UPCM Class of 1967: The 2022 Emerald Jubilarians
Push One U.P.: CLASS 1967’s Emerald Gift to UPCM
By Teodoro V. Santiago, Jr., UPCM 1967
UPCM Class 1967, this year’s Emerald Jubilarians are shown with former UPCM Dean Dr. Agnes Mejia, after being honored as UPMAS Class of the Year on December 21, 2017. Continuing the class’s track record of serving and helping UP and PGH, a class member, Dr. Gregorio Pastorfide (8th from the right, 3rd row), was appointed to the UP Board of Regents in 2022.
As 2022 approached, Class 1967 pondered whether to have a final bequest to UPCM to mark its Emerald anniversary. It voted to do so in May 2021. Choosing from a few projects, the class finally settled on helping the UPCM Postgraduate Program. The idea for this project came from a message sent by UPCM Dean Charlotte Chiong on 7/18/2021 to two class 67 members who were recent donors to the Acta Medica Philippina. In it, she expressed a wish that she could also have some funds to recruit and prepare deserving faculty to embark on a PhD journey. The decline in faculty members holding PhD degrees at the University of the Philippines has been a concern for some time. In 2011, then UP President Alfredo Pascual sent his vice president Dr. Gisela Concepcion to the USA to appeal to UP alumni abroad for financial help in increasing the number of PhDs in the university faculty. In years past, about 30 percent of the faculty held advanced degrees; these had diminished in 2011 to less than 10 percent. In one of her stops, Dr. Concepcion was hosted by the UPMASA Baltimore-Washington Chapter on 11/3/2011 where she was quoted as saying that UP had slid in rankings from #62 to #342 and that in Asia, universities in Singapore, Japan, India, China, Taiwan and even Thailand had overtaken UP in worldwide rankings. The primary factors involved in these rankings included the number of PhDs in the faculty, and the number of research grants, publications, and citations of those publications.
Dean Chiong’s letter was circulated to Class 1967 and the class voted to support her appeal. We planned a total outlay of $100,000 ($10,000 per year for a total of 10 years). The primary goal was to financially help junior faculty members at UPCM aspiring for a PhD degree and once attained, providing them with seed money for a research grant. Half of this amount i.e., $5,000 per year was to come from the annual earnings of Class 67’s UPMASA PEF. For the remaining amount, voluntary contributions were solicited from within the class, aiming for a total of $50,000. Within days of the announcement, the Class 67 Philippine-based group jumpstarted the collection with a donation of P1 million. With donations in the USA continuing until July 2022, the fund has already exceeded its original $50,000 goal. On March 25, 2022, the Philippine-based classmates turned over a check for P1 million to UPCM that got the project underway, and funded for its first two years.
This emerald gift to UPCM nicely complements an earlier donation of $110,000 by two class members to the Acta Medica Philippina. The UPCM medical journal had been financially struggling to publish 6 times a year and had a greater than 6 month backlog in publishing accepted papers. Since the donation, the Acta has gone to a twice per month publication and according to SCImago Journal Watch, citations of its papers have significantly increased. Between these two initiatives, Class 67’s expectation (and hope) is for U.P. to continue to deliver a first rate educational experience to her students while strengthening a culture of scientific investigation and increasing the number of research grants.
When the class graduated from UPCM in May 1967, the college was clearly the best in Asia. Only two schools for the purpose of licensure were then considered by New York State as being equivalent to an American or Canadian medical school: UPCM and the American University of Beirut. As reported in JAMA’s annual licensure issues in the 1970’s, UPCM was the best foreign medical school in terms of licensure passing statistics in the USA. In giving this donation, Class 67 clearly believes that there is no reason that this past international reputation cannot be reclaimed. That aim is evident in the name of our project: Push One UP. It calls on the spirit of the U.P. fight song (Push On U.P.) to reclaim that number one spot. Alternately, it also conveys our vision of pushing UPCM faculty up, one teacher at a time!
UPCM Class of 1972A: The 2022 Golden Jubilarians
From the Summer of ‘72 emerged 96 beings -each one a carrier of cosmic germ and what Dean Herrera aptly called his pietras serenas. From undefined marble pieces, 96 beings molded into Renaissance masterpieces.
