In celebration of the birth of one of Makati Medical Center’s founders and renowned physician Dr. Constantino P. Manahan, Makati Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology held the annual CP Manahan Memorial Dinner at the 8th Floor Tower 2 Auditorium on September 15, with guest of honor Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros.
The celebration was headed by CP Manahan Memorial Chairperson, Gianna R. Montenegro, MD, in collaboration and coordination with the OB-GYN Department Chairperson, Ramon T. Reyles, MD. Martin P. Manahan, MD, CP Manahan’s nephew, served as master of ceremonies.
Dr. Montenegro’s opening remarks focused on the gift of family. “CP Manahan did not just deliver babies, he delivered families,” she said. “CPM moms did not just want one child to be delivered by Dr. Manahan. They wanted all of their children to be delivered by him. As co-founder and MakatiMed’s first Medical Director, Dr. Manahan led all doctors and non-medical staff to become one MakatiMed family. The MakatiMed OB-GYN Residency Training Program he started has been passed on through generations, with OB-GYNs who are “CPM trained” upholding that legacy. For that, he gave us the gift of MakatiMed family.
Dr. Manahan was responsible for giving life to many of Makati City’s less privileged born between 1972 and 1988 under the Makati Indigent Program (MIP). He established the MIP in 1972, three years after the founding of MakatiMed. The program aimed to help the underprivileged of the community avail themselves of quality healthcare.
The MIP is now called the Health Service Program, or HSP, located at the second floor of Tower 3.
Actress and former Ms. Universe Gloria Diaz and Aurora “Ate Rory” M. Del Rosario talked about their memories of Dr. Manahan. Ms. Del Rosario was employed as Dr. Manahan’s secretary for 23 years since 1965, while Ms. Diaz was one of the many “CP Manahan Moms”.
Ms. Diaz shared that Dr. Manahan was also her own mother’s doctor, “so there was no question I was going to Dr. Manahan” when she got pregnant in her late 30s. “I was very scared of giving birth, so I went to Dr. Manahan every week,” she said. “But he remained patient and understanding. What can I say about Dr. Manahan? He was relaxed, he was—the word was not in vogue yet at the time—but he was ‘chill’.”
She said, “He taught me a lot of things, above all, to trust in your own doctors.”
Ms. Del Rosario, who said she was apprehensive at first about taking the job because she didn’t have any medical background, shared that Dr. Manahan was very kind and patient with her, the same way he was kind and patient with his own patients.
Guest of Honor Senator Risa Hontiveros promised “no politics, only fellowship” in her message.
“I literally owe my life to Dr. Manahan, because I was one of the tens of thousands of babies that he delivered over the course of his professional life,” she shared.
She continued by lauding the medical profession. “Doctors go out of their way to help strangers. We trust you with our secrets, even secrets we refuse to admit to ourselves when confronting our illnesses or the true state of our health. You help us come to terms with our mortality. That’s no small feat.”
“Your profession is one of the professions that inspires my work as a health advocate,” she said, highlighting that the guiding philosophy of the medical profession “is anchored on selflessness and care.“
Jose Armando Eduque, a member of the MakatiMed Board of Directors, gave his thanks on behalf of the Manahan family to MakatiMed and the organizers of the memorial dinner. Elvira Ledesma, Mr. Eduque’s mother, married Dr. Manahan following the death of his biological father during the Japanese occupation in 1945. “Dr. Manahan was the only father I have ever known,” he said.
“One of the things he really stood for was excellence in the medical profession,” he continued. “So I thank you, not only for being here tonight, but for staying true to that vision.”
In his closing remarks, Dr. Reyles shared that he was struck by Dr. Manahan’s greatness as a doctor and his compassion for people. Dr. Reyles’s wife was also a patient of Dr. Manahan. “He deserves to be memorialized every year. Thank you for gracing tonight’s occasion.”
The evening culminated in a performance by singer, songwriter, and actor, Martin Nievera, who brought the house down. The MakatiMed medical and corporate staff joined as one family to celebrate Dr. Manahan’s life in an evening of inspiration and music.