DOCTOR David Longid, a friend from way, way back, recently kicked the bucket. Pneumonia, a common and dangerous bane for us the aging and on dialysis for kidney failure, triggered the transition of this gentle orthopedic surgeon who became mayor of Cabarroguis, Quirino which he was still serving as councilor until his passage.
Last year, while hooked to the life-extending dialysis machine for the four-hour blood-cleansing session, he found my number. Now and then, he would call, encouraging me to write on–about dialysis patients needing life-time support for their twice-a-week treatment that has to be sustained for life. He would ask me questions about people we had both met in the past. He would call now and then as we both needed someone to talk to, to fight off boredom of having to be hooked to the blood-cleansing machine for four hours twice a week in order to survive.
Lately, he stopped calling. I was later told, when his ashes were brought to the Church of the Resurrection here, that he had gone down to Manila where his condition deteriorated, even after he was rushed to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute.
I met him when he and Dr. Robert Capuyan, another dear friend, were assigned at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical. Their team which included Dr. Robert Ganzon, Dr. Sammy Lachica and Dr. Joey Manrique, were beer drinkers and would choose joints with landlines so the emergency nurse could call them with dispatch during emergencies.
While they were the team, Manong Swanny Dicang and I took advantage, referring to them numerous pro bono cases they willingly handled with professionalism. I guess many who have had the opportunity of seeking their help now see the difference with those who later took over as residents. “Iba na ang mga residente ngayon,” a long-time hospital official who had since retired told me. “Ang pinag-uusapan nila ay kalian nila papalitan ang kanilang kotse.”
For a while, Dr. David co-managed Dap-ay, a folk house at the second floor of an apartment along Kayang St. in the company of the late Angel Lumpias. Having gotten used to sleeping in the beer house in the company of the late Roland Kawi and Robert Degawan, I hated those times when the operators would padlock the joint over accounting differences.
He later moved on to Quirino Province where residents experienced top service from this physician whom they later elected as mayor of the capital town of Cabarroguis.
Ave at que vale (Hail and farewell), dear doctor and friend.
The BGH’s latest loss was lady cardiologist, Dr. Brigida Claro who figured in a vehicular accident while on a visit to hospital facilities in Mindanao.
I met the good doctor after my pro bono nephrologist, Dr. Josefina Luspian, asked me to see her regarding my heart as a diabetic and kidney patient undergoing dialysis. During those appointments and my occasional hospitalization, Dr. Claro, like Dr. Luspian, never charged me for her services.
I once asked her why she did not include her professional fee of P3,000 in my hospital record for submission to the PhilHealth, saying it was the government agency that was shouldering it anyway.
“Don’t bristle about it, as you are not the only patient we’ve treated pro bono,” she gently told me.
Get well soon to Dr. Virginia Mangati, head of the dialysis center of the BGHMC who, together with dialysis nurse Carmen Bumatnong, was wounded in the accident. With her broken arm on a sling, she readily went on her regular rounds of patients while she was still confined for wounds at the BGHMC.
We also lost two mayors who served Baguio well – Jaime Bugnosen and Braulio Yaranon.
I had the chance of working with them. Mayor Bugnosen took the helm when June Labo, perhaps the most colorful figure to grace Baguio’s political history, was later disqualified as elected mayor. Bugnosen later directed Baguio’s rise from the ruins of the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake that devastated this city.
Mayor Yaranon, most brilliant in his earlier years as city councilor and vice-mayor, took the helm in his last attempt after then councilor Elmo Nevada hesitated on running against former congressman Bernardo Vergara.
“Sino agtaray nga mayor ti Baguio?,” the retired Lardizabal once asked a relative. “Ni Yaranon,uncle,” repied his niece. “Manen?,” retorted the old man who, for years steered the city’s development.
Yaranon directed the city’s affairs the way the old guards did, never compromising his principles for good governance even if it meant his suspension from office for sometime.
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