From the innocence of the 50’s and ushered into the turbulence of the 60’s thru the 70’s, Class 72A has been through it all, searching for the eternal truths and for the meaning of self and one’s relationship with the universe. In medical school, the seemingly endless series of lectures and didactics took on profound meaning when faced with realities of death, suffering, hunger and poverty in our clinical years. We have become tempered steel before them.
Today, let us part the curtains of time fifty years hence and discover the savage shock of the future that we thought would never come but is now staring back at us. It is time for reflection and gratitude for the hard-earned accomplishments of what we have become and also a time for acceptance of what we cannot change or even dared to dream. Let us embrace our frailties as we step into our golden years and rejoice as we are ushered into a new chapter of unmeasured time for self fulfillment and discovery and finding meaning and purpose to it all.
Indeed, in many ways, we have become the pietras serenas of today.
UPCM Class of 1972B: The 2022 Golden Jubilarians
CONGRATULATIONS CLASS 72B
Vivien C. Abad MD MBA
Our golden jubilee reunion in 2022 celebrates what we have accomplished and what we have become. Our class poetess Blesilda Mario-Singh sounded the clarion call to submit information and keep the memory of Class 72B alive.
“Once more unto the breach, dear classmates, once more
When the blast of brilliance tourney calls for a score
Take up the action of the tiger
Sharpen the pens, summon up the gold and silver
Set aside fair nature with glaring blusters
To have thy titles and merits emblazoned as blockbusters!”
–Adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry V
CHARACTERISTICS OF CLASS 72B
- Pioneered the 4-year curriculum for UP College of Medicine (UPCM)
- Broke the gender barrier of women in medicine: Out of 88 class members, 49 were women (56%) and 39 were men (44%). Sadly, 15 (17%) class members are deceased†.
- Won the annual Christmas Caroling Contest at UPCM for 4 consecutive years
- Founded the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority
- Garnered 3 slots out of the top 10 examinees in the Physician Licensure Examination with Top-notcher Renato Mascardo, Eugenio Banez (#4), Eugenio Amparo (#5), and Blesilda Mario Singh and Hector Bacaling tied for (#6) placements.
- Sponsored annual medical and surgical missions to the Philippines led/joined by class members Emmanuel Lat, Zenda Garcia Lat, Edgardo Barcelona, Simeon Sevandal, and Anacleto Mangaser
CLASS PROJECTS OR DONATIONS BY OR SOLICITED BY CLASS MEMBERS THAT BENEFITED UPCM OR PHILIPPINE GENERAL HOSPITAL (PGH)
- Donations by Class 72B of funds for the following projects: (1) construction of the Class 1972B Theater at UPCM in 1997 and its subsequent refurbishment, (2) Support for the School of Health Sciences in Palo Leyte in 2012 including purchase of computers and provision of internet access, and (3) purchase and installation of one of the elevators for the UP Medical Science Building in 2022
- Contributions to UP Medical Alumni Society of America Permanent Endowment Fund (UPMASA PEF) by the following Legacy donors (Zenda Garcia Lat, Emmanuel Lat, Renato Mascardo) and by Member Circle donors (Anacleto Mangaser, Felicitas Santiago)
- Donations of Ph P 5.1M ($106,000) to UPCM’s Medical Science Building, Ph P 5.3M ($100,000) to UPMASA PEF for a Professional Chair in a Basic Science Department at UPCM and the Student Health Center in Koronadal Mindanao, Ph P 300K for UP PGH’s Operation Wildfire Auditorium project and UPMASA’s Electronic Book Project on Colorectal CA, and a pledge to donate Ph P 1M to the PGH Medical Foundation this year by Jose Hector Bacaling
- Significant financial donation to UP Health Sciences, UPCM, PGH and significant medical assistance to PGH patients by Eugenio Banez
- Donation of teaching software for the Electronic Medical Research Library Database System (EMERALDS) by Paul Fontelo, surgical supplies to the Ear Nose and Throat Department by Victor Ejercito, and to PGH PCNU through UPMASA Chicago Chapter by Evelyn Tabberrah Lacuesta
- Donations of $1000 to UP SHS scholarships by Eugenio Amparo and by Blesilda Mario-Singh
- Donation of Ph P 250,000 to UP Manila Development Foundation by Beulah Gonzales Zaragoza
- Procurement of a PFV 1M donation for the building of the Pediatric Clinical Research Facility and donation for the construction of research facilities in 2 local health centers by Lulu Bravo
