After a two-year hiatus, the Medical-Surgical Mission in Surigao sponsored by Nickel Asia Corporation is back this year with 253 successful surgeries.

After a two-year hiatus, the Medical-Surgical Mission in Surigao sponsored by Nickel Asia Corporation is back this year with 253 successful surgeries.

Made possible by NAC’s subsidiaries — Taganito Mining Corp., Cagdianao Mining Corp., and Hinatuan Mining Corp., in partnership with Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation, the team operated 148 minor cases and 105 major cases.

Among the surgical operations performed were cases of cleft palate, goiter, hernia, gall bladder, myoma, breast mass, and other ailments.

Patients throughout Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Provinces were catered during the 2022 Medical-Surgical Mission at the Surigao del Norte Provincial Hospital at Sta. Cruz, Placer.

TMC had the opportunity to speak with the patients and the medical team during the mission, where they underscored the impact the mission has on their lives, as they gained access to surgical procedures and medical treatments without worrying about the costs.

For the doctors and nurses, the sense of joy and fulfilment is enough to ease the long hours of operating multiple cases to help the patients.


One of the mission’s patients is Beth Cabale of Brgy. Camam-onan, Gigaquit, who had hernia that she endured for nine years.

Due to lack of funds, she was unable to have her hernia treated. The pain limited her mobility which affected her day-to-day life. Her partner, Rolly John, had to work twice as hard as a habal-habal driver to provide for their four children.

“Nag antos ako kay di man ako makatrabaho ng bugat kay sakit man (I struggled because I cannot do heavy work because it gets painful) Beth said.

“Naka balita ko ni Rica (TMC employee) na naay libre na opera sa TMC, ge tudlo mi niya sa kay Dr. Mira (I heard from Rica that there will be free surgeries sponsored by TMC, and she told us to go to Dr. Mira), Beth’s husband shared.

“Excited ako kay makatrabaho naman ako (I am excited that I can now work),” Beth shared after the surgery.

“Pasalamat ako kay Nickel Asia ug kay THPAL tungod sa ila gehimo na Medical Mission kay nakatabang sa mga tao (I am thankful towards Nickel Asia Corporation and THPAL for sponsoring this Medical Mission which helped a lot of people)”, she added.

Uterine Myoma

Another patient was Juvelyn Eroles Ladgaron, Claver, who suffered a miscarriage during her first month of pregnancy due to uterine fibroids or intramural myoma. Doctors told her she required immediate surgery to remove the myoma but she couldn’t afford the costs.

“Normal raman ako lawas, wala man koy laong ge pambati, akoang regla normal ra (My body was normal, even my menstruation is normal)”, Eroles said.

“Nahibal-an nga naa koy myoma kay nag buntis ko tung February 13, pagka March 13 napunitan ko. Nagpacheck up ko, pag ultrasound nakita naa koy myoma. Kumo na kadako ug need operahan (I knew I had myoma when I had a miscarriage during my first month of pregnancy. The ultrasound showed the myoma that is the size of a fist and which needed immediate surgery), she narrated.

She added: “Mo-provide si God na naay angel nga ipadala sa imoha para mo solbad sa imong problema. Naay miracle… naay makatabang. Ugsa para sa ako, si THPAL ug TMC blessings in disguise (God provides us with an angel to help us with our problems. There are miracles…people to help us. For me, THPAL and TMC are blessings in disguise)”

Breast mass

Roselyn Galagar of Mayag, Sison Breast said she discovered a lump on her breast at the height of the pandemic two years ago. She was supposed to undergo biopsy last December 2021 but due to the onslaught of super typhoon Odette, she was unable to.

Luckily, Roselyn was among the patients chosen for surgery during the pre-screening and her breast mass was ultimately removed.

“Pasalamat ko sa THPAL ug Nickel Asia na naapil ko sa medical mission,” shared Roselyn, noting that she had carried the lump for two years.

Her husband, Renny, said: “Dakong pasalamat sa programa sa Nickel Asia… daghan man natabangan di kung ako ra. Ugsa pasalamat kog dako sa kumpanya ng Nickel Asia nga ni abot ni Medical-Surgical Mission. Hinaot daghan pa matabangan na uban, salamat.”


The patients being the beneficiaries of the medical mission have their lives touched in ways that can be life-changing and inspiring.

