In this festival of lights, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center joined in the celebration with the theme: “Pasko sa Makabagong Panahon: Pag-asa at Katatagan sa Hamon ng Bagong Taon.” At the helm of a 100-man strong organizing committee is Dr. Marie Fe Navarette and her co-chairs Drs. Carlo Naraval and Joy Villaflor, all consultants of the Department of Ophthalmology.

The weeklong festivities commenced with the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the first day of December. Various competitions showcased not only the hospital’s latest medical services and technological advancements, but also the personnel’s talents and creativity.

The Squid Games was a test of brain and brawn, while building camaraderie and fostering healthy competition among the different hospital units: Medical, Nursing, Paramedical, Finance and HOPPS. Traditional games of sack race, tug-of-war, habulan-pato and Pinoy Henyo determined which groups would advance to the Finals round.

The almost month-long festivities culminated on December 21, 2021, with a Eucharistic celebration in the morning and the Fellowship Night later in the day. Attendees were encouraged to come in their dream vacation attire. The guest speaker was Dr. Alda Gene Tremor Pipo-Tremor, a consultant of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who encouraged us with her message of hope during these trying times.

The final round of the Squid Games was held that night, during which knowledge was reinforced on the hospitals’ processes, ISO and PGS initiatives. Winners of the Digital Photography, Songwriting and Dance Competitions were awarded. Outstanding JO employees were recognized for their invaluable contribution to the hospital’s operations.

In her Christmas message to the hospital—19th to date—Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, Medical Director, underscored that MMMHMC is the “Home of the Brave, the Bold and the True”, and highlighted our important roles in the community. She emphasized how working WITH and FOR a group, to achieve a higher purpose, makes the victory sweeter.

Two years from the Coronavirus’ first outbreak.
Twenty-two months since the Philippines was declared to be under lockdown.
We have a better knowledge and understanding of the virus.
We have new technology and medicines.
We have the vaccines.
Cases are on a downward trend.
Restrictions are easing up.
We are still alive, and able to serve.

Indeed, there are so many reasons to celebrate and be thankful for this year.

And as we look forward into the New Year, we can hope that things will continue to look brighter.

- Agnes M. Cariaga-Manalo, M.D. FPNA