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Yong Larrazabal on fatherhood: ‘Your children are your legacy’



The Larrazabal family: From left, Cian, Dr. Yong, Ysabella, mom Donna, and Gio. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines— How can one of the best eye surgeons in Cebu keep a strong bond with all his children even after a long day’s work?

Proper time management.

Doctor Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III told CDN Digital that he may have a full day ahead of him all the time but nothing can stand in his way in making time for his three children, Ysabella, 20, Cian, 17 and Gio, 13.

Doctor Yong, Cebu Doctors’ Group of Hospitals president and chairman of the board, said that nothing is more rewarding than being able to spend time with his children.

Read: Cebu Doc Group of Hospitals installs Dr. YONG Larrazabal

“I try to find their free time. As much as possible I bring them to school at least two to three times a week,” he said.

Being on top of the operations of one of the leading hospitals in Cebu, it is almost impossible to think that Larrazabal can still make it home for dinner with his kids and wife, Donna.

But he does.

“I also make it a point that we’ll be together for dinner, it is very important that we get to eat together at least once a day,” he said.

Aside from making it home for dinner and driving the kids to school, Yong, who is also a marathoner,   encourages his children to maintain an active lifestyle like him.

“I run everyday, so some of my kids run with me. We play Nerf games, go swimming and try to be active. [This] is our way of bonding,” he added.

Just like dad

Growing up, Yong recalls how he was exposed to the hospital and how it works and how people function as one to run a hospital. Now, it is his turn to bring his children with him to work, just like how his dad did with him.

“Growing up I always go with my dad at the hospital and that’s why I became a doctor and now all my kids as of now would also want to become doctors,” he said with a laugh.

But whatever path his kids decide on taking in the future, Yong says he will always be behind them to support them in achieving their dreams. Because, according to Yong, that’s a father’s role to his children.

“In life, no matter how much wealth you’ll acquire, how much titles, how much accomplishments, nothing will give you the satisfying feeling of being a parent. Your children are your legacy,” the doctor said. /bmjo

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