DavOr’s First Lady Offers “Gift of Health” to the Poor

City of Mati, Davao Oriental — The First Lady of Davao Oriental, Nanette Dayanghirang, celebrated her 51st birthday by giving a “gift of health” to the sick poor in the province.

On December 9, 2017, she sponsored a medical, surgical and dental mission at the Provincial Capitol in the City of Mati, serving more than six hundred indigent patients suffering from various illnesses.

“Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being glad for it because it reminds us of the goodness of life. So instead of doing it through a lavish party among family and friends, I decided to celebrate it meaningfully by giving a gift of life to our people through this medical, surgical and dental mission which we call as Pamaskong Handog. It feels so good doing it, especially that lots of people and lots of our friends are enthusiastically extending their all-out support for this program. We are extremely happy spreading the seeds of love this Christmas,” says First Lady Nanette Dayanghirang who stood all day on Saturday along with her governor husband and kids in distributing medicines and other Christmas goodies at the Capitol’s covered court.

The First Lady of Davao Oriental, Nanette Dayanghirang

“Our hearts are full of your friendship, love, and support. We are humbled by the love that we have been wrapped with and the kindness that we have received from so many people. “This is our way of paying back to our beloved people in Davao Oriental,” says the First lady who brought many health care professionals from Davao City for the one-day medical, surgical and dental mission in the City of Mati.


“Words alone are worthless. Our love should not be just words and talk. It must be true love which shows itself in action. This medical, surgical and dental mission is a product of a genuine collaboration between very enlightened local government executives and the well-meaning health care professionals who has gentle hands and compassion for the poor, who will bring to the sick poor a great deal of loving care, attention and more understanding. These worthy healthcare workers would always go the extra mile to spread the health for our people and they would always make the poor patients feel special,” says the First Lady during a speech before hundreds of people at the Capitol covered court.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang stayed the whole day on Saturday with his wife at the jam-packed venue of the medical, surgical and dental mission. The governor’s wife says she has partnered with the University of Mindanao Multi-Test Doctors and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated for the one-day event.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang


“Indeed, Davao Oriental is fortunate as we are a place whose leaders treat the people as the real wealth of the community and champions the creation of an enabling environment for the people to enjoy a long, healthy and creative lives. I believe that every human life holds equal value. I believe that there is something inherently unjust when a child growing up in a poor family cannot enjoy the same opportunity to live a productive and healthy life. We also think of those who died without ever encountering a health care professional in their lifetime. Proper nutrition, proper access to health care, and an opportunity to build a dignified life, these should not be reserved only for those who have the means to pay for it. If we are to build a true regime of opportunities, these must be extended to everyone regardless of the circumstances of their birth. A healthy people is a productive people. The people whose health we are investing heavily in are the same people who will man the working stations in our province, till the fields, power our communities and fuel our economic growth,” says the First Lady who also tapped the support of private business people for the event.

“To the medical doctors, let us always strive to make the sick poor feel special. I know that you are a people who value human life, who strongly believe that compassion is the most powerful weapon. We all have a duty to protect and care for the most vulnerable members of our society. That is the bedrock principle that we live up to, to this day, as we continue the important but sometimes thankless task of pursuing the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health,” says the governor’s wife.

During the event, hundreds of poor patients interacted with the medical doctors who are “driven” by their “mission” to provide medical services to the less privileged people in urban and rural areas. Per official records, more than six hundred patients, most of them are poor, have been served by the medical, surgical and dental mission at no cost to them. “We always look forward to this opportunity as we don’t have money to pay for the surgical procedures. I and my neighbors immediately rushed to the Capitol as this is a very rare opportunity for us to also get free medicines for coughing and fever,” says 75-year-old Maria Cipriana Alterado from a fishing village of Barangay Central. “Thanks to Maam Nanette Dayanghirang. This is truly a meaningful birthday celebration they shared with the poor. Many lives are saved,” says 57-year-old farmer Marianito Abohos.

Mrs. Dayanghirang is grateful for the well-meaning individuals and organizations who supported the mission. “We would like to thank our generous donors who have funded this program. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all altruistic spirits who continue to help us to give the gift of health to the sick poor, most especially to Ms. Cynthia Rodriguez who helped us to connect with the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. When we work together, the light of our generosity will continue to reach more people,” says Mrs. Dayanghirang.

Free slippers were also distributed to children during the Pamaskong Handog Medical Mission

She named the following people and private companies and government institutions whose invaluable assistance and support made the Pamaskong Handog medical, surgical and dental mission “a huge success”: 

  1. Lea Tiu – Pediatrician
  2. Cynthia Amoguis – Internal Medicine/ Diabetes Specialist
  3. Lowel Amoguis – Pediatric Surgery
  4. Elizabeth Ang – Pediatrician
  5. Edward Cagape – Surgeon
  6. Joey Villanueva – Surgeon
  7. Cristine Dayanghirang – ENT
  8. Bitildis Mabunga – Psychiatrist
  9. Joy Sanico
  10. Jerame Yuson
  11. Ceniza Torres
  12. Portia Lucena
  13. Chona Cabonse
  14. Aida and Juvy Buenaventura of the Thai Boran Philippines
  15. and Mrs. Bernard Castillo
  16. Board Member Castillones and wife
  17. The Philippine National Police
  18. The Philippine Army’s 701stBrigade
  19. The Runners Club
  20. Provincial Employees Emergency and Rescue Team
  21. Barangay Central of Mati

 By Ferdinand Zuasola/Photo by Joel Owano

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