With the turning of a new century, the world is at the threshold of peace, prosperity and opportunity. For the first time in recorded history, Europe has attained sustainable peace. People in India have attained independence and China has finally opened its gates to the world, ushering an era of a new and powerful synthesis of east and west. Barriers between countries begin to blur as the pull of Globalization grows in momentum. As though proud of its own shrinking, the world had nicknamed itself a ‘global village.’ But utopia remains elusive. The distribution of wealth maintains or widens rather than narrows the chasm between First and Third World countries. Preventable communicable diseases, including tuberculosis and AIDS, continue to threaten the health and well-being of many nations. The 9 -11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York made ‘terrorism’ a household word, and became an epicenter of both fear and vigilance.

Despite the economic growth of its neighboring countries, the Philippines struggles against poverty. The government is as it has always been, despite two EDSA revolutions. Hope becomes the currency of national elections rather their the result. Economic crises and unstable national security issues hamper the processes of repair in a country just getting back on its feet, already forgetting it was once the tiger of Asia.

Through the bright sunny days and the dark stormy nights, the most venerable Fraternity of the UP College of Medicine, the Phi Kappa Mu rolls with the blows, but never falls. The Phi look backward only to laugh and to learn. Already looking ahead, the Fraternity makes ready to take on the challenges a new century will surely bring.

 


A golden era for the Fraternity had just ended, resplendent with crowning achievements and outstanding leaders in different fields of medicine. The first 50 years of the Fraternity were a splendid testament to the Fraternity’s strength through the years. By 1983, the Fraternity had surmounted obstacles and surpassed the greatest of storms. Not even the violence and bloodshed of the Second World War or the suspensions of student organizations in the country during the 70s were enough to quench that ever-strong Phi brotherhood.

And though the celebrations had come and gone, the praises of its illustrious members had been sung, and projects had been successfully launched, Fraternity life had to go on. The tradition of its four hallowed pillars of excellence, leadership, service, and brotherhood had to be preserved.
Nay, it had to be strengthened even further.

The 1980’s was a decade of revolution and change, which augmented the challenge to the Fraternity to continue to lead and achieve in medicine, both in general and in the different specialties.

Another pervading theme for that decade was unity. Around the world, unity was so beautifully demonstrated, either in retaliation to decades of
oppression or in the quest for economic and social progress. It was in this decade that the European Union was strengthened, with its common goal of unifying its constituent economies and working together for progress and development in the region. Such a demonstration of unity eventually paved the way for the erstwhile Iron Curtain, dividing Europe into communist east and capitalist west, to shatter at the hands of the peoples it divided for decades. The Iron Curtain received its deathblow during the Collapse of the Berlin Wall in Germany, and the restoration of democracy in Eastern Europe. Super economies also started emerging in this era as South Korea, India, and China slowly came of age.

Closer to home, the extant Marcos regime appeared to have loosened its claws with the lifting of martial law in the early part of the eighties. The political landscape, however, was as intense as ever, with the killing of Ninoy Aquino in 1983. This was eventually followed by the Snap Elections of 1986, and the famed EDSA revolution, which toppled the Marcos regime.

In the Philippine General Hospital, a massive renovation was in progress which culminated in the construction of the eight-storey Central Block building. This feat was accomplished by fundraising projects initiated by then Director Felipe Estrella Φ50. This unmatched achievement gave Dr. Estrella the title “Father of the Modern PGH.” He eventually became Secretary of Health during the administration of President Joseph Estrada.


The College of Medicine, which celebrated its Diamond Jubilee just a year before Phi’s Golden Jubilee, also underwent many changes. One of the major ones was the implementation of the Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine (INTARMED) program, a legacy of the administration of Dean Gloria Aragon. Its most revolutionary provision was the establishment of the direct entry track to the College of Medicine’s medical proper curriculum. Top scorers of the University of the Philippines College Admissions Test (UPCAT) were qualified to take an accelerated two-year pre-medical program leading to a sure slot in the College of Medicine. The first batch of INTARMED direct entrants entered the medical proper program in 1984.

In the same year, Eugen Palma, Dennis Serrano, Lito Bautista, and Jette Esteban, became the first INTARMED students initiated into the Phi. Their batch was notable as well for having broken the 20-mark in the number of neophytes that entered since Beinte Quatro Oras of Batch 77; thus, their name: The Renaissance Batch.


