Why is there a doctor in my shopping cart?

Dr. Gino Ang with wife Alma

Dr. Gino Ang with wife Alma

By Elton Lugay

For many years, Dr. Gino Ang has had a cozy career as an anesthesiologist in Connecticut.

Little did he know that in one of his medical missions to the Philippines, he would find his professional life taking a different turn and forking into the e-commerce business.

In 2011, he started the grocery shopping portal called AndyanAgad.com, a site he operates jointly with leading Philippine retailer Robinson’s Supermarket.

“I’ve dealt with many patients who tell me stories that oftentimes they receive allowances from their loved ones abroad specifically to buy groceries for their day-to-day yet they end up spending it for something else,” Ang began.

He created AndyanAgad.com for Filipinos looking for alternatives to cash remittance.

Overseas Filipino who wish to send their families groceries instead of money, can do so via AndyanAgad.com. The family in the Philippines can then pick up their goodies from designated Robinsons Supermarket outlets.

“Many of my customers are OFWs who find the service to be convenient and economical,” Ang said when interviewed by The FilAm.

“Our company recognizes the hard work and sacrifice of overseas Filipinos,” he stressed. “Andyanagad.com is the only online store that puts the wage earner in control. This ensures that what the Philippine relatives will receive are what they really need.”

Ang was assistant professor of anesthesiology at Yale University’s School of Medicine for three years before practicing anesthesiology at Milford Anesthesia Associates. He later became its medical director.

Now a full-time entrepreneur and community organizer, Ang has a lot more time to do medical missions to the Philippines as his way of “giving back.”

His first was a surgical mission in 2002. Five years later, he joined again but was disappointed to see Filipino patients not getting the attention they deserved.

“I was discouraged to see so many patients that waited for a chance to be selected for a free surgical procedure to cure or correct their ailment, only to be sent home without getting that chance,” he said.

He wanted to correct the “unfair” practice and decided to organize his own group “that would not have patients wait and not be seen.” In 2008, he led his first medical mission, “Tulong sa Kapwa,” with four surgeons in the team.

“We arranged to have patients pre-screened and scheduled their surgeries over the course of five days,” he said. “In all, we operated on 28 patients and sent no one home without being operated on.”

The five succeeding missions after that were just as efficiently organized, he said.

“I arranged for the mission’s location, types of cases to be performed, application for temporary physician licenses, procurement of supplies and equipment either purchased or through donations, travel and lodging logistics, security of the team if necessary, and finally provide rest and relaxation after the mission,” said Ang.

As a doctor and an online entrepreneur, Ang has managed to combine both capacities into a charity called the Operation Blessing Feeding program.

He said part of AndyanAgad.com’s earnings will be donated to various community service organizations in the Philippines.

“For instance, for every grocery package sold, a kilo of rice will be donated to Operation Blessing,” he said.

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