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Surgeries in the 237th medical mission at Malacañang

March 28, 2019 | Charissa Tulinao

A volunteer checks Louie Nadonga’s warts in his left temporal region. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi conducted its 237th medical mission in Malacañang on the 28th of March 2019. Out of 1,053 patients, 29 underwent minor surgeries and among those are 7-year old Louis Nadonga and 51-year old Reynaldo Padernos.


Crisanto Nadonga and his 7-year old son were both in line for the minor surgery during the medical mission in Malacañang on the 28th of March.

Nadonga commutes from his home in Cavite to Malacañang Palace every day to work as a utility personnel.

Arriving early to register, he was hoping to have a surgery both for him and his son, Louie. Upon consultation, doctors advise Nadonga to seek for the general medicine department as his case might need a major operation.  

His son, Louie, proceeded with cauterization to remove his wart. He had the same procedure done two years ago when Tzu Chi held a medical mission in the palace. They felt fortunate to be given another opportunity to have this minor condition treated.

“I’m happy because it’s free which enables us to save money [for other expenses], [and] that’s why we seized this opportunity even if we live far,” said Nadonga.

Reynaldo Padernos, a 51-year old architect in Malacañang, also participated in the medical mission 2 years ago. He was able to receive treatment for his eyes. But did not follow up with the needed surgery for his cyst.

Now, he is overjoyed upon undergoing the operation for the sebaceous cysts in his upper and lower back.

His operation required two doctors, and a nurse to operate on his medium size cysts, which need assistance to control the blood flow, but as they were operating him, he was all smiles and he was grateful for the service given to him.

“I’m always looking forward to the medical mission of Tzu Chi…. and I’m really thankful because this is a chance [I shouldn’t miss since] we’re already here in the OP (Office of the President)…. if I did get an operation outside, I don’t know how much it will cost, so I’m happy that I’m able to participate,” said Padernos. 

The medical mission in Malacañang included the minor surgery department wherein doctors operated a total of 29 patients, and have done consultations for 43 more.

Dr. Robert Chua Sy has been part of the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) ever since it was established in the Philippines.

“We do this medical mission so that we could help the poor while their sickness or disease is still in its early stage,” said Sy.

Partaking in medical missions wasn’t foreign to him, and he always expressed his happiness for the experience he accumulates as he does volunteer work.

  • The first batch of patients for the minor surgery included the father and son, Crisanto and Louie Nadonga. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Dr. Anthony Sy begins with the procedure for Louie’s minor surgery. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Louie’s father Crisanto assists Dr. Anthony Sy during the procedure to lessen his son’s uneasiness. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Reynaldo Padernos has two sebaceous cysts in his upper and lower back. The procedure was spearheaded by Dr. Joyce Chua while other doctors and nurses assisted. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • On standby were volunteers, and Tzu Chi Youth members in case more assistance is needed for Reynaldo Padernos’ minor surgery. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Reynaldo Padernos picks up his medicine free of charge from a volunteer. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Dr. Robert Chua Sy performs cauterization on a patient’s nape. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • As a doctor that is part of the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA), Robert Chua Sy shows his expertise in handling minor operations. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • An initial check-up and consultation is provided first before the doctors determine if the patients can proceed with the surgeries. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】