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Miss Health 2018: Beauty, Brains, and Heart in Service of the Filipino
By: Tony Cervantes, MD
Dr. Maria Isabel Belizario, a resident of Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Department of Dermatology won the title “ Miss Health 2018 “. August 6-12 was National Hospital Week of 2018, curated by hospitals under the Department of Health. Notable in the events is the Miss Health Pageant, hosted by the Philippine Lung Center, wherein each DOH hospital sent their respective candidates to compete for the crown. Candidates were healthcare professionals from different fields: nurses, medical technologists, dieticians, and even resident doctors. There were 20 candidates showcasing their beauty, intelligence, and talents on the stage.
On August 7, the talent portion was held at the Children’s Heart Foundation Grand Auditorium at the Philippine Heart Center, where Dr. Belizario sang a heartwarming and inspiring rendition of ‘Defying Gravity’ from the Broadway musical, “Wicked”.
The Miss Health event culminated in the coronation night on August 9 at the UP Film Institute. The night started with a dance performance by all the candidates, followed by the presentation of the candidates in casual wear, then in long gown. Special performances were given by the Philippine Orthopedic Center Choir and the Philippine Heart Center Dance Troupe. The top ten candidates then proceeded to the Question and Answer round, where each contestant was randomly given a question to test their quick thinking and grace under pressure.
At the end of the night, the title of Miss Health 2018 was awarded to Dr. Belizario from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. Candidates from National Children’s Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, and Dr Jose N Rodriguez Memorial Hospital were the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd runners up, respectively. After the awarding, Dr. Belizario graciously gave us a message, “As a PDS certified dermatologist-in-training, I have made a choice to pledge my self to a life of service always to alleviate pain and to increase the quality of life of all our patients. It is with great honor and pride that I share this crown to the Philippine Dermatological Society for molding me into the competent and compassionate physician that I am today. I am truly humbled by this experience and it is with great joy that I wear this crown not only at the top of my head, but also in my heart.” Her beauty, intelligence, and kindness truly made her deserving of the crown as the pride of DOH-RITM.