UP Medics August-November 2018 Issue


OFS News

UP MedChoir Bags 4

Golds in BICF 7


The Cochlear Series: INSPIRE

The Dean’s Vision for UPCM


Crazy Rich Asians:

Reconciling Identities

Page 5

Page 10

Page 9

A GLORIOUS DAY: UPCM Class 2018 stands on the risers with the distinguished and honorable guests of the UP College of Medicine, UP Manila, and Philippine General Hospital

seated in the front two rows. Photo courtesy of Markyn Kho (Class 2020)

Four MD-PhD and 20 Cum Laude Students

Lead 2018 UP College of Medicine Graduation

by Louie Dy

Class 2021


first batch of graduates under the MD-

PhD program—along with twenty

cum laude students, led the graduates

at SULÔ: Doktor Bilang Tanglaw ng

Lipunan - The UP College of Medicine

UPCM Students

Represented in AUN-QA

by Louie Dy

Class 2021

and Markyn Kho

Class 2020

LAST AUGUST 29, 2018 at Buenafe

Auditorium, UPCM students from

all Learning Units took part in an

interview session with quality assessors

Professor Dr. Hanna H. Bachtiar-

Iskandar and Clinical Professor Dr.

Suwat Benjaponpitak.

109th Commencement Exercises and

Philippine General Hospital Internship

Program Closing Ceremonies, held last

July 22, 2018 at the University Theater

in UP Diliman.

With Dr. Anthony Geronimo H.

Cordero as the master-of-ceremonies, the

program began with the UP College of

Medicine (UPCM) faculty gracing the

aisles, along with chiefs, chairpersons,

The students were involved in

academic, leadership, and extra-curricular

affairs, and were interviewed in line with

the Asean University Network - Quality

Assessment (AUN-QA) two-day site visit.

Students were asked key questions

on various aspects of UPCM and its

medical school experience, including the

effectiveness of outcome-based education

and lecturer evaluation, adequacy of

research funding and the mentoring

program, and provision of campus

facilities. The group interview was

informal, and the assessors encouraged all

Continued on page 2

professor emeriti, and other honorable

guests, followed by the glorious onstage

procession of the Post-Graduate Interns

(PGIs), MD-PhD candidates and graduates,

and UPCM Class 2018.

The UP Rayadillo conducted the

entrance of the Philippine Flag and

University Colors, followed by UP

Medicine Choir leading the Invocation and

National Anthem.

The Welcoming Remarks and Opening

Remarks were given by Incoming Dean

Charlotte M. Chiong and Outgoing Dean

Agnes D. Mejia respectively.

Dr. Charles Michael T. Herrera, the

president of the graduating class, and Dr.

Katherine Marie De Asis, the president of

the Post-Graduate Interns, led the petitions

for the conferment of the degree of Doctor

of Medicine to UPCM Class 2018, and for

the declaration of completion of internship,

Continued on page 4

AUN-QA assessors Professor Dr. Bachtiar-Iskandar and Prof. Benjaponpitak, with

Associate Dean for Academic Development Dr. Coralie Dimacali (4th from left, front row),

AUN-QA site visit team Dr. Stella Jose (5th from right, front row) and Dr. Angela Aguilar

(3rd from left, front row), and student participants of the interview. Photo courtesy of

Markyn Kho (Class 2020)


Health Held Hostage by Politicking:

Our stand on the Malasakit Centers

Posted on the UP Medics

website September 13, 2018

BARELY A MONTH after the Ramon

Tulfo ER incident, the Philippine

General Hospital (PGH) falls prey to

pre-electioneering tactics of another

pro-administration personality eyeing

a seat in the 2019 senatorial race.

Yesterday afternoon, banners with

campaign-esque slogans featuring Special


AY 2018-2019

Louie Dy


Rory Nakpil

Managing Editor

Lorena Osorio

Associate Editor

Isabel Fernando

Campus News

Hanna Ho

OFS News

Lordom Grecia


Mark Teo


Diego Mina


Iya De Claro


Sean Sy


Er Pilotin



Markyn Kho

Sean Cua

Iris Ditan

JC Tesorero

Renren Barroga

Rani Domingo

Leandro Salazar

Isabelle Alberto

Kino Sevilla

Sichuan Rayco

Viv Josol

Albert Jason Olaya

Paul Kenny Ko

We’re online!





Assistant to the President

and PDP-Laban senatorial

bet Christopher Lawrence

“Bong” Go were installed

in the halls of PGH,

amidst the opening of the

hospital’s new Malasakit

Center. Touted as a onestop

shop for indigent

patients seeking financial

assistance, this launch

is the latest in a flurry of

pro-poor facilities that

began last February,

with branches in Cebu,

Palawan, Bacolod, Iloilo,

Davao, and parts of

Metro Manila.


published on the

University of the

Philippines Manila’s

official Facebook and

Twitter accounts showed the inauguration

of the PGH Malasakit Center under heavy

media coverage. They featured Mr. Go

and his entourage touring the facility and

posing in President Duterte’s signature

gesture, an outstretched clenched fist.

Among the paraphernalia were health

cards that prominently displayed President

Duterte hugging a patient and Mr. Go

comforting a sickly child, a rehash of former

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s

PhilHealth cards distributed during the

2004 presidential race.

The official Facebook page of Bong Go

(FB: bongGOma) also published a series

of photographs documenting Mr. Go’s

seemingly messianic tour of the PGH wards

and interactions with patients, bantays, and

medical staff. He was accompanied by

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and

PGH Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi.

In a July article by the state-run

Philippine News Agency, President Duterte

praised Bong Go “for his big contribution

in the establishment of ‘Malasakit Centers’”

and being “instrumental in arriving

at the right decision through proper


Healthcare not immune to “trapo,

epal” politics

This latest stunt by Mr. Go is part of

the perennial “epal” political strategies

employed by potential candidates to

garner favor and develop a good image

of themselves among the masses. Indeed,

countless politicians who, after prolonged

periods of inactivity, suddenly engage

acts of faux-compassion and charity

work unfailingly become heralds of an

approaching election season.

The unabashed fanfare Mr. Go

Special assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (center

left) and entourage, with Philippine General Hospital Director Dr. Gerardo

“Gap” Legaspi (center right), pose for a photo-op in front of the newly

inaugurated “Malasakit Center” in PGH Wednesday, September 12. Photo

sourced from UP Manila’s Official Facebook Page (FB: UPMANILAOFFICIAL).

UPCM Students Represented in AUN-QA

Continued from page 1

student participants to candidly voice their

thoughts and opinions on these topics.

The assessors also interviewed groups

of faculty, staff, and alumni to thoroughly

validate the primer and data report the

College administration had previously

submitted, as well as to form a complete

evaluation of the existing quality of

education provided by the College of

Medicine. During the day, the assessors

toured selected sites of the UPCM campus

and Philippine General Hospital.

The AUN-QA site assessment,

which took place last August 28 and

29, is a culmination of two years’ worth

displayed yesterday only served to reveal

the true motives behind his actions, and in

a bigger picture, the discreet steps of the

current administration to install staunch

political allies into office.

After numerous government hospitals,

including PGH, suffered significant budget

cuts from congressional appropriations in

recent years, President Duterte has since

injected into his frequent tirades his selflaudatory

allocation of P100M per month

to the hospital starting March 2017. As

if this wasn’t enought of a hulog ng langit

(gift from heaven), Duterte announced last

May an initial budget of P50M per month

in putting up these Malasakit Centers in

various government hospitals. And, in a

stroke of political cunningness, Duterte

attributed the success of these centers to his

confidant and aide Mr. Go, in the hopes of

propping up his image ahead of next year’s


What’s dangerous about these

shameful acts is that the public is

hoodwinked into believing health is not

a right, rather a privilege that is handed

down at the generosity and mercy of godlike,

self-serving politicians. Disregarding

government’s actual mandate to provide

quality, affordable, and accessible

healthcare for all Filipinos, these corrupt

politicians hijack their duty to the people,

use taxpayer’s hard-earned money, and

turn it into a series of highly publicized

events to peddle their self-righteousness

and seemingly stellar track record of public

service (e.g. when PGH Director Legaspi

had to drive all the way to Malacañang for

the televised giving of the first P100M by

President Duterte).

At the center of it all, it is the healthcare

sector and its supposed beneficiaries who

of work data-gathering by the UPCM

administration for submission to the

network. In 2016, former Dean Agnes

Mejia launched the bid to have the College

of Medicine accredited by the AUN, in

an effort to raise international presence

and strengthen regional partnership in

academic exchanges.

The results of the AUN-QA range from

1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest.

According to the quality assessors and Dr.

Dimacali, more than whatever the score

UPCM may obtain, most important is still

the process of evaluation, which will give

the college a push for better quality medical

education for the students.

suffer the most, being held

hostage by an indirect

system of vote buying (e.g.

health cards) and economic

power plays whose

promises are a patchwork

of short-term, half-baked

measures to alleviate

an already beleaguered

healthcare system. The

recent announcement of

a 30% reduction in the

DOH budget for 2019 and

cuts to the PCSO medical

assistance program

only encourages the

pervasiveness of similar

patronage politics in other

public sectors.

Healthcare as

a collective,

multisectoral effort

The audacious display of Mr. Go’s

campaign paraphernalia around the

hospital gave the false impression that Mr.

Go enjoys unanimous support from the

PGH community— from the Director to the

students and professionals in training—

when in fact the staging of the day’s events

has been made without proper consultation

with the PGH community.

Maintenance and improvement of

the Philippine General Hospital is the

joint effort and responsibility of multiple

government agencies, as well as the

stakeholders that strive and contribute to

the betterment of health in the institution.

Mr. Go’s political activity within its

premises and his apparent prominence in

the inauguration of the Malasakit Center

shifts the focus away from the hospital’s

actual collective nature to attribute any

improvement in its services entirely to Mr.

Go’s name and face.

Being a publicly funded tertiary

hospital, PGH is bound to serve Filipinos

in need, regardless of color, class, or creed.

However, this could be also be the very

same reason the institution would be prone

to the sway and manipulation of political

motives, especially of the dominant

personalities. Nevertheless, this action

by the Duterte administration insults and

diminishes the role of the rest of us—the

overworked, underpaid healthcare workers

of PGH, the UP Manila community, and

the Filipino people at large—to becoming

lapdogs of the government beholden to the

good graces of reprehensible politicians

looking to secure their next election


See the reactions from the UPCM-PGH

medical community, and photos as

events unfolded, on page 8!

The Anime

that Every


Student Must


Page 8

Artwork by Kenny

Ko (Class 2022)

College of Medicine Family Gathers

for Dean Sendoff

by Er Pilotin

Class 2021


200 guests, including family, faculty,

staff, students, administrators, and

friends, graced the Grand Ballroom of

the AG New World Hotel in Malate for

the thanksgiving ceremony of outgoing

dean Dr. Agnes D. Mejia.

Presided by Dr. Anthony Cordero, the

program started with the UP Medicine Choir

leading the doxology and national anthem.

College secretary Dr. Salome Vios opened

the ceremony by drawing allusio ns between

the Vicente Manansala painting “Arts and

Sciences” and life in medical school working

with Dr. Mejia.

Administrative officer Criselda Austero

and LU7 intern Mark Milan spoke on

behalf of the staff and students respectively.

Their messages were followed by a soulful

rendition of Josh Groban’s “Thankful” by Dr.

Armando Crisostomo.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Rody Sy provided

timely updates on the status of the planned

seven-floor Academic Center building.

Among the key points of his address were

lawsuits that have been filed against the

former contractor and insurance company.

Construction of the building was abruptly

halted last 2016 due to a “sinkhole” on the

excavation site. Although the site has been

sand-filled, the disaster led to the indefinite

closure of the Medical and University

Libraries, as well as temporary closure of

student hangout spots or “tambayan” beside

the site.

On a more positive note, Dr. Sy presented

a new building proposal brought about after

consultations with UP President Danilo

Concepcion. The new 11-story structure,

which will be named the Medical Sciences

Building, will be erected a short distance

from the original construction zone of the

Academic Center. The first 7 floors will be

used by the College of Medicine.

