also have a new office as well in our renovated building, and the Good Governance Commission, our allies for providing better health services to the people. Thank you very much for your support to PITAHC.

If you like what you see this morning, its all because of the very supportive and hard working staff of PITAHC and to our her ManCom, and our utility staff- let’s give them all a big hand and the owners of clinics as well who will be providing free services only for today. In the next few days, they have to charge because they’re renting office space here in PITAHC…and, of course, to the Richter is Wellness Bistro who will be providing us nutritious and delicious meals for our lunch today. They will be serving daily meals and snacks and a daily salad bar—of which I am a primary end-user…Try it. Their salad bar is very good.

I would not like to take too much time with my speech because we have a great program ahead of us today but, once again, I would like to thank everyone who have come and join us today for this great occasion—a fulfillment of the Filipino dream to provide great health services to our countrymen for the benefit of the greater majority and for the glory of God.

I would like to end with these great verses from God’s word and I quote from Psalms verses 34-36:

“Let the heavens and the Earth praise Him! The seas and everything that moves therein. For God will save Zion [PITAHC]  and we will build the cities of Judah, so that we will dwell therein and have possession of it! The seed of His servants shall inherit it [God’s people]  and they that love His name will dwell therein forevermore.”

This is the promise of the Word of God and we claim this for PITAHC!

So once again, thank you very much and good morning! God bless us, one and all and Mabuhay ang traditional alternative complementary health care! Mabuhay ang Sambayanang Pilipino!

After all the significant speeches were rendered, a walking tour of the traditional and complimentary medicine practices ( chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, and hilot massage) ensued. Lunch was then served at the second floor.

By Cesar Cruz Jr.

Share this: