A Medical Surprise

By Steven Hammond


I’ve been on Boracay now for quite a few years and thought that I knew where everything was. But just recently a friend of mine (Joe Riley) wrote a piece for Boracay Sun News about his cancer problem. He was so happy with the treatment he received at a local clinic, and he holds it extremely high in comparison with other hospitals that he has attended in several much larger places than our small little Island – that he asked me to write this short piece about it.


Over the years there’s been many complaints about the lack of quality medical facilities and certainly specialized treatments here. So you can imagine my surprise (shock actually) when he told me that he was going for facial surgery for his cancer to a local clinic in Manocmanoc that I never knew existed.


Enter SALAVER Clinic and Doctora Marion Salaver-Bassig, MD, FPSOHNS.


Tucked away inside the quiet little compound of Kingfisher Farm you will discover a modern medical facility that looks and feels like you are in a big city clinic or hospital. Expertly designed and furnished by Doctora Marion’s mom (a big name Boracay interior designer), just three years ago, it was transformed from “a clinic in my garage” at the back of our family home just a few yards away, into Marion’s dream modern day medical clinic.


Hailing from a medical background on her father’s side, many old timers here will recall Marion’s, dad who was one of, if not the first doctors to practice on Boracay. She began studying medicine at University Sto Thomas, and then in Iloilo. Although being born in Kalibo, Marion was brought up and spent her formative years on Boracay.


So how did Joe find out about SALAVER Clinic? Luckily for him, his daughter is a member of the gym at Kingfisher Farm, and she had a painful wart on the sole of her foot that needed removing. She passed by the clinic entrance on her way to the gym, and seeing as it looked so modern and nice, in she went. And of course, she recommended it to her dad who was deliberating going to Iloilo or Manila for his surgery.


Not surprisingly, Joe was a little reluctant at first, but as soon as he attended a consultation with the young but professionally confident doctor, she easily gained his confidence. And believe me, that’s not an easy thing to do with Joe. But he was impressed enough to book himself in for a three and a half hour operation.


Just before the operation, I was talking with another friend of mine and mentioned the clinic. He was full of praise for it also as his wife (Mae) regularly attends there for a skin ailment. And she has done so since the early days of the ‘garage clinic’. After being a patient for so long, Mae has become quiet good friends with the doc, and sings her praises highly, and guess what – my wife is next on the list as a patient for an ear problem that she suffers from. That’s what you call first class word-of-mouth marketing…


I was curious if the doc had any ambitions of exporting her obvious talents elsewhere in search of bigger things. But as many of us can attest to; the love of Boracay keeps us here, despite the lure of fame and fortune elsewhere.


But Marion does have a plan for the future. Her home and heart are on Boracay, and she sees a great future for the Island as a medical tourism destination. She went on to say. “Just like the Philippines, our Asian neighbor Thailand is a famous tourist destination. One of their big successes in tourism has come from the added industry of medical tourism whereby people needing treatment can book a holiday and receive world class treatment for their ailments at the same time. If They can do it, so can we.”


And I agree wholeheartedly – what better place to recuperate than on our sunny shores…


Doctora Marion Salaver is a member of:

  • The Philippine Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PAFPRS)

  • Philippine Academy of Aesthic Surgery (PAAS)

  • Fellow of Facial Aesthetic Core of ENT Surgeons (FACES)


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