Afterwards, everyone was treated to a

video presentation directed by Dr. Rafael

Bundoc as commissioned by Dr. Mejia. The

short film, which Dr. Bundoc described as

a “playing coffee-table book”, featured the

members of the Dean’s Management Team

as each of them summarized the various

thrusts of the dean’s office. The updates on

faculty development and the redistribution

of funds for uncompensated faculty received

applause from the audience. The video was

met with a standing ovation.

In her end-of-term report address entitled

“Our Shared Journey of Enrichment: Looking

Back and Beyond”, Dr. Mejia enumerated in

greater detail the many milestones reached

and challenges faced under her leadership.

She was proud to have achieved “close to

90%” of her vision through the collective

effort of her management team.

“More than a dreamweaver, I believe

a dean should be an enabler,” she stressed

during her speech.

Challenges faced during her deanship

included the Academic Center disaster

which prompted a directional shift towards

renovation of sections of the Calderon

and Salcedo Halls, as well as acquisition

of laboratory equipment; the accreditation

of the medical program by the ASEAN

University Network, which “will enhance

the college’s regional standing in the era of

ASEAN integration;” and the establishment

of the Center for Health Care Quality and

Patient Safety.

With regards to student matters, Dr.

Mejia admitted that monitoring compliance

with the Return Service Agreement

remained a “formidable” challenge, and that

the increasing trend of graduates reneging on

the terms of the RSA was “a sign of a deeper

problem which may need a reevaluation

of the medical program as a whole.” In

spite of these issues, she did not reserve her

appreciation of the students’ vigor for service.

She also oversaw the 18-month process of

revising the college’s admission policies, and

the increase of accepted applicants per batch

from 160 to 180, in order to better equalize

chances for aspiring medical students.

Towards the end of her message, Dr.

Mejia acknowledged the patronage of the

University’s Board of Regents. She also

thanked her family, and expressed her

anticipation for the future of the college

under the leadership of incoming dean Dr.

Charlotte Chiong. She received thunderous

applause after her keynote speech.

Dr. Madeleine Sumpaico, Associate

Dean for Faculty and Students, called

the Management Team—affectionately

nicknamed the “kitchen cabinet”—to the

stage for picture-taking, before closing the

first half of the program in time for lunch and

a dance number by the UP MedRhythmics.

A festive ambience enveloped the second

half of the program as Dr. Mejia and all guests

were entertained to musical performances

by students and doctors. Many of the songs

were curated from the outgoing dean’s

favorite hitmakers. LU3 student Leandro

Salazar played violin renditions of ABBA’s “I

Have a Dream,” Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help

Falling in Love,” and Beatles hits “Imagine”

and “Hey Jude.” Other singers included

former UP Diliman chancellor Dr. Sergie

Cao, PGH director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, and

actress-singer Pinky Marquez.

The UP Medchoir then returned to the

Continued on page 4

LEFT: Dr. Agnes Mejia presents her end-of-term report on the occasion of her thanksgiving ceremony. RIGHT: Dr. Rody Sy presents the new building plan which will replace the

Academic Center. Construction of the latter was halted two years ago. Photos courtesy of Er Pilotin (Class 2021)

by Isabel Fernando

and Hanna Ho

UPCM Welcomes Class 2023 in Freshman

Orientation Program

Class 2022

EVERY YEAR, THE upperclassmen

welcome the freshmen into the UP

College of Medicine. This year, it was

the turn of UP College of Medicine

Class 2022, who organized the official

UPCM Freshman Orientation Program

(FOP). Themed “The Grand Carousel”,

the program was a two-week-long

event filled with activities to help the

freshmen get to know the college and

each other.

The event kicked off with “Le Cirque”:

The FOP 2018 Welcoming Ceremonies

and Org Hop, which was held last July

30, 2018. The Welcoming Ceremonies was

held in the morning, where games and

activities were held to break the ice and

let the members of Class 2023 acquaint

themselves with each other. Grouped into

different teams, the freshmen were given a

set of tasks to accomplish for the duration

of FOP 2018 to help foster friendship and

build camaraderie.

In the afternoon, different organizations

talked about the different aspects and

experiences in UP med during the Org

Hop. The freshmen were given a small

glimpse into their new academic life, and

were also introduced to the college’s many

student organizations.

Organizations’ Night and Street Party,

entitled “Parc d’Attraction”, was held last

August 10, 2018 at the SSWC. One of the

highlights of the UPCM FOP 2018, the event

aimed to further acquaint the freshmen

with the diverse organizations of the UP

College of Medicine. Parc d’Attraction

commenced with performances prepared

by the different teams of Class 2023,

Continued on page 4

Alvek Ecaldre (2022) hosts the morning ceremonies. Photos courtesy of JC Tesorero,

Renren Barroga, Rani Domingo, Leandro Salazar, Isabelle Alberto, Kino Sevilla, Sichuan

Rayco (Class 2022), and Viv Josol (Class 2024)

Four MD-PhD and 20 Cum Laude Students Lead 2018 UP College of

Medicine Graduation ...

Continued from page 1


Dean Dr. Agnes Dominguez-Mejia and

Philippine General Hospital Director Dr.

Gerardo D. Legaspi presented the medical

graduates and clinical interns, respectively,

to UP Chancellor Dr. Carmencita David-

Padilla. Chancellor Padilla then formally

conferred the degree of Doctor of Medicine

and declared their completion of internship.

Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr. delivered the

Commencement Address. His message and

challenge to the newest Filipino graduates

was met with inspired hearts. “What can

your GWA of 1.25 say about you if your

moral GWA is a murky 3.0,” he wittily


This was followed by capping, hooding,

and awarding of diplomas and certificates

of internship to the graduates.

Dr. Marie Abigail Rivera Lim took top

honors as class valedictorian, the Most

Outstanding Medical Graduate, and

DUAL DEGREE: Dr. Jonnel B. Poblete represents the first batch of MD-PhD graduates

as he petitions for the conferment of the degree of MD-PhD to Chancellor Padilla. Photo

courtesy of Markyn Kho (Class 2020)

College of Medicine Family Gathers

for Dean’s Sendoff ...

Continued from page 3

stage to perform an a cappella arrangement

of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” while Mr.

Milan invited the dean to a short dance. The

choir closed the program as they led the Awit

ng Kolehiyo and UP Naming Mahal.

Planning for the event took more than

a month with the guidance of Dr. Mejia,

said head organizer Dr. Ruzanne Caro.

The musical performers were invited

by Dr. Melfred Hernandez from the

Otorhinolaryngology Department.

Dr. Mejia was the 16th dean of the College

of Medicine, and had served the college for

two terms, from 2012 to 2018. Her leadership

recipient of the Dr. Augusto A. Camara

Awardee for Academic Excellence in

Medicine. Dr. Ma. Sergia Fatima Papiona

Sucaldito followed as class salutatorian,

and Dr. Krizia Joy Ang Co was the third

ranked graduate.

The rest of the top ten include: 4th place

Dr. Michelle Ann Sua Lao, 5th place Dr.

Judith Charmaine E. Rosette, 6th place Dr.

John Vincent Usita Magalong, 7th place Dr.

Julian David Paulino Cabrera, 8th place

Dr. Marvin Manuel Mangulabnan, 9th

place Dr. Erickah Mary Therese Ranit Dy,

and 10th place Dr. Riza Paula Macalma


Other cum laude graduates include: Dr.

Joshua Vincent Hedriana Baroña, Dr. Roan

Eireen Lontok Buenaventura, Dr. Vernon

Ang Chuabio, Dr. Kaiser Marr De Guzman

Cruz, Dr. Jose Mario Coliflores Espino, Dr.

Jonathan IV Jallorina Macatiag, Dr. Ella

Mae Inoferio Masamayor, Dr. Rosa Fides

Goño Mina, Dr. Eleanor Beatriz Calderon

facilitated the shifting of the academic

calendar from June-March to August-May,

the construction of the Academic Center,

and various reforms. Among these were the

18-month process of revising the admission

policy, the shift towards an outcome-based

curriculum, and the reallocation of the

incremental tuition fund for remuneration of

previously uncompensated faculty.

She is bound to be succeeded by Dr.

Chiong, a head and neck surgeon and director

of the Philippine National Ear Institute and

the Newborn Hearing Reference Center,

beating co-nominees Dr. Crisostomo and

Dr. José Florencio Lapeña, Jr. in the selection


Ragasa, and Dr. Aina Fe Roldan Salem.

Dr. Ruby Anne Natividad King,

PhD, Dr. Bobbie Marie Murillo Santos,

PhD, Dr. Jonnel Bernal Poblete, PhD,

and Dr. Fresthel Monica Marqueses

Climacosa, PhD constitute the first batch

of graduates under the MD-PhD program.

Dr. Climacosa also received the Dr.

Adolfo B. Bellosillo Academic Excellence

Award and the PCHRD Award for Most

Outstanding MD-PhD Dissertation for

her dissertation entitled “Development

and Characterization of Microbe-binding

Peptides for Opsonization of Microbial


Five MD-PhD students of UPCM

received their certificates of internship

from the Philippine General Hospital and

will graduate with the degree of Doctor

of Medicine - Doctor of Philosophy

in Molecular Medicine in 2020 upon

completion of their research dissertation:

Dr. Criselda Jean Goh Cruz, Dr. Maria Isabel

Canlas Idolor, Dr. Ana Joy Paulino Padua,

Dr. Joyce Ann Hernandez Robles, and Dr.

Angelo Augusto Mendoza Sumalde.

Postgraduate interns from 27 medical

schools also received their certificates of

internship from the Philippine General


The Most Outstanding Intern is Dr.

Marvin Manuel Mangulabnan. The

following students rounded out the top ten

Outstanding Interns: 2nd place Dr. Marie

Abigail Rivera Lim, 3rd place Dr. Ma.

Sergia Fatima Papiona Sucaldito, 4th place

Dr. John Vincent Usita Magalong, 5th place

Dr. Josephine Edulian Mina, 6th place

Dr. Kurl Jamora (DLSHI), 7th place Dr.

Antonette Mariama Ramos Bilog, 8th place

Dr. Jonathan Jallorina Macatiag IV, 9th

place Dr. Kiko Antuerfia Cortez, and 10th

place Dr. Ron Michael Labador Castillo.

Diplomas were awarded to the

graduates of Master’s and Doctor of

Philosophy programs.

Maria Rowena Garcia Alde and

Maureen Salas Landicho received their

Master of Science in Clinical Audiology.

Daffodil Mahusay Canson, Christian

Deo Torrequemada Deguit, Patrick Gabriel

Gavila Moreno, and John Sylvester Brusola

Nas received their Master of Science in


Dr. Tomas Dumagpi Bautista, Dr. Eva

Ilagan Bautista, and Dr. Namnama Paraso

Villarta-De Dios received their Master of

Science in Clinical Epidemiology.

Dr. Graciel Mae Rodrigo Canoy and

Danalyn Romo Echem received their

Master of Science in Genetic Counselling.

Martin-Luther Castillo Topico, Atty.

Reno Regalado Gonzales Jr., and Dr. Rosel

Jonathan Santos Vitor II received their

Master of Science in Health Informatics

(Medical Informatics), Bioethics, and

Physiology respectively.

Dr. Ursela Guce Bigol and Dr. Leana

Rich De Mesa Herrera received their Doctor

of Philosophy in Biochemistry.

There were two faculty awardees. Dr.

Jose Leonard R. Pascual V of the Department

of Anatomy took the UPMASA Missouri-

Southern Illinois Chapter Outstanding

Medical Teacher in the Basic Sciences

Award, while Dr. Cecilia A. Jimeno of the

Department of Pharmacology received

the corresponding award for the Clinical


Other student awardees were Dr. Ana

Pholyn Arazo Balahadia and Dr. Harjoland

Lim Obenieta receiving the Sir Hugh

Greenwood Outstanding in Community

Service Award, Dr. Jonnel B. Poblete

receiving the Oreta-Dizon-Santos-Ocampo

Research Award, Dr. Charles Michael T.

Herrera receiving the UPMAS Leadership

Award, and Dr. Mark Jason Dela Cruz

Milan receiving the Eusebio S. Garcia-Class

’36 Leadership Award.

In closing the program, Dean Chiong

led the graduates in swearing the Oath

of Hippocrates, and PGH Director Dr.

Gerardo Legaspi gave the closing remarks.