Behind every successful surgery is a story to be told. Members of the Medical-Surgical Team were interviewed during the last day of the mission. Stories behind their volunteerism and how each mission they partake in influences their lives and resonates with future generations.

Dr. Ceasar Mata

Dr. Ceasar Mata is the OIC-Municipal Health Officer of Daraga, Albay. He volunteered in the mission with the motivation rooted in his history of being a beneficiary of the missions that Dr. Baron and Dr. Archie committed themselves to for decades.

When Dr. Ceasar Mata was just a kid from Albay, he suffered a rare and serious condition at that time called Thalassaemia, which caused his blood to have lesser hemoglobin than that of a normal body.

Up to his puberty, he underwent blood transfusion once every month which brought a negative impact to his body thereby affecting his liver, heart, spleen, and a portion of his brain that is responsible for growth hormones.

“Sa dami ng blood transfusion na natanggap ko, sobrang dami din ng iron na tinanggap ko. Sinira nito ang aking atay, spleen, puso, at yung orgran sa brain na nag pro-produce ng hormones para tumangkad ako at lumaki,” Dr. Mata narrated.

His mother wrote letters to the United States National Institutes of Health, where they were invited to have his condition examined and studied.

Due to financial constraints, he was not able to go to the US for treatment. Years later, when he was already 15 years old, he still had the body of a seven-year-old with a bloated stomach. The doctors told him that his life expectancy is only until puberty.

The letters her mother wrote reached Dr. Robin Baron who was a Filipino Doctor in the US who sponsored Ceasar’s trip. Dr. Baron himself operated on the removal of the young Dr. Mata’s spleen. This in turn allowed him to recover and stabilize his body.

“Pagdating namin sa Amerika, si Doc Baron ang nag-opera sa akin. Tinanggal nya yung malaking spleen na walang sinong doctor sa pilipinas ang gustong mag opera. Kasi yung tatanggalin mas malaki pa sa ulo ko… na impossible halos gawin.” Dr. Mata recalled.

Having just his second lease on life, he was encouraged and inspired by Dr. Baron to become a doctor. Years later, he found his purpose and the reason why his life was saved--to return the blessing to others by joining the mission that Dr. Baron and Dr. Lamadradid started.

“Noong sumama ako sa kanya sa mission, doon ko nakita na ito dapat ang gagawin ko, ito ang calling ko. Itong mga taong to, these are the people that are working not for their benefit, but working to return the gift, the blessing, and the talent na pinahiram ng Panginoon sa kanila,” Dr. Mata said.

“Doon ko na realize kung ba’t ako binuhay ng Panginoon--para maglingkod, hindi para kumita ng pera,” he added.

Dr. Mata said he wanted to share his story with the world to inspire people like him, to return and share the blessings they received. Being a beneficiary of a medical-surgical mission makes it a testament to the impact that these missions have on the people it has touched - resonating with future generations.

Dr. Juan Carlo “Jay” Lamadrid

The medical missions began in the 70s through the initiative of Dr. Jay’s father, Dr. Archie Lamadrid, and Dr. Robin Baron. Dr. Baron and Dr. Archie are schoolmates who both have their own missions until they ultimately agreed to collaborate and create a team that will conduct the missions that continue up to this year.

“These two are schoolmates, pareho ang isipan at ugali, pareho ang adhikain. Sabi ni tito Robin, ‘Pare, meron kaming mga medical mission mag combine kaya tayo? May mag-iisponsor din na companya who really wanted to help the community,” Dr. Lamadrid said.

Dr. Jay also reiterated his commitment to continue the mission that his father and Dr. Robin started.

“I grew up in a family that goes to medical missions… in essence, it’s in me. I understand the essence of the mission, it’s giving, it’s sharing. I would like to continue what my father and Dr. Baron are doing. It’s fulfilling, very uplifting,” Dr. Lamadrid said.

“I'm proud to be working with Nickel Asia Corp. and subsidiaries - TMC, CMC, HMC, and their partner THPAL. I'm very thankful for giving us this opportunity to help you in your community projects,” he added.

The medical-surgical mission is an annual commitment of NAC-TMC, CMC, and HMC, with their partner, THPAL, as part of their social responsibility program. The stories and testimonies we heard from the patients and the medical team showed us the impact that this mission has on the lives of every single person involved.

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