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Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

The Foundation for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Anargyroi is an independent foundation for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, its sole and exclusive beneficiary, that envisions herself as a dynamic and highly reputable organization recognized for its ethical governance of resources.

In order to promote allegiance and systematically manage resources in perpetuity, she intends to accomplish the excellent initiatives of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery by raising and managing donations that exclusively support the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and her initiatives influencing administration, faculty, students, support staff and patients.

The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is the oldest and biggest school of Medicine in the country. Each year, since its foundation in 1879, she has produced a good number of graduates. From a handful in her origins to 500 at present. One can count close to 40,000 M.Ds. in its 150 years of existence. A remarkable contribution to the Philippines by which we can genuinely entertain a sentiment of pride for a well-done job.

As we witness year after year how our graduates are greeted with an immense joy by family and friends, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery feels what an important contribution it makes to the individual lives of young ambitious men and women and what impact these doctors can make in the Philippine society.

The cry “I am a Thomasian,” reverberates, as in unison, our graduates solemnly recite the oath of allegiance to their Alma Mater.

Some of these alumni will form everlasting relationships with their colleagues and with their Alma Mater. Others will take the diploma, say goodbye, and leave, never to come back.

Regardless of their personal involvement in the affairs of their school, all can claim the ownership of the title “Thomasian Alumnus/a.” The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas proudly acknowledges all her graduates, regardless of personal sentiments, and she opens her portals to welcome them.

Along the years, particularly on significant dates, either on jubilee celebrations, or centennial and sesquicentennial commemorations, there have been initiatives to associate particular classes, regional, or national chapters, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries in which the diaspora of Thomasian doctors have established their residence and practice. Some have been successful, others not so much. We equally thank all  of them.

What can we do for our Alma Mater? This question has been met with different initiatives, individual and corporative. The USTMAA of the Philippines, USTMAAA in the United States, each one in its own way, has responded within their own capabilities and in accord with the objectives of their respective associations.

Seven years ago, just as we were starting to plan for the celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, an offer was presented to the FMS from a group of alumni who had been helping the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in different ways. As they found themselves surmounting the pinnacle of their career, they cast a retrospective glance to the years of their formation and gratefully decided to  do something for their struggling Alma Matter.

To the question, what can we do for our Alma Mater, an immediate answer was provided, to give back. This was the spark that triggered the creation of the Anargyroi, a name that slowly has made inroads in the minds and hearts of some of our alumni.

Countless exchanges between the visionaries and the officers of the University were undertaken to allow the fledging bird to rise. Like all grand dreams, the hard reality soon confronted us with the ground hurdles. Anargyroi has had to struggle. However, the needs of FMS and its faith on our Alumni have never ceased to spur us and to sustain our expectations.

Aware of the fact that new ideas and institutions, besides surprise, expectation and enthusiasm convoke an equal aggregate of reticence, objection and perhaps opposition, we deem it appropriate to come out with some explanations:

  • Obviously, we did not have the slightest idea how to go about. While groping in darkness, we entrusted ourselves into the stewardship of more experienced guides who patiently have steered us through the rough path.
  • A gap has made communications quite difficult. The physical and perhaps the emotional distance between our consultants and us, have made it necessary the exchange of numerous messages and calls, not always properly synchronized.
  • The long lockdown of the country, which has so deeply affected the regular transactions of university affairs has been irksome, even frustrating not only to our partners but to us who are at the home base.
  • Not to count the innumerable requirements of the government agencies.

At present, with a well-established Development Office, with the structures acquiring shape, with donations slowly picking up, with some successful projects, we were ready to reap the fruits of a long-awaited harvest.

Unfortunately, something went wrong!

What has happened? My good friend, Saint Teresa de Jesus, who built 17 foundations in the midst of a misogynist 16th century Spain, with the hounds of the Inquisition scrutinizing all her moves, without a single centavo in her pocket, when faced to a situation similar to the one we are facing now, she had this ingenuous explanation: “When You, Lord, want to give courage, how little do all contradictions matter! Rather, it seems I am encouraged by them, thinking that since the devil is beginning to be disturbed the Lord will be served in that foundation.”  (Saint Teresa of Avila, The Book of her Foundations).