For the challenge of loyalty and service

to the Filipino people, Dr. Charles Herrera

accepted it on behalf of his classmates.

Class 2018 was then joined by UP

Medchoir in singing their Tao Rin Palawinning

piece “Huling Awit”, followed

by the PGH Hymn, Awit ng Kolehiyo, and

finally UP Naming Mahal.

UPCM Welcomes Class 2023 in

Freshman Orientation Program ...

Continued from page 3

beginning with the Hoopers, followed by

Knife Throwers, Clowns, Fire Breathers,

Acrobats and Magicians. The incoming

freshmen showcased their talents in

singing, dancing, and acting, inspired by

the circus theme assigned to their teams.

Medicine Student Council (MSC) Chair

Leandro Salazar, FOP Co-head Isabel

Fernando, and 2022 Class President Rani

Domingo served as judges.

To give the judges time to deliberate

after the team performances, UPCM

organizations and the Class 2022 band came

onstage to give their own performances.

Everyone was entertained with song

medleys, dancing, and poetry-reading.

Class 2022 also entertained the audience

with their video “This is Med”, a parody

of Beauty and the Beast’s “Be Our Guest”,

which highlighted the highs and lows of

medicine and the medical profession. The

program ended with the awarding of the

team performances. The Acrobats took first

first place for their funky dance routine, with

the Fire Breathers and the Magicians as the

first- and second-runner ups respectively.

The Street Party commenced afterwards,

where the different organizations had

Members of UPCM 2023 showcased their talents in the group performances. Photo

courtesy of JC Tesorero, Renren Barroga, Rani Domingo, Leandro Salazar, Isabelle Alberto,

Kino Sevilla, Sichuan Rayco (Class 2022), and Viv Josol (Class 2024)

prepared unique games and prizes. It was

a great way to cap off a night of fun and


The ultimate highlight of The Grand

Carousel -- the Culmination Night entitled

“The Final Act” -- was held last August 17,

2018, at Patio de Manila, Malate, Manila.

The night kicked off with two short games

to get everyone in the mood to party. The

short program ended with the awarding

of the team winners and buddy pairs from

the different FOP tasks and activities given

over the past two weeks. The Fire Breathers

emerged as overall champions, and in

second and third place were the Acrobats

and the Hoopers. Once the program ended,

the members of Class 2023 along with Class

2022 partied and danced the night away,

wrapping up a successful FOP 2018.

The Final Act officially closed this

year’s Freshman Orientation Program

and marked the end of the recruitment

lockout season, allowing different college

organizations, fraternities, and sororities

to hold events and launch projects within

UPCM for the upcoming academic year.

UP MedChoir Bags 4 Golds in BICF 7

TOP: UP MedChoir performing Abendlied (top) and Ascendit Deus in jubilatone (bottom)

at the Musica Sacra Category Competition. Photos courtesy of Iris Ditan (Class 2021)

BOTTOM: The UP MedChoir with their conductor Ms. Maryam Remoto (far left), after

their performance in the Musica Sacra category, at GYK Kuta. Photo courtesy of UP


Dr. Dogs Visit UP College of

Medicine for a Day of Fun

and Stress Relief

by Lorena Osorio

Class 2021

A GROUP OF therapy dogs from the

Philippine Animal and Welfare Society

(PAWS) came to visit Calderon Hall

last September 21, 2018.

Held in the lobby from 12 noon through

3pm, the dogs were welcomed by students

and faculty and staff of the UP College of

Medicine and Philippine General Hospital

community looking for a way to de-stress

from a study- and work-filled week.

The project was organized by the

internal affairs committee of UP Medicine

Student Council, composed of Manuel

Luis Borja (Class 2024), Gabriel Roberto

Baybay (Class 2022), and Jose Mayo Viray

(Class 2021), along with Leandro Salazar

(Class 2022), Rausche Blaser Sausa (Class

2023), and Tranquil Matthew Salvador IV

(Class 2023). The event was organized with

the UPCM Office of Faculty and Student


“One of the taglines that our committee

has been using throughout the SY is, ‘MSC

42, here for you’, and that’s exactly what

we wanted to achieve with this project,”

says Luis Borja. “We wanted the student

body to know that their student council is

here to help them relax and destress from

all the toxicity of their academic workload,

and one fun and engaging way to do it, we

thought, was through therapy dogs.”

The furry visitors, which were Dr.

Parker, Dr. Yanyan, Dr. Dongdong, Dr.

Pachuchay, Prof. Jedi, Dr.

Leo, Dr. Argus, and Dr.

Torby, have undergone

rigorous training under

PAWS to become therapy

dogs. Once dog trainees

have undergone and passed

a medical or health test, a

temperament assessment,

and an obedience test, they

graduate to become “doctor

dogs”. PAWS’ dog therapy

program regularly caters

to sick or aged individuals

in hospital wards and

institutions for the aged.

Other advocacies of the

organization include animal

rights and welfare.

Despite class suspension

and rallies on that day,

the makeshift playpen at

Calderon Hall was filled

with people who came to

meet and play with the

dogs. Even clerks, interns,

and PGH Director Dr.

Gerardo Legaspi came for

a visit.

“We do plan on holding

another therapy dogs

session,” says Borja. “We’re

thinking of a bunch of other

options, like bringing it to

the pedia ward in PGH and

RTRing the dogs in med


by Iris Ditan

Class 2021

AFTER A YEAR of planning and

preparation, UP Medicine Choir (UP

MedChoir) bagged 4 gold medals and

successfully ended their tour at the recently

concluded 7th Bali International

Choir Festival (BICF 7) held in Indonesia

last July 23 to 29, 2018.

With 10 participating countries and 146

participating choir or vocal groups, BICF 7

was a massive event that featured concerts,

workshops, and competitions in 16 categories.

UP MedChoir was one of three choir

groups who represented the Philippines,

specifically in the Musica Sacra and Mixed

Youth categories. Their repertoire included

“Abendlied” (arr. Josef Rheinberger),

“Ascendit Deus in jubilatone” (arr. Peter

Philips), and “Ama Namin” (arr. Fidel

Calalang, Jr) for the Musicta Sacra category,

and “Sitivit Anima Mea” (arr. Richard

Burchard), “Benggong” (arr. Ken Steven),

and “Jubilate Deo” (arr. Giovanni Gabrieli)

for the Mixed Youth category.

In each of the category competitions,

the choir sang 2 songs from their repertoire

(Mixed Youth: “Sitivit Anima Mea” and

“Benggong”; Musica Sacra: “Abendlied”

and “Ascendit Deus in jubilatone”). The

choir’s performance in the Mixed Youth

Category Competition, held on the third

day at the Prime Plaza Hotel, earned them

a Gold Medal Level VI award and a spot

in the Mixed Youth Championship, which

was held the next day. Their score (35.45)

placed them a close 2nd after the Mapua

Cardinal Singers, another Philippine choir,

who scored 35.48 in the same competition.

Their performance in the Musica Sacra

Category Competition on the fourth day

at GYK Kuta, with a score of 33.48, also

ensured their advancement to the category’s

championship round as well as a Gold

Medal Level IV award.

Advancement to the championship

round for both categories allowed the choir

to sing all six songs they prepared for the

competitions. In both categories, UP Med-

Choir was awarded a gold medal for their

performances, with scores of 87.37 and

82.67 for the Mixed Youth and Musica Sacra

Championships respectively.

Aside from the competition, UP Med-

Choir participated in the Charity Concert

held at the Cathedral of Holy Spirit on the

first day, where they performed “Kordero

ng Diyos” (arr. Lucio San Pedro) and “An

Irish Blessing” (arr. James Moore, Jr.). They

also joined the Choir Exchange and Collaboration

activity at the Prime Plaza Hotel on

the fifth day of the festival along with the

Joa Ladies Choir (Korea), Unity of Voices

(Malaysia), and Musa Vocalista Choir (Indonesia).

Here, they performed “Kapayapaan”

(arr. Armand Villanueva) and shared

their skill in creating nature and animal

sounds, and at the same time learned new

songs and techniques from the other choirs.

Despite the festival lasting only one

week, the choir’s preparation had already

started a year before. Aside from their usual

training schedule, UP MedChoir had also

held workshops and chorale clinics with

experts, and incorporated the songs in earlier

gigs and concerts to get a feel for their

performance. Their repertoire was carefully

chosen, as Choirmaster Maryam Remoto

said, “to showcase the choir’s strength [...]

but also to challenge them with different

genres, such as with “Benggong”, making

sure that we weren’t showing the same flavor,

showcasing the variety of the choir.”

While UP MedChoir has once again

brought pride to the college, their

participation in this festival yielded more

than what awards can show. BICF 7 was a

venue to grow as a choir, form friendships,

exchange cultures, and celebrate the shared

love for choral music. Recounting the

Charity Concert, the Choir Collaboration,

and spontaneous singing sessions of the

song “Sa Iyong Mga Yapak” (Cerino;

arr. Guerrero) with The Unklab Choir

(Indonesia) and Cantate Domino (arr.

Josu Elberdin) with the Achievers Choir

(Indonesia), Tour Head and Assistant

Choirmaster Ged Llanes shared, “It’s more

than the competition; [...] it’s how our love

for music brings us together, and singing

together is better.”

Photos courtesy of the UP Medicine Student Council

First-Ever Intersectoral Disaster Risk Reduction and

Management Case Competition Held in UP Manila

by Lorena Osorio

Class 2021

LAST JUNE 2, 2018, the UP Medical

Students’ Society (UP MSS) held

Code Yellow, a collaborative and

intersectoral disaster risk reduction

and management case competition.

Themed United Front, the competition

was the first of its kind in UP Manila for

assembling students from all colleges

and universities to formulate hazard and

disaster management plans for real-life

municipalities in the Philippines.

Held in the College of Allied Medical

Professions Audio-Visual Room, the event

was hosted by Pia Arevalo (Class 2021) and

Lordom Grecia (Class 2021).

After the singing of the National

Anthem and an invocation, event head

Sean Cua (Class 2021) wel comed the

participants, speakers, judges, and guests.

The morning session consisted of two

talks on perspectives and roles of different

fields in disaster risk reduction and

management. Ms. Neyzielle Ronnicque

R. Cadiz came first with her presentation

entitled “Media and disasters: the role of

mass communication and the media in

disaster risk reduction and management”.

She is currently Information Officer III

and Research Specialist II from the UP

Resilience Institute NOAH Center.

Cadiz began with a situationer on how

disaster risk in the country is determined

by both natural hazards and the country’s

state of development, and then a brief

history of Project NOAH. Next, she

discussed the importance of the media

as information bearers, translators, and

disseminators for disaster risk reduction

and management as part of emergency

response preparedness. Next, she detailed

on some challenges in media reporting

and issues in intersectoral communication.

Finally, she emphasized that more than the

government and the media, the individual

should also always be ready by identifying

hazards in their area and being prepared

for disaster risks.

The second speaker, Mr. Benigno C.

Balgos, is currently a consultant on disaster

risk reduction-related projects of the United

Nations Development Programme, World

Food Programme, Save the Children, Plan

International, and the Philippine Red


Balgos discussed his research on

disaster risk reduction and management

in education in his presentation entitled

“Capacity development of teachers

for psychosocial intervention: post-

Haiyan experience”. He emphasized the

importance of research as key to providing

development intervention to people

affected by disaster, and collaboration

among stakeholders. He discussed the

application of the Module on Climate

Change and Disaster Risk Reduction

Education for Sustainable Development

(CCESD) in various primary and

secondary schools in Tacloban, Leyte. He

recommended that the training programme

be expanded and individualized to other

schools damaged by typhoon Haiyan.

A question-and-answer session came

after the talks, followed by awarding of

certificates and tokens for the speakers.

A breakout and lunch session followed,

allowing the participant groups to further

discuss their management of the cases.

The afternoon session began with

an overview of the two municipalities

by the respective Doctors-to-the-Barrios

(DTTBs) and involved professionals and

government officials. Dr. Noel Bernardo

led the situationer for Sabtang, Batanes.

He was followed by Engr. Irving Halago,

enironmental, materials, and plumbing

engineer for Sabtang; and Mr. Marx Isrhael

Castro, incumbent disaster risk reduction

and management officer of Sabtang. Dr.

