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Ovation: Taking A Break With Rolando Maaba.

09/18/2014

Rolando MaabaMy parents have spent quite a bit of time in hospital waiting rooms this week.  Spending long hours waiting and worrying as their close friend was in surgery, they occupied the time with magazines, cable news and solitaire games on Mom’s iPad Mini.  I’m certain that a happy distraction would have been welcome, from time to time, as they waited patiently for news from behind closed doors.

Rolando Maaba is a happy distraction at the North Rockton Avenue campus of Rockford Health Systems in Rockford, Illinois.  While Maaba, 55, works for the hospital as a custodian, spends his break times playing the piano in the hospital’s lobby, hoping to bring some cheer to the relatives and loved ones of patients.

Although he does not read music, for about fifteen minutes each day, Maaba entertains guests with upbeat yet soothing songs that he plays from memory.  Many staff members allegedly believe his music boosts patients’ morale which can sometimes help them heal more effectively!

News of his piano playing at the hospital has spread throughout the community and lead to other opportunities including a weekly appearance at Francesca’s, a local restaurant, where he performs on Wednesday nights.

“The bottom line is I want to be helping guests who are waiting for their relatives after an emergency or a surgery and they’re worried.  When I play, they forget all their worries. – I can help these people be happy. – I hope to continue as long as I’m alive.” – Rolando Maaba.

A native of the Philippines, Maaba moved to Rockford in 1999 and has worked in the environmental services area of Rockford Health System since 2013.  Apparently, he is happy to give up his breaks during the workday to play the piano because having an audience has been emotionally uplifting for him as well.

I’m quite certain my parents would have welcomed a pleasant distraction like a musical janitor during the long hours waiting for news as they sipped hospital coffee while sitting in increasingly-uncomfortable waiting room chairs.

There can never be too many smiles in a hospital or too much music in our lives.

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3 Comments
  1. Amy Smth permalink

    What a wonderful way for him to use his musical gift!

    Like

  2. Delightful. What a nice respite.

    Like

  3. Anonymous permalink

    We would have been comforted! Kudos to Maaba!

    Like

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