In keeping with an already established yearly College tradition, the Phi stepped up its annual participation at the Tao Rin Pala (TRP), the College variety show organized by the Medical Students Society. It started during the junior year of the Renaisance Batch of 1984, in which 10 of them represented the Fraternity and performed a dance number in the TRP. It was such a hit that the entire Fraternity danced in the TRP the following year. Thus began the tradition of one of the most awaited portions of the TRP – the Phi performance. The Phi dances, both of the Fraternity and its sister sorority Phi Lambda Delta, are always looked forward to by those who take the time to watch this annual showcase of UPCM talent. A highlight of the Phi dance is the solo segment of the SE which never failed to bring the house down.

The following years saw the emergence of the contemporary culture that the Phi has been known for until today. The “Anim na Itlog” trio of Iggy Agbayani, Jojo Jocson and Jonas del Rosario of the Quarterstomers were renowned for their hosting talents and onstage antics. They never failed to rock the halls with laughter and cheer, be it at the TRP, class parties, or any Fraternity gathering.

A fundamental need eventually had to be addressed: a house that the Fraternity could proudly call its own, reminiscent of the Villafuerte apartments in years past. When the Quarterstomers entered the fold in 1986, several of them occupied an apartment on Bocobo Street. For almost 15 years it served as a haven for fellowships and spur of the moment raffles, as well as an indispensable venue for meetings, both formal and casual, for generations of Phis. There were many Phi Houses that followed after, but none compared to Bocobo.


A Phi must be a good medical student. But, time and again, the Phi proved to be more than just that.
True to its tradition of leadership, the Fraternity produced Medicine Student Council chairpersons Jette Esteban Φ84B, Damaso Bueno Φ87, and eventually, Ge Abesamis Φ05.

Meanwhile, exemplifying Phi’s commitment to academic excellence were board topnotchers Eric Legaspi Φ82A, and former SE Marlo Leonen Φ83. Soon, topnotcher Brods Jun Quion, Choy Remulla, Lito Bautista, Jegit Inciong of Φ84B; Jonas del Rosario, Jayson Liu, Francis Jamilla, and Henry Ty of Φ86; Stanley Go, Primo Lara, and Damaso Bueno of Φ87; Richard To and Racel Querol of Φ90B, Alfredo Blas Φ93, Vince Cunanan Φ00, and Patrick Sia Φ03 also joined their ranks. In addition to being topnotchers, they also led their respective classes academically, ranking in the class top 20.

Brods later to achieve Latin honors were Eric Legaspi Φ82A cum laude, former SE Marlo Leonen Φ83, magna cum laude, and recently, Ronnie Baticulon and Vinci Villafuerte, both Φ03 and cum laude.

Phi’s tradition of excellence shone luminously in the arts as well. In the 60’s, the Phi Band had Repot Repotente Φ65 as lead guitarist, Budz Robles Φ65 as the music director and pianist, Sol Apostol Φ66 played the clarinet and the saxophone, Boy Belizario Φ66 on rhythm guitar, Chuck Chua Chiaco Φ67 on bass, and Johnny Fong Φ66 on drums. They would practice at Chuck’s house and overwhelm the other band during the Christmas presentations in PGH. The 70’s prize winning Phi Band included Marvin Balaan Φ75, Ray Ballecer Φ75, Cesar Katigbak Φ77, and Dr. Nestor Bautista Φ50.

A decade later, Denet Dimaculangan, Richie Yusay, Vlady Samonte and Bufo Gatchalian, all members of the premed band Bufo and the Tadpoles revived this great musical tradition when they joined the Fraternity in 1989. Gap Legaspi Φ83 provided the saxophone and flute accompaniment and Jejit Inciong Φ84 provided the baritone to Vlady Samonte’s tenor. Later on, Batch 91’s Maloy Calaquian, former SE Jojo Castillo and Dan Calleja took charge of the vocals while Kaloy Aleta strummed the guitars. The band easily became well known in the campus, even fronting for the popular Eraserheads and Side-A at one time.
Winston Umali Φ89B later on contributed his musical wizardry and magic on the keyboards. He eventually took the helm of the Phi Choir and was the main leader of the Phi caroling, assuming the mantle of previous Phi music legend Ato Jose, Φ80. During his time at the college, Winston also became the head of the UPCM Med Choir.

