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A center with a history.

Calamba Medical Center started in 1989 as a two-story structure on a 1,073-square-meter lot in the area called Crossing. Its pioneers were cardiologist Dr. Carlitos Reyes, who was already operating the C.P. Reyes Hospital in Tanauan, Batangas, and his partner, general surgeon Dr. Raul Desipeda.

Other local physicians joined in as incorporators. For its first 10 years, the board chaired by the only non-physician director, banker Efren Recto, made do with modest gains that owed much to the 30-bed hospital's central location. Calambenos were happy not to have to go all the way to Metro Manila for their medical needs.

The young ophthalmologist Dr. Jose Enrico Juliano brought his practice to CMC in 1995, as a bow to his father's hometown roots. The following year, his initiative to start the Calamba Eye Center gained a foothold, in partnership with CMC.

This led to the fated entry of his father, Jose O. Juliano, whose sterling record as an internationally trained nuclear chemist and physicist had led to high-powered involvement with multinational industries and appointment as DTI Undersecretary for Foreign Relations in the FVR administration.

Happenstance purchase of CMC shares gained him a seat in the board, which soon elected him as president. With his business expertise, he teamed up with chair Efren Recto in convincing the erstwhile conservative directors to start relying on bank loans for expansion.

The original incorporators sold their shares after the first ten years. The new board's serial acquisition of adjoining lots allowed for the construction of a couple of building annexes.

By 2007, CMC claimed a larger share of the expanding healthcare market in the south by establishing the Southern Luzon Hospital and Medical Center (SLHMC) in Greenfield City in Sta. Rosa. It would be renamed as The Medical City South Luzon, in partnership with The Medical City as the major administrator.

Further acquisition of property, eventually totaling eight hectares, allowed for a quantum leap in expansion, beginning with the 2011 construction of the 12-story CMC Tower, a Medical Arts Building. This was soon followed the nine-story CMC Hospital or Tower 2.

Over a week ago, on July 19, Calamba Medical Center celebrated its 30th anniversary at its newly opened Events Place. It also marked the launching of the coffee-table book, CMC @ 30: Calamba Medical Center, which this writer had the honor of producing as executive editor together with a small team, in a record three months since the first meet-up with 'Peping' Juliano.

Tess C. Dumana served as associate writer, with Sir Lancelot Punzalan as contributing photographer and Orland S. Punzalan as book designer. Drone and cover photography are credited to Mediarama Creatives. The House Printers Corporators led by Joey San Juan printed a thousand copies in hardcover and 500 as softbound.

Jose O. Juliano writes:

'CMC is the oldest private hospital in Calamba City and we believe it has the most modern and complete facilities in the region to render medical care to the city and environs. We also have the most competent doctors, dentists, nurses, radiologists, chemists, pharmacists, IT people, accountants, and engineers.

'This book is dedicated to all who helped to make CMC what it is today, composed of the CMC Hospital (Tower 2), The Medical Arts Building (Tower 1), CMC Kidney Center (Dialysis Center) building, Calamba Eye Center, The Medical City South Luzon), CMC Cancer Center Building, Biomed Technical Services, Calamba Events Center, co-owner of Laguna College of Business and Arts, and soon the CMC Chapel.'

The full-color book's chapters cover CMC's early history and detail its remarkable growth over the past two decades. Sections include stories on the advent of The Medical City South Luzon and Calamba Eye Center (both headed by Dr. 'Jun' Juliano); 'A Personal Historical View' by engineer August Cantor; 'The Shapes of the Future' by architect Raul Reventar; and features that highlight the contributions of Jose Juliano's two daughters, anesthesiologist Dr. Joji Juliano ('A Happy Place') and OB-Gyn Dr. Catherine 'Kat' Juliano Remollino ('MOMS: A haven for the unplanned, unwanted').

The final chapters present the Biomed Tech Services, 'The Need for a School of Medical Arts,' the CMC's board of directors, facilities, profiles of top physicians and staffers, a directory of specialist consultants, and the president's 'My Dreams for CMC.'

These include plans for a columbary, a school, a mall, a condotel, and accommodation for geriatric patients - as a continuing orchestration of a business endeavor that exponentially benefits an old hometown, its residents, and many other Filipinos requiring excellent medical care.

Wielding the grand baton of leadership is the visionary and dreamer Jose O. Juliano, a TOYM awardee in 1959 and once head of the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission. Now in his middle-80s, he is still a dynamo at work, seeking to transform the entire enterprise into a total healthcare city.

The CMC president's final words pay tribute to the support from his wife Victoria Galang Juliano and their three children, besides attesting to his exemplary personality, character and spirit.

'I was just the initiator, and it was God who was kind enough to grant us our wishes. I came into CMC not knowing anything about medicine, and I depended on my three children who are all doctors of medicine for guidance.

'All my life I always tried something new, and some of them were successful ventures while others were failures. But I always try new ventures in the hope that some of them will bear fruit

'Destiny guided me into the healthcare industry, where I got involved for more than 20 years. With God's help, everything went according to plan.

'I never dreamt that CMC would be able to help humanity in its moments of concern, fear and sorrow. But now I know that I can and should still dream on.

'These are the blessings we receive from the Almighty.'
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Jul 29, 2019
Words:1084
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