Once a vibrant farmer, Diokno’s life took a dramatic turn when he lost his hearing in 2018. He’d resigned himself to a life without medical care since then. But all of that changed when he learned about a medical mission in their community, which provided him with his first eye checkup in his entire life.

Diokno Mambagimbay is a 51-year-old Lumad (belonging to the indigenous group) farmer who lives in Kitaotao, Bukidnon. Of all his seven children, only four lived with him and his wife, as the others had moved out to find work and raise their own families.

Diokno is a hardworking man who spends most of his days tending to his crops. He is a proud father who does his best to provide for his family, but life was not always easy for them. In 2018, Diokno began to experience hearing loss, making it challenging for him to communicate with others and tend to his farm.

Despite his disability, Diokno never lost hope and worked tirelessly to provide for his family. He learned to use a hearing aid to help him communicate more effectively, but he knew that his hearing loss could worsen over time.

When Diokno learned about Operation Blessing’s Medical Brigade that was going to be held in their community, he had heard that the mission would offer free medical check-ups, including eye consultations, which he had never had before.

“At my age, I know it’s normal for my eyes to deteriorate gradually, but when I heard about the free eye checkup, I couldn’t pass it up. I had to be there,” he explained.

Though nervous and unsure of what to expect, Diokno was hopeful that the medical volunteers could help him with his vision and any other health concerns he might have.

The doctor examined his eyes and confirmed that Diokno needed eyeglasses.

“I’m so happy I got my first eyeglasses! This would help me tend my crops more efficiently.”

When he returned home, Diokno showed his new eyeglasses to his family. They were all amazed and grateful for the kindness of the medical team who had helped him.

“To Operation Blessing, thank you that your help reached our remote town. This is a remarkable experience for our tribe!” Diokno said.

Help us reach more indigenous people like Diokno by supporting our HEALTHCARE programs! Go to www.operationblessing.ph for more details.