Mamita and Dr. Ading
THE PAST two months saw the passing of two people I have always looked up to and have worked with at one time or the other. Since there are so many things to say about them and the magnificent work and things they stood for, we will visit them and their work from time to time. Thus, this time around, we will just do some sort of an intro -- some impressions I have of the two: Dra. Mamita Pardo de Tavera and Dr. Conrado Dayrit. Mamita, not surprisingly, touched the lives of so many people through her various advocacies, including her personal NGO, AKAP. In fact, it was while attending the wake of Dr. Dayrit that I learned that his son, the former Health Secretary, worked with Mamita in AKAP. Mamita was no high-falluting doctor. She believed in bringing medicine down to the level of the barrio. One product of this constant ministering to the poorest of the poor was a series of little booklets in the vernacular -- with graphic pictures -- that could be used by even semi-literate people to act as barefoot doctors for the most common ailments. I have a set or two of these booklets somewhere in the house, and they are really a labor of love. I called Dr. Dayrit Tito Ading because he is the father-in-law of my youngest brother. This wonderful man also became my heart doctor by default, and I would visit him from time to time for free diagnoses (he would bristle at the thought of me paying him for the service!) and random discussions on his favorite topic, the healing properties of virgin coconut oil. Why do I bring up these two wonderful people? Well, Mamita left behind her NGO, AKAP, which her children have vowed to continue supporting. I know of the wonderful work AKAP has done and is capable of doing. It deserves some measure of support from benevolent friends who wish for Mamita’s work to continue. The children of Dr. Dayrit, meanwhile, just launched a new foundation in his honor to further some of his advocacies, including further work in the fields of VCO (virgin coconut oil) and herbal medicine. When we consider that Dr. Dayrit provided the ammunition (the analysis and labwork) that proved the soybean lobby wrong about tropical oils, we can say that he really helped keep the coconut industry alive. His new foundation deserves support too, if only for this. Two great people I really looked up to and have had fond memories working with: Mamita and Dr. Ading. You will hear about them again and again from this corner from time to time.
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