Yes, my dear friends. I am convinced that Anargyroi is the Foundation of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas. It is a providential development, a good work by which God and  fellow men will be well served.

If you love your Alma Mater, if you are grateful for your Thomasian education, if God has blessed you with a most noble profession, you must not allow this work to fail.

We pray through our patron saints, Cosmas, and Damian, the true Anargyroi, the penniless physicians who offered their services to the poor and needy, and who underwent martyrdom as testimony of their commitment, will forgive us.

We humbly appeal to your good hearts. Put away all differences. Trust yourselves, trust us. This is for your Alma Mater, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas.

Fr. Angel Aparicio, O. P.
Regent, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Trustee, Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc.

Article originally published on December 12, 2021.

Categories
Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

The Road to Harmony

Antonio R. Penilla, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I., K.H.S.

A retired Interventional Cardiologist with a passionate dream of having a successful and vibrant Anargyroi Foundation for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

He is a member of the Anargyroi Board of Trustees; the USTMAAA Board of Directors and PRO of the USTMAAA Foundation in 2019-2020.

My annual visit to the Philippines in 2015 was unlike any other. In addition to the yearly medical mission trip, I was to make a presentation to establish a development office for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, a concept recently conceived by three thoughtful alumni. Although I had not done anything like this before, I was inspired by my desire to help my Alma Mater.

On Friday, January 30, 2015, then FMS Dean, Dr. Jesus Valencia, Regent, Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P., Faculty Secretary, Dr. Edwin Rodriguez, and Dr. Corazon Gemil, one of the early proponents of the concept, were in attendance for the presentation.

The concept of establishing a development office for the FMS, similar to what is common in institutions of learning in the United States, was presented, including the advantages of such an office, the way it might function, and how it could support the Faculty’s continued quest to be the premier medical school in the Philippines and in all of Asia. It was emphasized that, if it became a reality, it would be a Gift to the FMS that would keep on giving in perpetuity.

The initial response was one of excitement and epiphany! Dr. Gemil, who was seated next to Father Aparicio, repeatedly whispered, “Carpe Diem” to him. Dr. Valencia uttered, “A once in a million chance to happen.” Dr. Rodriguez was similarly in awe. The sole agenda was to have a successful, vibrant foundation with a Development Office able to take care of the needs of FMS.

Unknown to me, my journey with Anargyroi, had just begun! From then on, I have been designated as spokesperson, facilitator, negotiator, diplomat, and even ambassador. It is a complex and uncertain role which I have honorably accepted for the sake of the Alma Mater and for which I have no regret.

At the onset, the proponents and founders recognized the necessity of alumni alignment, participation, and support, for the idea to succeed. In 2015, at the USTMAAA Convention in Florida, the concept was presented to the USTMAAA leadership in the presence of then Father Rector, Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P., the Dean, Regent, and USTMAA officers. The response was like the original presentation in Manila, positive and encouraging, akin to an “Epiphany.”

In May 2016, to show sincere, genuine desire to encourage alumni participation in the plan, the major benefactor met with the powers of USTMAAA in Las Vegas, Nevada. The concept was clearly laid out. There was an immediate meeting of the minds leading to the creation of a Matching Fund for the Regent’s Scholarship Program.  Sadly, later, the USTMAAA Board failed to approve this resolution, but the Regent Scholarship Funding graciously was assumed totally by the major benefactor, a most generous alumnus. Subsequently, the USTMAAA did embark on fund raising for the Simulation and Research Center.

Since 2015, Anargyroi had been a subject of conversations at the Annual USTMAAA Conventions, whether officially or unofficially. Commencing that year in Florida, Anargyroi has had a presence in succeeding years at the Long Beach, CA, Vancouver, BC, Las Vegas, NV, and Washington, DC conventions. Most notable was the Washington DC 2019 meeting wherein there was a clear show of support for Anargyroi. All the important and vital players were present including the Regent, the incumbent Dean, Dr. Ma. Lourdes Maglinao, then UST Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Jesus Jay Miranda, O.P., the USTMAAA and USTMAA hierarchy. The atmosphere and reaction were so favorable that I thought the real and true Epiphany had descended upon the group!

