Finding Joy in Celebrating Christmas with my Parish Community by Johan Ferrer

I always look forward to our Parish events, such as the Buling-Buling, Easter and the Parish Fiesta, and most especially the Christmas Activities. Aside from the Misa de Gallo and the parties, there are also recollections, outreach programs, and the many ways of giving by the different ministries.

I attended the PGH Ministry’s gift-giving on November 25 with members of SYA, Luke 18, and some Volunteers. I felt sad for the young patients and their families there at the ward, but I believe that the prayers for them, the games played by them, the giveaways, and the performances made them look past their problems even for those few hours that we were there with them.

There was a young girl that I saw in an isolation room seated at the top of her bed, her mom close by watching over her, and this girl looked quite bothered. I then noticed that behind her, also sitting up, was a ‘Jollibee’ stuffed toy. I pointed to it and mouthed its name to her while smiling and waving. This made her wave back and smile.

I remembered that I was also performing a Corporal Work of Mercy, Visiting the Sick, and a Spiritual Work of Mercy, which is Comforting the Afflicted. Furthermore, I realized that the problems I delve on are nothing compared to those that these young patients and their families have; that I should live my life with more gratitude and giving. It also makes me appreciate more the tireless jobs of the doctors, nurses, and staff in PGH and similar instutions.

I find joy in celebrating Christmas with my faith family and our parish community, but I find the most joy in giving to those in need.




When I asked Ella Tan what drew her to this particular ministry she simply said that the visits to PGH were like an extension of Mass, a way of strengthening her love and relationship to our Lord. I am certain that the other members of this ministry would explain their commitment in a similar way.

The main activity of the ministry is to make Tuesday visits to the neediest among the children in the PGH Pediatric Wards, bringing assistance in the form of medicines, medical supplies and perhaps little toys, clothes, nutritious food.

But the material help merely presents an opportunity for the volunteers to interact with the terminally ill children and their parents as brothers and sisters in Christ. What the volunteers truly bring with them is compassion. In return, they bring back home the joy of seeing a child’s beaming smile breaking through his suffering. They catch brief glimpses of inherent goodness in parents who momentarily set their own problems aside in order to help a child alone in the next ward bed. They see the extent of the ripples caused by listening and responding to those who have hardly any means to address urgent medical needs.


Just last March, the ministry during its weekly PGH visit had been made aware of the severe health condition of 11-year-old Lawrence, in need of an open heart surgery to replace two defective heart valves. With God’s grace, the ministry was able to promptly raise the financial help needed for Lawrence’s operation that on March 28 he was given his second chance in life. After much rehabilitation, he is now back in school and striving to gain back a normal life as possible. Lawrence, as young as he is, has expressed that he is offering all his suffering to God with a prayer for all those who have made his operation a reality.

Apart from medical assistance, the ministry in one occasion facilitated educational assistance to a well-deserving older sister of a brain tumor patient who was nearly deprived of finishing College. The said sister is a working student who contributes to the family’s income while maintaining an honor standing in school. And their mother is now an active volunteer in the PGH ministry.

The ministry managed to obtain a ventilator for use of a young girl who was diagnosed as needing a ventilator for life. Without this donation, they would not have been able to pay the required P2,500/day. They would have had to let her die. Still, even with free use of the ventilator, she would have to remain in hospital. One of the volunteers gave the girl’s mother an estampita containing a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Clutching at this straw, the mother kept on praying the novena continuously. One day, it happened that the ventilator needed servicing and it would take 15 breathless minutes! To their surprise, the young girl was able to breathe by herself for the full 15 minutes. Attributing it to chance, the doctor decided to conduct further ventilator-free trials. Today, this young girl is breathing completely on her own – a miracle her mother attributes to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Who knows what miracles can be wrought through your help? Even the tiniest assistance will have a ripple effect!

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The Hospital Ministry at Avilon Zoo.

If you are interested in more information, please contact: Ms. Ella Tan, Chairperson of the PGH Health Ministry through the SSAP Office at 843 8830.

As published in the September 11 issue of the Parish Bulletin.

PGH Visits Art In island by Cristina Castillo

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Last Aug 4, the children from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Charity Ward, accompanied by members of the PGH Ministry and Single Young Adults (SYA), visited the Art In Island Interactive Art Museum in Quezon City.

I knew about the museum before going, but all I knew was that it was an interactive museum. The only pictures I had seen of the museum were classic paintings that people can “walk into.” I thought it would be fun, but I wasn’t sure how the PGH kids would react. But my expectations were thrown out the door when we arrived.

