Pres. Diosdado Macapagal

by Alejandro Camiling, CPA

       
 

List of Bios:

 Macario Arnedo

 Gregorio Camiling, Jr.

 Vicente Catacutan

 Jose Gutierrez-David

 Romeo S. David

 Rogelio de la Rosa

 Vicente A. Dizon

 Escaler Family

 Bro. Andrew Gonzalez

 Diosdado Macapagal

 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

 Armando Q. Madamba

 Nestor S. Mangio

 Delfin T. Quiboloy

bullet Oscar Rodriguez

 Jose Abad Santos

 Marcos G. Soliman

 Honorio T. Ventura

 Amado M. Yuzon

 

Andro's Main Page

 
Vicente Binuya Catacutan, MD
Outstanding Kapampangan for Community and Religious Services

If bloodline and genes are indicators of what a man will do in his adult life, it is not surprising that Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan was destined to be a great man of many achievements when he first saw light in Manila, Philippines at the Mary Johnston Hospital on October 27, 1922.

Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan is one of three sons of Miguel Arceo Catacutan and Agripina Pangan Binuya of Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines. His elder brother was named Amado and got married to the former Olga Espiritu. His other brother, Ponciano joined in matrimony with a registered nurse named Raquel de Leon.

Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan's philosophy of life is derived from what his father was known when he was alive and employed by the Philippine Bureau of Customs as the Wharfinger of Pier 7, which was known then as one of the best and longest piers in the Far East. His father was recognized for his honesty and dedication to his work responsibilities. He was revered for his extraordinary concern and care for the needy and common laborers. As an unforgettable experience he was sent to Hongkong at the request of the British Court of Justice in the 1930s to testify against Chinese merchants whose merchandise sent to Manila contained illegal drugs. He could have enriched himself with all the luxuries of human life but his honesty and love for mankind and the Almighty prevailed in his desire to lead an unblemished career.

Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan started his primary education at Jose Escaler Memorial School, a public primary and elementary school in Apalit, Pampanga from 1929 to 1932. He completed his elementary education at Gregorio del Pilar Elementary School in Manila and pursued his secondary education and Preparatory Medicine at San Juan de Letran College in the capital city of the Philippines. He graduated from the College of Medicine at the University of Santo Tomas in 1950. After passing with flying colors the national examination for medical doctors in the Philippines, he decided to serve the medical needs of his fellow Apalitenos in 1951 until 1958 when he left for New York City in the USA for further training and residency at the Goldwater Memorial Hospital for two years. Unlike many Filipino medical doctors who take postgraduate studies and settle in the USA, he chose to return home and continued serving his local community.

Always conscious of his civic duties, in 1961, Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan founded Aguman Narra, a local civic association and served as founding president until 1964. Concurrent with this position, he was also a director of the Pampanga Chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross and president of San Fernando Jaycees and the Pampanga Historical and Cultural Foundation. He was also the president of the Pampanga Nutrition Council in 1965.

Busy as he was in socio-civic-religious activities, Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan entered the political arena and he was also elected as Provincial Board Member of Pampanga in 1964 for a four-year term. As a provincial board member, he sponsored many economic programs and resolutions that benefit many poor people in the barrios and urban communities of the Province of Pampanga.

In his search for an effective solution to the economic needs of his town mates and enhancement of total human development involving Spiritual, Physical, Social, Economic, Educational, Environmental and Political progression, Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan founded the Apalit Small Christian Communities (ASCOM) Foundation, Inc. in 1980 and served as the first president and first president emeritus of the Foundation in later years. His effort was rewarded in 1983 by the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines by honoring ASCOM as one of the top innovative development organizations in the Philippines. He emphasized during the national conference that what made ASCOM successful were its management concepts and practices:- (1) Sincerity in purpose and honesty in all aspects of operations with no exception. (2) All service was volunteer service. (3) Like a business concern, ASCOM prescribed ground rules. (4) The concept of self-help was helping people helped themselves. (5) ASCOM management kept an eye to the future: the movement must have continuity and this must be assured.

Capitalizing on the dramatic success of the ASCOM Foundation, Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan and his wife, the former Jesusa Mercado Lagman of Minalin, Pampanga whom he met when she was a young pharmacy student at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, founded also the ASCOM Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. in 1990. The multi-purpose cooperative initiates livelihood programs for members who are farmers, handicraft factory owners and small merchants as well as providing financial assistance to cooperative members in the form of low-interest bearing loans.

In the year 2000, the multi-purpose cooperative granted about eighty million pesos in loans to one thousand eight hundred eighty two members. Forty seven percent of the loans were for commercial purposes and the rest were for housing, manufacturing, agricultural, real estate purchases, vehicle purchases, educational, medical and other worthy purposes.

