Making Eyes in the City
The Eye City-Iloilo was primarily the brainchild of Dr. Nathaniel H. Chan. When he returned to Iloilo City after completing his fellowship training in the United States, he had already wanted to put an ophthalmic group practice in the city; however, there were none willing as he to “Boldly go…” where no Ilonggo Ophthalmologist had gone before. In the years that followed, several subspecialists arrived in Iloilo City and soon there was enough to form a group.
Informal meetings at various venues were held first to test the waters and soon after, the core incorporators of Iloilo City Eye Consultants, Inc (the corporation behind the group) was finalized. All individual clinics were dissolved and combined into what is now The Eye City – Iloilo.
The vision of The Eye City – Iloilo is to be a center of excellence dedicated to providing efficient, dynamic and quality ophthalmic eye care managed by dedicated, competent and well-trained eye specialists. The Group’s mission is to develop a caring, compassionate and professional environment that will attend to patients’ needs through affordable, high quality eye care.
At the heart of the group’s mission-vision statement is our patients. High quality eye care need not be unavailable or unaffordable in Iloilo City or in the Western Visayas Region. No longer do Ilonggos need to go to Manila for Ophthalmic Sub-specialist care. Providing quality eye care parallel to what is available in Manila and the world is our long-term goal. Meet the men and the lady medics behind The Eye City- Iloilo.
DR. NATHANIEL HINGUILLO CHAN
To say that Dr. Nathaniel “Pol” Hinguillo Chan is a well-accomplished academician, physician and ophthalmologist is an understatement. Though he was born to this world in the same location and manner as most people in Iloilo City, the similarity ends there, since there is nothing ordinary about this doctor.
Dr. Chan was born to Jose D. Chan, an accountant, and Milagros Hinguillo-Chan, a businesswoman. At the onset, Dr. Chan seemed built for achievement and recognition. He graduated as class valedictorian in primary school and fourth honorable mention in high school from Iloilo Sun Yat Sen School. He then graduated magna cum laude as a BS Biological Sciences Major from West Visayas State University in 1993. He completed his medical degree also at the same university, again graduating as class valedictorian in 1997. Dr. Pol then transferred to Manila for his Medical Internship at the Philippine General Hospital and his ophthalmic residency training at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Institute of Ophthalmology, where he served as Chief Resident during his final year of training. After passing all the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) steps, he served as a Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at the Children’s National Medical Center at George Washington University, Washington DC, USA from 2003 to 2004. Through all of these accomplishments, Dr. Pol has remained humble and easy to relate to.
What comes next is what makes Dr. Pol truly extra-ordinary. Contrary to the common Filipino sentiment of wanting to live and work in the United States, Dr. Chan chose to come home to Iloilo City, as its first and only Pediatric Ophthalmologist (in Iloilo and the whole Western Visayas Region). His desire to be of service to his fellow Ilonggos/Filpinos was greater than his desire to earn in US dollars. He is the primary visionary for The Eye City – Iloilo. It was his desire to provide world-class ophthalmic care parallel to what he had experienced overseas that drove him to move towards Ophthalmic Group Practice. He is also the President of Iloilo City Eye Consultants Inc., the corporation behind the group clinic.
Dr. Pol is married to Marie Rose “Princess” Chan, who is currently finishing her second degree in accountancy at University of Philippines in the Visayas. They have three children, Sofia Ysabella, Jose Enrico and Joanna Mikaela.
DR. EMILIANO MEDINA BERNARDO III
Dr. Emiliano “Totoy” Medina Bernardo III is not from this island, but is actually from another island, further north. He was born in Quezon City (in the same hospital that eventually trained him as a physician) to Dr. Edgardo D. Bernardo and Nenita Medina-Bernardo. Dr. Totoy is a true blue Atenean; all of his formative years were spent at Loyola Heights, Ateneo de Manila University (GS ‘88, HS ‘92 and BS ‘96). In spite of his currently hefty built, Dr. Totoy was actually part of the track and field team, swimming team and sweep rowing team in college. On top of these activities, he graduated with honors with his BS Psychology degree in 1996. For the next ten years, he would complete his medical degree, internship, residency training in ophthalmology and subspecialty training in Neuro-Ophthalmology at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMMC). Between obtaining his medical license and the start of his residency training (2002), he took a year off from medicine to teach at the Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University.
