Pioneers of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery: Dr. Carlos M. Nalda and Fr. Marcos Laynez Hernando

Reference from the book "First International Conference History of Medicine in the Philippines"
Editor: Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, O.P.

Photo From: UST Miguel de Benavides Library

Dr. Carlos M. Nalda

He had a brilliant career in the Faculty of Medicine founded by Virgili. At the age of 24, he joined the Military Health Department, and then he practiced his profession for more than 40 years in the Philippine Islands. In 1874, he was appointed by the General Governor of the Islands to start teaching in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. He established a great name and reputation. As Professor of Physiology in 1875, he carried out his task with mastery until the year he retired. As Dean of the Faculty, as a man of science, and as a man of the world, he was well-loved and respected. His knowledge, capability, and solid practice won him popularity among his colleagues. Simplicity, compassion, generosity, splendor, and limitless love for his classes characterized him. He helped and provided much-needed assistance for his students, and more so for widows and orphans. On November 5, 1881, as an answer to the Rector’s letter, he suggested the acquisition of scientific magazines for new trends and advancement.

Dr. Nalda wrote articles about hygiene and pathology in the daily paper Diario de Manila. In the cholera epidemic of 1882, he displayed honorable professional distinction in the fulfillment of his studies, earning him the “Cross of Epidemics.” Through his merits, he obtained the cross of the Honor of France, for being a “gentleman and officer.” The Spanish government, rewarding him for his services, named him “Gentleman and Bearer of the Cross of Elizabeth the Catholic and Gentleman of Charles the third.” He was also awarded both white and red military merits.

In 1887, he retired as Director of Military Hospital of Manila and returned to the Spanish Peninsula. Five years later August 3, 1893, he died and like all other men of great talent, he died without possessing anything.

Reference from the book "First International Conference History of Medicine in the Philippines"
Editor: Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, O.P.

Photo From: UST Miguel de Benavides Library

Fr. Marcos Laynez Hernandez

A native of Calamocha, Teruel, Spain, he was born on April 25, 1851. He received his habit as a Dominican in the convent school of Ocana. While he was in 2nd year in Philosophy, he was assigned to the Philippines where he finished his studies and where he fully professed his religious vows. For two years he taught at the San Juan de Letran High School, and then he became Students’ Director at UST. While teaching and serving as director, he continued his studies until he finished a doctoral degree in Philosophy.

In 1878, he went back to Spain and taught at the Avila and Ocana schools. He studied Science at the Madrid University and came back to Manila in 1884. He resumed teaching in the College of Medicine and was in-charge of Chemistry. He was also named general preacher and treasurer of the Filipino province. In 1894, he became the Rector-President of San Juan de Letran School of Manila. During his time as Rector, there were many improvements in the school like the building of the big assembly hall. H

He was the president of the Chemistry Composition Contest in the 1885 the theme of which was “Two Fundamental Bodies in Chemistry.”

He left the Philippines in 1903 due to ill health. In 1904, he was named Rector of the new school in Segovia, Spain. In 1911, he was named the first Rector of a School of Theology in Louisiana, USA. He came back to the Philippines for the 3rd time in 1913 and worked as a Vice-Rector of UST until his death in 1916.

His published works include: Inaugural Talk at the UST 1886, Santo Tomas Press: The friend of a student, Manila, 1894 and English Grammar, Avila 1909. He also had articles in different newspapers like Correo Espanol and Libertas.


Unmercenary Physicians Saints Cosmas and Damian

Source: Catholic Encyclopedia

Saints Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers who were Arab physicians in the town Cyrhus, and were  early Christian martyrs. They practiced their profession in the seaport of Aegeae, then in the Roman province of Syria. The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian and their mother Saint Theodota were natives of Asia Minor (some sources say Mesopotamia). Their pagan father died while they were still quite small children. Their mother raised them in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, Saint Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.

Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named anargyroi (from the Greek Ανάργυροι, 'the silverless' or 'unmercenaries'); it has been said that, by this, they attracted many to the Christian faith. Nothing is known of their lives except that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.

The execution took place on the 27th of September in the year 287. Later, several fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honor. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage.

At Rome, Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honor, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints.

Saints Cosmas and Damian are the patron saints of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Their feast day is celebrated every 26th of September.


Community in Times of Confinement

By Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, OP
UST FMS Regent

This is a time when we have been confined in our own shell, be it our home, our cell, our self. We have tried to protect ourselves from an invisible agent by keeping away from our fellow human beings. Six long months already. Gatherings at stadiums, churches, parks, etc., have been prohibited, if not sanctioned with fines. Classes in the University have been disrupted and then resumed on line. Communication between us and our stakeholders has been very fragmentary, or as my students would tell me, choppy, choppy, choppy.

