Lauded for creating another meaningful medical milestone since it was established, the Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, Inc. successfully held its 69th Investiture and Commencement Exercises at the Grand Pacific Ballroom, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino last June 20, 2019.
This year, MHAM has produced two hundred thirty-nine (239) graduate-doctors of Batch NEXUS who sang their batch song in unison that through God’s help, all those obstacles they have encountered were all conquered.
Reechoing the mark on one small yet blessed step on their medical journey with an infinite future they’ll embark, the class of 2019 took a lifelong pledge to reach some hands to hold as God’s instruments of grace.
Beaming with honor with the highest number of graduates so far, NEXUS, as a batch, originated from the word ‘nexus’ which means the focal point where all diversity converge and bind together to bring out a one whole functional masterpiece.
A new binding force where healing becomes the instrument of life for humanity to create meaning and purpose in their existence, the baccalaureate mass for batch NEXUS was officiated by Rev. Fr. Joriz Foz Calsa of the Salesians of Don Bosco. MHAM HR director, Mr. Pedro U. Pañares, facilitated the first part of the annual event together with the San Pedro Calungsod Choir where he is also a member.
Gracing the graduation rites for the very first time, Dr. Maximo C. Aljibe of CHEDRO VII expressed his delight for having been invited by MHAM as this year’s honored guest and keynote speaker. A native of Borongan Samar and a consistent honor student, the new CHED director is not just an educator but a holder of two doctorate degrees.
Serving as the past director of CHEDRO XII, Dr. Aljibe was also a presidential awardee of four generations of Philippine Presidents; President Ferdinand E. Marcos, President Fidel V. Ramos, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and twice with President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III.
“Mga kababayan, I am so proud for being part of this very significant occasion today. Madame president, thank you for the invitation which I cannot say no because you’re the very first president who went to the office to say hi and welcomed me into the folds of the Cebuanos as the new CHED director. For every momentous event like this, is an event of courage for it has a million of courageous stories to tell and the countless challenges to unlock just for a graduate to walk through the lane of success this graduation today”, director Aljibe said.
Rich and poor alike, the new director emphasized in his heartwarming speech that each person has a dream that has been nurtured and cared and lived through times so that there is something to be looked forward, to be done, and to be completed. “Each one of us has always a purpose and from this purpose we shape our lives through our dreams. We have to thank God for being alive and for having many chances to dream”, he added.
After his inspiring keynote address, Dr. Aljibre took the privilege in a form of gratitude to the MHAM successor as he released the government permit right on the spot for the Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology/Laboratory Science, Bachelor of Science in Biology and BS in Environmental Planning of MHAM College Inc. for academic year 2019-2020. A plaque of appreciation was also handed to the CHED’s director in grateful appreciation of his invaluable services rendered as guest of honor and speaker this year.
NEXUS’ pride and Dean’s Medallion awardee, Dr. Jhe Jean D. Cenabre, led the petition of hooding for the appropriate academic hood corresponding to the degree, Doctor of Medicine to the 239 Matias doctors of 2019.
Meanwhile Dr. Daniel Panaglima and Dr. Jessa Elaine Fronda who topped in the March 2019 Physician Licensure Examination graced the 7-hour rites wherein the third placer gave his inspirational talk to the new graduates. The awarding of plaque of recognition to the MHAM gems was one of the highlights of the graduation ceremonies.
In his inspirational talk, the Matias scholar-topnotcher urged the class of 2019 to soar high in the Physician Licensure Examination and to make their alma mater proud. Dr. Panaglima and Dr. Fronda were both products of the MHAM Honors Society from batch ELIXIR.
“Everyone has a story to tell, different from the other. Everyone has his own struggle to bear. Everyone has his own share of joys, laughters, and sweet victories. But your stories, though unique as it may be, fit perfectly into the big picture. And what is that big picture? That is the story of your batch, and the story of MHAM community”, Dr. Panaglima said.