Other organizations in the College also evolved under the leadership of Phi Brods. In particular, campus journalism in the College of Medicine flourished as Phi Brods assumed editorship of the official College student publication. These were Ting Tiongco Φ66, former SE Brix Pujalte Φ85, Godwin Vivar Φ01, Ronnie Baticulon Φ03 and Jimjim Lopez Φ06. Meanwhile, the UP Medical Students Society, famous for its annual Tao Rin Pala variety show, has been led by Brods Henry Ty Φ86 and Mercky Mercado Φ00. Eman Prudente Φ97 became head of UP Pagsama, a socio- civic organization.


With the implementation of the new INTARMED program in 1982, the program brought back with it a provision compelling UP medical students to finish internship at PGH as a requirement for graduation. This ultimately necessitated bestowing the highest office of the Fraternity to an intern instead of a clerk. It will be remembered that when PGH still allowed medical students to spend internship in other hospitals, the office of the Superior Exemplar was given to a clerk.

The interns’ batch then, Renaissance Φ84, already had an SE within their ranks, Jegit Inciong. Ultimately, another Brod from the batch, Choy Remulla, was elected. As a result of this change, the Renaissance batch earned the rare distinction of producing more than one Superior Exemplar. Later on, ‘Eight is Enough’of Φ89B produced two SEs, Hadji Desquitado and Rex Poblete; and Siyampoy Φ91 produced SEs Jojo Castillo and Do de Padua. A decade later, ‘The Great Commission’ batch of Φ02 achieved this feat, with Nimrod Firaza and Dhhooogz Tan assuming the top post.


The latter years of the decade were marked by contrasting trends. In other parts of the world, although the Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia and the rise of Solidarność in Poland successfully triumphed against oppressive communist regimes, the demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square were less triumphant, instead resulting in bloodshed. At home, violence marred the infamous Mendiola Massacre of 1987 and the numerous coups d’etat that attempted to topple the Aquino presidency.

The College was not spared in the political turmoil of the time. Forever etched into the history of the College was the Walkout of 1990 which ensued after the controversial admission of six students three years earlier. The Chancellor, then Ernesto Domingo, had backed their enrollment, despite the adamant refusal of Dean Marita Reyes and the College administration. The crisis divided the faculty and ultimately the student body. Because two of the notorious students belonged to another Greek-letter organization, there was an attempt to muddle the issue as one of affiliation rather than principle. Nowhere was it more fractious than in Class ‘92, to which the students belonged, and where the class president, Felix Tiongco Φ87, and the Medicine Student Council Chairman, Damaso Bueno Φ87, were both Brods. The walkout culminated in a rally in UP Diliman where Phi was a major presence. The rains that day did nothing to dampen the spirits of the faculty, staff, students, and least of all Caloy Suguitan Φ89B. The weather had triggered an asthma attack but he carried on and joined the rally. His condition turned for the worse the following day. He went into status asthmaticus then cardiac arrest. Caloy survived but now suffers from residuals. It was a tragic incident made worse by the Board of Regents ruling, which allowed the six students to continue their studies and graduate with their class. Inevitably, UPCM faculty bowed to the authority of the ruling, under pain of administrative charges.


Soon, even the reputations of fraternities were stained because of unrestrained physical initiations.
The Fraternity saw a peak in the numbers of those who wanted for themselves the honor of the Phi brotherhood. Twenty-five new Brods entered in 1986 and 30 in 1987. But early in 1991, Lenny Villa, a first year law student, died during the initiation rites of a law fraternity at the Ateneo de Manila University. This event naturally sparked a cascade of crackdowns on Greek-letter organizations. The Phi was not spared the smeared image
projected of fraternities during that time. It was in this context that the number of those who joined the fold dwindled, with batches numbering from a modest 8 to even 3.


Under the leadership of SE Denet Dimaculangan Φ1989A, ceremonial traditions, such as the sashes of the Executive Council, the Anniversary Mass and the Omega Rites were instituted. Activities were also organized to strengthen the Phi presence in the university, with activities such as the Phi Run and Phi Strong, a revival of the Bunong Braso competitions of the early ‘80s, later on morphing into various sport competitions from 3 on 3 basketball games to indoor soccer. It was also during this time that Phi stepped up its charitable activities, most notable of which is the revival of the Operation Blood Brother, a landmark project initially organized by the Fraternity in the ‘70s.


