Patapos 1

By: Amy A. Arguelles

Alay sa Mahal na Birhen Procession has always been an annual religious event for the people at Rizal Medical Center. This year was quite different though as it was no less than our Hospital Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Edgar M. Dolina, who chaired the 2017 Alay sa Mahal na Birhen Committee with the Finance Division as well as the Hospital Operations and Patients Support Division (HOPSD) spearheading as Hermanos and Hermanas for the month-long activities. During the first organizational meeting of the committee, the budget and the date for the Patapos –Alay sa Mahal na Birhen were discussed. The committee concurred that the procession was to transpire on the 26th of May 2017. It was also agreed that a total of twenty-four (24) Queens were to grace this year’s big event.  Eight (8) Queens to be selected from the Medical Division, seven (7) Queens coming from the Nursing Division and the last nine (9) Queens in the order of procession to be chosen from the Finance Division and HOPSD. Huh, 24 Queens! That’s a lot of Queens for a procession! As HR Head, I knew in my heart that in my turf, the HRD, I had a handful of beautiful millennials, albeit shy, whom I could have easily included in the list of nine (9) Queens; however, I opted to involve only one of them.

 Reyna Elena

Then, it was that time to pick the name for the Reyna Elena, the last one in the order of procession, the Queen of all Queens. Oh my! The Committee members who were present in the meeting mentioned my name. Suddenly, I felt like all the blood had rushed to my face making it quite red to show my favorite color. I argued though, “I am too old for that. Since the time I assumed this position as head of HRD in May 2014, I have been turning down the offer.”  Fr. Dolina brushed my argument aside and explained that a Reyna Elena should be a mother… and recited what seemed to me at the time a sermon that I could no longer recall because I was so jittery about that Reyna Elena thing!  My “No” was eventually out-voted by the committee members present in that meeting.   Like any other event, the planning for this year’s procession was met with challenges.  One example of these challenges was when we were only informed that our budget was slashed after a series of meetings for planning the event had already taken place. Another challenge was when the date of the procession switched over a couple of times. Initially, it was planned for the 26th of May as mentioned earlier but It was then rescheduled on the 30th of May due to schedule conflicts.  The procession was finally set to happen on the 31st of May due to the wisdom of Fr Dolina who declared that the procession should be held on the last day of May. It actually made sense because the Patapos – Alay sa Mahal na Birhen was the culmination of the month-long activities of religious devotion to Mama Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It was not after all a mere fashion show as emphasized by Fr Dolina.

I had intended to file a Special Privilege Leave on the 31st of May 2017 but things did not turn out as I had previously planned. I had to honor my commitment to report for work and attend to a special event at RMC in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary who has always been my succor throughout my adult life. I have always believed in her powerful intercession in my life. Oh, just an interesting bit of trivia, my two daughters have Maria as their first names. On the day of the procession, I had no issues whatsoever as everything went smoothly starting with the rosary recitation at 2:00 pm at the RMC chapel which was participated by a group of highly enthusiastic RMC Queens.  These handful of Queens, while at the chapel, were all in full bloom just like flowers in their beautiful gowns. As I looked at them, I was suddenly transported back in time to a point not long ago when they were being interviewed  by the RMC-Personnel Selection Board. I just smiled because they had morphed into beautiful ladies before my very eyes in their stately attires. Queenly, indeed.  The Holy Mass was then celebrated at 2:30 pm and it was during Fr Dolina’s homily that I had learned of his intention to use this year’s religious devotion to Mama Mary as a petition to prevent the scary “Big One” from coming to our beloved Philippines. At 3:30 pm, the procession commenced and throughout the parade, I felt appreciated as I took note of the approving looks of the people who saw me as RMC’s Reyna Elena for the year 2017.  The procession was finally brought to an end at around 4:30 pm with a flower offering to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It was tiring to parade in gown as I was not getting any younger, I guess; however, it was all worth it. It was worth foregoing my Special Privilege Leave on the 31st of May 2017 to celebrate my 14th Wedding Anniversary because Fr Dolina was able to bless and pray for me and my husband, including our two daughters, who were at the procession taking turns to shield me from the heat of the sun.

By: Darwin Z. Angcahan, RRT, MHPEd

Bagac, Bataan -- With the aim of promoting camaraderie and stronger relationships among the rank-and-file employees and officials, the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) held its annual team building event in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan last May 13.

RMC Family

Hundreds of RMC personnel participated in the said one-day event filled with fun and excitement. Grouped into teams, the employees enjoyed sporting events and group challenges that were carefully planned and designed by the organizing committee.