- Procurement of donation from patients for construction of 2 classrooms in the UP College of Medicine by Regina Macalintal
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF CLASS MEMBERS BY CATEGORY
Continued training and acquisition of additional Degrees post-Medicine:
- MPH (Ruben Caragay, Paul Fontelo, Estrella Gonzaga†, Pacita Belen Valina, Fe Yao Roan); JD (Mariano Yogore III); MBA (Vivien C. Abad, Rafael Javier); MPA (Patricia Sta. Maria-Fernandez); PhD (Ruben Caragay)
- Past/Present Appointments at the Professorial Level (Assistant/Associate/Professor) in Medical Schools: UP College of Medicine (Carmelo Alfiler, Josefina Almonte, Lulu Bravo, Regina Macalintal, Amelia Lazaro-Medina Davies); UP Manila College of Public Health and Bicol College of Medicine (Ruben Caragay); Emilio Aguinaldo College of Medicine (Alice Cristi, Norma Neri-Boquiren†); University of Alberta (Atilano Lacson); Baylor College of Medicine (Jose Hector Bacaling, Eugenio Banez, Joan Vicencio-Domingo, Carmelita Uy-Riel); Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Paul Fontelo); McMasters University Medical Center (Cecilia de Guzman Moss); UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School (Zenda Garcia-Lat); Rutgers University (Emmanuel Lat); University of California Davis (Eugenio Amparo); University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dentistry (Renato Mascardo); University of Illinois College of Medicine (Marabella Abalos Alhambra); Stanford University (Vivien C. Abad); SUNY Buffalo, (Rebecca Toledo†), Vanderbilt University (Christina Ynares-Tallent); West Virginia University (Wilma Franco)
- Dean of the UP-Manila College of Public Health, Director of the Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies, and Dean of the Bicol Medical School: Ruben Caragay
- Senior Associate Dean Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine, Licensed Pilot and Director of Aviation Department for Flying Medical Samaritans: Abelardo Macrohon Jr.
- Philippine General Hospital Directors: Carmelo Alfiler, Jose Gonzales
- Philippine National Institute of Health Executive Director and Vice-Chancellor for Research: Lulu Bravo
- Medical Staff Administration:
- Chief of Staff/Chief of Clinics: Vivien C. Abad, Edgardo Barcelona, Gerardo Cunanan†, Patricia Sta. Maria-Fernandez, Raul Puertollano, Dahlia Sagisi Saldana, Manuel Tan†
- Department Chair/Chief/Vice-Chief: Vivien C. Abad, Medicine; Josefina Almonte, Surgery; Eugenio Banez, Pathology; Hector Bacaling, Anesthesia; Edgardo Barcelona, Surgery; Lulu Bravo, Pediatrics; Regina Macalintal-Canlas, Neuro Sciences; Alice Cristi, Pathology; Amelia Lazaro Medina Davis, Dermatology; Victor Ejercito, Otolaryngology; Paul Fontelo, Pathology and Telepathology; Jose Gonzales, Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery; Maeva Lalas, Pediatrics; Emmanuel Lat, Plastic Surgery; Lindo Mensalvas†, Surgery; Teresita Cuyegkeng Redondo, Immunopathology; Pablo de Leon Torre Jr, Urology; Manuel Tan Jr†, ENT
- Medical Director: Vivien C. Abad, Sleep Medicine; Marabella Abalos-Alhambra, Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine; Eugenio Amparo, Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Raul Puertollano, Psychiatry; Evelyn Lacuesta, Diabetes Management; Wilma Franco, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Lita Barros, Mental Health Services; Zenda Garcia Lat, Clinical Pathology; Magdalena Cruz-Palileo†, Child and Adolescent Services; William Liao, Ambulatory Care; Evangelina Mendoza-Belizario, Adolescent Psychiatry; Abelardo Macrohon Jr, Administration; Clinical Labs, Adult Emergency Services/Trauma, Mariano Yogore III
Medical research and publications in peer-reviewed journals, abstracts/presentations in national and international meetings, books/book chapters, and other publication media, speaker in symposiums:
- Vivien C. Abad, Eugenio Amparo, Eugenio Banez, Lulu Bravo, Paul Fontelo, Atilano Lacson, William Lim, William Liao, Regina Macalintal-Canlas, Renato Mascardo
- Performed through UN Volunteer Service, Outreach International, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction: Pacita Belen Valina, Dennis Labayen, Lorna Silvestre Labayen†. In recognition of his services to Outreach International, Dennis Labayen was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in humanities and literature by Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
- Regina Macalintal Canlas donated to Daughters of St. Clare and to Elsie Gaches Village.