The Phi tradition of excellence in sports has been strongly demonstrated since its inception. The Fraternity has, until now, produced fine athletes who have represented the College of Medicine in both inter-college and inter-university events.

BAKBAKAN, the university-wide tournament, became a showcase of Phi athletic prowess. In the tournament’s entire history, the fabled Phi basketball team, comprised mostly of members from the Renaissance batch of ‘84 and the Quarterstormers of ’86, emerged as the only team from the College of Medicine to bring home the championship trophy.

In volleyball, the College of Medicine team dominated with an unbeaten championship record since the tournament started. Phis from Batches ‘89 and ’90 comprised most of the team: Allan Tenorio, Ricky Luna, Nick Nicomedes, Jun Garcia, Robbie Sian, Randy Zamuco, and Eric Taclawan. After Batch ‘91 was initiated, Jojo Castillo and Boy Saranglao, a volleyball varsity superstar from UST and a member of the Philippine Youth Team, provided the needed numbers for Phi to be able to field its own team. The championship rounds of the succeeding three years saw fierce competition between Phi and the College of Medicine, each time ending with the crowning of the Phi team.


A Phi assumed the Deanship in 1991. It was the beginning of Alfredo T. Ramirez’s golden years in the administration. Four years earlier, Ramirez Φ56 was Chairman of the Department of Surgery of the PGH, trailblazing with innovations which led to the creation of the Trauma Division, the Division of Surgical Care, and the Division of Burns. As Dean, he instituted lasting achievements that ensured a brighter future for the College. He initiated the Dean’s International Circle and the Resource Development Office. It was also during his term that renovations for the Basic Science Lecture Rooms and Calderon Hall were undertaken. Helping Ramirez throughout his administration was Assistant to the Dean Nestor Pareja Φ58. Joined at the hip, they exemplified the quintessential Phi brotherhood, supporting each other especially through Ramirez’s courageous term as UP Chancellor. After Florentino B. Herrera Φ37, Ramirez was the second Phi who held the revered positons of UPCM Dean and UP Manila Chancellor.

In addition, a Phi assumed the directorship of the Philippine General Hospital in 1997. Dr. Napoleon Apolinario Φ63 became PGH Director after his stint as Vice-Chancellor during the term of Chancellor Perla Santos- Ocampo.


Before anyone in the Fraternity could notice, another decade had passed. The Fraternity celebrated its 60th year in 1993. It was a celebration most noted for the renewed cooperation and stronger ties between the undergraduate Brods and the alumni. Two years prior, efforts to reach out to the alumni were undertaken through the revival of the Spirit of 1933 newsletter during the term of SE Albert Rafanan Φ87. He also created the 60th Year Committee, headed by Lionel Bañez Φ90A, to prepare for the celebrations. Letters to the alumni along with the Spirit were sent to brods in the Philippines and in the US to invite everyone to gather and show their support for the celebrations.

One of the first Brods to respond to the call was Gloc Sagisi Φ59. He had not heard from the Phi since going to the US after graduation, but after receiving the letter from Phi, the brotherhood in him was rekindled. Through his generous assistance, scholarships for underprivileged Brods were set up, and sponsorships for the Phi basketball and volleyball teams were provided. His unconditional support for the student Brods would later inspire other alumni who had lost communications with the Fraternity to renew their ties with the Phi. The culminating activity of the 60th anniversary was the Fraternity Ball, held at the Manila Galleria Suites. The event was made all the more special by the attendance of Founding Fellows Tony Lozano, Jess Lava, and Jorge Royeca.


By then, the Fraternity was traversing the crossroads of changing times. Recent history deserves that cliché more than most eras, because of the acceleration of change. For one thing, the ease with which ideas, goods, and even people flowed internationally achieved more rapidly what was once attributed only to conquest and warfare: the softening of borders into a constant state of flux. In an age where a properly equipped individual could access so much so soon, would old values like brotherhood still have a place? The Fraternity faced the challenge of adapting to these changes while being faithful to the Phi Spirit that had thus far been preserved by its vigorous exercise.


