MANILA, Philippines - He was a Bagobo orphan left on the banks of a river when he was adopted by

a Davao del Sur family. He wanted to be a pilot, but his adoptive mother’s cancer made him decide to
take up medicine. He passed the board, and was on his residency when he was invited to work at an
air base in Saudi Arabia. It was easy for him to leave.
"I was more of an artist at the time. I sculpt, I paint, I performed in a band. I was known as an artist
more than as a doctor."
It was at the Middle East base that he discovered operational medicine; a field that he says isn't as
ripe in the Philippines as it is in other countries. He describes it as the umbrella for emergency
medicine, combat medicine, wilderness medicine, expedition medicine, travel medicine and disaster
"I like it more in the field," he says. "I see people fresh in the field. I see how people react when they
are being pinned down, or under a collapsed structure, or inside a bus that has turned turtle. I've
seen how a man looks like he is the most unfortunate creature on earth. And when he sees you,
whoever you are, whatever your color is, he sees an angel in you."
That look is what brought a boy from Davao to the front lines of disaster. The man field operators call
Doc Ted has headed some of the most dangerous rescue operations in the country, including the
Leyte landslide and the aftermath of typhoon Sendong. He is a certified flight surgeon, and was the
expedition doctor for the 2007 team that climbed Mt. Everest.
"It makes it hard for you to go out with all the ugly things happening around when you are trained to
work in a neat, soft environment. And then you are in the midst of so many people wailing and yelling
and destruction all around."
He stops and smiles. "I think it's not very good for a doctor's psyche."
The car
When he was a boy in elementary school, Ted Esguerra broke the rules and went swimming with his
classmates in the middle of the day. The river was fast, and he almost drowned. It is why his goal
has always been to intervene. He was saved, and he hoped he could too. He says being a rescuer is
a way of life, that rescue works its way into how he thinks and acts. There are two knives just in the
cockpit of his car, and another two in his person. He keeps what he considers the basics of
communication here: glow lights, a satellite phone, a spot tracker that can triangulate his coordinates
in case he is taken, and an am-fm radio with a built-in GPS. He carries IDs from the international
disaster response network and accreditation for cardiac and trauma emergency rescue in case he is
asked on the field.
He has a helmet on the dashboard with a headlight that will burn safely even in methane-heavy
environments. He has a flashlight with a blood-tracking light, in case he is hunting for an injured

dopamine. A small black box holds invasive medication: cordarone. anti-bacterial creams. along with Betadine antiseptic. He has emergency rations. His other flashlight doubles as a blade. Behind the driver’s seat is a water purification system. He has medication for itchy eyes. power scissors.bleeder. He has a laceration kit. as well as ear plugs for rescues with choppers. He carries condoms in his hydration kit. Rescue 1 has a built-in searchlight. a thermoscan for body temperature and a capnometer to measure carbon-dioxide. I know where I'm going to find my trauma kit. hand sanitizers. “This is a seatbelt cutter-windshield smasher-flashlight combo. He also has a windshield smasher and a seatbelt cutter. sodium bicarbonate. Every chance he has he unpacks and repacks one of his four backpacks. a tactical light. Redundancy. while driving he drills himself through possible emergency scenarios. and a non-glowing map-reading light. He also carries what he calls the loudest whistle on earth. I can just cut and run. loaded with what he suspects is millions worth of emergency supplies he financed for years using income as a trainer." His standard backpack. he also has backup. The bag Esguerra has 16 hours of airtime as a helicopter pilot. "When I open the bag. with bandages. epinephrine. Outside he has gauges for blood pressure and pulse rates. Rescue 1 is responsible for saving a total of eleven lives. He trains in his spare time. morphine. to signal anyone with night vision. He has a trauma kit.” And because he believes anything is possible. The condoms are for storage. and was once a professional scuba diver. and a kit for blood borne pathogens. including two infants he tossed into his backseat during waist-deep floods at the height of typhoon Falcon. hot and cold packs. The bag has a section for hydration and other basics like trauma scissors. and the treatment necessary for everything from malaria to open chest wounds. always redundancy. Eight drops can be used to purify water. a hypothermia blanket. adenosine. an OB kit—although he has only delivered two babies in the field—a burn kit. and another gadget to check on surface heat. or cut out another victim. “If there is an accident and I am slumped in my car. bandages and antiseptics. has a built-in c-collar and pelvic sling for trauma victims. creams with steroids. He says he gets bored outside the field. anti-fungal creams. an oxygen pressure gauge. He saves packets of sugar from coffee shops to add to his emergency rations. He has an airway kit that includes all that is necessary for everything from needle decompression to suctioning infants. a pen light. smash the windshield. the 40-pound monster he carries everywhere. He drives a ’99 Explorer Pajero he calls Rescue 1. .