Jessa Mae Rosete then presented the

overview for Limasawa, Southern Leyte.

The competition proper commenced,

with three teams for each municipality

discussing their 20-minute presentations on

their management strategies. Presentations

focused on a short introduction to the case,

identification of hazards and problem tree

formation, proposed plans of action, and


The teams’ strategies spanned different

fields such as medicine, psychology,

mass communication, business and

entrepreneurship, tourism, policy-making,

architecture, and engineering, among

others. The wide-ranging educational

and experiential backgrounds of the

participants made for presentations that

cut across and integrated the different

sectors in the communities.

Five minutes were allotted after each of

the presentations to answer questions from

the judges and the audience.

Afterwards, the DTTBs returned to

the stage to react to the presentations. Dr.

Bernardo commended the presentations

and shared that while the strategies were

a monumental step in the right direction, it

is also important that the ones formulating

these strategies also fully know the

situation in the municipalities, and as

much as possible visit these communities.

“We should not only provide armchair

solutions,” he says.

Dr. Rosete also congratulated

the presenters, and added that their

management plans definitely provided

new insight that could benefit not

only Limasawa and Sabtang, but other

communities as well. She emphasized

that preparedness is the most important

aspect of disaster management, and was

appreciative of the different teams’ efforts

to that goal.

MSS President Regiel Mag-usara

(Class 2020) followed with closing

remarks. He thanked the participants and

representatives from the municipalities

for Code Yellow, which he called “a huge

step forward towards intersectoral and

interprofessional collaboration”. He went

on to say that being the first of its kind, this

year’s Code Yellow was only the beginning

of more holistic and integrative disaster

management case competitions in the


Certificates and tokens were given to

the DTTBs, judges, and esteemed guests.

Winners were then announced. The

team of Nicole Uy (College of Nursing,

UPM), Abbeygail Abella (College of

Allied Medical Professions, UPM),

Eunice Gerona (College of Allied Medical

Professions, UPM), Paolo Bartolo (College

of Engineering, UPD), Kimberly Salamatin

(College of Development Communication,

UPLB), Ellora Narida (College of

Architecture), and Janelle Lao (College

of Arts and Sciences, UPM) won for the

Limasawa case.

The team of Denver Rancap (College

of Nursing, UPM), Gabrielle de Ocampo

(College of Public Health, UPM), Hanna

Cayabyab (College of Public Health,

UPM), Precious Manalo (College of Arts

and Sciences, UPM), Jamie Tuisieng

(Virata School of Business, UPD), Ricardo

Alindayu II (College of Engineering, UPD),

Jhenica Tan (College of Arts and Sciences,

UPM), and Marion Ordillano (College of

Engineering, UPD) won for the Sabtang


Winning teams received Php 10,000

each. Winners for the Sabtang case were

also invited to free lodging and a tour of

Sabtang should they visit.

TOP: Winners for the Limasawa Case, with project head Sean Cua, DTTB Dr. Jessa Mae

Rosete, and MSS President Regiel Mag-usara. BOTTOM: Winners for the Sabtang Case,

with project head Sean Cua, MSS President Regiel Mag-usara, DTTB Dr. Noel Bernardo,

and government officials and disaster risk reduction and management representatives

of the municipality. Photos courtesy of Iya de Claro (Class 2023)


TOP: The LU4 (Class 2022) Basketball team, HiMEDSikan 2018 men’s basketball

champions. MIDDLE: The HiMEDSikan 2018 Ultimate champions, Class 2023. BOTTOM:

The LU6/7 team and their supporters pose for a photo with their 2 championship

trophies, for futsal and volleyball. Photos courtesy of MSC42.

HiMEDSikan 2018

Officially Concluded:

Champions Crowned for Futsal, Men’s

Basketball, Ultimate, and Volleyball

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Class 2022’s Roy Gerona catching a pass for a

fast break. Photo courtesy of MSC42.

by Hanna Ho

Class 2022

and Lordom Grecia

Class 2021


Sports and Wellness Committee

successfully held the third and final

day of HiMEDSikan 2018 on Saturday,

06 October 2018, at the UP Manila

Sports Science and Wellness Center.

The final day of the annual

sporting event of the college included

the last few elimination games for men’s

basketball and the championship games

for all the sports: men’s basketball, futsal,

ultimate, and volleyball. The women’s

basketball games were also scheduled for

the last day, but had to be cancelled due to

unavailability of the players.

Men’s Basketball

Admin vs. LU6/7

The day started with the remaining

eliminations games for men’s basketball,

with the match between the Admin and

the LU6/7 teams going first. This match

was a make-or-break for both teams, as

the winner would face the LU4 team in the

championship later in the day.

The admin started out strong, grabbing

an early lead at 11 to 4. They continued to

keep up their game with Sir Kelly shooting

baskets in a row, bringing their score up

19 to 6. The first quarter ended in favor

of the admin, 21 to 8. The clinterns kept

up their fighting spirits, rallying to catch

up during the second and third quarters,

but the admin put up a fight and ended

the third quarter at 55 to 28 in their favor.

The admin kept up their amazing team

effort and eventually took the game with

an incredible 78 to 38 lead, advancing to

the finals against LU4 for a chance at the

championship trophy.

LU5 vs. LU3

The next men’s basketball game was

between LU5 (Class 2021) and LU3 (Class

2023). This was

a non-bearing

game, as LU4

had already won

two games in

their bracket.

Nonetheless, the

teams fought

hard and gave

their all. The LU5

team had Julian

Buban, Empol

Caldito, Emil

Cano, Sean Cua,

Jen Montemayor,

and Rey Vicoy,

while the LU3 team consisted of Jeric

Conjares, Matt Hernandez, Earl Mabulay,

Abot Monroy, and Gabriel Montemayor.

The game started slow, and the first

quarter ended with the teams tied at 6.

Class 2023 kept up their plays and were

able to pull away by the end of the first half

leading 19 to 11. Not to be deterred, Class

2021 upped their game. With Cano scoring

a 3 and Buban finally catching a break, they

were able to narrow the score gap, 18 to

20, but still in favor of LU3. The LU3 team

showed consistency, leading 27 to 22 by the

end of the third quarter. During the fourth

quarter, Hernandez was fouled and got

3-point play. Cano was fouled as well for a

three-point opportunity, but he missed the

free throw. The LU3 team prevailed and

won the game, 34 to 29.

The next game in the schedule was

supposed to be the first game of women’s

basketball, but it was instead used as a break

for the players before the championship



The Men’s Basketball Finals was

between the UPCM Admin and LU4. The

LU4 team consisted of Class 2022’s Myco

Cabuco, Martin Dizon, Nathan Gan, Roy

Gerona, Justo Santos, Steven Tan, and JC


LU4 started strong and grabbed the lead

with their excellent plays and teamwork,

ending the first quarter in their favor, 23-

5. The second quarter saw more aggressive

plays from the admin, but the first half

ended with the LU4 team leading 32 to 15.

The admin fought to catch up and close the

gap, but Class 2022 maintained their lead

and ended the third quarter with a 54 to 28

lead. Excellent plays were made by both

teams in the final quarter as a last push for

the championship title. Unfortunately, the

LU4 lead was too big and the admin was

no longer able to catch up, and Class 2022

ultimately prevailed. Class 2022 ended the

game leading 70 to 44 and took home the

championship trophy.



In the afternoon was the championship

match between the clinterns (LU6/7) and

LU5. The LU6/7 team had Migs Dimacali

and Aljohn Gonzales from Class 2019

and Gian Aurelio, Macky Camagay, Bea

Constantino, JR Sta. Maria, and Gian Urgel

from Class 2020, while the LU5 team was

composed of Class 2021’s Julian Buban,

Jaea Cabilao, Sean Cua, Bea Daayata, and

Wynona Dela Calzada.

It was an entertaining match, and

both teams seemed to have been in good

spirits all throughout. Despite the more

aggressive plays from the clinterns, no

goals were scored in the first half. Most

shots throughout the game were off target

for both teams, and the goalkeepers were

able to defend against most of the on-target

shots. Class 2021’s Julian Buban was able to

get a goal early in the second half, putting

them ahead 1-0. A handball on Buban

resulted in a penalty kick for the clinterns,

which they quickly converted to a goal to

even up the match 1-1. An unfortunate

handball called on the LU5 team just

outside the goal with a couple of minutes

left in the game resulted in a penalty from

the clinterns, and JR Sta. Maria made sure

he got the goal. In the end, the clinterns

won the game 2-1, earning them the futsal


An exhibition game of futsal between

the PGH team (interns, residents) and the

CM team (anyone from LU1-6) opened

the evening leading up to the remaining

championship games. It was a friendly

but still competitive match that kept

the audience entertained as the players

and supporters for the last two matches

made their way to the Sports Science and

Wellness Center.



The next match of the evening was the

ultimate finals between LU5 (Class 2021)

and LU3 (Class 2023). The LU5 team was

composed of Steph Abellera, Julian Buban,

Sean Cua, Ethan Maslog, Jayme Tambaoan,

and Kristel Tiburcio. The LU3 team

consisted of Josh Aguasin, Jeric Conjares,

Pat Gayod, Dan Go, Ysel Ladera , Samuel

Lim, Kat Orteza, Karel Tan, and Nico


LU5 started on the offensive, but LU3

was able to gain possession and scored

the first two points of the match. LU5

returned the favor and got two consecutive

points as well, tying the game at 2. The

LU3 team started heating up and got three

consecutive points before LU5 was able to

score their next point. The players from

Class 2023 didn’t let this faze them and

kept the momentum going as they led Class

2021 8 to 5. LU3 scored fast points with a

long pass from Go to Tan at the endzone,

and another from Tan to Ladera saw the

FUTSAL: Class 2020’s JR Sta. Maria gearing up for a free kick, while Class 2021’s Julian Buban, Bea Daayata, and Jaea Cabilao try to

block the path. Photo courtesy of MSC42.

lead balloon for LU3, 10-5. Just before soft

cap was called, LU3 was able to bring their

score up to 11 and the soft cap was set at 13.

The LU3 team didn’t waste any time, and

Aguasin sent a long pass to an airborne Go

at the endzone for a beautiful point. Shortly

after, Lim got a pass to Conjares, and LU3

took the game and the championship, with

a final score of 13-5.



The last match of the day was the

volleyball championship between the

clinterns and LU4. The LU6/7 team was

composed of Class 2020’s JP Ladera

and Kirby Plando, Class 2019’s Reni De

Guzman, Dudi De Juras, Migs Dimacali,

and Kim Dorado, and post-graduate

interns Dan Cadangan and Migs Notarte.

The LU4 team consisted of Class 2022’s

Jer’m Angobung, Julius Buitizon, Jack

Bulaong, Pibelle De Chavez, Raphael

Fudolig, Nathan Gan, Vinz Solanoy, and

Zad Velasquez.

Despite the game being late in the

evening and being the last match of the

day, the audience was definitely riled up

with the intensity of the match. The LU4

team led early in the set, but the clinterns

were able to take charge thanks to attacks

from De Guzman, Notarte, and De Juras.

The LU6/7 team led by 5 late in the first set,

21-16, but Bulaong’s blocking came to life

as the clinterns began making more errors,

and LU4 was able to make it to set point 24-

22. The clinterns fought back and were able

to tie it at 24, but ultimately excellent net

defense and killer offense prevailed for the

clinterns and they took the extended first

set 27-25.

The second set saw the arrival of

post-graduate intern Dan Cadangan for

the LU6/7 team, and his contributions

to the team allowed them to dominate

throughout the set. Despite 2022’s Raphael

Fudolig heating up in the set and scoring 7

points, the aggressive service and powerful

attacking from the clinterns earned them a

strong 25 to 16 win.

Set number 3 saw Fudolig on fire as

he scored most of the points for his team.

The clinterns nonetheless led by at least 5

points for the majority of the set, until they

were almost at match point, 23-18. Class

2022 rallied and managed to save 4 match

points, tying the game at 24. An emphatic

block from Fudolig won them the set at 26-

24, forcing a fourth set and energizing their

supporters in the audience.

The excitement continued in the fourth

set. The clinterns led comfortably early

in the set, but the LU4 team came alive

despite being down 7 points at 15 to 22.

