“The emblem of the PHI is not a simple circle; rays extend out. That is what a PHI should be about – extending yourself to others, effecting change to make things better.”

Each element in our fraternity’s insignia represents principles which we commit ourselves to. For Dr. Vicente Belizario Jr., more than anything, our fraternity stands for service to humankind.

In this light, Brod Jun – a public servant for most of his life as researcher at the National Institutes of Health and teacher at the UP College of Medicine – has for all these years stood as a true PHI.

As he puts it, the career he has chosen for himself is “something not too popular or high paying.”  But he wouldn’t have it another way. In his work as researcher and teacher, he believes he is able to institute change at multiple levels; at the university, in nurturing the future medical practitioners of the country; nationally, in formulating health policies; and perhaps internationally, in contributing valuable and practical scientific knowledge. Though his job is daunting, with it he “feels useful”. Research has offered him a particularly unique avenue to give back and to realize his vision of effecting change in the lives of many and ultimately of “alleviating the plight of the poor.” As he describes it, research is nothing more than “a continuing process of studying to learn new things and using such knowledge to empower people.”

Brod Jun had the heart of a true servant even in his younger years. In fact, in deciding which career to pursue, it was a toss-up between medicine and priesthood for the young man. He saw both vocations as two sides of the same coin – as a doctor, one heals the body and as a priest, the spirit. What flipped it in favor of medicine though was his father. Much like many sons of doctors, he was exposed to medicine early on. As the young man always “listened to the elderly as they had more wisdom”, he decided on becoming doctor and took up BA Humanities as a premed course.

It was through his older brother’s (Brod  Boy Belizario Φ1966) alumni book that he came to know about the Fraternity. He joined PHI the semestral break of his first year. Moreover, he remembers that his joining had much to do with “commonalities” he found with the people recruiting him; in his case, with Brod Ato Jose Φ80. Jun, the keyboard player, and Ato, of the UP Medicine Choir, shared a passion for music which the Fraternity only cultivated.

He remembers fondly that as a resident brod, he was member of the first PHI Jazz Band. With him on keyboards, he and other PHI brods usually played in the lobby of PGH and during college activities. Amidst the hectic schedule of a medical student, they always had jamming sessions to look forward to.

Looking at the Fraternity in retrospect, he realizes that not much has changed. Although the initiation rites were overhauled, the fundamentals have stuck. The incredible and truly unique (“kakaiba”) brotherhood the PHI shares remained. He adds, our “brotherhood is forever.”

However, he does not see the Fraternity as it currently stands as “forever strong”, at least not yet. He says the challenge is for us to realize that vision by instituting programs that will leave a lasting mark in the community and will eventually be seen as markedly and distinctly PHI. “PHI has to be creative about service”, he says. More than medical missions, he wishes to see programs that would have medium to long-term effects. Being a medical fraternity, the PHI is in a particularly unique position to make a difference in underprivileged communities. He is confident that our fraternity “can do wonders.”

To the young brods, he urges that the four pillars should not only be declared but must be exemplified in a concrete setting. “Excellence is a minimum requirement; leadership and service must be reiterated; our strong brotherhood we could use to achieve the other three pillars.”

Brod Jun Belizario leaves no doubt that he practices what he preaches.

 

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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