Notably, the first years of the third millennium witnessed yet another unseating of a president, with the hope that another EDSA revolution would change the country for the better. The times had not been kind to the Fraternity movement either. Isolated flares of violence and irresponsibility of a few fratmen have been played up by tabloid journalism, effectively smearing the collective names of Greek-letter societies. An anti-hazing law had been passed condemning traditional initiations as base criminal acts. At the time, the Fraternity perceived the new legislation as a threat to our proud spirits and ironclad beliefs. But the Phi stood tall, rode the swells of the deluge that threatened to overwhelm us, and adapted. And grew. In the beginning, none of the first PHIs applied, in the usual sense, to become members. The only way into the Fraternity was by invitation; one had to be asked to apply. The eligible were those who fulfilled several criteria, among which were good grades, good moral character, and requisite qualities understood among gentlemen of the time. Stringent and prestigious, the young Fraternity needed no physical rites to guard its walls. Some of the requirements imposed on applicants included community work and such assistance as required by senior members. As time passed, the Fraternity grew stronger in both membership and the requirements set to attain it. Adapting constantly to the times, and heeding the voices of its members, Phi ensured that always, and by any standard, only the best became brothers. Eventually, to ensure the mettle and dedication of those who aspired to join, a rigorous program of initiations came into being during the early years of the Fraternity. It was an arduous rite of passage from which a chosen few would be baptized into brotherhood.

But change proved its constancy with the approach of the new millenium, and it did so through the characters that peopled this time. Superior Exemplar Francis Daytec Φ94 presided over a meeting held one fateful evening in Paz Mendoza building. The Brods debated through the night whether the present breed of medical students was ready to receive the blessing of Phi without the rigors and trials of “old school” ways. Arguments rained from both sides until it was decided by the body to put the decision to a vote.

And that night, the Fraternity bade farewell to an old friend.

Then Brother Prior Christopher Victorio Φ97 was tasked to revise the program for the incoming batch of neophytes. Creating one as effective and efficient as the original was a difficult task. Like most transitions, the entry of the first batch under the revised program was filled with significant amounts of guesswork and huge amounts of patience. But thankfully, the Fates once more smiled upon the Phi and the new program proved to be a success. The Fraternity welcomed and embraced Headstrong Batch 2000 with the same zeal and jubilation as it did previous batches. They, and the next batches that followed kept the dignity and honor and excellence of the Phi way and at the same time infused the Phi spirit with the fervor, passion and innovation of this new age.


The advent of the information technology and the internet provided better, easier and faster ways of communication. The world was never quite the same again. Phi readily rode on the wave of technology. Rod Tanchanco Φ87 set up the first Phi website in 1996. Former SE Jojo Castillo Φ91 improved on Rod’s work and with the help of Romy Isidro Φ77, created PHIKAPPAMU.COM. The Phi Network was established making any brod anywhere around the world just a mouse click away. Through the newly opened gateways of the modern globalized age, brotherhood too could flow – the Phi Kappa Mu became proof of it.
Along with this development, the turn of the century ushered in the rebirth of alumni passion for the College and for the Fraternity. From both of sides of the Pacific, the Phi Alumni Association and the Phi Alumni Association in North America, as it was then known, worked with unprecedented fervor for their beloved Phi. The giant, a two headed one at that, has been awakened.

By 1998, the Phi Network had reached hundreds of Brods around the globe. Phis from the US who had not participated in any Phi activity since they left the country, save for the small reunions in the UPMASA Homecomings, were suddenly immersed in up-to-date news of what was happening in the College. A massive organization of the Phi Kappa Mu in the US took place and Phi Kappa Mu Alumni Association in North America (PKMAANA) was born. Jimmy del Pilar Φ61 was elected President with Jess Socrates Φ66 as Vice President. [see related Feature “In Whatever Lands We Meet’]

The UPMASA reunion in Baltimore in 1998 became the starting point for the Brods to officially form the Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity Permanent Endowment Fund, a brainchild of Tony Donesa Φ54, Jimmy del Pilar and Jess Socrates. Romy Isidro Φ77 launched the PKMAANA website to document the Fund’s progress. Socrates rallied the Brods into contributing to the Phi PEF. By the time Socrates assumed the presidency of Phi International, it had become the largest endowment fund within the UPMASA-PEF. Projects funded by the PEF included scholarships for UPCM students, repair and upgrading of the UPCM Histology Lab, and construction of the Dr. Mariano de la Cruz Anatomy Lounge.