They were able to tie the game at 23 and

kept the hustle going as they even got to

set point, 24-23. The clinterns weren’t going

down without a fight, though, and they

tied the game at 24 for another extended

set. The LU6/7 team ultimately prevailed,

winning the fourth set 27-25 and taking the


Congratulations to the 42 nd Medicine

Student Council Sports and Wellness

Committee Co-Heads and HiMEDSikan

2018 Co-Heads Nicole Alberto (Class 2023)

and Rausche Sausa (Class 2023), the rest of

MSC42, and the volunteers on the success

of their three-day flagship event, and to all

the teams that participated!

—With special thanks to Miguel Costa and

Migs Dimacali for helping the writers get

information for this article.

Reactions on the PGH

Malasakit Center


Editorial on page 2

A few moments after the launch,

numerous posts from members of the

UP-PGH and medical community started

popping up on social media criticizing the

blatant campaigning and actions of Mr. Go:

Dr. Gideon Lasco

(Twitter: @gideonlasco)

“It is true that Duterte has earmarked

more taxpayers’ money to PGH than any other

president (owing to the Sin Tax Law) - but

this is not an excuse for allowing the hospital

to be politicized. Dignity has no price tag.”

Dr. Paolo “Lopao” Medina

(Twitter: @LopaoMD)

“Sold na sold sa “Malasakit” Center!

Ang GaGO! Such a facility is supposed to

be A GIVEN especially in an institution like

PGH, not something that “somebody from

above” benevolently “bestows”. HEALTH

IS A RIGHT. Para tayong pataygutom

niyan sa “malasakit” eh dapat default yun.”

Dr. Leonard Pascual

(Twitter: @drbrainhacker)

“Ang tunay na malasakit ay walang

photo-op, walang media/social media blitz.

Hindi dinadaan sa mga gimmick. Ang tunay

na malasakit sa pasyente na mahihirap tulad

ng nasa PGH ay pagbalik at pagtaas ng

budget sa kalusugan. ”

“When everyone around makes that heil

salute fist, even your boss, be the “hands

down” winner by not raising your own fist.”

[Editor’s note: This tweet is in reference to

the cover photo of this editorial, wherein

PGH Director Gap Legaspi was the only one

pictured not making the popular Duterte

hand gesture.]”

Former Medicine Student Council

(MSC) Chairperson Leonard Javier

(FB: leolymathza12)

“Bong Go’s usage of PGH for premature

campaign is several levels of abuse and

deterioration of public service. We can be

better, we should be better. No to trapo

politics. What we tolerate, we empower.

There is no room for corruption in PGH.”

MSC Representative to the University

Student Council Omid Siahmard

(Twitter: @omidong)

“Yes, Bong Go just used a hospital to

advance his political career. He used the

conditions of the destitute sick to make

himself a messiah while actually being a

major contributor to the death of the masses.

This, all for political leverage. And the

hospital was PGH.”

Official Statement of the 42nd Medicine

Student Council

(FB: UPMedicineStudentCouncil)

“We condemn this act of premature

campaigning and use of public resources to

fund political gains. The delivery of basic

services should not be made a stage for

personal promotion and publicity. According

to the Alma Ata Declaration, of which

today we also celebrate the anniversary

of its declaration, ‘governments have a

responsibility for the health of their people

which can be fulfilled only by the provision

of adequate health and social measures. This

responsibility should be fulfilled without

manipulation for personal political gains.’”

On the other hand, some doctors chose

to highlight the positive impact of the

center on indigent patients:

The Anime

that Every



Must Watch

by Louie Dy

and Sean Cua

Class 2021

CELLS AT WORK (Hataraku Saibou)

is a Japanese manga written and

illustrated by Akane Shimizu. The

uncanny, out-of-this-world brilliance

of the author is manifested at how each

character, such as the Red Blood Cell, is

personified into the series protagonist.

By adding life and character to each

cell, human physiology, especially

concerning the basics of Hematology

and Immunology, become quite

palatable even for the layperson. The

magnificence and miracle that is the

human body is successfully translated

into the exuberance that is the anime

series. Even if you might think that

this article is a spoiler of the series,

you can never really call this a spoiler

because there is exponentially more

fun in watching and reading the series


Bacteria and parasites, such as

pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus,

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Clonorchis

sp., are personified into polymorphic

monsters which do somehow resemble

the specimens in real life. Red Blood Cells

deliver oxygen and carbon dioxide to

their respective places. White Blood Cells

fight bacteria using their daggers. Helper

T-Cells coordinate and facilitate the

activation of Naive T-Cells into Cytotoxic

T-Cells. Macrophages deal massive

damage to the bacterial army. Platelets,

with their stress-relieving, permafrostmelting

cuteness repair damages to the

blood vessel and just somehow make your

day happier. These are just examples of

basic processes that occur in the human

body every day, yet Cells At Work showed

how beautiful and important these “basic”

processes are.

Numerous analogies bridge the

molecular and cytological mechanisms

into concrete actions done by each

characters. Clotting factors are shown as

some “gadget” used by the Platelets, and

the fibrin clot is shown as a “net.” Helper

T-Cells coordinate in a “command center”

across classes of immunocytes in order to

fight infections. Antigen presentation is

illustrated as “transferring of information

or a book.” Enucleation is shown as

the “graduation ceremony” of the Red

Blood Cells (from being Reticulocytes).

The Dendritic Cell is shown as a tree

with an operator, which satisfies the

etymology of the word “Dendritic” from

“Dendro”,”which means “tree.” The

Cancer Cell appears to be an ordinary cell

until the Natural Killer Cell, being able to

sniff abnormalities in such cells, finding

out how monstrous he was. The fact that

tumor cells needed a humongous blood

supply was also translated into massive

hordes of Red Blood Cells accomplishing

a “giant delivery order.”

Aside from concrete analogies,

the anime also stimulates imaginative

thinking, such as how the characters

would play their roles in more devastating

and debilitating conditions. Perhaps,

for example, in a more morbid setting,

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

(ITP) could involve a mass murder of the

poor cute little Platelets, or perhaps in

Meningococcemia, the bacteria could act

like a ninja that causes damage to the skin

and meninges (nervous system), leading to

fast world destruction and armageddon.

As such, multiple spinoffs have

emerged, and one of them, while still a

manga, is the darker, Seinen, and probably

R-16 Cells At Work BLACK (Hataraku

Saibou BLACK), by Shigemitsu Harada

and Issei Hatsuyoshi. In this manga,

cells in a “black,” harsher environment

attempt to do their job. Topics include

erectile dysfunction and the use of

Sildenafil, “illegal” LDL deposition and

atherosclerosis, liver disease, gonorrhea,

among others. Other spin-offs, such as

Bacteria At Work and Cells That Do Not

Work, are underway.

This only proves the anime not

only to be quite entertaining, but

also quite educational. Physiology

and pathophysiology, which are the

foundations of modern medicine, can be

easily remembered. Things that are often

skimmed in medical school are paid more

attention throughout the series. Cuter

diagrams such as the Hematopoietic Stem

Cell Line diagram at the end of Chapter 6

of the manga would definitely help in the

board exams.

For those who would like to go and

see the show beyond its zany depiction

of biology, the show can be perceived as

Artwork by Albert Jason Olaya (Class 2022)

a microcosm of a real world utilitarian

society. Every cell’s identity and function

are already determined from the start, their

purpose already known, and they live out

their paths all in support of the human

body’s betterment. Anytime something

goes awry, the body has agents in its arsenal

(the immune system cells) to reclaim the

gentle homeostasis under duress. The

society thus represents the potential of a

real world scenario when every individual

focuses on their utility for the good of the

body and where exogenous foreign factors

that strive to disrupt the peace are properly

identified and eliminated. The show then

presents an interesting twist to their utopia

once they realize that some disruptive

factors are actually cells of their own kind

that had an error in its production.

This problem then explores the

question, “What are to be done to disruptive

agents who don’t have the capacity to do

what they were meant to do and instead

cause harm to the society?” Do they try

and help them reform (as in the case of the

main character – a red blood cell who has

no sense of direction and can’t deliver the

important nutrients of the body) or do they

simply eliminate these “threats to society”

(as in the case of the cancer cell who was

at the point of metastasizing)? By making

its viewers pause and think about these

questions, the anime goes deeper than its

medmonics surface level façade to unveil

the questions we seldom ask, and yet

need to answer as they will reflect how we

actually view the world we see before us.

Beyond this show, every Japanese

manga and anime is quite educational and

often even quite deep and philosophical.

There also exists an anime about

Microbiology and the production of

alcohol—Moyashimon, where bacteria are

personified into cute Chibi characters such

that the main character is able to see them

and interact with them. In the manga The

Promised Neverland, The Hayflick Limit is a

concept that defines the maximum number

of times a cell can divide in a lifetime—a

concept that was never taught in medical


Cells at Work by Akane Shimizu is still

ongoing. An episode is released every


Dr. Francisco Tranquilino

(FB: francisco.tranquilino)

“Personally, I would rather not dwell on

the tarps but I just have to say this nonetheless

to those who reacted negatively. This was

how we welcome him in PGH and we were

the beneficiaries of the project. If the tarp is

in poor taste, I will let it be, I can live with

that. It will not affect my decision if I will

vote for him or not in case he runs. I am more

concerned with kurakot than being epal and


LEFT: Banners with campaign-esque slogans featuring Special Assistant to the President and PDP-Laban senatorial bet Christopher Lawrence

“Bong” Go were installed in the halls of PGH surrounding the new Malasakit Center. Photo courtesy of Jorrel Vincent Valdez (FB: jorrelvincent.


RIGHT: Health cards that prominently display President Duterte hugging a patient and Mr. Go comforting a sickly child were part of the

paraphernalia to be distributed to the indigent patients of PGH. Photo sourced from UP Manila’s Official Facebook Page (FB: UPMANILAOFFICIAL).







by Sean Cua

Class 2021

EVER SINCE I was very young, I had

been brought up with a saying that

goes, “lan mhm see huana,” which

roughly translates to “we are not

Filipinos.” Whenever I’d ask why this

was the case, I’d just be told “lan si

lannang” (“we are Chinese”), followed

by a long explanation of how my greatgrandfather

came to this country along

with my great-grandmother, and how I

had to protect the sacred “pure” blood

that I had. To be frank, I didn’t really

understand why I had to do this, but

it had been so ingrained in my mind

that whenever I needed to specify my

nationality in any document, I would

write “Chinese” instead of “Filipino.”

I was proud of myself for doing that

– proud of actually telling the world,

“Hey, I am Chinese! A pure-blooded

Chinese [who can’t speak Mandarin

or Hokkien very well and who can’t

speak Cantonese at all, but for all

intents and purposes looks like one]!”

This went on until I was older, when

I eventually learned the term “tai diok

kha,” or “mainlander.” Apparently, we

were just a subset of “Chinese” who

had gone abroad before they had been

affected by the communist upheaval in

China. My relatives then explained to

me that those who were left behind—

these “mainlanders”—had lost the sense

of culture that made one a true Chinese,

thus they were also frowned

upon by everyone else. I was at

least old enough to understand

that being Chinese is more

than just having the blood and

looking the part, but then this

opened more questions than

answers. What exactly was being

true Chinese all about? How

can one call themselves Chinese if they don’t

even identify themselves with the China that

currently exists today? Where exactly do I


In its heart, I believe that one of Crazy

Rich Asians’ core themes was to open

the discussion of this confusion and this

question of identity that most people, not

just immigrant Chinese, experience today.

Rachel Chu (portrayed by Constance Wu)

was a person of Chinese ancestry and could

speak Mandarin, but lived her whole life

in America and was an American citizen.

At one of the crucial segments of the

movie, her boyfriend’s mother, Eleanor

Young (portrayed by Michelle Yeoh), told

her that she did not accept Rachel even

before they had properly met because she

wasn’t part of the “gai khi lang” (“own

people”) circle. Even before Eleanor had

mentioned this, Rachel already knew the

woman’s disposition towards her and to

much of the movie’s target demographic

and me, her struggle felt eerily similar. She

had never been fully American because

she was Chinese, and she will never be

fully Chinese because she had been partly

Americanized—who and what exactly

is she, then? In a culture whose simple

desire to protect itself led to its strict and

restrictive inclusion criteria for those of its

own kind, where do people like Rachel

fit in? Going further, what exactly does it

mean to be Chinese? What exactly does it

mean to be Filipino?