- Beulah Gonzales-Zaragosa opened a birthing home and established Beulahland Christian Academy in Palawan.
- Emmanuel Lat founded the Phi House Foundation Inc, the Handog Ngiti Gift of Smile Foundation Inc, and together with Zenda Lat, started the UPMASA Medical Missions.
US Military Service:
- Colonel Paul Fontelo served in the US Army Medical Corps while Colonel Felicitas Santiago, Major Mariano Yogore, and Captain Dennis Carbonell† served in the Reserve Corps.
Leadership Roles in UPMASA and Awardees from UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS)/UPMASA and UP Alumni Association of America (UPAAA):
- UPMASA National Presidents: Emmanuel Lat, Zenda Garcia Lat
- UPMASA Permanent Endowment Fund Chair: Mariano Yogore III
- UPMASA Chapter Presidents: Evelyn Tabberrah Lacuesta, Felicitas Santiago, Anacleto Mangaser, Simeon Sevandal
- UPMAS/UPMASA Awards: Outstanding Researcher Overseas (Renato Mascardo); Outstanding Educator Overseas (Paul Fontelo); Excellence in Medical Research (Paul Fontelo); Outstanding Service (Jose Gonzales); Outstanding Educator (Carmelo Alfiler, Josefina Almonte); Academic Excellence (Eugenio Amparo); Outstanding Alumnus (Emmanuel Lat); Lifetime Achievement Award (Emmanuel Lat); Lifetime Achievement Award (Zenda Garcia Lat); Outstanding Community Service (Dennis Labayen, Lorna Silvestre†, Estrella Gonzaga†, Simeon Sevandal), Presidential Award of Excellence (Mariano Yogore III)
- UPAAA Awards: Community Empowerment and Human Development (Dennis Labayen), Healthcare Readiness in Military Medicine (Felicitas Santiago), Medical Missions and Humanitarian Award (Simeon Sevandal, Jr.); Pathology and Medico-Legal Jurisprudence (Mariano Yogore III)
Leadership Roles at local, state, or national level in a medical professional specialty organization or in a charitable non-profit organization:
- Past President of a 300-physician multispecialty independent practice association in California, COO of a management services organization, and Director of a Health Plan: Vivien C. Abad
- Co-founder of a 30-physician medical group in Texas: Benjamin Guillermo
- Past President, Philippine Pediatric Society, Northern Luzon Chapter and Past President Philippine Women’s Association, Pangasinan: Maeva Lalas
- Past Presidents of various medical specialty societies both national (Philippines) and Asian: Carmelo Alfiler, Josefina Almonte, Lulu Bravo, Regina Macalintal Canlas, Jose Gonzales
- Co-builder of the first Philippine community center in the greater Houston area, the San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, a social and charitable organization: Carmelita Uy-Riel
Pioneering roles in vaccine development and medical informatics:
- Our “vaccine czarina” Lulu Bravo established the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination for the Philippines and the Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific for the advocacy and communication of the value of vaccines.
- Our computer whiz Paul Fontelo designed the web page and provided IT support to launch UPMASA into cyberspace on October 11, 1995, the first Filipino Medical Association to do so. He developed a telepathology consultation network for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, PubMed for Handhelds (a clinical decision support at the point of care), and BabelMeSH (a clinical decision support for non-English speakers). Paul also developed various websites and public web servers. He received a prestigious NIH Director’s Award for mentoring in 2020 and in 2021 for “exemplary leadership in launching and developing the Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-Cov-2 initiative.”
We are more than our curriculum vitae reflect. William Liao was named the most compassionate physician in his hospital. Benedicto Asa serves as lector, eucharistic minister, and altar server at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and in his local parish. Eugenio Banez is a Stephen Minister at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, providing one to one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life. Jose Hector Bacaling volunteers in the hospital ministry and in the Houston Food Bank’s “Meals on Wheels.” Cecilia de Guzman Moss, an anesthesiologist, and her friend, a dentist, sponsored her son’s baseball team called “Gas and Gums,” cheering them on to victory. Eugenio Amparo’s proudest achievement is winning the “washer tosser” award during his residency days at University of Texas. Teresita Cuyegkeng Redondo is our marathon and 10K runner inspiration.
