Light Sunday: Cherish the Good Samaritans by Evelyn Luab (Sun Star Cebu Sunday, October 24, 2004)

What about Good Samaritans? Thank God that they do exist. For sometime now, so much has been written about Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III fondly known as Dr. Yong: His credentials, his skills, his light touch, his gentle response in handling his patients, young or old, and his bigness of heart towards the poor. Let me add something else: His overpowering love for his work.

Because my husband is a patient of his for many ailments, such as cataract removal, laser treatment for retina hemorrhage, etc., I have seen Dr. Yong at work several times.

His day starts at 7 a.m. in the major operating room at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital where he does surgery. By 10:30 a.m. or thereabouts he is at his clinic (Center for Sight) where he tends to a room full of patients waiting for their turn to see him alone to get VIP treatment.

I’ve seen him dashing out at 1 p.m. for a 15-minute lunch break, hurrying back still full of energy to tend to the remaining patients. Because my husband was due for laser treatment on the very same day, we were at the prescribed room exactly at 4 p.m. as scheduled only to find Dr. Yong already at work with other patients.

We were through about 6 p.m., with Dr. Yong still looking unabashed by all the work not once showing signs of fatigue. I couldn’t resist asking him this question, “How do you manage all these?

You’ve up early, you end up late yet you don’t seem fazed by all these?”

He smiled at me and gave it much thought before giving me an answer without guile. “Love of work, I guess.” We passed his other office, Center for Sight I. He pointed at the office with his eyes twinkling and said, “I do 10 to 14 patients daily for refractive surgery,” knowing I’d be more astounded at his stamina.

Praise God for the Good Samaritans we have in our midst. They are the living proof that while evil stalks our city, we still have enough people like Dr. Yong whose commitment, whose love of neighbor and whose humble acknowledgement of God’s blessings on him, bring back our faith in mankind.

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