needs a doctor. hazardous materials. The situations change. I would render my salute. Not only to the rank. and paid ex-cons instead. They are required to strip the prostitute and make a full patient assessment of injuries set up by Esguerra. They volunteered for the work when they found out Esguerra was looking. "I used a prostitute--sorry for the word--and she earned money in the right way. look at the testes and look at the anus if there are injuries there as well. I deserve being hurt. How can you treat me if I split my testes and am wearing dark pants? If I'm bleeding. is when there are children on the field that he cannot save. not hanky-panky things on the bed. innocent children. but to the person. And believe me. and is sent with his crew to disaster zones. Esguerra's students work as if the ambulance is still on the way. will you see the blood? You have to open up the pants. You cannot treat what you cannot see. all the evil intentions and all the ways of waging war against somebody. we have a rule. says Esguerra. “I can’t stand by and watch when children are hurt." Esguerra is the Officer in Charge of the Philippine Coast Guard's elite rescue team.He flips over another panel." Esguerra's technique became an issue. The man The worst. He was responsible for training many of them into volunteer firefighters. bombing. It’s like I don’t see the justice. "In EMS.” . the prostitutes are paid to act as casualties all the way to the second assessment on the field. often rappelling down from helicopters to rescue sites. His other backpack has a stretcher. being injured. and include earthquake. He takes his team through repeated training. He says students are more confident on the field after handling real people on training instead of dummies and diagrams." In Esguerra’s program. Daily. Ted Esguerra carries an oxygen tank. He stopped hiring prostitutes. he says. flood. But not these young. combat and trauma. He admits he has gotten into trouble for hiring prostitutes for demonstration work. It is training especially for situations with multiple trauma victims. Their mandate by law is to save lives. I am more comfortable. "If I see my superior working with me in the front lines of disaster. The doctor Every rescue team. with all the ugly things in my head.

” He admits his work takes him away from his family. then unpacks his bag again. he says. and jogs with her husband in the morning. whom he met during his residency. He says she hates that he is always at risk. Three things. It is difficult to classify Esguerra. but then a text message would come. maybe saint. His songs have won national awards and presidential recognition.) . tried often. is also a member of the Coast Guard. Adrian Portugal and John Javellana. Husband. and sometimes he agrees.He smile is almost apologetic. “Sometimes the tears just come. He solves the dilemma quickly. Scoring “Diulan” by Moon Fear Moon. She has a ready smile for his random guests. as he does on most field emergencies. Father. because it’s what he does. Humanitarian worker. Then he goes back. although his smallest one still cries at the thought of their house burning. (Video by Patricia Evangelista. His wife. a thank you for a brother’s life saved or word of a storm in Cagayan de Oro. although McGyver and Rambo are possible references. He is doctor and soldier and maybe poet. He has tried to quit emergency work. Then he picks up a guitar and begins singing. Esguerra has three children—all of whom are trained to react quickly in case of disaster. He grins.

Ted "Everest Doc" T. been there and done that. Let this page serve as a tribute to him and an affirmation of his greatness specially in this time of Typhoon Yolanda Disaster . he's there. name it. . He's the Man Meet the Unsung Hero during every major and minor disasters that hit our country. Ted Esguerra. November 12. Esguerra. 2013 Profile: Dr. A Hero for All Seasons (and Disasters) Dr.Tuesday.

rescuing. Everest team. Mountain Medicine and Expedition Medicine. mass casualty incident management training. that's a true idol. Dive Medicine. He is all over the country specially in times of heavy and ordinary disasters. friend. Aviation Medicine.. a member of Philippine Coast Guard elite rescue and medical team and The Philippine Mt. many countries are offering him "no one can refuse salaries" but he choose to stay for the love of country. etc. healing and touching people's lives. he's not just the man. Scintillan brother. Doc Ted known to many is a wilderness rescue and expedition physician. advance disaster life support. but a true man of action. speaker and trainer here and abroad. . Ted 'Everest Doc' Esguerra despite his busy and erratic schedule for our wilderness rescue.I had an opportunity to meet up with Dr. He is the only Rescue and Wilderness physician with special skills in Polar Medicine. He is a sought after lecturer. Combat Medicine. I would like to introduce to you this amazing guy. Philippine's pride and gem and unsung hero. teaching in rescue academy etc. training local government units.