We are very proud of our talented poets Renato Mascardo and Blesilda Mario Singh and hope they publish their collections of poems. Vivien C. Abad enjoys poetry reading and oral interpretation, recently branching out into Tagalog poetry reading. Among us are talented singer/piano playing musicians Rafael Javier, Ruben Yatco, and Eugenio Banez. Our painter, Amelia Medina Lazaro Davies, embarked on a new career as an artist and has won awards at local competitions. She likes acrylic medium and uses oil for portraits. Her mixed-media work utilizes acrylic, marble dust, gel, and sand. Class 72B’s premier dancer is Anita Bernabe-Chu. On their 14th wedding anniversary, Fred Chu† and Anita started ballroom dancing as a present to themselves. They enjoyed it so much they started competing 3 months later, winning first prize. They became the National Amateur Ballroom Dance Champions for seven years. Dancing became a life-long hobby that pulled them through tough times. Early on, Fred had colon cancer and Anita had a cardiac stent. They had setbacks, but they danced through them. In St. Louis, they were known as the “Dancing Doctors.” They said, “We are doctors till 6 PM, but dancers till midnight.” Class 72B graduates aspire to be Renaissance men and women!
Old Philippine Alphabet (Baybayin) Symbol for B
Photo Layout by Eugenio Banez
UPCM Class of 1977: The 2022 Sapphire Jubilarians
The Roll Call
by Solita de Jesus- O’Brien with Merlyn Gille-Moore and Elizabeth Regalado-Paterno
The odds to beat to be born a human being is supposedly 1 in 400 million. Add to that the odds of being accepted to the University of the Philippines, making the cut at the College of Medicine, graduating, and still be alive and kicking —some more vigorously than others—today. To be present at the roll call on the 45th anniversary of our graduation is a triumph over extremely unfavorable probability.
Lourdes Publico, UPMASA President, called the roll for the Class ’77 in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Marked present are: Virginia Aguila-Gonzalez, Venerando Batas, Leilani Besa-Loria, Myrna Casono-Stumman, Cecilia Caringal-Miller, Yasmyne Castillo-Ronquillo, Corazon Cosico-de Jesus, Filemon de Jesus Jr., Solita de Jesus-O’Brien, Myrna del Carmen-Reyes , Jocelyn Dizon-Bumanlag, Evangeline Edrosa-Medina, Wilfredo Escober, Eric Flores ,Merlyn Gille-Moore, Luis Alberto Gonzalez, Constantino Gulmatico, Zenaida Ignacio-Cruz, Socorro Juan-Vargas, Teresita King, Edward VA Lim, Evangeline Luna-McGee, Gloria Luzon-Jaucian, Adoracion Magtibay-Thompson, Gil Mendoza, Rosalinda Elena Milla, Cyrilda Navarro-Tagle, Lourdes Padilla-Burgos, Merlina Paragas-Abad, Belinda Peralta, Lourdes Publico, Ma. Teresa Quilop, Dulce Ramos-de Castro, Fe Arcangel-Reyes, Helen Reyes-Landicho, Jose Luis Reyes, Virgilio Soriano, Auriel Tan, Gregory Tiu, Evelyn Urgel-Senatin, Diego Valenzuela Jr., Irene Vega-Zarraga, Rudyard Yap, Walfredo Zarraga.