Dr. Bernardo is the only ophthalmologist sub-specializing in Neuro-Visual Disorders in the whole Western Visayas Region. He was fortunate to be mentored by the Filipino pioneers and experts in the field of Neuro-Ophthalmology: Dr. Jesus Tamesis, Jr. (Clinica Tamesis Eye Center), Dr. Raul Cruz (PGH, SLMC), Dr. Rich Kho (PGH, American Eye Center), Dr. Sidney Cheng (UERMMMC, TMC), and Dr. Analyn Suntay (UERMMMC, EAMC), to name a few. Though he was primarily a fellow of UERMMMC, through the help of the Neuro-Ophthalmology Club of the Philippines (NOCP), Dr. Bernardo also rotated at PGH, American Eye Hospital and Cardinal Santos MRI Center. He is currently a member of the NOCP and the Asian Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (ASNOS).
If there is one thing that Dr. Totoy did perfectly right, it was getting married to Dr. Jennifer Grendel R. Ganzon-Bernardo, one of the eleven board-certified dermatologists of the Philippine Dermatological Society in Iloilo City. They have two children, Jaime Rodolfo and Hannah Maria Ines. When people ask him, why a tagalog would uproot himself from Manila, he would usually jokingly answer, “Namit kag barato ang pagkaon diri sa Iloilo.” But the truth of it is, he feels home wherever his beloved Jenjen, Jaime and Hannah are.
DR. CHRISTOPHER SEBASTIAN JARANILLA UY
Dr. Christopher Sebastian Jaranilla Uy’s quiet demeanor and unassuming behavior belies the rich heritage that this well trained ophthalmologist hails from. Chris was born in Iloilo City and studied at Assumption, Ateneo de Iloilo (Sta. Maria Catholic School at that time) and UP Visayas, Miag-ao (Biological Science Degree). He completed his medical training at the University of Sto. Tomas and went on to train at UP-PGH for his residency in ophthalmology. He is the eldest son of one of Iloilo City’s pioneer ophthalmologists, Dr. Cezar Uy and the former Delfa Jaranilla and the grandson of Dr. Delfin Jaranilla. Due to his father’s untimely passing, Chris took over his father’s clinic at the Iloilo Medical Arts Condominium at the Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital Complex (now a satellite clinic of The Eye City-Iloilo), immediately after graduating from residency. He subsequently passed the Diplomate Examination of the Philippine Board of Ophthalmology.
Though Dr Chris is the youngest in the group, he is already quite happily married to Dr. Melita Jesusa T. Uy, an Ear, Nose and Throat, Head & Neck Surgery Specialist with a subspecialty in Rhinoplasty (Nose lift and reconstruction) and they have a son, Christian Marcus. It is fortunate that his love of eating chocolate and anything sweet is counter balanced with a healthy interest in sports (basketball, volleyball, table tennis and golf), televised and otherwise. … and his favorite color is blue.
Dr. Uy is scheduled to train overseas for his subspecialty in Vitreo-Retinal Diseases in 2010. When he returns in 2011, The Eye City – Iloilo and the Western Visayas Area will have another Vitreo-Retina Specialist who can share the significant volume of vitreo-retinal cases with Dr. Anne Marie Gertrude G. Caseñas, currently the only Vitreo-Retinal sub-specialist in the Western Visayas Region.
DR. ANNE MARIE GERTRUDE GRINO CASENAS
Dr. Anne Marie Gertrude Gringo Casinos is as petite and fair-skinned as her name is long. She was born in Iloilo City to the late General Buenaventura Caseñas and to Iloilo City’s pioneer pediatrician, Dr. Marie Grino-Caseñas. She went to Sta. Maria Catholic School (now Ateneo de Iloilo) for her primary schooling and spent the rest of her formative years at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas. She was a scholar through high school and college. She went to medical school at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine in Manila, graduating in 1998. She then completed her residency training in Ophthalmology, fellowship training in Cornea and External Disease and fellowship training in Vitreo-Retinal Diseases at the Philippine General Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences from 1999 to 2004. Dr. Caseñas is the only ophthalmologist sub-specializing in both Cornea and External Disease and Vitreo-Retinal Diseases in the whole Western Visayas Region. Among the common cases that she manages as a subspecialist are: diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, and age-related macular degeneration. She is not only a consummate clinician, Dr. Caseñas has done research on age related macular degeneration, central retinal vein occlusion and retinal vasculitis. It if were not for her presence in Iloilo City and her choice to remain here, all vireo-retinal disease patients would have to go to Metro Manila for treatment.
Despite of her accomplishments she remains to be a simple and down-to-earth person. She accompanies her mother at their family residence and spends her free time dabbling in interior design and pampering her two beautiful dogs, Simba and Denise. Dr. Caseñas is also an Animal Rights Activist and is a member of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society and of the Iloilo Kennel Club.