On April 29, 2015, while I was in Pagadian City conducting a coaching session on Maternal Death Control Management System in Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center, in the evening at about 830, I received an SMS from MU Brod Alexis Montemayor.
The message is shown below:
I was surprised, delighted, and honored to be selected as the recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.
I was surprised because I did not look forward to receiving the Award. Last February 2015, Alexis Montemayor, a 3rd year medical student at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine told me he was going to nominate me for an award in University of the Philippines Alumni Association. I told him I already had an award from the UPAA in 2004, the UPAA Professional Award in Medicine. He was insistent on nominating me for another award. He said he was going to look for another category of award. He asked for my most recent curriculum vitae and passport-sized pictures. I emailed them to him. I did not ask any further question particularly on what category of award he was going to submit. I also did not look at the UPAA Awards rules and categories. My stance was “it’s up to you” for I was not keen on seeking an Award anymore especially that I am retired already. I thought he might eventually give up the idea of nominating me. After submitting my curriculum vitae and pictures to Alexis, I did not have updates from him. I did not ask him anything anymore on the UPAA Awards. In short, I have totally forgotten it. The SMS last April 29, 2015 really was a surprise to me. This was also the first time that I learned of the category of award that I was selected for. On April 30, 2015, when I went back to Manila, I looked up the meaning of the award that I was selected for. “The UPAA Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Awards are given to senior alumni who have achieved professional distinction and demonstrated meritorious service throughout their career.”
I am delighted of course to be recognized as the “senior alumni who have achieved professional distinction and demonstrated meritorious service throughout their career.”
Lastly, I am honored.
I am honored by the recognition to be given to me by my alma mater. I took up all my college courses in the University of the Philippines (BS Premed – 1969; MD – 1974; MHA – 1991; MHPEd – 1993; and MScClinMed[Surg] – 1998) aside from the General Surgery Residency Training Program in the Philippine General Hospital (1976-1981). I served UP Manila, UP College of Medicine and PGH from 1982 to 2014.
I am also honored, in fact more honored, by the appreciation of my worth by a medical student. Alexis Montemayor is just a third-year medical student of the University of the Philippines. He believes that I have achieved so much that I am qualified for the Award. He believes that I have to be recognized for what I have done in my career. I feel very very honored not because of his insistence on nominating me but for the reason of his being insistence. I believe he appreciated something in me that inspires him to nominate me. I have not seen the documents he submitted to the UPAA Awarding Committee. Until I see what he filled up in the form, I will be not able to know what he appreciated of me. However, I have an inkling of what he filled up if I were to tie up the congratulatory statements by the UPAA Awarding Committee and the contents in my curriculum vitae.
In the letter of announcement by the UPAA Awarding Committee to me, it says: “We are immensely proud of U.P. alumni like you and are bestowing this award in recognition of your leadership, achievements and contributions in your field of endeavor. All these have benefited not only yourself and your profession, but also the University and the community you have chosen to serve.”
What I have always projected in my curriculum vitae is a 5-star physician (a physician; a physician-teacher; a physician-researcher; a physician-manager; and a physician-community-health problem-solver).
I have an inkling it is the 5-star physician in me that Alexis appreciated and that inspired him to nominate me for the 2015 UPAA Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Awards.
Alexis, thank you very much for the honor. [I learned later that Benedict Crisostomo and JC Earl Cariño, two 2nd-year medical students from the UP College of Medicine also participated in the write-up of my nomination papers. Thanks to them also for the honor.]
I was asked by the UPAA Awards Committee to submit “one large solo photo and 4-5 photos showing you at work and/or other activities” for the photo exhibit.
I will submit one large solo photo, one with a Sablay.
I will submit 5 photos with the following themes: The Physician; The Surgeon; The Teacher-Researcher; The Manager; and the Community Health Problem-Solver.