This journey has been long and complex with the road frequently bumpy, rugged, and full of obstacles, thus, it was frustration and disappointments for everyone along the way. It was a two-year process for Father Rector Dagohoy to approve and establish Anargyroi as an independent foundation. Certainly, it has been a learning process, not only for the proponents, but also for the early followers and believers as well. Struggles continue. Father Aparicio has enumerated and described the difficulties encountered in his article on the FMS Foundation, published two issues earlier in this Newsletter.

What do I see along the way of my own journey with Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc.?

Everyone agrees that it is the best thing that could happen to the UST Faculty of Medicine, to have a mechanism in support of its initiatives to maintain excellence in medical education. I have made numerous presentations to officials, individuals, groups, and organizations to discuss and promote the idea with uniform favorable response.

The FMS officials, particularly Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P., showed genuine interest in the project early on, shortly after hearing the initial presentation. Father Aparicio has coordinated to have persons in important positions, not only in the FMS but also from within the University, to be aware of and to participate in the Foundation’s organization and establishment, as well as eventual support. The former and current Deans welcomed the idea of the independent foundation for FMS, although most recently, Dean Maglinao and Father Aparicio have undeniably owned it for FMS.

The alumni segment has also shown its interest and involvement. They are kept abreast of the developments in the Foundation. They are represented on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. The USTMAAA supports the Anargyroi Foundation and disseminates relevant information to its members.  It acts as a Pass-Through entity with waived fee for donations coming from the US to avail those in the States of US Tax benefits for donations. It helps Anargyroi in its activities geared toward the US based alumni, having partnered with Anargyroi in its successful Launch in Vancouver, BC in 2017, and generating over $430,000.00 in pledges during the Meet and Greet event hosted by Anargyroi. USTMAAA and its officers coordinated Anargyroi activities during their convention, providing information to the attendees, assisting in the establishment of an Anargyroi Exhibit Booth during conventions, including waiving of Exhibit fees. Finally, the continued monetary donations to Anargyroi and its initiatives coming from the Organization and its members. Notable is the recent fundraising campaign by USTMAAA from its members raising 1M dollars for the Simulation and Research Center project. Unfortunately, a proposal to partner with one of the Anargyroi founders for construction of the Simulation and Research Building with USTMAAA Naming Rights for the facility, did not pass approval by its BOD.

AFI Launch in Vancouver

AFI Launch in Manila

In 2018, Anargyroi Foundation was formally introduced in its Philippine Launch in Manila. It was a well- planned event. The relatively silent response was likely due to the unfamiliarity of the practice locally. However, it served as a steppingstone for further activities planned and undertaken by the Foundation. A donation of 500,000 pesos was received during the event.

The USTMAA in the Philippines is aware of the Foundation and its objectives since its inception. The response is always positive to the presentations made at local meetings. They were active participants in the Sesquicentennial activities of FMS, serving on committees and participating in the fund-raising activities. Most notable is the Sesquicentennial Commemorative Watch Drive initiated by local alumni, resulting in a successful fund raising for the Simulation Project. Other activities included the Sesquicentennial Walk/Run, the successful Sesquicentennial Gala and the Golf Tournament. USTMAA has also made a direct donation to Anargyroi in addition to individual donations from its members. Recently, the USTMAA administration had as its important project the active promotion of the Anargyroi Foundation to its members, including to the provincial chapters.

I am also proud to say that the FMS faculty members are actively involved with Anargyroi, serving as officers and as members of the BOT. Others are serving on various committees, as chairs and members. I saw their interest and commitment as I interacted with many during my two stints of working-week visits to assist the Development Office in its early formative years. Undoubtedly, they have remained convinced and are unwavering in their desire to promote Anargyroi to all alumni.

