Hi folks! My name is Noel. You might be wondering if I was born on Christmas day, I was not. I got my name from my Father’s name, Manuel.I was born in the ‘Islands of Philipp’ in the Far East, the Philippines. I have a sister who is a year older, and a brother who is 7 years younger (yes, an ooooops baby). I lived a simple and a happy childhood, in a suburb 30 minutes south of the Manila.
The earliest memory I had of my childhood was waiting for my father to come from work sitting on top of a fence post. He would stop and put me on his shoulders and go for a short walk. I remember clearly the excitement I had seeing him down the road walking towards me. It was always a thrill being ‘up’ there. This is probably where my love of heights came from. I remember spending hours and hours atop a tropical tree doing my homework, relaxing and hanging out (literally) with my sister. I only had one painful memory when I was a child, I think I was 7 years old when I was given a pair of binoculars. I loved looking at it on the opposite side, making things look smaller than bigger. I was playing with this binoculars as I was stepping down a flight of steps, of course I missed the first step and fell with my head first! I did not cry believe it or not. Only when my mother came running towards me I started crying, not because of pain but more of fear. Afraid of the scolding I would get from her. I felt something was crawling on my forehead and I tried to brush it off with the back of my hand, it was blood then I passed out. I was rushed to the ER and received 5 stitches in my forehead. I believe this is the reason why I am so afraid of blood. Yes, I cover my eyes or turn away with the sight of blood on TV or movies.
I got my Bachelor’s degree in 1993. Worked in a hospital while preparing for my board exams. Applied for a job here in the US after passing my exams. I became a contract PT for a company based in Chicago, Illinois where I worked in various settings. A torn ligament and cartilage in my right knee brought me to Northwest Indiana. St. Margaret Mercy in Hammond, Indiana was the only one who was willing to hire a Physical Therapist with a 30 pound lifting restriction. It was during this part of my life I got introduced to manual therapy. A type of physical therapy that uses skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including mobilization and manipulation, to assess and treat soft tissues, joints, and other structures in the body. In one of the continuing education courses I attended, I was fortunate to have met Dr. Jojo Sayson, the first Doctor of Manual Physical Therapy in Illinois. He gave me the opportunity to manage one of his clinics. I relocated in Bourbonnais, Illinois where I received extensive training through the Ola Grimsby Institute Orthopedic Residency Program where Dr. Sayson is an instructor.
In 2003, I went back to Northwest Indiana to join my good friend Arlan Alburo in forming Orthopedic and Balance Therapy Specialists in Valparaiso, Indiana. We opened our Crown Point clinic in October of 2013 and we are going to LaPorte, Indiana March 2017.
I found opportunities to get more ‘air time’ (wink wink) here in the Midwest. I was in Six Flags the first day they opened in 1994. Went to Wisconsin Dells and bungee jumped twice (you should try jumping backwards, much more exciting). Went to Ottawa, Illinois for Sky Diving which I did twice (this should be in everybody’s bucket list). A minor car accident that jarred loose my inner ear crystals prevented me from pursuing more ‘air time.’
I spend most of my spare time with my wife Diana, who works part time as a nurse in Crown Point, Indiana and with my two sons, Noah who is 3 years old and Daniel, 8 months old. My Sundays are spent in Church singing in the Choir and teaching Sunday school.