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“The Friendly Doctor”
Whenever the name Dr. Noli Fortades is mentioned, it rings a bell to most
Buluseños especially those who know him personally or even those who have only
heard about him.
He is equally popular among his peers in the medical profession in the
provinces of Albay and Sorsogon and in other social circles that he is in.
He is also close to people from all walks of life and is well loved by
his patients at his clinic in Legaspi City.
It’s all because he is very pleasant to talk with, has always a ready
smile for everyone, charming and accommodating.
They feel at ease and comfortable with him as he is a real gentleman and
a very friendly doctor.
Although an EENT specialist, Dr. Fortades does not charge exorbitant fee
like other doctors with the same expertise.
For Buluseños, consultation with him is free and even to others who
really cannot afford due to extreme poverty but in need of his services.
What endears him more to others is his sincerity and honesty in dealing
with people - rich or poor, professional or not.
Despite his social prominence, he is an epitome of humility and has deep
concern for the masses.
This is proven by his regular attendance in the yearly civic action in
Bulusan. Despite the long distance
that he has to travel from Legaspi City, he does not mind it at all. It's because he knows his indigent townmates are anxiously
waiting for him. They are in need
of his services.
Dr. Fortades is not only concerned for the health of his kababayans.
It is also his earnest desire to improve the lives of families in
far-flung barangays who are wallowing in poverty.
To help alleviate their situations, he sends their talented children to
college in Legaspi City so they could support their families when they become
He has his way of support them in their pursuit of higher education
without making them totally dependent on him, thus enabling them to finish their
courses with dignity. He takes them
in as household and clinic assistants while he shoulders all their expenses in
school and other allowances. Once
they have graduated and have found jobs fitting for their professions, he lets
go of them. Then he takes in another batch of high school graduates from the
poorest of the poor families. As of
now, he has already made many professionals in the fields of engineering,
architecture, education, accountancy, and other courses.
His generosity does not end there. He
is always in full support of the projects being undertaken in his home barangay
of Buhang, Bulusan. To further help
in their fundraising in the benefit dance during their fiesta celebration which
is usually done in pompous style, he declines the free entrance at the gate
given as a matter of courtesy to him. Instead,
he does not only pay for his ticket but also for his friends who could not get
in because of the high-ticket cost. Not only do his friends
enjoy the free entrance but also their tables, drinks, pulutans, and
the hug and dance with the sexy ladies around.
Despite the high admiration accorded to him by different sectors of the
society, it never made him swellheaded. Dr.
Fortades remains a very simple and humble man.
With such admirable qualities in him, he was an excellent material for an
elective position in the government during his younger years.
But no amounts of proddings from known political leaders could convince
him to enter the political ring. Had
he consented to run for public office then, most probably he would now be
holding a high position as a public servant.
But then again, politics is not really his cup of tea.
Dr. Fortades could have made himself a rich man if he took advantage of
his profession as an EENT specialist and thought only of himself and his family.
But, to accumulate wealth at the expense of the people he has sworn to
serve is farthest from his mind. To
him, whatever little thing that comes to him is a blessing from God which should
be shared with others especially those who have less in life to improve their
His attitude has alrady been like this ever since childhood.
His friends could not come up with any negative comments about him.
They say he was already very friendly even to new acquaintances.
Although he belonged to a well-off family in their barangay, he has shown
already his closeness to his poor playmates.
Though he is popularly known as Noli, his real name is Elino - the second
child of the late couple Mr. Pedro Fortades, a public school teacher, and the
former Sophia Guysayko, both of Barangay Buhang.
He is married to the former Marisol Arnedo of Sorsogon City, a nurse now
based in the USA. The couple has
five children: Minerva, a doctor of
optometry; Marita, a doctor of medicine; Raul, a medical technologist; Rommel, a
civil engineer with a master's degree in civil engineering; and Marian Grace, a
If only people with the same stature as Dr. Fortades would adopt his
principles and philosophy in life, there will be no peace and order problems in
our community which are mainly caused by greed for power and wealth.
To DR. NOLI G. FORTADES, we salute you.
You are a rare breed of a man who will leave a very wonderful legacy
truly worth emulating by the generations yet to come.
Vol. XVI No.2 (March - April 2004)
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