The Benguet General Hospital Chorale (BeGHC) Humble Beginnings...

Committed to go to places wherever feet may lead... and where hands can help...

 

The Benguet General Hospital Chorale (BeGHC) had its beginning since the 10th foundation day of Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) in October 30, 1981.  It was then named Benguet General Hospital Glee Club, then later BeGH Choir under the care of Dr. Alejandra Gambito and tutorship of Mrs. Rufina Jimenez.

It however, went into periods of hibernation because of changing membership, lack of financial support, and busy, unpredictable hospital work.  In 1991 BeGH Choir was renamed Benguet General Hospital Chorale and was reorganized under the musical directorship of  Mr. Ador Sumadchat. 

The choral group performed more often for entertainment on different occasions.

 

It was not until 1992 that BeGH went into more meaningful activities. Thus…

  • Sharing the Joys of Christmas was a good start and for the past years the group ended each year with gift giving for Benguet General Hospital Inpatients.

  •  In 1996, the BeGHC launched the “Save The Babies Project”. BeGH then badly needed a new incubator to replace its old incubator of 13 years.  To date it is still functioning, serving its purpose to save lives.

  • In June, 1994 the BeGHC performed its maiden concert named “Awiting Lunas I – Handog sa Kalusugan” followed 6 months later by “Awiting Lunas II – Pamaskong Handog” which was featured with the Heritage Singers and guests.  The proceeds were used to buy much needed hospital equipment.

  • Christmas Musical Festival (Christmufest)

In December of 1995 and 1996, the BeGHC launched the first Christmas Musical Festival in La Trinidad and Benguet with contestants coming as far as Bokod. It was a show of musical talents; solo, duet, and choral arrangements of adult and youth categories. The participation was very encouraging but because of lack of funding BeGHC was unable to continue in the following years.

Through this project, the BeGHC hoped not only to nurture cultural development of the youth and adult but also to somehow divert their attention especially the youth from drugs, alcohol, and other vices and worldly frailties.  It also aims to develop pleasant relationships and sportsmanship.

 

  • Environmental Awareness

In June 1995, BeGHC opened the first extensive environmental exhibit in Benguet at Benguet State University Student Center.  It was entitled, “Racing Against Time” (A Green or Grim Future Environment).  The exhibit was aimed at instilling awareness of the deteriorating environment and watershed of Baguio and Benguet.  It was a multi-media exhibit which included lectures on waste management, environmental laws, disappearing flora and fauna, desecration of sacred grounds, global warming and others.

Racing Against Time (A Green or Grim Future Environment) was re-exhibited at Baguio-Mountain Provinces Museum, Camp John Hay with the co-sponsorship of the Baguio-Benguet Medical Society in September 2 - 30, 1995

All environmental exhibits ended with a mini-concert.

The group also organized tree planting activities in Buyog Watershed (1996) and in the hospital premises (2002).

 

  • Medical-Dental Mission
  • Organized medical-dental missions to far flung areas of Benguet.
  • It is perhaps the toughest and most difficult of the group’s project but it is the most awaited, exciting and challenging activity.
  • The preparation takes months… clothing, blankets, shoes, books, school supplies, medicines and cash are solicited from friends here and abroad.

The medical missions were not at all work alone but were opportunities to build and bond friendships, to realize the importance of discipline and value the role of each as member of a team.  Missions were occasions to learn and respect the beliefs and practices of indigenous people and develop the ability to adapt to their culture and practice…

It also provided venues and privileges to see hard to access wonders of nature and witness the brilliance of its ecosystem:

  • awesome lakes resting high up in the mountains,
  • towering rocks, some arranged in spectacular columns,
  • wonderful orchestra of varied bird chirping in unique natural arrangement.

More importantly, the missions served as inspiration for altruism in a materialistic world as well as moments to achieve a higher level of achievement that gives true joy and happiness.

In its years of active existence the BeGHC is happy to say that it raised more than a million pesos. The money was used to help, in its own small way, problems of the community – be it social, health, environmental or cultural. But all these were only possible because of people who care…

  • Mr. Heinz Woelke
  • Our perennial carolees: Dr. and Mrs. Pedro Rovillos
  • Our Japanese friends, Mr. & Mrs. Harimoto and Morimoto, and Cristy Cuyan from U.S.A.
  • Heinz Woelke Foundation supplying medicines and school supplies for the Medical-Dental Mission
  • Other beloved donors from different places and race

BeGHC has recruited a wide range of volunteers in its activities: doctors, dentists, medical technologists, nurses, clerks, accountants, drivers, dieticians, social workers, cooks, institutional workers, guards, students, engineers, statisticians, agriculturists, journalists, foresters and guests. All of them made such a wonderful team that carried the goals and aspirations of the group.

 

 

Of course, last but not the least, the very essential key for the group’s successful endeavors is the loyalty, perseverance, patience and most of all understanding and immeasurable support for the BeGHC projects of our musical director Ador Sumadchat

 

He has been an inspiration and an invaluable HEART of the group.  To you, Ador, there are no words to express our deepest gratitude for all the wonderful things you have done and sacrificed for the group.  You are a true priceless treasure to keep.

 

 

As the years passed, there were changes in BeGH members and participants in its activities.  Some retired, some moved to other offices or gone to other places, some left for personal and other reasons and Dr. Alice Cawas departed for a better place. But all the memories we shared will always live forever.