Indefatigable, well-loved Aklanon Florence Nightingale Mary Jane Abayon Pajarillo-Tupas is currently the Director of Nursing of Mohammad Dossary Hospital in Al Khobar, a city in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the coast of the Persian Gulf. This is a post which was entrusted to her for the last 15 years since 2001.
In 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred upon her two prestigious awards, the Bagong Bayani Award for Outstanding Employee and the Blas F. Ople Award para sa Natatanging Bagong Bayani in ceremonies in Malacañang Palace.
Twist of fate. Jane was 22 years old when she tied the knot with Noli Tupas from whom she has one child, Mary Knole. She was obviously enjoying her marriage life but then, she felt she has to venture. She was 27 years old when she left the country for an overseas assignment. She arrived in 1988 in the Arabian desert and worked in the clinic of Bechtel Company Ltd. From Dammam, the capital of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Jane moved to Al-Khobar. In1993, Jane started working for the Mohammad Dossary Hospital as a staff nurse. She was promoted as a Quality Management Coordinator and Infection Control Nurse and Development Officer thereafter.
She was named Director of Nursing on July 26, 2001. Under her guidance are the then growing workforce of 120 nurses of various nationalities. Built in 1956, the Mohammed Al Dossary Hospital is one of the leading hospitals, which greatly contributes to the development of health and medical services in the Eastern Province of the kingdom.
In the hospital, she initiated a campaign to raise Saudi Riyal 10,425.00 for tsunami victims in the Philippines in 2005. In 2011, she was elected President of the Philippine Nurses Association – Eastern Region. She is also involved in the affairs of the Philippine Society of Safety Practitioners, Al Fidasca or All Filipino Community and Sports Commission, Harmonicans Choir and World Medical Support Services Team.While abroad, she took time to earn her Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the Philippine Christian University Middle East Campus in 2012. She was elected President of the OFW 5th Congress as well as the Ro Aklanon Saudi Arabia.
Jane is now 50 years old. She was born on March 7, 1966 in Barangay Puis in New Washington, a fishing town on the eastern side of Aklan in Western Visayas.
In the past, she received numerous recognitions and special awards and made headlines in almost every newspaper in Saudi Arabia and in her home country. Mary Jane is extremely grateful to the MDH family especially to the Director General, Abdul Fettah Enayal for the trust and faith in Filipinos. While she has achieved much for her country, still the call for greater service rings softly on her ears.●
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. He has released two books – Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold (2014) and Filipino Heroes in the Gulf (2016). Connect with him on facebook.