The Phi Kappa Mu Alumni in North America streamlined its name into Phi Kappa Mu International after the Constitution and By-laws prepared by Tony Donesa was ratified in 2000.

Meanwhile, the Phi Alumni Association was reactivated, under the leadership of Ven Gloria Φ70, Ted Herbosa Φ79, Iggy Agbayani Φ86, and Chuck Chua Chiaco Φ70. Agbayani took over the Phi Alumni Association Presidency in 2001. The Alumni Board, comprised of relatively young members, was organized and quickly got down to business. The “Black and Gold,” the Fraternity newsletter which replaced the Spirit of 1933, saw worldwide distribution to make sure all brods knew what was going on in the Fraternity.

A Phi Congress, the first of its kind, was held at the Hyatt Regency Manila in 2002. It was a call to all alumni to reaffirm their love for Phi and their commitment to our principles and the Cardinal Virtues. Over a hundred delegates attended and various matters were discussed: the general negative public perception of fraternities resulting in the decline in the number of recruits, how to improve academic performance of the student Brods, and the perennial shortage of funds among others. For the number of issues that demanded attention, one congress was not enough. But the doors of communication had been thrown wide open; the alumni had loudly declared that the Phi Spirit is alive and well.

The annual UPMASA reunions became virtual Phi congresses as numerous Brods regularly attended the Phi reunion and business meetings. Phi International was incorporated as a fully tax exempt corporation through the efforts of Arnel Joaquin and Romy Isidro with Tony Donesa as its Chairman of the Board.
The Phi Diamond Fund was launched with the aim of raising at least 10 million pesos or 200,000 US dollars within five years or less. The fund would be used to promote the objectives and aspirations of Phi Kappa Mu Alumni and Fraternity with the completion date before the Diamond Anniversary of the Fraternity in the year 2008.

In anticipation of the Diamond Year, the 70th Ball celebrations were held at the EDSA Shangri-la, April 12, 2003. The second Phi Congress was subsequently held that July In that event, the Phi Kappa Mu Alumni’s Election Code was ratified. A move was also raised to reflect on the Fraternity’s vision-mission, in order to set the Fraternity’s direction and define what the Phi truly stands for.

Alumni-sponsored fundraising events included the Healing Hands concert, featuring concert pianist Raul Sunico, held during the Phi Alumni Homecoming in December of 2003. This event was held under the leadership of Iggy Agbayani Φ86, in cooperation with Phi Lambda Delta Alumnae Association. Coincidentally, the pianist Sunico is a son of a Brod, Faustino Sunico Φ39, departed pathologist.

Keeping with the spirit of alumni support for the Fraternity, Jack Arroyo Φ79, one of the founders of American Eye Center, instituted that year free LASIK surgery for Brods.


Individually, the loyal sons of the Phi have been in the service of the Alma Mater as well. Departments of the Hospital have been chaired by Brods, leaving behind legacies that brought their respective departments to greater heights. Jose Gonzales Φ69A brought unprecedented changes to the PGH Department of Surgery as its Chairman. He later became Chair of the UPCM Regionalization Program Committee. Lewy Pasion Φ64 headed Orthopedics while Egay Ortiz Φ72 captained the Department of Pediatrics. Noel Guison Φ77 chaired Anatomy. Che Jamir Φ69 and Gene Abes Φ71 took turns in taking charge of PGH Otorhinolaryngology. The massive renovations within the PGH Departments of Ophthalmology and Emergency Medicine, both sponsored by the Spanish government, were completed under the leadership of chairs Manuel Agulto Φ69 and Ted Herbosa Φ79, respectively.

Within the University, Benjie Vitasa Φ65 became Dean of the College of Public Health. Outside the University, Mariano dela Cruz Φ49, a leader in the modern study of Anatomy in the Philippines, and Noel Guison Φ77 (both former chairmen of the UPCM Department of Anatomy) became
deans of San Beda College of Medicine. Filemon T. Gozum Φ49 became founding dean of the Fatima College of Medicine, and Salvador Salceda Φ54 of Emilio Aguinaldo College of Medicine. Countless hospitals in the country and in the world, especially the United States, also have Phi Brods as medical directors, department chairs, and professors.