In this way, Rachel’s journey

throughout the movie hits this type of

audience in a way that has not been made

this real in a very long time. She initially

tried to adopt the beliefs, mannerisms,

language, and behavior of those around

her, and when this had become futile,

instead chose to don her culture and her

personality–standing out instead of fitting

in. Though she initially attempted to copy

and immerse herself in this crazy rich

Asian culture, she chose to shine instead

in the culture that had brought her up into

who she was today. Through her narrative,

director Jon Chu crafts an idea: rather

than letting the culture of those around

you define your story, your past and

present culture and upbringing are your

own story and it is ultimately up to you

how you choose to tell the tale. It becomes

very easy to get lost in the confusion of

needing to belong at a specific culture,

so much so that we forget that a culture

is dead without its people. An entire

culture is made up of subcultures from

many distinct individual lives who create

a community of shared traits, beliefs,

practices, and behaviors. To me, these

are like different strokes on a painting:

no two strokes are exactly alike but it’s

their differences and varied utility that

contributes to a beautiful masterpiece. In

the end, Rachel decided to stay true to her

culture—her and her mother’s Chinese-

Americanship of struggle, tribulation, and

triumph—and her firm resolve spoke to

the hearts of Eleanor, Nick, and to many

of us here today.

To those who haven’t seen the movie,

watch it. I don’t need to add to what’s

already been said by countless other

people, movie reviewers, and Facebook

posts for you to know just how many lives

have been moved by this rom-com. As

for me, yes, I am a Chinese who doesn’t

live in China [and who can speak better

Chinese now, though still quite far from

being at the level I want to be at yet], and a

It becomes very easy to get lost in the confusion

of needing to belong at a specific culture, so

much so that we forget that a culture is dead

without its people.

Filipino who, despite not looking like one,

now writes in his nationality as “Filipino”

in all his current documents. The history

of how my ancestors overcame their

circumstances for me to be here today, as

well as the present day-by-day journey I

walk, are both part of the story of culture I

choose to weave for myself.

Saranggola ni Pepe:

Paano Lumikha ng Naratibo

sa Wikang Filipino

ni Mark Teo

Class 2023

SIYAM NA TAONG gulang pa lang

ako noong narinig ko sa radyo ang

kanta ni Celeste Legaspi na Saranggola

ni Pepe. Bukod sa aking katuwaa n

dahil sa tonong kung saan napapaisip

ako na walang problema sa mundong

ito, naintriga ako sa imaheng nilikha

ng kanta sa loob ng aking kaisipan.

Maraming taon ang lumipas bago

nalaman ko na ang kantang ito ay

may mas malalim na kahulugan. Sa

pagsusuri ng kantang Saranggola ni

Pepe, makikita ang kakayahan ng

wikang Filipino sa paglilikha ng


Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe

Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi

Ayon sa CCP Encyclopedia of

Philippine Art, si Pepe ay kumakatawan

sa ordinaryong Pilipino, at ang kaniyang

saranggola ay ang kaniyang pangarap

para sa kinabukasan. Ayon sa iba’t-ibang

interpretasyon ng mga linyang ito, dahil

“Pepe” ang palayaw ni Dr. Jose Rizal ay

sinasabi na simbolo ito ng pangarap ng

isang bayani para sa ating bansa. Ang

matandang bingi naman ay nagtutukoy

sa presidente sa mga panahon na iyon—si

Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos. Nailabas

ang kantang ito noong 1977, limang taong

matapos naideklara ang Batas Militar. Ang

asawa ni Legaspi na si Nonoy Gallardo ang

gumawa ng kanta, gamit din ng medyo

sirang ukulele ng kanilang anak. Sa halip

ng tuwirang pagtira sa gobyerno, gumamit

si Gallardo ng imahe para hindi halata.

Bagaman hindi masyadong halata sa

unang pagkinig ng kanta, ang kantang ito

ay produkto ng mga karanasan ni Gallardo

sa panahon ng Batas Militar.

Umihip ang hangin, nawala sa paningin

Sigaw ng kahapon, nilamon na ng alon

Malabo ang tunog ng kampanilya ni Padre

Maingay ang taginting, rosaryo ng babae

Isang interpretasyon ng kantang ito ay

tungkol sa mga sinaunang Pilipino. Naanod

sila ng kolonyalismo, at sa susunod na mga

dalawang linya ay makikita ang mga imahe

na galing sa pagiging kolonya ng mga

Kastila, lalo na sa mga imaheng Katoliko

tulad ng rosaryo at ang kampanilya ni

Padre. Sumisimbolo rin ito ng kawalan ng

boses at ang pagtakip ng mga karahasan

ng mga Pilipino sa panahon ng Batas

Militar. Hanggang ngayon, nawawala sa

paningin ang mga nangyari noon. Sa gitna

ng matinding hirap na ito, umasa sila sa

Diyos para malunasan ang kanilang mga

problema, at makikita ito sa mga likhang

sining ng mga panahong iyon, tulad ng

Himala ni Dir. Ishmael Bernal.

Hinuli ang ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon

Tinali ng pisi, hindi na nagsinturon

Dumaan ang jeepney at gumuhit pa sa kalye

Mauling ang iniwang hindi na tinabi

Ang paggamit ng jeepney, na napunta

sa Pilipinas noong naging kolonya tayo ng

Amerika, ay nagpapakita na sinasalaysay

naman ng bersong ito ang panahon ng

Amerikano. Dahil sa paggawa ng mga

pampublikong paaralan, pinaaral ang mga

kabataan ng wikang Ingles. Sa proseso ng

“Benevolent Assimilation,” napaiba ng mga

Amerikano ang kultura ng mga Pilipino.

Hinuli ang mga Pilipino, at pinagsuot sila

ng pantalon. (Isyu ba iyo ng kaisipang

kolonyal?) Masasabi rin na “tinali” tayo

dahil sa pagturo ng wikang Ingles sa halip

ng wikang Filipino. Ang epekto nito ay

nararamdaman natin mula noon hanggang

ngayon. Mauling nga ang iniwan nila, lalo

na sa mga isyu katulad ng Visiting Forces

Agreement o VFA, at higit sa lahat ay hindi

nga ito tinabi. Sa perspektibo ng Batas

Militar, kumakatawan ito sa kawalan ng

kalayaan at sa mga masasamang epekto ng

Batas Militar, tulad ng mataas na utang at

sistemang cronyism na hindi pa nawawala

hanggang ngayon.

Pinilit umawit, ang naglaro’y isang ingit

Lumuha ang langit at ang mundo ay nanliit

Kumakaway sa bakod ang anghel na nakatanod

Sumusuway sa utos, puso’y sinusunod

Tinutukoy nito ang mga protesta na

nangyari sa panahon ng Batas Militar, at

kaunti lamang sa mga gustong sabihin ng

mga tao ang lumabas dahil sa matinding

panunupil ng administrasyong Marcos.

Ilan sa mga pamamaraan na ginamit ay

ang sapilitang pagkawala o matinding

pananakit para tumahimik ang mga boses.

Naging dahilan ito kung bakit “lumuha”

ang mga Pilipino sa mga panahon na

iyon. Ang mga anghel na nakatanod

naman ay tumutukoy sa mga militar na

sinigurado na hindi lalabas ang mga tao

sa mga hangganang aprobado ni Marcos.

Kasama na rin dito ang Metropolitan

Command Intelligence Service Group

(MISG) na sumalakay sa We Forum, isang

pahayagang kritikal sa administrasyong

Marcos. Sumuway sa utos ang mga

Pilipino, at sinundan nila ang kanilang

pusong nagnanais ng tunay na kalayaan.

Sa maikling kantang ito, ganitong

karaming kahulugan ang nakuha.

Naniniwala ako na pinapakita nito ang

kakayahan ng wikang Filipino na gumawa

ng malakas na naratibo. Makikita rin ito sa

ibang mga kanta katulad ng “Ang Huling

El Bimbo” ng Eraserheads, “Anak” ni

Freddie Aguilar, at “Sirena” ni Gloc-9.

Ang kayamanan ng wikang Filipino ay

nakakatulong hindi lamang sa pagpapadala

ng mensahe, ngunit pati ang paghug ot

nito sa ating mga damdamin para sa isang

karanasang mahirap makalimutan. Ang

mensahing ito na higit pang pinapayaman

rin ng musika na, sa kaso ng Saranggola ni

Pepe, ay pwedeng mapakinggan ng kahit

mga bata. Inaaanyayahan ko kayong lahat

na hanapin pa ang iba pang mga kantang

Pilipino, dahil paraan ito para mas umibig

tayo sa ating wikang pambansa.

Paunawa: Ginamit ko ang pagsusuri

nina osoninja at NatanielProductions sa

kanilang mga blog, ang video ng PH iNews

ukol sa Saranggola ni Pepe, at ang aking

mga opinyon para gawin ito.


The CochleHear



The Dean’s Vision for UPCM


by Mark Teo

Class 2023

by Louie Dy

Lorena Osorio

Diego Mina

Lordom Grecia

Er Pilotin

Markyn Kho

Rory Nakpil

and Hanna Ho

The dean’s flagship project, InSPIRE, refers to a series of goals—In for infrastructure; S

for science and discovery; P for partnership for progress in healthcare; I for innovation

in leadership; R for resource generation, fiscal management and governance; and E for

empowering—for embracing wellness, diversity, and sense of community.

1. Infrastructure

UP College of Medicine Medical Science

Students’ Unit is a new name to revitalize

the building construction which stalled

last 2016. Besides the re-christening, the

University of the Philippines Medical

Alumni Society (UPMAS) is also bent on

hiring a new contractor and a construction

manager for the new site, so construction

can begin immediately and independent of

the Academic Center.

UP System President Danilo

Concepcion has pledged to give about 70

million pesos for the expansion of three

more floors to the original design. From the

footprint of initially around 6000 square

meters, this has now increased to more

than 9000 square meters - at least 1/3 or

30% bigger footprint and space. There will

also be three (3) more floors added to the

proposed eight (8), and one of the floors

will contain an auditorium that can house

around 220 people.

A replacement for the Florentino

Herrera Medical Library will also be built,

which will occupy one entire floor in the

new University Library. A bridgeway

connecting the UPCM Medical Science

building with the floor that houses the

medical library will be created.

The dean hopes that the construction

will be started again before the end of the

year, and would be finished within the next

two years. It would be then that the College

in this cost complicated

as the evening looms

and the owls stir electrified

flashing eyes in the gloom

bringing back to me my darling

who i lost the other day

holds me tight till i’m together

so i never fade away

easy to my senses

all the lack of it

nothingness in a room

clutching you

caressing claws of shadows

will it ever let you go

and if i find the heart to turn

and switch the sights

live in lights

will it show

all the fears and failures that i feel


were never there at all

Dean Charlotte Chiong heading the strategic planning workshop, which led to her plan,

summarized as “INSPIRE”.

could increase the number of entrants.

“We still have to decide whether we will

increase the lateral entrants or the direct

entrants,” says Dr. Chiong. “Everything

has to be evidence-based, either on our

survey of what the students want or on the

performance of the college.”

2. Science and Discovery

According to Dr. Chiong, among more than

36,000 indexed scientific publications from

1930 to 2018 in the Philippines, more than

a third of those came from the UP System.

Among those, the triumvirate of UPCM,

UP Manila, and PGH comprise more than a

third of the total number of UP publications

-- equal to UP Diliman’s output.

“Can you imagine? A small student

and faculty population like ours, but in

terms of research output, we’re the same

as the biggest campus in the system? I

think that’s something to be proud of,” Dr.

Chiong heartwarmingly remarked.

However, she noted that only 4% of

the faculty complement of UPCM (about

26 faculty members) have PhDs. Because

MDs are considered masteral, she initially

planned to implement a program wherein

MDs with residency, fellowship, and

publications are given PhD equivalents.

This idea has been suggested to the UP

Manila Chancellor since 2013.

“You can double the number of PhDs

by just giving [those who have published

numerous research works] to obtain their

PhD by some means, “ says Dr. Chiong. “A

PhD-by-publication means writing a thesis

that will basically summarize the body

of work that they’ve already done. Aside

from the existing MD-PhD program, we’re

looking at faculty also to have more PhDs.”

