By: Martyn Tan
Dr. Roel Cagape was a man who dedicated his life to medical service in the countryside. He has just received the award for Bayaning Pilipino-Individual Category last July for his commitment to providing services to rural and far-flung areas in GenSan and the hinterlands of the neighboring Sarangani province. Dr. Roel is a Filipino that we should all be proud of.
Dr.Roel is an ordinary physician with a big heart. Aside from giving free medical services in his clinic daily, he also conducts weekly medical missions in mountainous regions which are barely accessible by four-wheeled vehicles. He also taught his community to use horses to transport patients during emergency situations through his project called “Ambulansyang Kabayo”.
Dr.Roel started giving free medical services since he graduated from medical school 25 years ago. “I find joy in reaching out to the needy without asking for anything in return. Conducting medical missions is my form of relaxation. You wouldn’t believe me when I say there are times when I don’t have money in my wallet, kahit pambayad ng tricycle wala, but with God’s grace I am able to survive and continue to do the things that make me happy. ‘Yung mga taong natulungan ko ay tumutulong din.” he said.
Dr Cagape also created a program called “I text mo kay Doc”. This program is for people seeking medical advice any time of the day.
Dr.Roel Cagape is one an unnoticed Filipino hero. By doing what he loves he is able to help the sick and the people around us. His selfless service and compassion towards the less fortunate, along with his use of his talents and skills to help others, he is a hero we should respect and hold in high regard.