Changing the medical landscape in Bacolod

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Monday, August 18, 2014

THE Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital, also known as the Riverside Medical Center, in Bacolod City turned 60 years old last week.

In 1954, Dr. Pablo Torre had embarked on a grand venture with nothing in mind but to deliver quality healthcare services to Negrenses.

He had converted a portion of his house beside the river to a simple eight-bed clinic.


Torre invited the Carmelite Sisters to administer the hospital when his clinic expanded to become Riverside General Hospital.

Later he opened the School of Midwifery and approved by the Ministry of Education in 1958. The School of Nursing followed a short time after. It later became College of Nursing. Soon, other health courses were opened.

In 1972, the Riverside Medical Center became a premier health care facility. The hospital is now named Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital (DPOTMH), in honor of its founder, while the school is named Riverside College.

Over the years, both the hospital and college have expanded to offer better and improved services.

Six decades after, the DPOTMH now becomes a hospital of 300 beds, and houses state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and is now considered one of the premiere centers of wellness in the country.

Truly a man of vision, Dr. Torre had changed the medical landscape in Bacolod and the province of Negros Occidental.

In line with the hospital’s 60th anniversary, and the 100th birthday of Dr. Torre, the management held a groundbreaking for the seven-storey building at the hospital compound last Friday.

Upon completion, this facility will bring the hospital capacity to 500 beds.

The 60th anniversary celebration lasted for a week, with various fun-filled activities that involved employees, students, and alumni.

Alumni from all over the world came home for the reunions.

There were literary contests, recognition of employees and students, a Balik Riverside get-together, batch reunions and a “Life at 60 Show” with a “Search for Señorita Angel De Torre.”

The “Angel de Torre” is a search for outstanding employee who personifies the standards of Dr. Pablo O. Torre Sr. as the ideal healthcare professional.

The different colleges of Riverside College also had an exhibit to showcase their courses. The Pharmacology and Psychology courses under the College of Arts won the best exhibit.

Personally, I can say that I “grew up” in Riverside. My father, Dr. Gil Octaviano Jr., is a medical consultant of Riverside since 1972, and my mother, Dr. Eufemia Octaviano, was the dean of the College of Nursing for 25 years. My brother was a school dentist and my sister still teaches in the school. I have also seen its growth and improvements.

Kudos to Riverside! I can still remember one of its slogans, “We take pride in Riverside.”

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 18, 2014.


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