“Capt. Gregorio Oca gave me a second chance at life.”

Dr. Lazarito Villamar can’t help but tear up as he recalls that life-changing period. “In 2003, I suffered a massive heart attack while making my rounds at the Seaman’s Hospital. Capt. Gregorio Oca came to visit me in the ICU, called for a cardiologist, and had me transferred to Asian Hospital, where I had surgery.

“Then Capt. Oca told me not to worry about anything. It’s embarrassing to think about it, but he shouldered my entire bill. I also did not have to worry about my job. I returned to work as soon as I could, even if Dr. Oca wanted me to recuperate longer. I was eager to get back to work because I missed my patients. More importantly, I wanted to give back all the good that was shown to me. I wanted to serve the Seaman’s Hospital dependents.”

This deep concern for the employees is something that Dr. Villamar has witnessed since he started working at the Seaman’s Hospital in 1982. Today, Dr. Villamar currently heads the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as Chairman. In his 38 years of service, he has seen two qualities that he believes have touched his life, and the lives of countless others. “Loyalty and genuine care. These are extremely important and have always been evident.”

For Dr. Villamar , these traits are seen everywhere, even in the annual Christmas parties. “I could see that everyone is taken care of, [people] from top to bottom, big and small. Walang maiiwan, at walang iwanan [No one is left out, and no one is excluded.]. Everybody is happy during Christmas parties.”

And that’s why Dr. Villamar advises the next generation of doctors, medical staff, and employees to try their best to emulate Capt. Oca. “[We need] trustworthiness, dedication and hard work, especially when we live in such difficult times. Without these, we cannot attain our goals. All the [benefits and privileges] we enjoy today are testament to Capt. Oca’s own dedication, vision and labor.

“I started working as Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Roberto Oca Worker’s Clinic over at the Port Area. There were only five departments then: OB-Gyne, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Dentistry. Today we are a tertiary hospital with all specialties and sub-specialties. I have seen it grow with my own two eyes, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”


Rheea Hermoso-Prudente

Rheea loves words, food, books, travel,  paper, and water in any form (though not necessarily in that order). She recently moved up to the foggy mountains of Baguio with her husband, two daughters, and portly cat. She homeschools her kids, and dreams of making a go at homesteading.