Nothing could ever dampen a Thomasian’s spirit.
Even with the challenges of these past two years, being the most hard-hit in the frontlines, not once have they failed to honor what it means to be a Thomasian.
Held last Saturday, December 11, alumni from classes ending in ‘1 and ‘6 have gathered virtually for the 2021 Alumni Homecoming Launch. The room was checkered in yellow and red background, with their wide smiles and sometimes disbelief as friends they have not seen for so long were slowly filling up the room.
Classes were called on by the hosts, with each class greeting everyone with warm pleasantries. This was followed by Dr. Mariano’s welcoming speech which was inspired by a vibrant plea from a celebrating jubilarian, “We want to dance! We want to party!” She ended it with a hopeful remark that this can be celebrated altogether next year, December 2022.
The same sentiment was shared by Dr. Lasalla of Class ’96, as he presented the program of the Grand Alumni Homecoming for next year. This grand event will follow the usual activities, such as lectures, welcome walk, and a Gala night, as many expressed that this celebration should be greeted with open arms and warm hugs instead of celebrating this fully online. In proper recognition to all the awardees, they have also opted to bestow the awards in another ceremony next year. The details of the line-up will be finalized soon, and hopefully, even those who are unable to celebrate with them, can join this hybrid event.
Dr. Norberto Martinez of Anargyroi: FMS Foundation was also invited to share about the Foundation’s upcoming event on December 18, 2021. This event is a virtual lighting of a Christmas tree wherein any alumni may donate a star for only PhP 1000 or USD 25. This event is in support for fundraising of the Simulation and Research Center that is expected to break grounds on early 2022.
Regarded by many as the top medical school in the country, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is home to several faculty members and graduates who innovated Medicine and Medical Education as we know it. With a panel of esteemed alumni, each awardee was congratulated by the participants, but it was their respective class who clamored for their class’ winners.
List of THOMAS (Thomasian Outstanding Medical Alumni) Awardees:
Community Service: Dr. William Olalia of Class 1976
Government Service: Dr. Eduardo Janairo of Class 1981
Leadership in Public Health and Health Related Issues: Dr. Carmelita Banta-Belgica+ of Class 1976
Medical Education: Dr. Bee Giok Tan-Sales of Class 1976
Medical Research: Consuelo B. Gonzales-Suarez of Class 1986
A short greeting was given by Dr. Rodolfo Florentino of Class 1956, as one of the oldest celebrating jubilarians in attendance, celebrating 65 years graduating from UST-FMS. After which, a video roll prepared by each batch was shown on screen.
Along with the video presentations came speeches by their class representatives. It was truly like travelling back in time, from sepia-toned photographs, black and white and technicolor, one may feel overwhelmed with mixed-feelings of joy, and grief. Joy, in celebration of how far each one has gone in their chosen field of endeavor, and grief for those who are no longer with them.
However, one message remains clear: Thomasians will always Look back.
The event ended with a speech by Dr. Edwin Rodriguez, Vice-President of USTMAA, followed by the singing of the UST Hymn where UST’s unending grace was strongly felt.