Agnes Dominguez-Mejia, erstwhile Dean of the UP College of Medicine,called the roll for classmates in the Philippines, Taiwan and Singapore
Marked present are: Lourdes Aldea-Salvador, Josephine Aguila-Borromeo, Ma. Corazon Allejo-Pascua, Imelda Almeida-Luna, Edna Aquino-Baello, Imelda Ayaso-Sapalo, Ernesto Baello, Ma. Magdalena Barcelom, Emmanuel Bitera, Imelda Bolinao-Campana, Rosemario Cabio-Lorenzana, Beatrice Corinna Canga-Pineda, Teresita Cantos-David, Praxedes Castillo-Lim, Fernando Cheong, Caroline Chua-Kaw, Christine Chua-Lo, Edwin Cosalan, Fortunato Cristobal, Amante Cruz, Jose Cueto Jr., Alexander Cukingnan, Adora Dado-McDonald, Jose Rene de Grano, Rodolfo dela Cruz, Leila dela Llana, Cynthia dela Paz-Ignacio, Jercyl Demeterio, Agnes Domiinguez-Mejia, Roberto Espos Jr., Eduardo Gatchalian, Fatima Gonzalex-Regala, Nicholas Gordo, Irmingarda Gueco, Margarita Jimenez, Kaem Kua, Roumel Litao, Teresa Ludovice-Yap, Maria Gay Manuel-Gonzalez, Teresita Mensalvas-Montilla, Lily Oyog, Elizabeth Regalago-Paterno, Maria Lina Renales, Leslie Reyes, Taciano Samson, Elvira Sto. Nino-Dayrit, Madeleine umpaico, Rosario Tan-Lim, Lydia Tecson-Eugenio
Absent but always Present in our Memory
Within the 40 years after graduation, we mourned the loss of Balbina Landicho, Demetrio Fajardo Jr., Chen Yang, Serafin Ariola Jr., Joel Elises, and Ricardo Esguerra. Then our hearts were broken by the passing of Fernando Serra Jr., Adelinda Zurbano-Villaruz, and Resurreccion Acosta-Santos. We grieved over the demise of Honorata Giongco-Baylon who was vital in kidney transplantation in the Philippines; Salvacion Rodriguez- Gatchalian, President of Philippine Pediatric Society when she died of Covid 19, and Lourdes Tangco, killed while in the service of our countrymen in Luzon. We recently mourned the death of Jacob Matubis, otorhinolaryngologist and Anatomy professor.
Five years from now, those of us who have come this far hope to beat even greater odds by being all present for our Golden Anniversary.
UPCM Class of 1987
Rooted in Faith, Transformed in Service: The Journey from 1987
By Carminia Edralin-Davidsohn, UPCM 1987
This year, 2022, we found each other again, 35 years after we set our dreams. We recognize that our sense of connection today is stronger than ever. Connection is what fuels our passion for SERVICE – to be part of a greater mission in the community, wherever we may be. Every single one of us found our own path – research, academe, administration, clinical practice, medical mission, homemakers, and more. But in every road taken, we have found our purpose.
Deeply rooted in our calling was our love to help other people – to BE the change, and to make a DIFFERENCE individually. But we discovered we created a bigger impact when we worked together as Class 87. Our class embodies the African UBUNTU principle of TOGETHERNESS — “I am, because you are.”. Our collective actions have an impact on others, and on society. Our work through our relationships defines who we are as a class; we call it “Tatak ’87”. We give meaning to what the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said – “When you do well, it spreads out, it is for the whole of humanity.”
The Ubuntu of our class is our BAYANIHAN spirit. It begins with ONE person, then others follow. One vision. Our roots are deep in faith in fighting for the greater good of our Filipino society. We believe that everyone can help AND we recognize people for what they bring. We are who we are today because of our class. It has defined our mark in our society, and in the whole world, wherever we may be.
Under the strong leadership of Direk Gap Legaspi and the PGH Covid Team, we have all become the BEST version of ourselves today. The thread that binds us is our FAITH in each other, as we celebrate small daily successes and our global accomplishments. In 2022, Class 87 has been transformed through service, and we have arrived at the dream we set forth when we first began.
Although, we are still a work in progress, we are happy for who we have become, and we are grateful for each other. But our learning never stops, and there is much to do. Today, we place our hope in what matters, and what lasts beyond our lifetime. We pray for greater truth and greater humility as we move forward. As a class, we look ahead to what we can give back to the world in exchange for what Life has gifted us. Together, we hope to inspire others to follow so that the legacy of UP College of Medicine and PGH will live on in the hearts of the Filipino people.
UPCM Class of 1992: The 2022 Pearl Jubilarians
Class 1992 Pearl Jubilarians
By Michael S. Nolledo, MD, UPCM ‘92
UPCM Class 1992 turned twenty-five in the year global politics changed. President Trump internationally and President Duterte locally shifted how power was wielded and democracy was defined. Falsehoods were labeled truths and facts were called fake news. And through these we held the line and thrived. Now five years later we are dealing with the deaths and economic hardships wrought by Covid and are lachrymose at how the dulcet tones of global peace have been replaced by the drumbeat of war. But our class has always risen to the challenge of the times. In this, our pearlescent year, we will do what we have always done – Serve, Live and Prepare for what is to come.
