Music and Mission: The Order of Malta Provides First Aid Services during Manila Cathedral Concert


The Order of Malta Philippine Association was once again tapped by the Archdiocese of Manila to provide first aid medical services during its 7th Pipe Organ concert entitled “Prayer Through Music: A Recollection-Concert” held at the Manila Cathedral last Friday, 27 October 2017.

The concert was held in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Musicam Sacram, the Vatican II instruction on Music in the Liturgy. Performers during the concert included Filipino soprano Rachelle Gerodias, the Manila Cathedral Basilica Choir, the St. Mary’s Academy choir and the Bukas Palad and Hangad Music Ministry who performed under the supervision of Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also moved the audience when he sung “Hesus na Aking Kapatid.”

In his message, Cardinal Tagle reminded the audience that Catholics should not be content with the performance and appreciation of liturgical music. While the Cardinal lauds Filipinos for their active singing and participation during the Holy Mass, the Cardinal reminded his listeners that singing, as a form of prayer, finds its fulfilment outside the Mass. “Active participation in the liturgy must also lead to active participation in the mission,” the Cardinal said.

It was a timely message not only for the concert’s audience but also for the volunteers of the Order of Malta, most of whom came from gruelling 12-hour hospital shifts. Despite what has already been a tiring day, the volunteers were more than happy to be of service to the concertgoers.

“Tonight, we didn’t feel like we were volunteering. We enjoyed the music. We even had the pleasure of a Cardinal singing for us,” quipped Del, one of the Order’s volunteer nurses.

The Order’s First Aid station was manned by two doctors, eight nurses and two orderlies coming from San Juan de Dios Hospital and San Martin de Porres Charity Hospital. Two ambulances from both medical institutions were also on standby for emergency cases.

As the concert was about to end, the volunteers responded to a call for help from the organizers when a 63-year old female patient suffered an allergic reaction to an unknown trigger. The said patient exhibited inflammation of the lips and slurred speech. She received anti-allergy medications and was advised to proceed to the emergency room. Her family, however, opted to bring her to the Medical City in Ortigas. Even though the patient decided not to avail of the ambulances on standby, the OMP staff assisted the elderly woman until she was safely inside her vehicle. No other untoward incidents were referred to the First Aid station throughout the duration of the concert.

As part of its mission to care for people in need, the Order of Malta Philippines has been a key provider of medical services during public events. The Archdiocese of Manila has regularly requested first aid medical services from the Order since 2015.

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Magistral Palace, Via Condotti, 68 Rome - Italy Tel. +39.06.67581.1 |