Thirteen Phi Brods also reaped awards during the Centennial Celebrations of the UP College of Medicine in 2005, for their lasting contributions to the practice of medicine in the Philippines. These brods are former SE Florentino Herrera Φ37, first Chancellor of UP Manila, and founder of the UP School of Health Sciences Palo; Quintin Gomez Φ40, pioneer Anesthesiologist in the country; Luis Mabilangan Φ47, an institution in the field of Philippine Pediatrics; Ramon Abarquez, Jr, Φ48 eminent cardiologist and developer of the dynamic exercise ECG test; Guillermo Damian Φ48, Father of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Philippines and the founder of the College of Allied Medical Professions of the UP; Alendry Caviles Φ49, leading hematologist and immunologist; Romeo Espiritu Φ49, leader in Ophthalmology; Manuel Macapinlac Φ50, eminent teacher and researcher in biochemistry and nutrition; former SE George Viterbo Φ50, model community doctor; former SE Augusto Litonjua Φ52, Father of Philippine Endocrinology; Antonio Limson Φ53, eminent teacher- researcher; former SE Benigno Agbayani Φ54 eminent allergologist and researcher; and former SE Alfredo T. Ramirez Φ56, Father of Burn Surgery in the Philippines.

In addition, Phis have been given the highest recognition accorded by the University to its professors: the title of Professor Emeritus. These Brods are former SE Conrado Dayrit Φ38, Benjamin Canlas Φ46, Romeo Fajardo Φ47, Luis Mabilangan Φ47, Ramon Abarquez, Jr, Φ48, Romeo Espiritu Φ49, Alendry Caviles Φ49, Augusto Litonjua Φ52, Florante Gonzaga Φ53, former SE Benigno Agbayani Φ54, Salvador Salceda Φ54, and Clemente Amante Φ58.
Nationally recognized Phis included the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardees: Augusto Litonjua Φ52, Alfredo Ramirez Φ56, Quintin Kintanar Φ56, Reginaldo Picache Φ57, Enrique Ona Φ57, Egay Ortiz Φ72, and Ricky Quintos Φ86. and Jonas del Rosario Φ86. Ricky Quintos also received the Ten Outstanding Young Scientists (TOYS) award for the Health Sciences, as did Bunds Balgos Φ76 and Jun Belizario Φ81. The prestigious Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Awards, given to outstanding Philippine physicians by the Philippine Medical Association, has been given to Tony Lahoz Φ48, Alendry Caviles Φ49, Ramon Abarquez Φ48, and Bunds Balgos Φ76.

The national elections of 2007 saw the candidacies of Martin Bautista Φ84, who courageously ran for senator under the Ang Kapatiran Party, and Carlo Diasnes Φ93 who ran for congressman for the Lone District of Batanes. Diasnes easily won a seat in the 14th Congress. Bautista, despite his popularity among netizens and the blogosphere, did not garner enough votes to win a seat in the Senate. But people did take notice, and in his own words, he “achieved a beginning, advanced the cause for reform, and awakened a hope that such reform is possible.” Gerry Lahoz Φ82, meanwhile, became board member of the province of Ilocos Sur. These achievements mirror those of distinguished Phi alumni since the time of the Founding Fathers. [see related Feature “Semper Phi: What Became of the Founding Fathers”]


Trips to Boracay and Dagupan became annual outings usually sponsored by Phi alumni and Phi Lambda Delta alumnae. This solidarity was also seen during the construction of the new PAGKALMA Park, home of the Fraternity and Sorority. To give way for the building of Alvior Hall, the UPCM Faculty Lounge, the PAGKALMA Park was moved to a new location beside the Bobby dela Paz Hall in 2005. Alumni involvement in this project flowed from both the Fraternity and Sorority. The new PAGKALMA complex was blessed the year after, during the Alumni Homecoming celebrations.


At the advent of the Fraternity’s 75th year, Phi made its first steps in breaking beyond the confines of the College and becoming more global in
scope and relevance. Through the leadership of SE Vince Varilla, Phi Alumni Association President Chuck Chua Chiako and Phi International President Romy Isidro, numerous projects were instituted both within and beyond the walls of the UPCM.

In the College, projects undertaken include the construction of two modules of the Multi-Disciplinary Laboratory (MDL), the Katigbak Classroom on the third floor of Calderon Hall, the renovation of the Intern’s quarters, and the creation of the Phi Faculty of the Year Award.