The dean is also aiming to further

sharpen research-making among the

students. Aside from just going through

the motions of doing research, the aim

is to equip and enable students to do

publishable research -- not to ask students

to submit papers in thesis form, but actually

to submit them in publishable format.

She is thinking of implementing a

mentoring scheme similar to the existing

one but geared towards research. Students

going through their clinical years under the

same clinical department can be converged

into a group mentored by that department,

and the goal would be to publish a case

report or any paper before they graduate

from LU7.

“That’s my dream for the medical

students -- to be knowledgeable

about research,” she says. “I think

it’s very vital, coming from the

premier medical school of the

country, that we have this ability

to really publish and discover and

establish your research careers

early on; because I believe that

research can help you be a better

clinician. It’s very difficult to be a good

clinician without being able to generate

knowledge based on research.”

The possibility of having dual Masters’

degrees, such as MD plus Master’s Degree

in Clinical Epidemiology, MD plus

Master’s Degree in Public Health, MD plus

Master’s Degree in Pharmacology and

Biochemistry, is currently being explored.

3. Progress and Healthcare

Dr. Chiong acknowledges that while

UPCM has a partnership with the

Department of Science and Technology

(DOST) for some research projects, and

with the Philippine Council for Health

Research and Development (PCHRD) for

the MD-PhD program, there is still a need

for more partnerships.

The UP College of Medicine is ranked

70th among medical schools in Asia. The

low score in internationalization may be

due to the difficulty in getting international

students given that the College is heavily

subsidized by the Filipino taxes. This issue

can be broadly attacked by having more

international faculty appointed.

Along with the UP Medical Alumni

Society of America (UPMASA), the dean

plans that should UPCM alumni abroad

spend time in the Philippines to help

develop modules with the consultants,

review the courses, or be involved in

research or community work, they could

be appointed as adjunct faculty or visiting


Her current plan is to have clinical

departments and basic departments get

10% of their faculty component from the

visiting/touring faculty. In addition, Dr.

Angela Aguilar from the Department of

Obstetrics and Gynecology is heading

the new Office for External Linkages and

International Linkages. This office would

review exchange programs and seek out

top universities to partner with the College.

This will give students more opportunities

to spend time on sandwich programs on

Master’s Degree courses, PhD, or even


4. Innovation and Leadership

While Dr. Chiong acknowledges that

UPCM has always been known to be the

top medical school, leading in innovative

programs and having a curricular

development way ahead of the others, she

is looking to add more new programs.

“We’re going to work on having a

bioengineering program to allow medical

students who are interested in inventing

devices,” she says. “For example, [they

can] work with the engineers from the UP

College of Engineering, to come up with

medical devices or just exploring new

materials that can be used in the clinics in

order to help us care for our patients.”

5. Resource Generation and


The dean and her team plan to institute

some novel ways of being able to have

more and better facilities for students.

Space audits were conducted before the

school year started to ensure the existing

rooms used for lectures were in good

condition. Chairs were refurbished,

lighting and audiovisuals were improved,

air conditioners were primed, tiles were

fixed. They are currently studying the

possibility of providing students with

water for drinking.

During her run for deanship, Dr. Chiong

did a limited survey of about 95 students.

She found out that the administration had

the lowest score -- a failing grade of less than

3 in a scale of 1 to 6 -- under infrastructure

and student services, although they did

I want the UPCM medical

student to graduate as a

physician-scientist, with a

nationalist fervor

fairly under academic reputation.

“Every time you want to institute

change—especially for infrastructure—

there’s always some kind of inconvenience.

For sure things will get better once we get

the new building,” she said.

Dr. Chiong added that she was in a

simulation workshop of SimMan, a high

fidelity patient simulator. Before students

are allowed to deal with patients directly,

the faculty should first see whether

students have enough skills to deal with a

myriad of problems in airway, breathing,

and so forth, through the use of a patient

simulator. Once the new building is built,

they plan to have at least one floor or even

two floors for simulation.

6. Empower and Embrace

The Associate Dean for Faculty and

Students, Dr. Chette Gonzales, and Dr.

Continued on page 11

The CochleHear Series: InSPIRE ...

Continued from page 10

Benjamin Sablan, Jr. of the newly created

Office for Resiliency, Diversity, Gender

Sensitivity, and Community are planning

on how to improve resiliency among

medical students.

The mentoring system will be more

structured such that there would be a

standardized way for students to be

mentored. For the first time, they will be

tapping not just faculty but also alumni to

take in mentees.

On the proposal of the UP Medical

Student Council of having dogs for the

students to pet before exams and allow the

release of tension, Dr. Chiong says, “I’ve

never been able to do that when I was a

medical student like you, but I suppose

things have changed dramatically and

we need to be able to respond to your

generational quirks and uniqueness.”

On the Medical Cash Grant and the

Cost of Medical Education

Regarding the cost of medical education,

the dean says that they are working on

computing the reneging fee for the Return

Service Agreement, taking into account

the cost of personal services, capital outlay,

and the depreciation of the physical plant

and equipment.

The Dean’s management team’s

discussion with CHED clarified that

because UPCM already has its own return

service program, there will be no additional

return service for those availing of cash

grants from CHED. This is in contrast

with other state universities and colleges

(SUCs), which will require one year of

return service per one academic year’s cash

grant, in addition to serving as Doctors to

the Barrios (DTTB).

However, cash grant funding will most

likely only be for this school year. “There’s

a 90% chance that it might not be continued

next year,” says Dr. Chiong.

Spearheading the Path Towards More

Research-Oriented Medical Education

Dr. Chiong mentioned that whenever

students are asked what a Five-Star

Physician means to them, they would say

“to give compassionate care” or “to become

a compassionate health provider, decision

maker, communicator, community leader

and manager”. Nevertheless, she will be

putting focus on one particular star: the

research thrust.

“I want the UPCM medical student

to graduate as a physician-scientist, with

a nationalist fervor,” she says. “Research

can be translated into better clinical care,

or better health policy, or changes in how

we deliver care to individual patients.

That’s my dream for the UPCM student—

to strengthen its system by which we are

able to graduate as physician-scientists.

The physician-scientist is not only for the

MD-PhDs, but for every UPCM graduate.”

From the exit interview of the first

batch of MD-PhD graduates, three out

of the four graduates had indicated their

preference to undertake residency training

instead of research. While this may sound

rather contrary to the goal of the MD-PhD

program, the dean does not believe so. For

her, the MD-PhDs should be immersed in

the clinics as well, so they will be able to

formulate the research questions that can

answer the needs of the patients in the

clinics -- similar to what she has done for

the Newborn Hearing Screening program

in the country.

“It’s going to be not only bench-tobedside,

but bedside-to-bench, and also

from bench-to-community,” she says.

Dr. Chiong then ended by sharing

another story:

“We went to Boracay [in 2004], not

because we want to go to the beach --

although that’s part of it (laughs). We

went there to do mission work for the

Ati population. The conditions for the

indigenous peoples were really poor. We

found out that 50% of them had luga - ear

discharge, so we said, “Bakit ganon?” The

national average for otitis media is 12%.

How come we’re given 50% here?

“One of our graduates at our ENT

Training Program, Dr. Regie Lyn Santos-

Cortez, has a PhD in Genetic Epidemiology.

Her first paper was on a child who had

recurring ear infections in the pediatrics

ward. They couldn’t find out what’s wrong

with the child. I told her, “Baka may cochlear

malformation. Let’s do a CT scan.” Lo and

behold, when we thought it was a normal

CT scan, the patient actually had a cochlear

malformation. That paper won a first prize.

“[Dr. Santos-Cortez] did a pedigree

for the Ati population in Boracay. She

found [the trait] to be circular instead of

going down -- that means there are a lot of

intermarriages. When we got samples from

the saliva and from the discharge, what we

found out was that they had a gene, a rare

mutation in A2ML1 (a protein important

for defense against microbes), which made

them predisposed to developing otitis

media.That paper got published in Nature

Genetics in 2015.”

Dr. Chiong strongly believes that

survey or research always go hand in

hand with service. For example, buying

expensive audiometers at 250,000 or

300,000 pesos are unnecessary when even

schoolteachers can be taught how to use a

more affordable, 250-peso tuning fork to do

hearing screening and detect hearing loss

among children.

“You can translate what you learned

in the clinics, so that you are also able to

do it in the communities and vice-versa,”

she says. “Community can also impact the

way you take care of your patients, and

taking care of patients can also impact the


“My dream for medical students

to graduate in UPCM is actually quite

big,” she continues. “If there’s anything

I learned from being in med school, it’s

that if you do really well, if you imbibe the

values that we want you to really learn—

honesty, integrity, hard work, discipline

—these values will allow you to grab an

opportunity when it presents itself. And

once you get that opportunity, that it

will lead to more doors opening for you.

We want you to realize your dreams and

pursue your passion. We want you to be

able to incorporate happiness into your

lives. Because when we are not happy

doing anything, it’s not worth it. You take

care of patients and you enjoy that as

well. Because if you do that—and that’s

what happened to me—everything will be



by Iya de Claro

Class 2023


Doctors for the


by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., PhD

Delivered during the UP College of Medicine Commencement Exercises

at the UP Theater, July 22, 2018, 12:00 pm


PADILLA, Dean Charlotte Chiong,

Members of the Graduating Class of

2018 and their proud parents, fellow

members of the faculty and staff,

friends, ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you all for this great honor of

being invited as your commencement

speaker. I’m still not sure exactly why a

Professor of English is speaking to a corps of

medical graduates and professionals, and I

know that many of you will be wondering

as well what I have to say. But I will do

my best to make it worth your time—and

mine—for at least one good reason.

This will probably be the last time I

will be wearing this sablay as a UP official,

as I will be retiring six months hence after

35 years of service to the University. So

this, too, is my commencement as much

as yours—the start of another phase of

life. This, too, is my valedictory, my final

opportunity to share with you some

insights gleaned from my life in UP as

student, teacher, and administrator.

And, may I add, as a writer of fiction,

which beneath all these robes and titles is

what I really am—a storyteller.

Thirty-six years ago, as a young and

aspiring writer, I wrote a story about a

doctor. The story was set in the Philippine

Revolutionary War, and it dealt with an

old, cynical doctor named Ferrariz who

had made a mess of his life and, seeing few

other options, had signed up to become a

doctor with the Spanish army, fighting the

Filipino insurgents up in the mountains.

His unit is taking heavy losses, but one day

they capture a rebel—a fifteen-year-old boy

named Makaraig, who is badly wounded.

Ferrariz’s superior, a major, orders Ferrariz

to save the boy’s life.

Let me quote briefly from the story:

… For three days he worked like a

driven man, cleaning out and dressing the

boy’s wounds, setting the arm, packing cold

compresses upon the swellings. He felt godlike

in that mission. He unpacked his books from

their mildewed boxes, brushed off the fungi and

sometimes, i still miss you.

when i look at the stars shining

brightly in the darkest of night

skies, i remember those nights

we wasted talking to each

other about anything we found


when i find the time to stare

at the vast, aquamarine sea,

i remember the wave of

emotions you took me on. i was

capsized by my love for you.

when i first notice the gleam

of the sun in the morning, i

remember the warmth i found

in your eyes. you never failed to

illuminate my day with just one

look, one smile.

you were my picket fence.

you were my everything. i am

grateful for so much.

reviewed and relived the passion of the way of

healing. He watched miracles work themselves

upon the boy and stood back amazed at his

own handiwork. When he was through, when

he faced nothing more than that penance of

waiting for the boy to revive, Ferrariz realized

that his eyes were wet. Not since he stepped into

the University, knowing nothing, had he felt as

much of an honest man.

In other words, this doctor, who

had lost faith in his talents and in his

hands, suddenly finds himself revived

and redeemed by his mission of curing a

battered boy. By saving Makaraig, he saves


But the story doesn’t end there. The

major has his own reasons for bringing a

rebel back to life—to torture and interrogate

him, and eventually to kill him, and that’s

where the story closes, in a long scream

that pierces the doctor’s newly awakened


That story, titled “Heartland,” went

on to win in the 1982 Palanca Awards for

Literature—my very first First Prize. But

why did I write a story about a doctor who

saves a patient, only to have him murdered

by others? Why did I write a story about


The story behind the story was that while

I was only 28—and I’ll have something to

say about being in one’s 20s later—I felt like

Ferrariz, an old man who had gone adrift

and who was just going from job to job with

mechanical indifference. It was martial law,

and despite the fact that I became a political

prisoner at 18 and spent seven months in a

camp in what we now call Bonifacio Global

City, I had been working as a government

propagandist for the past eight years,

churning out press releases, speeches for

President Marcos, and glowing articles

about his New Society.

