Frances Burnett said that,
If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that...
The Mother Rita Barceló Award is conferred to an individual whohas shown affinity, sincerity, and dedication towards his work. Someone who, may not be an Alumni of La Consolcaion College Bacolod but follows Christ closely in our love for God and our neighbors thru authentic living of UNITY, CHARITY & TRUTH.
Prayer before work:
O God, let me dedicate my life today
to the care of those who come my way.
Let me touch each one with a healing hand
with the delicate work for which I stand.
Every day, he whispers this prayer before work: he genuflects and makes the sign of the cross before he enters the clinic. Some people marvel to this customary habit, yet there’s nothing ceremonial about these things, he does these to seek guidance for the work to be done and in gratitude for the opportunity to help so many.
This is how Dr. Ledesma starts an ordinary day.
Since 2000, he has offered free medical service without exception; regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status. He is providing free medicines to 30 patients every week and has performed over 1000 endoscopies for free in Silay, Bacolod, Bago, La Carlota, and Kabankalan. Skeptics sometimes raise some eyebrows on this altruistic act, yet he let us in on the secret, “You can live comfortably if you don’t strive to be super rich”.
Dr. Ledesma shared that the initial answer that one usually gives when asked why one wants to be a doctor is “to help/cure those who are sick”, yet he pointed out that the weight of these words weaken once others start to practice their profession. His income mainly comes from Philhealth, he conducts ten Endoscopy procedures on an average day, and that’s ‘enough’ for him to live comfortably.
He has given countless scientific lectures with the purpose of sharing updated information in internal medicine and gastroenterology gathered from international meetings to local physicians with the ultimate goal of providing the best possible care for the Filipino patient. He has attended various international conferences, being the sole Filipino speaker in Japan and Vietnam. He has been the only Filipino delegate to numerous scientific meetings in Paris, Greece, Japan, Huntington Beach, Coronado, Geneva, and Jerusalem. He is a recipient of several awards and among these are the St. La Salle award for most outstanding alumnus in 2007, Most Outstanding Negrense in the field of Medicine by the Negros Daily Bulletin in 2009, and the 2014 Divali Humanitarian award.
Dr. John Ledesma may not be an LCCian, but he carries the burning love for God manifested in the search for truth and love for neighbor shown in service to the poor and needy. A constant reminder that amidst everything that is happening around us, there’s this one person who makes a difference every day by making the world a lighter place to live in. The recipient of the Mother Rita Barcelo Award leaves us with this: "You don't have to be greedy. It's a choice you make, and I chose to be this way."
And so¸ Dr. Ledesma ends his days with this Prayer after work:
And when the day is done
let me rest in Your hand if have helped just one.
Before I finally sleep, I pray
give me strength to face yet another day.