The Adopt a Phi, Phi Baon and Phi Easy scholarship programs were also initiated to provide professional and financial support in advancing the Brods’ medical careers. PhiKapwaMo, a brainchild of Gil Mendoza Φ73, was launched to help Brods in need of any form of assistance in the US. The Phi CAN (Career Assistance Network) was set up to assist Brods seeking training and job positions in the US.

Through the efforts of Phi International, the Fraternity is now more relevant than ever to Medical Education. Phi students are provided with PDA’s and laptop computers to augment their diagnostic acumen and treatment skills with updated current literature, Scholarships, the Phi Student Research Grant, the Overseas Phi Exchange Student Program and Online E-Learning Network assisted by Phi consultants in all specialties were created to further the education of the Brods.

Within the University, Iman Lat Φ68 spearheaded a project with the aim of providing safe housing for UP Manila students. The project so far has raised $400,000, one of the Fraternity’s biggest projects in terms of monetary commitment.

Within the hospital, the OPERA (Operating Room Assistance) program, a brainchild of former Senior Guardian of the Temple Melvin Valera Φ06, began operations. The program provided financial support for indigent pediatric surgical patients, Ambu Bags were donated to various departments of the UP-PGH and Oxygen Saturation Monitors to the operating room of the Department of Surgery.

On a national level, Brods have been instrumental in the conceptualization of the Health Education Reform Order project (HERO), and demonstratedimmense support and participation in its nationwide implementation, The project integrated health education in primary schools. The Handog Ngiti project and the Phi Van were also conceived and realized with the goal of serving indigent Filipinos with cleft lip and palates in need of surgical repair. Iman Lat, the Phi Van’s creator, envisioned a roving van travelling around the entire country bringing with it the gift of smile.

Through Phi International, the Fraternity also supported the Missionaries of the Poor Housing for mentally retarded children in Naga City, and made a donation to World Vision to provide relief to the victims of typhoons and flooding in Quezon province.

Crowning these Diamond achievements is the Empowerment Through Mobility project, a partnership between the Fraternity and Free Wheelchair Mission, an international Christian NGO. With the concerted effort of alumni, led by Ruffy Co Φ71 and undergraduate Brods, more than 1500 wheelchairs have been distributed in almost all corners of the archipelago to differently-abled and needy Filipinos who depend on wheelchairs for mobility. The launching of the project in 2007 was attended by no less than Senator Panfilo Lacson, Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim, UP President Emerlinda Roman, and UP Manila Chancellor Ramon Arcadio.

But SE Vince Varilla’s and the 75th year Executive Council’s term will be most remembered for the Diamond flagship project, Diamonds in the Rough, a nationwide search for outstanding young community doctors that was organized by the Fraternity with the Rotary Club of Paco. A brainchild of then Standard Bearer Alvin Anastacio Φ06, the program selected three exemplary doctors, one from Luzon, one from Visayas, and one from Mindanao. The winners were selected on the basis of sustainability of health projects and services, and the impact of the doctor’s decision to stay and serve the community. The program aimed to highlight excellent role models for the practice of community medicine, and ultimately to inspire future physicians to stay in the country or return home after honing their skills abroad.

With all these projects as feathers in its cap, the Fraternity culminated its celebration of the Diamond year with the Phi Diamond Ball held at
the Makati Shangri-La on December 18, 2008. More than 200 Brods from all parts of the world attended the event. The exhilaration and warmth among Brods from different generations were overwhelmingly palpable. These are exciting times to be a Phi.

We have arrived.


It is prudent to stress that this new age, with all the changes it brings, is not built upon the ashes of dead old ways. Nor is it built on the establishment of something new. Truth be told, there is no such thing as “old school” or “new school” Phi, for there is only one Phi. Its fire was lit 75 years ago in the amphitheater above the morgue of the UP College of Medicine. It is the same fire we carry to this day. As former SE Brian Cabral said in a toast, this age marks “The Renaissance of Phi”.

We endured the numerous adversities of the times and setbacks large and small, but now we step back and see that we have done well.
To fragile man, 75 years would mark the culmination of a lifetime. To the immortal spirit of Phi, it is but a coming of age. The past has formed it well. The future shall serve as witness to the undying strength of the only Fraternity of the College of Medicine.

 

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.

Flagship Projects