World's first magnesium advocate priest carries on ministry of sheltering abandoned seniors in Philippines
When an elderly resident of his home for the aged—a rented residential house in the Philippines—was seen taking refuge on its roof during the flood in 2020, a donation amounting to more than Pesos 6 million (USD101650) was generated.
The amount was spent to build a home for the aged in Pililla, a town in Rizal, more than 40 kilometers south of Manila. The senior and elderly residents in the rented house in Marikina had moved to their new and own home in Rizal after its construction.
Donations from charitable individuals and groups from different parts of the country and abroad started pouring in, said Father Uldarico 'Dari' Dioquino, who is in charge of the Josefheim Foundation home for the aged.
Marikina, the shoe capital of the Philippines, is prone to flooding since it catches the water flowing down from the mountainous section of Rizal province. The city was put under a state of calamity following the floods brought about by Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), November 8-15, 2020.
The foundation rented a house in Marikina for five years to provide its senior and elderly inmates with a home.
"The house that we rented in Marikina sank in the flood," he said.
"The water climbed up to the second floor. Five residents and two caregivers nearly drowned."
The first group of residents was rescued and boarded a van to the evacuation center. The next group was fetched by rescuers using boats since they arrived when the water was already high. None of the residents got hurt.
Some 15,000 people needed evacuation. The Marikina River water level rose to 22 meters, exceeding the 21.5-meter level when Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), which claimed more than 200 lives, hit Manila in 2009.
The flood damaged the rented house, and the goods drifted away in the water.
"We were evacuated to a state-owned school in Tanong, Marikina. In December, we moved to St. Bridget School."
In March 2021, they moved to their own house in Rizal.
"A generous individual donated to the foundation one hectare of land in Rizal," he said. "The home for the aged is built on this donated land."
Dioquino and the residents of the home for the aged are grateful to Rolly Camposano for donating the land. Camposano hails from Gubat, one of the largest towns in Sorsogon, about 600 kilometers south of Manila.
"Aside from the donated one hectare, Camposano also lends us two hectares of land," Dioquino said. "We are farming the two hectares. We will grow vegetables, fruits, and trees. The income that will be generated will go to the foundation."
Kanlungan Ni Maria (Home for the Aged)
Dioquino had overseen and managed the first home for the elderly that he had overseen and managed. He served it for 13 years, from 2002 to 2015, sleeping in a cramped room together with the supplies for its residents.
When he left Kanlungan Ni Maria, it had 24 senior and elderly residents.
"After I finished my stint in Kanlungan Ni Maria, I took a sabbatical leave for two months," he said. "When I came back, we set up the Josefheim Foundation in October 2015."
Dioquino also worked as an assistant parish priest at Immaculate Parish Church in Marikina after serving the abandoned seniors and elderly in Kanlungan ni Maria. While serving the parish, he opened a hotline for parishioners in need of plumbers and technicians to fix their water supply and electrical appliances.
The parish served as a third party, processing transactions between parishioners and skilled people. The program was conceptualized to generate jobs for parishioners and offer clients trusted and skilled people.
The world's first magnesium advocate priest
Dioquino was introduced to magnesium therapy in 2014 when he met Dr. Mary Jean Netario-Cruz, a Filipino naturopath. At the time, he was priest-in-charge of the home for the aged in Kanlungan ni Maria in Antipolo, a city 17 kilometers south of Manila.
Dioquino had complaints of back pain and Charley Horse. So, he tried magnesium therapy. The painful areas on his body were sprayed with a magnesium solution several times. After hours, he started feeling some relief.
The residents who complained of body pains had also tried it and reported relief.
"The therapy especially works on mild cases of body pain," he said.
He became an advocate of magnesium therapy after witnessing its ability to address some health conditions like arthritis, back pain, frozen shoulders, muscle cramps, migraines, and stiff fingers. He joined magnesium therapy missions in Bohol and Sorsogon.
He learned that the store of magnesium in the body is depleted through an unhealthy lifestyle—excessive caffeine intake, alcoholism, stress, overwork, and some pharmaceutical drugs.
Body pains appear when the body drains its reserve of magnesium. It can be addressed, however, by depleting the body with minerals either orally or transdermally (via skin).
Magnesium is also used to address insomnia, anxiety, and panic attacks.
A patient with insomnia who refused to have his name disclosed claimed magnesium therapy had helped him get better sleep.
"I dissolved two tablespoons of Epsom salt in six tablespoons of water, then rubbed the solution on my forehead at bedtime. The solution was good for more or less three days."
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. When Epsom salt is food-grade, it can be taken orally. It's highly effective in treating constipation. But high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea when taken orally.
Replenishing the body with magnesium transdermally bypasses its laxative effects. Epsom salt is produced by evaporating water in a lake rich in magnesium sulfate.
Dioquino sprays his drinking water with mists of magnesium solution to keep himself topped up.
In an email response to this author's inquiry on March 12, 2015, Dr. Carolyn Dean confirmed that Dioquino was the first-ever priest to openly advocate magnesium therapy.
"I don't know of anyone else," Dean said. "So, he is likely the only magnesium-advocate priest."
Dean, a Canadian medical and naturopathic doctor based in the US, is the world's foremost magnesium advocate.
Dioquino finished theology at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and became an ordained priest in 1990.
He is currently an assistant priest at St. Therese of the Child of Jesus Shrine and Parish in the Diocese of Antipolo, near Manila.
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