The humble beginnings of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center began in 1981. Martial Law’s days were numbered and a nation was on the verge of political uncertainty. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center Department of Otorhinolaryngology- Head And Neck Surgery (ORL-HNS) was born amidst a culture of change and political unrest. The trailblazers of the Department, Dr. Pedro C. Hortaleza and Dr. Benicio M. Torralba, paved the way to what the department is today when they officially formed a separate department from the then EENT specialty. With the infusion of new consultants – Dr. Jacob S. Matubis, Dr. Felix P. Nolasco, Dr. Gil M. Vicente, and Dr. Jose A. Malanyaon, a structured training program was created. Much needed surgical instruments, diagnostic equipment and facilities were acquired by the Department, upgrading the quality of its service for patients. These efforts culminated in accreditation of the training program by the Philippine Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in 1989. The Department has consistently been granted this accreditation in the years that followed. To address the needs of the Department and the emergence of diverse fields in Otorhinolaryngology, new consultants were brought in. Dr. Antonio H. Chua, a graduate of the Department, spearheaded the Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Laryngology and Bronchoesophagology service. Dr. Gil M. Vicente led the Rhinopharyngology-Allergology and Snoring and Sleep Apnea surgery. Dr. Jose A. Malanyaon Jr. led the Otology-Audiology service. Dr. Felix P. Nolasco and Dr. Joselito F. David led the Craniomaxillofacial Surgery and Traumatology service. In 1998, Dr. David spearheaded the Head and Neck Reconstructive and Microvascular Surgery service which eventually culminated in the creation of a fellowship training program. A graduate of the program, Dr. Samantha S. Castaneda, now heads the Head and Neck Oncology service. New consultants Dr. Elias T. Reala, Dr. Cherry Gay G. Gatchalian and Dr. Konrad P. Aguila were welcome additions to the consultant staff of the Department to further the Otology-Audiology, Head and Neck Oncology, and Facial Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery services, respectively.
Three decades of achievements and impact to the nation have been evident. Generations of Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeons formed by our department, 81 hardworking graduates, are now all over the Philippines, from Ilocos to Tawi-Tawi, primal in their contributions to their regional chapters, provincial hospitals, the academe and the Society. Dr. Jacob S. Matubis, Dr. Gil M. Vicente, Dr. Felix P. Nolasco and Dr. Wilfredo F. Batol, were previous Presidents of PSO-HNS. Dr. Antonio H. Chua, who has been a Trustee of the Society, is the current Chair of the Philippine Academy of Rhinology. Dr Joselito F. David, past President of the Philippine Academy of Head and Neck Surgery, Inc., is the Chair of the Philippine Academy of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Samantha S. Castañeda is the Chair of the Research Committee. Current and previous Trustees and Chapter Presidents are Dr. Louie V. Medenilla, Dr. Lorenzo E. Vera Cruz, Dr. Eduardo R. Arcenas, Dr. Jerry Agerico B. Rosario, Dr. Jesus Randy O. Cañal, Dr. Conrado A. Pabico, Dr. Chester Rosario J. Puño, Dr. Arvin L. De Jesus, Dr. Pamela A. Lagrosa, Dr. Melvin G. Berin, Dr. Kerwin Mark L. Gubantes and Dr. Ma. Minnie Uy-Yao. Our graduates have also served as current and previous Head or Residency Training Officer of Institutions accredited by the PBOHNS such as the Ilocos Training Regional & Medical Center, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Southern Philippines Medical Center and Northern Mindanao Medical Center. The department contributes to continuing medical education through the years via courses such as Basic Controversies in Head and Neck Surgery, Endoscopic Frontal Sinus Exploration, Pediatric Laryngotracheobronchial Endoscopy, Basic Prosthesis, Basic Research and Methodology, and most recently the ORL-HNS Basic Course. Our consultants have been steadfast expert forerunners, being invited regularly by international bodies to lecture and to train. Residents would likewise participate overseas such as in Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Postgraduate courses and Pediatric Airway and Tracheostomy courses. In the area of research, JRRMMC has been consistent in producing quality papers and periodically winning in contests organized by the PSOHNS. We also make it a point to have our articles published in every issue of the Phil. Journal of ORLHNS. As to civic and social aspects of service, we educate our fellow Filipinos through lay fora such as ‘Pasilip Ka’ held at our institution and nearby baranggays, holistic programs through the ‘ENT Happy Hour’ at the hospital ward, consultation with senior citizens through our duties at the National Center for Geriatric Health and surgical missions across the country. Excellence through service, training, and research… this is the mark of the Department of ORL‐HNS of JRRMMC.
Events and forces have molded our institution. We continue to innovate and provide quality service despite the meager resources available for government institutions. We look forward to the inauguration of our ENT Diagnostic Center next year. With this milestone, we offer full range of diagnostic audiologic, rhinologic, laryngologic services. This is in line with our vision that by the year 2020, the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery will be a one-stop, world class, state-of-the-art institution and a fertile ground for highly competent Otorhinolaryngologist – Head and Neck Surgeons. The ORL-HNS JRRMMC has evolved, becoming a premiere vibrant department, providing training, research, relevance and service to the community. The values of excellence, knowledge, compassion and professionalism have connected us. ORL-HNS Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center is proud and honored to take part in carrying the torch that the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery has entrusted to it, then, now, and through the passage of time.