Beefing up the plan

Mr. Edwin Alcazar of the Materials and Management Department, the organizing committee head for this year's team building event, led a brainstorming activity to arrive at the event's theme, games, and logistics. Several meetings were held to come up with appropriate group activities and challenges. What made this year’s team building event unique was the educational tour showcasing Philippine culture of which the most notable were the traditional Filipino houses as well as the different tournament formats that added thrills and excitement with emotion-filled games in all events that spark each team’s determination to win.

Beefing Up

Building up the team

The event started with a prayer led by Fr. Edgar Dolina and a short message from Dr. Relito M. Saquilayan, Medical Center Chief of RMC. In his message, Dr. Saquilayan emphasized the essence of team building which is to promote camaraderie among the staff of the medical center.  He encouraged the participants to meet the people whom they have not talked with to widen their social circle. “This occasion is an opportunity for an individual to not only show how he or she can perform well as a player but also to demonstrate his or her sense of teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline and maturity," he added.

Declaring the champions

Overall, the Orange team accumulated the most points to win the championship. The team bagged the P10,000 cash prize and a trophy.  The Red team was hailed 1st runner up bagging a cash prize of P7, 000 while Fuchsia team came in third as the 2nd runner up taking home a cash prize in the amount of P5,000.

Champion - Orange Team

                                                                              Team Orange (Overall Champion)

After thoughts

Team building is a buzzword and has many connotations for many organizations. Team building is meant to improve the performance of the team through various activities designed to foster communication and encourage cooperation among the staff members of an organization. As a result of the effectiveness of the activities during the Team building event, group skills, communication and bonding were enhanced within the organization of RMC. Indeed, this year's event had been tiring yet memorable for team RMC.

Awarding of Trophies

Red - 1st Runner Up

Team Red (1st Runner Up)

Fuschia - 2nd Runner Up

Team Fucshia (2nd Runner Up)



            Every year, the Nursing Division of Rizal Medical Center celebrates the Christmas Season with a twist.  Last year on December 16, 2016, the nurses were able to showcase Philippine traditions. The theme of the Christmas Party was “Nurses Go Regional Festivals.” Their costumes were colourful and they were moving in their dance presentations as if they had come from the different regions where these festivals are celebrated.

            The celebration was started by a parade where all nurses participated. The nurses did walk around the hospitals visiting every ward. The patients and their respective significant others were all smiling as they see the nurses that care for them in another facet of their lives wearing whimsical costumes. Pretty sure they were all amazed by the fact that their very own nurses do not only give their medication but can also entertain them with traditional dance moves.


The group comprising the nursing personnel of the Operating Room, Recovery Room, ICU, Surgery 2 and CSR which performed the cultural dance of the Kidayawan Festival was the champion of the dance competition.


The nursing personnel of the Emergency Room, Pay Ward and Out Patient Department which performed the cultural dance of the Ati -Atihan Festival from Kalibo, Aklan, got 4th place in the competition.


The cultural dance of the Panagbenga Festival from Baguio City was performed by the nursing personnel of Philhealth Ward, Medical Ward and Intermediate Care Unit. They got the 2nd place in the competition.


The cultural dance of the Dinagyang Festival from Ilo-ilo was performed by the nursing personnel of OB Annex, OB Main, and Delivery/Labor Room Complex. They got the 3rd place in the competition.


The cultural dance of the Sinulog Festival from Cebu City was performed by the nursing personnel of Surgery 2, Pedia 1and Pedia 2 Wards. They got the 4th place in the competition.


The Nursing Council, who also performed in the competition, showcased the cultural dance of the Maskara Festival from Bacolod City. 

           Our nurses working in Rizal Medical Center are not only equipped with knowledge, skills and attitude in giving safe and quality care; but they are endowed as well with talents that can be showcased in times of celebrations! Truly, it is more fun in the RMC Nursing Division! 

By: Dr. Joanabeth Aguirre

Delivered during the RMC Graduation Ceremonies

February 6, 2017

 Dr. Joanabeth Aguirre


(Dr. Joanabeth Aguirre is a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas. She was the Chief Resident of the Department of Internal Medicine from January to June 2016 and was given the award of ‘Most Outstanding Resident’, during the Graduation Ceremonies of Rizal Medical Center.)

First, I would like to thank our Medical Center Chief, Dr. Relito Saquilayan; our Chief of Medical Professional Staff, Dr. Maria Rica Lumague; our Chief Training Officer, Dr. Primo Valenzuela; our consultants, parents and guests. Thank you for celebrating this milestone with us.  And good morning.

I was never a model student, and I honestly didn’t think I was outstanding in anything; so, when I was informed that I was the Most Outstanding Resident, the first thing I uttered was “Why me?”  This question was immediately followed by another one, “Are you serious?” Then when I was told I had to make a speech, my anxiety skyrocketed because I’m an introvert and I don’t know anything about giving speeches; however, I’m a firm believer in the saying “Everything happens for a reason.” So here I am, standing in front of you with my voice shaking… so please bear with me.