This has prompted us to revisit some of our notions, what binds us together as human beings, as members of an institution, society, nation. Community is defined as people living in one place, district of country, considered as a whole; a group of persons having the same religion, race, occupation, etc. or common interests; condition of sharing, having things in common, being alike in some way.

It has become a kind of mantra for the Regent of FMS to reiterate that we are a community. Are we a community? Is the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery a community? What unites us, besides an MD received from UST? Can we, the stakeholders, administrators, graduate alumni, present medical students call USTFMS a community?

Words are like automobile tires. They roll smoothly at first, gripping the mental surface and conveying the load of meaning. Eventually and inevitably, however, excessive use wears them down to the point where they are uncertain and unsafe in the traffic of verbal communication. Then a decision has to be made, whether to reject and replace them or to have them re-treated.

What do we do then with our vision of the Faculty of Medicine … as a community? Do we keep it, do we throw it away, do we rehash it?

Disappointment with unfulfilled promises has led to the call for the revival of bonds as a basis for a Thomasian medical community. New values or the lack of them, on the other hand, pulsate for dropping the word community altogether. While the community is in a sense, an expression of the search for something destroyed by modernity, one could not always dream of recovering a past that perhaps never existed.

UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery has formulated its vision and mission. We have set our objectives and defined our core values, but unless these very general terms are to float away, like gas-filled balloons making a pretty spectacle but leaving no tangible substance, there must be described some concrete and specific components of the community. In this reflection, I will limit myself to three: belonging, sharing, and wholeness.

Belonging: If a community needs to exist, to give meaning to our lives as students, faculty members, administrators, alumni, etc., it must be an expression of our modern values and of a condition that is central to the experience of life today, which is not only the experience of confinement, no matter how long this has or may still be but the experience of living in an insecure world. Our interests vary, our practice is so specialized that we seem to belong to different professions altogether. We move in very different environments, or even in different countries.

The contemporary community may be understood as a communication community based on new kinds of belonging. In this sense, community as belonging is constructed in communicative processes wherever they occur, be it in institutional contexts, social networking sites, or political movements. Today, global forms of communication are offering many opportunities for the construction of the community. This leads to an understanding of the community that is neither a form of social integration nor a form of meaning, but an open-ended system of communication about belonging. Will this confinement not be an opportunity to harness all this?

Sharing: The gift without the giver may be bare, but the gift without the receiver is no longer a gift. The financial transactions between the students and the school, the school and the teachers, leave us with at times the bitter experience that nothing is a gift. We pay or are paid for all and everything we do.

Are we converting our existence into a business? Are we allowing ourselves to be poisoned and to poison our relationships by the fact that we put a price on all our services?

The main objective of the creation of the Regent scholarship is precisely to persuade our stakeholders and to convince ourselves that not all is money in the struggle to become a physician.

What a joy, to have been able to accomplish our dream of 20 Regent scholarships by the time our faculty will celebrate its 150 years of existence. Our thanks go to those who made it possible, as we encourage more benefactors.

Wholeness: This is the testimony of one of our present Regent’s scholars:

My first year of med school may not be as smooth-sailing as I thought it would be, but it allowed me to appreciate my dream and what I do from a different perspective. Before I entered the Faculty, being a doctor was a childhood dream I wanted to pursue, but after a year in this institution, I realized that the world I wanted to be a part of is much bigger. I grew a sense of love and appreciation for the craft, the science, and the art of medicine. As I approach the next chapter, I could not be more excited to be challenged, to have more sleepless nights, to have loads of homework and quizzes, and most especially, to learn from the best doctors/professors and further improve myself. I am ready to broaden my perspective of the world, my understanding of the human body, and my definition of what a doctor truly is. (Patricia Joyce G. Si, AFI Scholar).

The sharing of Patricia with our readers shows not only her gratitude but also the kind of person she is and the kind of doctor she will be. We pray that by her responsible acceptance of God’s talents she will grow to be a great Thomasian doctor, a good follower of the great physician, our Lord Jesus Christ.

What a gift of a scholar. Congratulations!

And this brings me to conclude that there is hope. Yes, we are a community, a Thomasian community. We are the USTFMS community not only in times of confinement but henceforward. It is our love for our profession, nurtured by our Alma Mater, consolidated by the feelings of belonging, sharing, and wholeness. In the words of Jean-Luc Nancy, Community is what takes place through others and for others. This confinement has dawned on us the conviction that perhaps we ought not to parrot old mantras. However, this is a time to remember in gratitude, to share in solidarity and build-up, as what Pope Francis says, on the rock of common good.


