What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Maria Celine B. Espares. I hope you won't ask me to sing any Celine Dion songs as well!
I came all the way from Antipolo City.
How did you hear about PO and what made you interested to study it?
Happened to be in the same university taking up Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy where P&O course is being offered as well. Having little knowledge at that time, I find it challenging and complicated yet very exciting. It made me interested as it sounds new yet quite amazed that it has now been brought here in the Philippines. Because P&O was so unfamiliar I really wanted to study it, especially when I realised that I could be part of someone else's success by providing treatment that would change their life!
What qualification did you receive upon graduation? Is important to you to have such an internationally recognised qualification?
I graduated at the Philippine School of Prosthetics and Orthotics-UERM from the College of Allied Rehabilitation Sciences and got my ISPO category I qualification. For me, it is important having an internationally recognised qualification as it boosts up people's trust in the quality of service to be provided.
What do you enjoy most about your job? Can you share an experience that has been special to you in your work?
I like the "pagbubutingting" as you all know in Tagalog in which the nearest translation in English is "fastidious". Which means I'm very concerned with the exact detail and high quality in the creation of patient's devices.
I enjoy dealing with my patients especially the pediatric ones as they bring happiness to everyone despite the condition.
During my internship, I've worked with my first ever prosthetic case. He was an above knee amputee. He came to the clinic with his armpit crutches and his pregnant wife telling me that he wanted to have a leg, get back to work and be able to carry and play with his child. To some people that want a more dynamic foot and to play sport or climb a mountain, that may sound simple but for me it meant a lot.
After some time getting used to his prosthesis, he came back for a follow-up to the clinic with that full blown smile, a cane, and his family.
What are your hopes and dreams for PO in the future - for yourself and for Exceed?
I am hoping for increased awareness and better perception regarding this field. I hope that in the future, people will grasp the idea of having P&O service included as an option for treatment here in the Philippines. I am looking forward that my country will continue to provide quality education and produce more qualified professionals in the future. I hope that the idea and the quality of service will be available in the farthest and hard to reach areas of the country.
I'm proud to work for an organisation that provides high quality treatment that changes people lives and wish to see many more people benefit from our services.