I needed to remind myself that I could

write good fiction (what I was writing for

work was bad fiction), that somewhere in

me was truth waiting to be said.

But beyond my personal story, I have

Continued on page 12

for the countless nights you

spent calming me down.

frightened as i was of the world,

i found safety in your virtual


for the journeys you took me

on. we sailed far and wide, went

on adventures so great. i still

remember them to the very last


for being brave enough to talk

to me that one fine morning.

unexpected as it was, we

became the greatest of friends.

i never thought i would find

someone like you. you were an

oasis in the driest of deserts and

sometimes, i still miss you.

Doctors for the People ...

Continued from page 11

always been fascinated by doctors—

as subjects of stories, and as writers


Almost thirty years ago, as a graduate

student in Wisconsin, and again for

some strange reason, I was invited by

the Philippine Medical Association of

Michigan to speak at their annual dinner

in Detroit. I later wrote an essay about that

memorable experience, because the doctor

who met me—a very accomplished man—

did so in a gleaming black-and-white Rolls-

Royce, and I had to check my shoes before

stepping in.

I don’t know how many doctors

actually listened to me above the chatter

and the clink of glasses, but I gave a talk

about “Writing as Healing: Doctors,

Writers, and Doctor-Writers,” in which I

noted how many well-known writers were

actually doctors by training: the French

Renaissance satirist François Rabelais, the

Russian playwright and short story master

Anton Chekhov, the American essayist and

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes (father of his

namesake, the equally famous Supreme

Court Justice), the American poet William

Carlos Williams, and the British writer W.

Somerset Maugham. In our own literary

history, of course, we have Jose Rizal,

and the short story writer Arturo Rotor.

In modern times, we have William Nolen,

Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park fame,

Oliver Sacks, and my favorite of them

all, the brilliant essayist, fictionist, and

surgeon, Dr. Richard Selzer.

In his book of essays entitled Mortal

Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery,

Selzer addresses his central interest,

the relationship between passion and


“Someone asked me why a surgeon

would write.... Is it vanity that urges him?

There is glory enough in the knife. Is it for

money? One can make too much money.

No. It is to search for some meaning in the

art of surgery, which is at once murderous,

painful, healing, and full of love....”

This quote demonstrates the strength

of Selzer’s writing, which is inspired,

graceful, and precise. (“Surgery,” Selzer

writes, “is the red flower that blooms

among the leaves and thorns that are the

rest of medicine.”) At the same time, Selzer

also shows what to some of his fellow MD’s

might seem a weakness—that is, his refusal

to separate philosophy or spirituality if you

will from physical medicine. If you think it

silly to speak of a colostomy in the same

breath that you would speak of love, then

Selzer may not be for you.

Beyond Nolen and perhaps even

Crichton, Selzer has gone on to write serious

fiction about the world of healing—not

only about doctors, but about their patients

and the lives they lead beyond the hospital.

In one of his stories, a woman’s husband

dies and his organs are given away to seven

different recipients in Texas; she is happy

for them, but, of course, is unhappy for

herself who now has absolutely nothing

left of him. So she tracks down the man

who has received her husband’s heart, and

much to his surprise, requests him to let her

listen to her husband’s heartbeat through

his bare chest for one hour. The man and

his suspicious wife refuse. She persists, and

finally he relents.

It is a bizarre and also funny story—a

superb illustration of the humanism we

all aspire to, in that it reminds us that the

simple needs of human life are still more

complex than all the transplantation

technologies we can dream of. In dealing

with this widow’s grief, Selzer achieves

physicianship on more than one level. This

perfect synthesis of writer and healer, of

sensitivity and technique, was on Selzer’s

mind when he answered his own question:

“No, it is not the surgeon who is God’s

darling. He is the victim of vanity. It is the

poet who heals with his words, stanches

the flow of blood, stills the rattling breath,

applies poultice to the scalded flesh.... Did

you ask me why a surgeon writes? I think it

is because I wish to be a doctor.”

Not all doctors can write—although

many write prescriptions that can hardly

be read. But one doctor who did write, of

course, was Jose Rizal, one of my personal

heroes whose travels and haunts I have

tried to follow around the world from

Dapitan, Singapore, and Hong Kong to

San Francisco, Madrid, and Barcelona

and, two years ago, to his medical studies

in Heidelberg. When my creative writing

graduate students in their mid-20s

sometimes tell me that they have nothing to

write about, or are too young and too new

to strive for greatness, I remind them of

Rizal, who many forget was only 25 when

Noli Me Tangere was published. Twentyfive,

and already by then approaching the

perfect synthesis of the arts and the sciences

in the one same person.

Rizal’s example underscores the need

to embrace and imbibe art and science as

corporal elements of ideal citizenship.

To create a viable national community,

we need to promote rational, fact-based

thinking and discourse over political

hysteria and hyperbole, just as we need to

actively recover, strengthen, and sustain

the cultural bonds that define us as a


Speaking of political hysteria, one of

my hobbies is collecting antiquarian books,

and one of my recent acquisitions was a

bound volume from 1822 of a Boston-based

magazine called The Atheneum, which

collected articles from other magazines

from around the world. I was attracted to

this book because it carried a report titled

“A Massacre in Manilla,” about of a brutal

massacre of foreigners—English French,

Danish, Spanish, and Chinese, among

others—that took place in Manila in 1820.

Scores if not hundreds of people were

killed by a rampaging mob, following a

false report that they were responsible

for fomenting a cholera epidemic that

had decimated the natives by giving

out poisoned medicine. Does this sound

familiar—alleged mass murder by vaccine?

So history keeps repeating itself,

partly because, despite all the wars and

dictatorships we have suffered through,

we never seem to learn, although some of

us try to teach.

For the past 110 years, that has been

The way to help unite a nation is to imbue all

sectors of society with an understanding of

and a commitment to larger things at stake.

part of the mission of the University of

the Philippines, our national university,

the bearer and champion of our people’s

hopes. Or at least, that’s the noble intention.

Through our general education program,

we try to produce graduates who can be as

conversant about Greek tragedy as about

the Law of the Sea and thermodynamics.

The premise is that a well-rounded, welleducated

student will elevate not only

himself or herself but also his or her

community and society, bringing people

together in common cause.

Again, that’s the ideal case. We know

that, in practice, while UP has produced

scores of such exemplars as Wenceslao

Vinzons, Fe del Mundo, Jovito Salonga,

Manuel and Lydia Arguilla, and Juan

Flavier, and while we graduated 29 summa

cum laudes from Diliman this year, we also

know that many UP students and alumni

have flunked, and flunked badly, especially

in the moral department. In other words—

and it saddens me as a UP professor to say

this—intelligence never guaranteed moral

discernment or rectitude, and as proud

as we may be of our nationalist traditions

and contributions to national leadership,

much remains to be done to ensure that

we imbue our students not only with skills

but with principles. In other words, just as

INSPIRING BEYOND WORDS: Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr. is a writer with sixteen (16) Palanca

awards, author of Soledad’s Sister, and also one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of

1993 for his creative writing. He currently serves as the Vice President for Public Affairs

of the UP System. Photo courtesy of Markyn Kho (Class 2020)

we ask physicians to heal themselves, we

educators first have to teach ourselves.

This is why I began this talk with my

story about Dr. Ferrariz and his seemingly

futile gesture. What that story really wants

to ask is: What is life without freedom?

What is knowledge without values?

What does a cum laude mean or matter

if it will not be used to relieve human

suffering but only to enrich oneself and

one’s family? Of what use is a glittering

GWA of 1.25 if your moral GWA is a murky

3.0? How can you study to save lives and

yet remain silent in the face of its wanton

loss—not even by disease or accident, but

by willful human policy?

There is, indeed, no more life-affirming

mission or profession than yours, and in a

season of slaughter, to affirm life can be a

radical and even dangerous proposition.

It needs to be pointed out that, contrary

to popular misimpression, UP has never

been monolithically radical. For every

activist who walked out of class to join

a protest rally, at least five remained

behind, intent on simply finishing his or

her studies, no matter what. Those of us

in the active opposition were always in

the minority—a loud minority, which took

more than a decade to generate the critical

mass to topple Marcos and martial law.

Indeed, like our country itself, the

history of the University of the Philippines

has been full of ironies and paradoxes. For

example, while some would later see it as a

bastion of Marxism or at least nationalism,

and certainly of secularism, few remember

that UP’s first president was an American

and a Protestant pastor named Murray

Bartlett—who incidentally championed UP

as “A University for Filipinos.”

In reality, therefore, UP like other state

universities is still a microcosm of society

at large, reflective of its divisions and its


And then again, any self-respecting

university cannot be content with the

realities on the ground, but has constantly to

reach for the unreachable star. It cannot be

just a microcosm, but something better than

the rest of society—better not necessarily in

terms of intellectual superiority bordering

on arrogance, but better in terms of the

quality of its discourse.

That quality of discourse, informed

by scientific reason and artistic empathy,

can be education’s best contribution

to national community. UP—and our

other universities—can and must be the

providers and drivers of the truth, and of

the careful and insightful analysis that can

ventilate issues of national significance—

like Constitutional change, our territorial

integrity, the delivery of justice, human

rights, and the eradication of mass poverty,

hunger, and disease.

The way to help unite a nation is

to imbue all sectors of society with an

understanding of and a commitment

to larger things at stake. And UP is that

functional meeting place between the

Filipino rich and poor, with our admissions

profile now almost evenly divided between

upper and lower income students. Beyond

dealing with the larger national issues

as teachers, researchers, and experts, we

in education must ourselves be avatars

of reason, compassion, and tolerance,

while remaining steadfast in our defense

of academic freedom as the requisite of

knowledge generation. In our classrooms

and conference halls, we must create and

provide the forums that will ventilate these

issues in ways that social media cannot.

And we have to learn how to listen again,

to see why people of different opinions

believe what they do.

As President Concepcion said in his

investiture speech last year, we in UP

should focus “on finding, in this University,

our common ground, a clearing—a safe,

free, and congenial space within which its

constituents can teach, study, and work

productively to their full potential.

UP must be that special place within

which it should still be possible—despite

all divisions and distractions—to work

together with the University’s and the

nation’s strategic interests in mind.

“There should be no better home in this

country for the expression of ideas, without

fear of violent retribution from one’s

colleagues or from the State itself. There

should be no more welcoming environment

than UP for cutting-edge research, timely

policy studies, exciting new exhibits and

productions, and provocative art and

literature—in other words, the work we

have always been meant to do, and do


Let me end with a quote from a favorite

source—me—and share something that I

have said to every UP graduating class I

have been honored to address:

To be a UP student, faculty member,

and alumnus is to be burdened but also

ennobled by a unique mission—not just

the mission of serving the people, which

is in itself not unique, and which is also

reflected, for example, in the Atenean

concept of being a “man for others.”

Rather, to my mind, our mission is to lead

and to be led by reason—by independent,

scientific, and secular reason, rather than

by politicians, priests, shamans, bankers,

or generals.

You are UP because you can think and

speak for yourselves, by your own wits and

on your own two feet, and you can do so

no matter what the rest of the people in the

room may be thinking. You are UP because

no one can tell you to shut up, if you have

something sensible and vital to say. You

are UP because you dread not the poverty

of material comforts but the poverty of the

mind. And you are UP because you care

about something as abstract and sometimes

as treacherous as the idea of “nation”, even

if it kills you.

Sometimes, long after UP, we forget

these things and become just like everybody

else; I certainly have. Even so, I suspect that

that forgetfulness is laced with guilt—the

guilt of knowing that you were, and could

yet become, somebody better. And you

cannot even argue that you did not know,

because today, I just told you so.

May you be the best doctors of and

for the people that you can be, and thank

you all. Mabuhay ang UP at mabuhay tayong


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