COVID-19 Free Facility

Photo of Dr. Jose Evangelista and Dr. Stella Evangelista (UST FMS Class of 1968) from the Maple Manor website. The article is an excerpt from their interview with WXYZ-TV Detroit, Channel 7. 

Dr. Jose and Dr. Stella Evangelista’s family-owned Nursing Home Care Facility called Maple Manor in Novi, Oakland County, Michigan State in the United States of America is a COVID-19 free facility due to their proactive response towards the pandemic.

“We are a COVID free facility which is kind of hard to attain nowadays,” Dr. Stella mentioned. There are critical patients in the facility and they are COVID free.
The establishment implemented lockdown in the facility since March 10, 2020, and they have placed protocols early on to help their patients not catch the disease. The family-owned establishment required all patients and staff to wear masks around the facility. Each person treated is isolated and wore complete PPEs. Employees’ temperatures are taken daily. And anyone who feels sick is not to be admitted inside. The dining rooms are empty and there are no visitors allowed. All patients are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through Zoom or Skype.

Maple Manor Rehab Center is a 100-bed nursing facility with 70,000 square feet. It is family owned and operated. There is an Owner on-site every day. Maple Manor provides a continuum of care for senior citizens. It offers skilled nursing, sub-acute rehab therapy services, assisted living, and hospice care. It is located in Wayne, Michigan. Maple Manor Rehab Center has received numerous awards; the establishment has achieved the Medicare 5 Star Award and a long history of Perfect State Surveys with Zero Citations.

Dr. Jose and Dr. Stella Evangelista are husband and wife, and they personally run Maple Manor. The Evangelista’s are very hands-on and there is always an owner and a doctor on-site every day, ensuring the highest quality of care. Dr. Stella Evangelista is the Administrator and Medical Director. She has practiced medicine for 45 years and she formerly served on the State of Michigan Board of Medicine for seven years. Dr. Jose Evangelista is also a Medical Director. He has practiced medicine for 45 years. Dr. Jose is Board-certified in Cardiology and he formerly served as Chief of Staff for St. Mary’s Hospital. They have six successful children.



Pioneers of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Reference from the book "First International Conference History of Medicine in the Philippines"
Editor: Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, O.P.

Photo From: UST Miguel de Benavides Library

Dr. Rafael M. Ginard

He was the first teacher and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine when it opened in 1871. Dr. Ginard taught Anatomy at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, where the clinical teaching and anatomy classes were held. During the fourteen years he spent at the University, he was always in charge of all the first-year students. He was one of Rizal's teachers. He started classes as early as 6:30 am daily, giving one hour for lecture and one hour for dissection of cadavers using texts from French translations.

He served as Secretary of a Board, which was created on August 11, 1871, by the Rector Fr. Treserra, to write the provisional Statutes including the new reform of the Decree, which incorporated the opening of the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy to be supported by the Corporation that committed to contributing 30,000 pesetas to sustain the new teachers. Other members of the Board were the Rectors of the University of Santo Tomas, Colegio de San Jose, Ateneo Municipal, and other delegates from the Faculty.

Dr. Ginard was later assisted by Dr. Mariano Marti in the conduct of classes in Descriptive Anatomy, General Physiology, and Exercises on Osteology and Dissection. He died in 1885 while teaching in his Anatomy class.

He wrote the Manual of Domestic Medicine and the Art to Preserve Health for all People, published by Ramirez y Giraudier Printing Press, Manila, 1858.

Photo From: UST Miguel de Benavides Library

Dr. Mariano Marti

After helping Dr. Ginard with the Exercises in Osteology and Dissection, Dr. Marti felt the need to expand the courses offered in Medicine. He proposed to the University Rector to hire more personnel, to rent a new place, to acquire more instruments and drugs, and to procure and anatomic surgery section for effective teaching.

He taught Therapeutics, Physiology, Private and Public Hygiene, Medical Matters, the Art to Prescribe, and Ophthalmology in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years. He was one of Trinidad Pardo de Tavera’s and Jose Rizal’s teachers.

To further improve medical education, he was one of those who suggested to have a Medical and Surgical Academy and to have a boarding school in the clinical hospital. The students would have more opportunities to practice their learning as they were asked to make rounds accompanying doctors who visited patients at any time of the day or night.