Honoring our outstanding achievers
Three Filipino world champions will report to the Manila Hotel on Feb. 27 for well-deserved honors as the year’s most outstanding athletes.
The annual affair, the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Awards Night, will elevate Carlo Biado, World 9-Ball champion; Krizziah Lyn Tabora, world bowling queen; and sensational Jerwin Ancajas, IBF world junior bantamweight titlist who has made a successful third defense of his crown.
The number of the “best and brightest” could rise to four if IBF titlist Milan Melindo, fighting in Japan on New Year’s Eve, succeeds in unifying the IBF and WBA super flyweight belts.
Three is great, but four most outstanding athletes for the Philippines in one year would be truly super.
But topping my list is an obscure achiever who may have never figured in a major sports contest, but who fought a grim deathly battle to save others at the height of the NCCC Mall fire in Davao City over the weekend.
They may never find an apt term for what he had achieved. His name is Melvin Gaa, yes, MELVIN GAA. He sacrificed and fought furiously to save many lives at the height of a conflagration in Davao City. Hundreds were saved, with the fatalities reaching 37, including Mr. Gaa himself.
Unfortunately, we may never come to know his middle initial, or where he came from. He was said to be a member of the mall’s emergency action team, who could’ve exited safely after having brought down several employees from the fourth to the ground floor. He refused to give up.
His wife Rosela identified him among the persons whose bodies were recovered by firefighters.
Here’s hoping authorities could find time out to properly honor this genuine hero.
On Jan. 18, 2018, there will be a launching of the new surgical bus of the Hospital on Wheels (HOW), coinciding with the surgical mission organized by Salamat Dok, along Eugenio Lopez Drive, Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City.
The Mobile Surgical Unit of HOW will be holding missions every month. It will be joining television program “Salamat Dok” in its goal of holding 14 missions in 14 different provinces of the country in 2018, starting next January.
A main player behind this joint medical mission is Dr. Jim Sanchez, who explains that the quality of health care delivery in many areas of the country is sorely lacking despite the government’s best efforts to serve our huge and constantly growing population.
To help our government, Dr. Sanchez says the Hospital on Wheels was born reaching out to patients who cannot afford necessary surgical procedures, especially during times of calamities.
Since 2007, Dr. Sanchez says their teams of doctors, nurses and surgical technicians have been doing missions in under-served areas of our country two to four times a month.
They have accomplished more than 250 medical missions and have performed over 15,000 free surgical procedures.
There may never be an apt term for these noble endeavors. But here’s thanking the multi-awarded Dr. Sanchez, MD, FBCS, founder of RP Healthcraft Carrier Foundation Inc., for his outstanding efforts to serve those in need.