At the height of Typhoon Ondoy in Marikina .

Coast Guard team in a sunken ship .

Dr. Dr. Ana May Endonilla. Wenceslao (Wency) Marcos Blas. "Complete gear. Hector Alvarez. Dr. so inspired by this brother motivated to have our own disaster and rescue team led by Dr. complete mind set. Ted. We are proud to be trained by Doc Ted. to be a support group in time of disasters. Gesel Agustin. yours truly Ronnie Bernardo. Jon Takeda. Auden Perucho and Atty. complete heart for saving life"-Doc Ted .Rescue as a way of Life Our Fraternal brothers. Dr. Lito Ferrer formed the SJAS Disaster Team. Dr. Cyril Merin.


loaded with full battle gear .Me with Doc Ted's Rescue Pajero.

. I wonder what else this doctor can not do? We just hope and pray that his tribe may increase and God to bless him more. drug addicts and make them productive in the society. a man of science and medicine. a life coach to many. he composed poems and songs (tulawit) both in English and Tagalog with beautifully crafted words and message for peace and environmental awareness.heliconprojects. we are proud to be trained and disciplined by you. he revolutionized traditional concepts & practices in rescue and disaster management. a man of arts and music.He is a man of God and faith. he could play many musical instruments like guitar.html#sthash.dpuf . a man of peace for his peacekeeping efforts in Mindanao and as a combat physician in Afghanistan for the Filipino troops. kulintang and flute and not not only that a voice that can mesmerize and raise funds for a worthy cause.See more at: http://www. unknown to many he also changed the lives of in prisons. a man of sports with martial arts and self defense as one of his expertise. voice that can move over other singing groups and rock bands (you should watch and listen to his music. it's in YT). Thank you Doc Ted for the support.tG9u9Web. very impressive. reinvented the Austere Medicine.

Malaysian. Doc Ted considers himself "a hard core humanitarian worker." he admits. He took his medical board examination in 1996. "I like flying. Unknown to many. My childhood dream was to be a pilot. April 14. Tacio Wednesday. part of which is high altitude medicine. He stayed for the most part at the base camp. "But I was so active in the world of activism and music which cost my studies. It was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta. "I always render and facilitate humanitarian support locally and internationally. "I was an ambulance doctor there handling both ground and air. Singaporean. "Along the way. remote and wilderness rescue and conducting training anywhere. Doc Ted is with the Philippine Coast Guard Medical Service handling air medical evacuation. which extends works particularly in the hostile areas of the world. Doc Ted – as he is popularly called by his friends and colleagues -also took charge of the nutrition." he admits." Join our online chat Aside from taking care of the health of everyone. "We climbed lower peaks to train and adapt to the environment where we were in. everyone!" Doc Ted had his initial studies in Davao Medical School Foundation (from 1989 to 1991). Esguerra. Balangay is a wooden watercraft adjoined by a carved-out plank edged through pins and dowels. a flight surgeon who is an expert on emergency medical services. Indonesian." he tells M. South African." Then. Nobody just climbs the highest peaks there without acclimatizing. We’ll make each day a safer one by training anyone how to save lives. Italian." He is connected with the Knightsbridge International Humanitarian Organization." Today. Spanish. Doc Ted became the most popular figure in the mountain when he rendered medical treatment for free (where charges were as much as US$75 for checkups and treatments). I ended up a doctor to everyone – Tibetans." he says. "Right now. Israeli. Belgian. and the acclimatization training before the climb. 2010 DOCTOR Teofredo T. "I usually handle the difficult advance life support interventions. "We stayed for three months around the Himalayan ranges to acclimatize our bodies to high altitude. which is 18. American. "I stopped for a year and concentrated on pursuing music and arts. I found glory in that. said those words in 2006 when he was part of the Filipino team who scaled the world's highest peak. French. He had his aviation medicine training when he was working at the Armed Forces Hospital Southern Region in Saudi Arabia. German." he says.By Henrylito D. the safety procedures. . Nepal’s Mount Everest. where he finally graduated in 1994.000 feet above sea level." He is also part of the Balangay team as assistant expedition leader. the rescue evacuation if something happened. I am busy teaching rescue and humanitarian operations to several local composite rescue teams. He attended the Bicol Christian College of Medicine. Swiss. he had the chance of going back to school.