Through the vision and dedication of Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan, in its ten years of existence, the multi-purpose cooperative had grown from a few thousand pesos financial resource association to a sixty five million pesos financial institution. In the year 2000 alone, the efficient management of long-time General Manager, Ms. Petronila G. San Diego, President Romulo M. Manlapaz and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Professor Maria Socorro P. Calara, the multi-purpose cooperative had a gross income of about ten million pesos and a net surplus of about five million pesos. The multi-purpose cooperative, which won many awards in the past ten years from socio-civic societies and governmental agencies, is now a cooperative model, which attracts the attention of government officials and non-government agencies. It has been featured in many newspapers and magazines. The dynamic growth and financial success of the multi-purpose cooperative has been the subject of the thesis of university scholars and graduate students. Of particular interest were the 1999 site visits of Bishop Friederick Ostermann of the Diocese of Munster, Germany and Ms. Ma. Hildegarde Rometch, a consultant of the Pastoral Commission of the German Bishop's Conference who stayed several days in Apalit, Pampanga studying and observing the day-to-day operation of the multi-purpose cooperative. Research studies at the multi-purpose cooperative proved that the poor are good credit risks and have a high propensity to save if opportunity and motivation are given to them. If the poor are given better access to credit, the poor are willing and able to help themselves.

In 1991, Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan spearheaded the drive to build a modern hospital for the poor in Apalit, Pampanga and the surrounding communities. He reached out to his town mates and requested their support.

The Apalitenos residing in the United States of America answered Dr. Catacutan's call for assistance by forming ASCOM USA headed by Dr. Carlos R. Uyan, DVM and by his socio-civic-religious leader sibling, Jun R. Uyan. In coordination with the Apalitenos of Southern California USA led then by Sixto "Bob" Torres, Jr., thousands of dollars were raised to help financed the construction of the hospital facilities in Apalit, Pampanga.

In the Philippines, Brother Andrew Gonzalez who was then the president of De La Salle University, assisted Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan in raising funds to finally construct the ASCOM- De La Salle University Friendship Hospital on a piece of land donated by retired Colonel Ricardo Galang, PhD.

Former Secretary of Education Andrew Gonzalez and his relatives currently donate some of the operating funds of the hospital. Volunteer medical doctors and senior medical students from De La Salle University provide many hours of their time and effort to supplement the professional expertise of the regular doctors and nurses of the health facility.

Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan's exemplary service to his community did not go unnoticed by the public. In 1965, the San Fernando Jaycees awarded him a Plaque of Appreciation for his effective leadership as president of the civic organization. On December 11, 1985, the Awards Committee of the Provincial Government of Pampanga selected him as the "Most Outstanding Kapampangan for Community Service" in connection with the celebration of Pampanga Day. The University of the Philippines cited him with a Certificate of Appreciation for Innovative Approaches to Development in 1984 while the Makati Rotary Club International honored him with their National Award for Community service in 1992

For his devoted service to the Catholic religion, Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan was presented the O. V. Cruz Trophy as a Clergy Resource Speaker in Baguio City on August 4, 1982 and on September 17, 1983, he was conferred the Papal Award, the Noble Knightwood of the Pontifical Order of St. Sylvester. For his invaluable assistance in translating the Holy Bible to Kapampangan, the Philippine Bible Society presented him a Plaque of Appreciation on November 30, 1993. Five years later, the Religious of the Assumption - Philippines, conferred on him the Blessed Marie Eugenie Centenary Award at the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral.

In recognition of Dr.Vicente B. Catacutan's outstanding accomplishments in the medical profession, the Philippine Medical Association designated him as Most Outstanding Physician in Pampanga on May 16, 1990. On November 30, 1993, the Letran College Alumni Association selected him as Most Outstanding Professional.

Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan practiced his medical profession until June 1, 1994 when he suffered a Cerebral Stroke. Although he could no longer do strenuous physical activities, his brilliant mind and management skills are still being utilized by the ASCOM Foundation, the ASCOM Multi-Purpose Cooperative and by the ASCOM-De La Salle University Friendship Hospital.
His prolific literary pen does not stop with articles he writes for "Ing Mayap a Balita" and for "Ing Susi"of Akademyang Kapampangan and other publications.

The marriage of Dr. Vicente B. Catacutan and Jesusa Lagman-Catacutan produced two lovely daughters. The elder daughter, Carina married Juancho Ramos. They have three children: named John Vincent, Jonas Arvin and Aina Jorina. The younger sister, Celeste, married Medardo Tungol, Jr. They have two sons, Iob Lorenzo and Amos Paulo. ([email protected] - 10/19/2001)