It is clear from what is heard, observed, and seen, that there is near unanimous, if not unanimous opinion that the Anargyroi Foundation is beneficial and essential to the FMS. There is no conflict of interest with any of the alumni organizations or alumni classes in their mission to assist and support the FMS. Rather, the existence of Anargyroi should and will facilitate their process in supporting the Alma Mater in whatever way desired. There is no intent to compete with other organizations, who has other missions. Supporting the FMS is the sole reason for Anargyroi’s existence. 

Father Regent Angel Aparicio and Dean Lourdes Maglinao eloquently stated FMS ownership of the Anargyroi Foundation, as well as their confidence in the critical role it will play to ensure that the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, the Cradle of Medical Education in the Philippines, can remain not only competitive but also be a premier medical school in the country and abroad. They enjoin every alumnus to come aboard the Anargyroi train. This is especially important as FMS celebrates its Sesquicentennial and embarks on the most unprecedented project ever undertaken, the Simulation and Research Center Project, so vital to medical education in the future.

So, my dear friends and colleagues, we share a common bond of having had the opportunity and honor to receive a great medical education from the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. This undoubtedly has shaped, at least to a certain degree, our professional and perhaps, even our personal destiny. I join Father Aparicio and Dean Odette in asking everyone to come aboard, to put the differences aside, to give back and to give forward, to align together in harmony, and to show our love for the dear Alma Mater.

Categories
Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

USTMAA Paskong Alumni

It was a Saturday night full of happiness and cheers, despite having started with some technical difficulties as Typhoon Odette has just started its landfall in the Visayas. The USTMAA Pamaskong Handog showcased alumni talents in music and dance as we were treated by original compositions, interpretations, and even covers by our alumni here and abroad.

The event was centered around “Paskong Filipino”, as it showed videos of different USTMAA Chapters from Luzon to Mindanao, each region showcasing Filipino Christmas traditions, the semblance of “Simbang Gabi”, “Aguinaldo”, gift-giving and Christmas goodies is undeniably “Paskong Filipino”.

One highlight of the program was Dr. Norberto Martinez explaining the rationale of the project “Let the light of the Simulation & Research Center shine bright this Christmas night”, a donation drive by USTMAA in cooperation with AFI. Aimed to support the fundraising efforts for the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Center that is set to break ground early 2022, it was warmly greeted by the audience, earning 147k on its first night. A special mention to Class ’82 for providing the seed money and sponsoring 40 stars to commemorate their Ruby Jubilee Celebration.

AFI is truly grateful for the constant support of the many Thomasian doctors, especially its partnership with USTMAA. We hope to do this with other alumni organizations, and philanthropic groups to help us realize this dream.

As of now, what we have gathered is a long way from our goal, and we hope an event like this would encourage alumni to share,1,000PhP or $25, as when added together, is a substantial amount for us to build the future of FMS.

Just imagine, if each alumni give 1,000PhP or $25—we shall make this new edifice a reality soon enough.

This donation drive is still ongoing until January 6, 2022. Donation channels are listed in the website; there is no limit as to how much you may donate. You may just click on this link to see the tree and donation channels.

Categories
Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

Tatag Tomasino Handa sa Bagong Mundo

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.

Categories
Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

The Foundation for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Anargyroi is an independent foundation for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, its sole and exclusive beneficiary, that envisions herself as a dynamic and highly reputable organization recognized for its ethical governance of resources.

In order to promote allegiance and systematically manage resources in perpetuity, she intends to accomplish the excellent initiatives of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery by raising and managing donations that exclusively support the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and her initiatives influencing administration, faculty, students, support staff and patients.

The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is the oldest and biggest school of Medicine in the country. Each year, since its foundation in 1879, she has produced a good number of graduates. From a handful in her origins to 500 at present. One can count close to 40,000 M.Ds. in its 150 years of existence. A remarkable contribution to the Philippines by which we can genuinely entertain a sentiment of pride for a well-done job.

As we witness year after year how our graduates are greeted with an immense joy by family and friends, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery feels what an important contribution it makes to the individual lives of young ambitious men and women and what impact these doctors can make in the Philippine society.