I mean my expertise is saving lives in the field. We just talk how we can redeem the poor. they were already gone – not your way of saying goodbyes. I could have extended some skills I have on them. "I played along the Miral River and took a bath. Part is this rhyme: "Saving life is my sole game. Careful teaching is my fame. he wrote several lines about his existence in this world. Davao del Sur. "The time I went home. In one of his poems." Although he is now a practicing Muslim." he laments. Worst is that I am a doctor and my parents died not in my arms." But there were some regrets though. "In the humanitarian world." . where he had so many fond memories." Doc Ted is also song writer and poet. "I never had the chance to visit my parents often while they were still alive. When he became a man of his own.Indeed. long way since he was a little boy growing up in Bansalan. Doc Ted has a long. he respects other religions." he recalls. "I biked around the town. we don’t talk about politics and religion. he left his family and went to Luzon. I feasted on durian during its season. and hunted wild ducks on some occasions. watched waling-waling blossomed at the backyard. I could have done it on my parents.

  Home About us  Current cases   Videos Upcoming events  Comments & prayers   Members News Archive  Make a donation  Borggren Paintings  Contact us .

and Tactical Medicine for the International Emergency Response Training Academy (IERTA). the Medical Control for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) composite teams for the Guinness World Record marathon for the Pasig River. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). and over-all Medical Control of the CamSur International Ironman 2011.A. Consultant of the TAO Corporation Emergency Operations Center. Advanced Life Support. Expedition Medicine for Tropical and Alpine Mountain Operations. He is a Flight Surgeon and the Officer-in-Charge of the elite medical rescue team: The Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART) of the Philippine Coast Guard. Humanitarian International Services Group .com. for the Coast Guard. He is trained on Urban and Wilderness Rescue. He is also a senior instructor on Technical Rescue. the Medical Officer of the International Tribal Games. He is an active member of the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA-USA). Wilderness Rescue. Teofredo ‘Ted’ T. Aquatic/Dive Medicine and high altitude medicine. Everest Expedition Team and the Voyage of the Balangay.Dr. Teofredo 'Ted' Esguerra Flight Surgeon & OIC Philippine Coast Guard Elite Medical/Technical Rescue Team www.U. Mountain Medicine.). and for some of the rescue organizations and communities around Southeast Asia. disaster management. Aerospace Medical Association of the Philippines. Aviation Medicine. Mass Casualty Incident Management. Disaster Medicine. Head of the composite EMS teams of the Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM). the Wilderness Doctor of the The North Face (TNF) international marathon events. for the Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician Course of Bright Center. and Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). He is a certified American Heart Association (AHA) Instructor for the Basic Life Support (BLS).ph Dr. which deals on the issues of life saving.T. Esguerra is the Expedition & Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Physician of the Philippine Mt. Tactical Medicine.coastguard. safety and rescue. He is once one of the hosts of the new TV program of UNTV titled QUICK ACTION TEAM (Q.

philippine-everest. and the Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation. National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT-USA).balangay-voyage. security and safety.(HISG).com www. Wilderness Medical Society (WMS-USA). Port Area. The PHILIPPINES BACK . CG Medical Service. He can be contacted on these addresses: www. Saving Lives Together. He is the founding Vice President of the Philippine Association of EMS Personnel (PAEMSP). Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Search & Rescue Unit Foundation. International Urban Search & Rescue (IUSARSingapore). in promoting humanitarian and pre-hospital care. the assistant Expedition Leader of the Balangay Expedition. He received numerous national and international awards and commendations for his outstanding feats in saving lives. Inc (SARUFI).. +639209115428 Operational Medicine. and the World Association of Disaster & Emergency Medicine (WADEM-USA). mass casualty incident management. high altitude and wilderness medicine.mozcom rted@mail. and an avid supporter of the humanitarian and environmental organizations like the Knightsbridge International. National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physician (NAEMSP-USA). advanced medical and technical rescue operations. in protecting the environment and in preserving the culture and the arts.emsvillage. National Association for Search & Rescue (NASAR-USA). International Disaster Response Network (IDRN). Philippine Coast Guard. 139 25th st. He is frequently invited to talk on TV and radio. International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM-USA). interviewed by print media and do lectures around Southeast Asia mainly on the topics of disaster preparedness. Physicians For Peace (PFP). and on the issues of the Balangay and Everest Expeditions.