Accompanied by their proud parents for having been awarded with Dean’s Medallion for Academic Excellence, Dr. Jhe Jean Cenabre, Dr. Mark Joseph Villo, Dr. Hannah Mae Radjac, Dr. Athena Mae Ibon and Dr. Venalyn Clemen received the fruit of their labor as Matias achievers.
In addition, the Dean’s Medallion For Excellence in Clinical Performance were as follows; Dr. Stephanie Blanch T. Ilisan for Internal Medicine, Dr. Rejohhnedae Patrick P. Polovorosa for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Pat Hamilton G. Abella for Pediatrics, Dr. Athena Mae L. Ibon for Surgery, and Dr. Jobelle R. Bernabe for Community Medicine.
Dr. Louie Angelo V. Lopez and Dr. Athena Mae L. Ibon were the recipients of the Dean’s Medallion for Leadership.
Internationally-acknowledged in the cutting-edge pathways for successful formulations of drugs for human diseases and to save human lives, Dr. Daniel John P. Bokingo once again earned another fruit of his labor as his research paper which was presented for the International Scientific Congress Poster Research Competition held at Hotel ITC Gardenia, Bangalore, India in the latter part of 2018 was chosen as this year’s Outstanding Research Award.
Together with his team members; Dr. Riza May E. Batoy, Dr. Keren Eulyna C. Bicar, Dr. Zyphrye F. Damalerio and Dr. Danielle Marie Aleney A. Teves, they received their creditable honor especially that their research paper tilted, ‘Lidocaine like anaesthetic activity of an alkaloid from Datura stramonium (Katchubong) sseds on Bufo Marinus (CaneToad): A peripheral nerve blocking mechanism’ has left an unremitting legacy as MHAM is now identified to tackle the research on chaya plant as antidiabetic where isolation of the bioactive compound is underway at the national level.
Among the most-spirited and great-hearted parents of batch NEXUS graduates were no other than the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) Chief of Hospital, Dr. Gerardo M. Aquino Jr. whose only son, Gerard Christopher Aquino and daughter, Michelle Andrea Aquino, graduated at the same time. A descendant of a long line of medical practitioners, the VSMMC chief expressed his inmost joy and fulfillment that three of his children pursued similar footsteps and were all MHAM graduate-doctors.
“I am very proud with all the hardships managing the hospital and as a parent at the same time and at last, the two of them have made it and I have produced three doctors now. Just like my parents who were both doctors, I believe my children saw my career life and followed the same path. The traditional way of raising up kids just like my dad, is to find quality time with them no matter how occupied I can be. When we transferred here in Cebu, I always see to it that my Saturdays or Sundays are with them especially on those years when they were growing up because these are very critical development stage of children. I have to balance on how to manage the hospital and on how to look at my family with the help of my wife”, Dr. Aquino said in an interview.
Brimming with parent’s affection in shaping his children’s noble future with sense of social responsibility and service to humanity, Dr. Aquino cited that he wanted to instill his children who are now doctors to serve more by pursuing their PGIship in a government hospital like VSMMC. “I know that this is the start of their career since graduation is not the end. One is going into neuro surgery and the other one wants to become a cardiac surgeon so I leave it up to them. I just told them that their post graduate internship should be in a government hospital so that they can serve more”, he added.
Joined by his loving wife and eldest daughter not just on stage but throughout the entire rites, Dr. Aquino also shared light moments with the CHED director and the MHAM successor.
Honoring the medical milestone on its 69th year from the acceptance of petition rite to conferral of degree, Mrs. Sierra was also joined by the presence of thirty-six faculty doctors, three administrative personnel, former corporate treasurer of the board of trustees, and some non-teaching staff who worked together with the MHAM way.
MHAM Quality Assurance director, Dr. Chamberlaine I. Agtuca Jr., facilitated the graduation ceremonies.
Sparked and determined with the byword that “only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved where character be developed”, the 239 graduate-doctors of batch NEXUS resounded their graduation song by becoming the instruments of grace knowing that each small step will always be blessed with an infinite future they shall embark. (Ana Liza Abao)