September 29, 2023

Dr. Jesus M. del Prado passed away on Aug. 1, 2023 at the age of 91.
He was the chief of hospital of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) when I first worked there as a medical resident trainee in 1987. I was a junior consultant when he retired in 1997.
He was to us a father figure, a kind-hearted leader who had empathy towards us employees. He had a role in giving me and my co-employees a sense of belonging – we belonged to the BGHMC family.
After his retirement, there were times that he visited the hospital and would exchange pleasantries with us. He easily remembered our names and would ask how our families were doing. He would even call us by our nickname. He exuded sincere affection with his broad smiles and his friendliness.
Below is an abridged version of his life story as shared by his loving family, with added information from former trainees.

Dr. del Prado was born on Aug. 15, 1931. He finished his secondary education at San Beda College and later his medical education at the University of Santo Tomas in 1955.
In 1956, he started his residency training at BGH initially in obstetrics and gynecology but he decided to shift to general surgery. He excelled in this field and was given the recognition “Legend of the Knife” by the Cordilleran Chapter of the Philippine College of Surgeons.
He became chief of hospital of BGH in 1981 and dedicated 41 years of his professional life to the hospital. Under his tutelage, residency training programs were set up in the different departments of the hospital, gaining national accreditation and recognition through the years. He was instrumental in laying the foundations for the growth of the big medical center that we know today. During the succeeding 25 years after his retirement, he was a member of the BGH Advisory Board. For all of these, he is remembered for his commitment, integrity, and compassion.

In 1960, he met his wife, Wilma Urquiaga Flores, then an English professor at Saint Louis University. They got married on May 14, 1961 and their marriage was blessed with five children – Patrick, Michael, Lorraine, Roselle, and Lizette – all of whom also excelled in their chosen fields.
Del Prado was a deft tennis player and was a founding member of the Baguio Tennis Club. He also loved basketball and was an avid fan of San Miguel and the Los Angeles Lakers teams.
He loved classical music, jazz and American standards, played the violin and piano.
He also had a lifelong passion for learning until his 90s. He kept abreast of news and read up on things that he did not fully grasp. He had a photographic memory and recalled his adventures and travels.
He spent his retirement years with his close-knit family and traveled around the world with his late wife to visit their children and grandchildren. When his wife of 54 years passed away, he sought refuge in his family and developed a renewed love for the Lord. He took up worship and prayerful practices of his late wife that included praying the rosary daily, gospel reading, and devotions, and with support from his children, he immersed himself in God’s Word.
Fondly called “Jess” or “Baby” by his friends and family, he will be remembered as a loving and faithful family man, a devoted public servant, a man with a good heart, and a faithful servant of the Lord.
Dr. Del Prado is survived by his five children, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Farewell, doc. May you rest in peace. We will always remember you for your kindness and compassion. Until we meet again.