The class was the tip of the spear in the Philippine Covid pandemic response. Eric in his post as FDA Director General expedited the approval of highly efficacious vaccines and antiviral medications. Anna, JJ, Jubert, Ants, Tony, Ces, Albert, Gar and others helped formulate and implement National Covid policy and played key roles in transforming PGH into the primary Covid referral hospital. Aileen in her position as MSD Asia-Pacific Head of Medical Affairs helped bring the drug Molnupiravir to the country.
And beyond the pandemic other class members stood out. Cay completed stints as CEO of Makati Medical Center and Cardinal Santos Medical Center. Lucky is the Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Helen is the Medical Director of the Adult Liver Transplantation Program of the University of Chicago. Pip served as UP faculty regent and is presently Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs of UP Visayas. Ron is Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and a leader in digital healthcare research. Nicky is the CEO of MediCard Philippines. Melfie is Dean of UP-NTTCHP. JJ, Tech and Ants are part of the UPCM Dean’s management team. Dodo served as CEO of Philhealth and is now an ADB executive and universal healthcare champion.
The rest of us worked in hospitals and clinics, in small towns and large metropolises to heal the sick, comfort the suffering, and drive out the demons that make society ill.
The class members also lead engaging lives outside of work. Fred has written thousands of movie and TV show reviews. Rod writes about medical history and has published a book on the subject. Mike is one of the founders of pinoyexchange.com and has an extensive collection of vintage omega watches. Toti is an aspiring gunsmith and sniper. Hans is a partner at the Romulo Law Office – the only surgeon in the place. Joy celebrates our birthdays with fresh faced digital avatars. Mayos led the class in donating the solar power unit of the new Medical Sciences building. The rest of the class is full of accomplished cooks, bakers, photographers, runners, singers, quilters, travelers, and KDrama/KPop enthusiasts. For us professional excellence and joie de vivre are bedfellows.
Tech and JJ begat Jose Joachim. Ants begat Micaela. Jet begat Jose Manuel Ricardo. Cyn begat Zimri, Cyrene and Zuriel. Maybelle and Hans begat Maria Bettina. May begat Lorenzo Miguel. Natzie begat Nathan. Irene begat Rafael Jose. Cathy begat Gabriella.
These young women and men so perfectly connected to us are UPCM graduates and students who will be our ambassadors. They will carry our skills and sentiments and become more noteworthy versions of us. And those afflicted with disease will be the healthier for it.
When dragons fight amongst the clouds, pearls fall from the sky.
Ancient Chinese myth
In this season of trial in the thirtieth year since our birth we continue to proudly represent our alma mater. We render exemplary service as physician leaders and physician scientists to those in need. We are clever and resourceful in applying our God-given talents. And we are confident that in later days our posterity will take pride in what we have accomplished.
UPCM Class of 1997: The 2022 Silver Jubilarians
Silver Jubilarians: UPCM Class 1997
By Francesca Tatad To, MD
In 1992, amidst rolling brownouts and social unrest, 160 young, hopeful, and eager individuals were admitted to the hallowed halls of the UP College of Medicine. We dissected cadavers by the fading glow of rechargeable lamps and took Gross Anatomy exams at the crack of dawn to make the most of the daylight.
On Day 1, we were told that we were a very impressive class on paper (the term “record-breaking” may have been used) and that great things were expected of us. Those expectations were quickly shattered. TRP was never won, and event and raffle tickets remained unsold. The class motto was “friendship and unity” yet not once did we all agree on anything – not on a prescribed uniform, not even on the necessity of celebrating birthdays. The matter of a missing Oil Immersion Objective did nothing to help our notoriety. And yet, in that time together, Medicine was learned well, strong bonds of friendship were formed, and the primary tasks given by our alma mater – to heal and to serve – were very much taken to heart.
Following our graduation in the summer of 1997, an overwhelming majority of us stayed in the Philippines. We filled up residency programs, took on government jobs, worked with private entities, explored non-traditional career paths. A small number left to pursue further training on foreign shores.