The cry “I am a Thomasian,” reverberates, as in unison, our graduates solemnly recite the oath of allegiance to their Alma Mater.

Some of these alumni will form everlasting relationships with their colleagues and with their Alma Mater. Others will take the diploma, say goodbye, and leave, never to come back.

Regardless of their personal involvement in the affairs of their school, all can claim the ownership of the title “Thomasian Alumnus/a.” The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas proudly acknowledges all her graduates, regardless of personal sentiments, and she opens her portals to welcome them.

Along the years, particularly on significant dates, either on jubilee celebrations, or centennial and sesquicentennial commemorations, there have been initiatives to associate particular classes, regional, or national chapters, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries in which the diaspora of Thomasian doctors have established their residence and practice. Some have been successful, others not so much. We equally thank all  of them.

What can we do for our Alma Mater? This question has been met with different initiatives, individual and corporative. The USTMAA of the Philippines, USTMAAA in the United States, each one in its own way, has responded within their own capabilities and in accord with the objectives of their respective associations.

Seven years ago, just as we were starting to plan for the celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, an offer was presented to the FMS from a group of alumni who had been helping the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in different ways. As they found themselves surmounting the pinnacle of their career, they cast a retrospective glance to the years of their formation and gratefully decided to  do something for their struggling Alma Matter.

To the question, what can we do for our Alma Mater, an immediate answer was provided, to give back. This was the spark that triggered the creation of the Anargyroi, a name that slowly has made inroads in the minds and hearts of some of our alumni.

Countless exchanges between the visionaries and the officers of the University were undertaken to allow the fledging bird to rise. Like all grand dreams, the hard reality soon confronted us with the ground hurdles. Anargyroi has had to struggle. However, the needs of FMS and its faith on our Alumni have never ceased to spur us and to sustain our expectations.

Aware of the fact that new ideas and institutions, besides surprise, expectation and enthusiasm convoke an equal aggregate of reticence, objection and perhaps opposition, we deem it appropriate to come out with some explanations:

  • Obviously, we did not have the slightest idea how to go about. While groping in darkness, we entrusted ourselves into the stewardship of more experienced guides who patiently have steered us through the rough path.
  • A gap has made communications quite difficult. The physical and perhaps the emotional distance between our consultants and us, have made it necessary the exchange of numerous messages and calls, not always properly synchronized.
  • The long lockdown of the country, which has so deeply affected the regular transactions of university affairs has been irksome, even frustrating not only to our partners but to us who are at the home base.
  • Not to count the innumerable requirements of the government agencies.

At present, with a well-established Development Office, with the structures acquiring shape, with donations slowly picking up, with some successful projects, we were ready to reap the fruits of a long-awaited harvest.

Unfortunately, something went wrong!

What has happened? My good friend, Saint Teresa de Jesus, who built 17 foundations in the midst of a misogynist 16th century Spain, with the hounds of the Inquisition scrutinizing all her moves, without a single centavo in her pocket, when faced to a situation similar to the one we are facing now, she had this ingenuous explanation: “When You, Lord, want to give courage, how little do all contradictions matter! Rather, it seems I am encouraged by them, thinking that since the devil is beginning to be disturbed the Lord will be served in that foundation.”  (Saint Teresa of Avila, The Book of her Foundations).

Yes, my dear friends. I am convinced that Anargyroi is the Foundation of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas. It is a providential development, a good work by which God and  fellow men will be well served.

If you love your Alma Mater, if you are grateful for your Thomasian education, if God has blessed you with a most noble profession, you must not allow this work to fail.

We pray through our patron saints, Cosmas, and Damian, the true Anargyroi, the penniless physicians who offered their services to the poor and needy, and who underwent martyrdom as testimony of their commitment, will forgive us.

We humbly appeal to your good hearts. Put away all differences. Trust yourselves, trust us. This is for your Alma Mater, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas.

Fr. Angel Aparicio, O. P.
Regent, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Trustee, Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc.