It was one Monday afternoon along the busy streets of Makati when I decided to have a small talk with Brod Nol. It was back in highschool when I first saw him n Rated K. They did a feature on him, a medical student from UPCM who turned his small soap business into a well known massage spa. I waited for him in the conference room and was assisted by his accommodating staff. Typing on my laptop, I was preparing my questions when suddenly someone uttered “O brod, kumusta?” A gentleman in black-grey suit entered the room and asked me about my trip. “I just read my transes brod, cramming for an exam,” I replied. His hospitality always made me feel that we were not so different. It’s astounding to think that Maynoll Dominguez Montalbo Ф2002, the founder and CEO of Mont Albo Massage Hut, Ginhawa Spa and Dining and Mont Sapo, was my brod from Phi Kappa Mu.

 

A Physician Entrepreneur

“I never planned to enter in business. It’s because I want to become a Neurosurgeon.” Brod Nol graduated from UPLB with a degree of BS Biology and pursued medicine in UPCM, coming from Class 2006. His lolo was his inspiration to become a doctor, who died when he was in second year medical school. After he graduated however, their family business went down. With the loss of family finances, along with the overlapping debts and siblings who were still studying, he had no choice but to step up and become the breadwinner to support the expenses of his family. With a small capital, he started to make soap, attending seminars in soap making. Through God’s grace, a client ordered 70,000 pieces as Christmas retail products making his business flourish. From soap, he shifted his venture into the massage business by renting a two-story apartment converting it into a massage clinic. He named it Mont Albo, basically coming from his surname. 

In the midst of all his personal engagements, Brod Nol is still able to balance all his work and make time for his family, friends, hobbies, etc. “Actually I am amazed on how I am able to manage my time.” He said that he’s very hands-on when it comes to his business, knowing even the smallest details of all the departments. Research and development is the focus of his business as well as expansion and improvement of services. In business however, you can’t tell the flow of tides. It’s very risky and one must be prepared for all unexpected circumstances. Doctors from PGH are not trained to enter in business, since they’re being molded to be compassionate about their career, as well as to help other people without expecting anything from them. “Business is a very different field from medicine. If you are not strong enough, you will lose all. It’s all or nothing”, he added. Graduating from PGH was an edge for him, training him to become strong, hard-working and being able to handle all circumstances, even it’s either a failure or a success. “PGH developed professionalism and sincerity in me,” he said. It helped him reach the goal of his business, which was to bring hilot, “the Filipino type of massage”, to the world.

Being in business was not easy for him. He started from scratch, bought books, studied them, and applied all his learnings.  Working through trial and error, he failed many times. On a positive note, he said that he could tell every detail on how his business developed to become the #1 massage spa in the country. As for any future plans, his ultimate goal is to introduce a whole new level of Filipino wellness, to make hilot shine in the global industry. A mixture of religion and science, affordability, quality and very Filipino - a massage spa known as Mont Albo.

Life as a Brod

Well, I could not leave his office without knowing his story and experiences as a resident body of the Phi Kappa Mu. He joined the fraternity during his second year, juggling all academic and frat-related activities. He became part of the Executive Council as the Brother Custodian. “When they transferred the bank account to my name, all left was nothing. I started with a balance of zero pesos,” he said. It was very hard to think of income-generating projects that will yield substantial amounts of money. One project he will never forget was the comedy variety show hosted by Ai Ai De Las Alas. Though not all brods affirmed to this project, he still continued to make it happen and it actually generated money for the fraternity.

 

Rest assured, [the brods] will support you whatever happens.

 

Life-learnings from the fraternity would be one of the greatest benefit he got from being a Loyal Son. He stated, “I’ve learned to cooperate and adjust with people of different personalities. Not all of the brods will affirm with your decision, but rest assured, they will support you whatever happens.” When he became an alumni and started his business, two brods helped him when his business went down: Dr. Laurence Tan Loh, Ф1984A and Dr. Orville Cortez Ocampo, Ф1987. He is forever grateful for all the help he got from the fraternity. In return, whenever there is a project that the fraternity will hold, he is always there to help, give sponsorships and shoulder expenses. “It’s giving back to the fraternity the way the fraternity helped you,” he added.

 

Never give up your talents for medical school because your talents make you human

 

Our conversation ended with advice he wants to share with the rest of the brods. He said “Stay single as long as you can. If you really have this big dream for yourself and your family, do it to avoid distractions. There is always perfect timing for everything.” He stressed that although being in med school is exhausting, medicine is not all studying. “Look for your passion. You can become a doctor without losing it. Never give up your talents for medical school because your talents make you human”, he said. He realized that Mont Albo was his passion, and he thinks that it is his purpose in life.

 

Established in August 1933 by the UP College of Medicine's best medical students, the PHI KAPPA MU (Fraternity of the College of Medicine) continues to uphold its tested tradition of Excellence, Leadership, Service and Brotherhood in the College, University and in our country.

Through the Fraternity's ideals and pillars, her Loyal Sons continue to lead, innovate and excel in the practice of medicine worldwide and in preserving the honor and integrity of the medical profession.

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