In 2022, twenty-five years after being released into the wild, members of our class can be found leading professional and regulatory boards, major medical societies (across various specialties and subspecialties), hospitals, and clinical departments in the Philippines and in other parts of the world. Some are involved in government health programs, spearheading vital public health initiatives like organ donation and Unang Yakap. Some are in academe doing groundbreaking research. Some have devoted themselves to transforming the face of medical education. Those who have chosen to live quieter lives or taken alternate paths are no less passionate in their pursuit of excellence.
As we celebrate the time when our lives first intersected and the place where many of our beliefs and ideals were shaped, we would like to think we have met and exceeded all original expectations. More importantly, we are more united now than ever before. As a class, we remain fully committed to the promise we made at graduation – to heal and to serve our fellow humans, our community, our nation, our world; and to pave the way for future generations to do the same.
Photo Collage by: Ian Gampon, MD
UPCM Class of 2002
UPCM 2002 at 20 years
By Vivien Yap, MD
The UP College of Medicine Class of 2002 celebrates two decades since medical school graduation this year. A quarter century has passed since we started out wide-eyed in the lecture halls of BSLR, toiling away to learn anatomy, physiology, among others, cockily declaring on a t-shirt: “I have forgotten more things than you will ever know”, and optimistically (perhaps naively) singing “we’re gonna be cool doctors someday” in our class TRP (Tao Rin Pala) song.
That ‘someday’ has now come, with many in this talented class leading the way in many fields of medicine across the world, including during the pandemic, and have indeed become the cool doctors they aspired to be.
The UP College of Medicine trains bright young minds with rigor and discipline, with the expectation to be the best physicians they could be, and instills in them the empathy and social awareness to do their best for others.
Medical school for UPCM Class 2002 was bookended by global events of Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and an intern year when the world changed with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A class full of optimism saw the peaceful transition from President Ramos to Estrada, and were in the streets of Manila for the Second EDSA Revolution wearing their med-school whites to protest the corruption that stole from the very people who we were learning the wonders of medicine from.
Since graduation, many have journeyed across the world to further train and practice medicine while enhancing the communities they settled in. The pandemic occurred in mid-career for this class, where they are leading and learning, along with the rest of the world, protected by their age relative to their senior colleagues while experienced enough to create solutions where there are none yet known.
We are proud of the best among us, such as TOYM awardees Dr. Ryan Guinaran, passionate health advocate for indigenous people, and retina scientist Dr. Paolo Silva; and those gone too soon, Dr. Kathy Lipana who brought elegance and laughter to any room, and Dr. Rommel Ancheta, who returned to care for his community as MHO.
This year, UPCM 2002 reflects on our medical school roots, the challenges and excellence of the rigorous training, the best of friends we made, the optimism and hope for being the best and coolest of physicians.
UPCM Class of 2012
The Coming of Age of a UPCM Class: 2012 in 2022
Nicolo L. Cabrera, MD
The years that have passed since our graduation are now twice as many as those we spent in medical school. The journey began with an entire class moving as one, slogging through the same lectures and exams. Ten years ago that journey split into 159 different paths, taking us to different corners of the country and even the world.
Many of us have completed or are about to complete clinical training—though there are a few with the vigor to reenter or restart training in pursuit of opportunity. Many bravely left the beaten track—off to become a health law expert and advocate, a health economist, a pharmacogenomic epidemiologist, among others. Many are spouses and parents. All of us neither young nor old, neither at the starting point nor at the finish line. We’ve turned the corner, now with our own advice to dispense and our own students and trainees to guide and mentor.
But we’ve also only just begun. We still have practices to grow, scholarship to undertake, communities to build, institutions to revamp, guidelines to reshape, small kids to raise and nephews and nieces to dote on. Plenty to do before our own silver jubilee.
To win our second TRP we sang Raphy’s lyrics, “Sana laging ganito pa rin, kahit na ilang bagyong dumating.” And indeed the storms came—both literal and metaphorical ones that upended social, political and public life. These were storms that pulled us together and pulled us apart. They made us ask ourselves how we pick up the pieces, how we move forward and how we fit together again. We don’t know the answers yet.
But we do know there’s a Facebook group chat.
Our paths have diverged, but they have also ensured we are each well-placed to lend a helping hand and the chat group is a place to find each other. A request for a resource, a guideline, a referral, an introduction, a bit of inside information will hardly ever go unanswered. Whatever our differences, disagreements and distances, hopefully there will always be a class full of people at our back. Sana laging ganito.