I knew things would be different when we were told to take off our shoes before walking inside the museum, but I didn’t expect to be so surprised. The entrance was seemingly simple, just like it’s artwork. They explained that our eyes see things differently at different angles. When we turned the corner, I was met with a full wall painted with blues and yellows. I stood on the mark on the floor (which indicated the best angle to see the painting), took a shot… and I couldn’t believe the result in my camera! It looked like they were IN THE PAINTING! If I thought that was impressive, I couldn’t believe my eyes when we turned ANOTHER corner and saw the rest of the rooms. Walls and walls of paintings, from floor to ceiling. Animals, world landmarks, fantasy scenes, classical paintings… It was a feast for the eyes!

The second we walked in, the kids were off! And so were the kids at heart! The PGH kids were so excited to see everything; the older ones went from one painting to another, taking pictures, going on adventures, and the younger ones thought it was so real! It was great to see them being outside the hospital, and being transported to another world, over and over again.

I could talk on and on, but pictures (as we learned) speak volumes to how much fun they had! Thanks to all the generous donors who helped make this trip possible. It was certainly one memory everyone would never forget!

PGH Flores de Mayo By Sabrina Soriano- Sy

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For the month of May, the PGH Hospital Ministry held a Flores de Mayo for the Pediatrics Wards. It was a simple procession participated in by the patients, parents, students, and volunteers through the wards and ending in Migi’s garden where they offered flowers to Mama Mary. We offered a prayer for healing for the patients, aside from the regular giving out of meds, juice, and crackers. We were also able to give out clothes, books, and toys, donations given by our donors/parishioners.

Our next activity in June will be a healing mass to be held at the PGH Chapel on June 16, Tuesday. If you would like to know more or join this activity, you can drop by the parish office or contact Nimfa Dumago at 8438830.

Hospital Ministry Thanksgiving Mass and Lunch By Sabrina Soriano-Sy

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It was more than 20 years ago when Steve Lopez (may he rest in peace) founded the PGH Adopt-A-Child-Foundation. Over the years, it has transformed until its current form as the Hospital Ministry supporting the Philippine General Hospital, Rizal Medical Center, and Our Lady of Porciuncula Hospital.

The members and volunteers visit the hospital pediatric wards weekly, giving out medicine to referred patients. Aside from these regular visits, they have a variety of activities throughout the year – such as the healing mass, Stations of the Cross, Flores de Mayo, art contests, field trips, Christmas gift giving, and more – supporting the wards and the school.

The Hospital Ministry would not be possible without the kind hearts and generosity of the donors / parishioners who share their blessings of time, talent, and treasure to the ministry. In line with this, the Hospital Ministry held a Thanksgiving Mass and Lunch last May 16 (Saturday). This was their way of showing appreciation to the people who continue to make the ministry and their work possible.

The mass was led by Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy followed by a simple lunch. 2 patients (Camille Vizcarra and Brix Durante) and their families came to give testimony as to how the ministry helped them with their medical conditions. Representatives from PGH and RMC also came to thank the ministry and the donors for the support and good work they have done throughout all these years, helping countless patients along the way.

Thank you once again to our donors and volunteers. We cannot express our gratitude enough for the support that you continue to give to the Hospital Ministry. Especial thanks also to the following donors / volunteers who attended the thanksgiving mass and lunch: Mrs. Doris See, Mrs. Nena Jalandoni, Mrs. Nenette Jalandoni, Mrs. Estela Lopez, Mrs. Grace Padilla, PPC President Jaime Blanco and his wife Karen, PPC VP Edmund Lim, Paul and Caron Macasaet, Mark Lim, Rachel Ybanez, Marty Santos, Raymond and Claudette Katigbak.

“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assissi

*** Photo credits to Rachel Ybanez

PGH Gift Giving

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Last April 07, 2015, The Hospital Ministry gave away toys, clothes and food to the patients in the Pediatric Wards of the Philippine General Hospital. The said toys, clothes and food were given by generous donors through the SSAP Hospital Ministry. Big smiles on children faces when given toys bringing some comfort from the physical illnesses they are undergoing. Likewise, the presence of PGH ministry volunteers and food given to parents brought some relief and consolation. Present were PGH ministry members: Peter Soo, Pon Chan, Tess Barcelon, SSAP FML Karen Blanco, PPC President Jayme Blanco, SSAP Social Worker NimfaDumago and other volunteers.

The hospital ministry helps patients in the pediatric wards of the Philippine General Hospital by providing basic medications like anti –biotics and paracetamol to patients who cannot afford otherwise. Everyone is invited to join the outreach activities in the PGH Ministry.The same, we humbly continue to knock on your doors for donations for the continuity of the outreach activities of the parish. For inquiries, please visit the parish office and look for Ms. NimfaDumago, SSAP Social Worker or call at 843-8832.