July 2002 Vol. 2 Issue 12

An Internet Newsletter publication of the American Society of CIM Alumni, Inc.


Dominador Ong, M.D.
Maida Antigua, M.D.
Dolores Lao, M.D.
Epifania Aranas, M.D.
Clem S. Estrera, Jr., M.D.
P. R. O.
Anita Avila, M.D.

Board Members:

Horace Cabasares, M.D.
Perry, GA
Ramiro A. Cadag, M.D.
Kings Point, NY
Mike Espiritu, M.D.
Okeechobee, FL
Elie Gonzales, M.D.
Oswego, NY
Cecilio Delgra, M.D.
Charleston, WV
Rosario B. Gonzaga, M.D.
Cumberland, MD
Teresita Varona, M.D.
Oakbrook, IL

CME Coordinator:
Rise Faith E. Dajao, M.D.
Portsmouth, VA


Editorial Board:

Maida Antigua, M.D.
Boston, MA
Horace Cabasares, M.D.
Perry, Georgia
Eli Estabaya, M.D.
Yuma, Arizona

Editor and Technical Adviser:
Clem S. Estrera, Jr., M.D.
Petersburg, VA

Staff Correspondents:
Roland Pasignajen, M.D.
New Jersey
Marie Belen Rosales, M.D.
San Diego, California
Ernesto Yu, M.D.
Buffalo, New York

Wilmo C. Orejola, M.D.
Pompton Plains, N J

Send news, articles, pictures, announcement, obituary, etc., to:clems3ra@rcn.com

Editor's Column

     "Be sincere and true to your word, serious and careful in your actions; and you will get along even among barbarians. But if you are not sincere and untrustworthy in your speech, frivolous and careless in your actions, how will you get along even among your neighbors? When stand, see these principles in front of you; in your carriage, see them on the yoke. Then you may be sure to get along." - Confucius


The Capital City
    Mark Twain said on a recently deceased politician: "I did not attend his funeral, but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it." Bob Edwards added: "Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen."

    When you think of Washington, D.C., you often can't avoid thinking of politicians. For it's the city where politicians make deals, tell lies, make promises that they don't intend to keep and engineer a strategy that would keep them in office. They also make plans, argue and approve how much money they are going to rob you in the next fiscal year in the name of the poor, the old, the addicts, the drunks and the lazy. And they would draw the blue print on how much they are going to borrow from the future so that our children and grandchildren will have nothing much left but the national debt. It's like you and I elected them in order to pay them for their mouth, not their brains; for what they say, not what they do. They make promises like it's none of our business. Milton Berle once said: "You can lead a man to Congress, but you cannot make him think." Mack McGinnis said: "Artificial hearts are nothing new. Politicians have had them for years."

    When a little boy desperately needed 100 dollars to buy a present, his mother suggested that he pray for it. So he wrote to God asking for the money. The Post Office intercepted the letter and forwarded it to the President who was so touched by the request that he instructed his secretary to send the boy 5 dollars. On receiving the money, the boy wrote back: "Dear God, Thank you very much for sending me the money. I noticed that you had to send it through Washington. As usual, those thieving bastards deducted 95 dollars."

     But Washington, D.C. is a magnificent city where tourists from different corners of the world would come in busloads just to pause and take pictures of the White House, the monument of the past Presidents, and to visit the Arlington cemetery and pay respect to the dead and the popular Kennedy brothers' grave sites. The attractions in Washington, D.C. are so many, and one that is really fascinating is the engraving of the dollars. It's amazing to see all the money being printed every day, crisp and they seem to always emanate with some kind of power. But it's the only manufacturing business that runs in Washington, D.C. There are also the different museums that could challenge your sophistication, botanical garden for those who love to see exotic plants and flowers, and the capitol building that is so huge and awesome, an architectural engineering feat that only a government can afford to build. For those who love animals, there is a zoo. Then there are so many different restaurants that can satisfy your most sophisticated taste, hungry or not. But for many of us, China Town was the place that was good enough for our taste.

The Hotel
     If there was any disappointment during this reunion, it was with the hotel room reservation for few of the alumni who came in during the first day. These alumni came in at around 1:30 P.M., but their rooms were not available until 3-4 hours later. What made it more frustrating to some of them like Franco Chua and Magno Gabales and their friendly, motherly and always smiling wives was that they were initially given a room with one Queen bed and the room they reserved was with two double beds. Yet they made their reservation two months in advance. Imagine two couples in a room with one Queen bed. But they insisted and they ultimately got the room they wanted. Our treasurer Lolit Lao also had the same problem, but Lolit went to the management and perhaps she let them know that she was holding the moneybag of the association and that not to mess with her or else… Lolit was able to get the room she wanted without further waiting. In any event, as a compensation for their inconvenience, these few alumni were given free breakfast every day for the next four days. I guess the hotel management must have known that CIM alumni would have free breakfast every day for the next three days anyway during our CME and business meeting. But it made our fellow alumni feel better.

    Other than the hotel room inconvenience, the hotel is great. As you enter through the main entrance, you are greeted with an open space because at the center is what looks like a huge solarium and built around it in rectangular dimension is the hotel. And thus the hotel lobby is all the way around. From the registration counter, you pass through a bridge-like pathway on your way to the elevators. This pathway ends in a sunroom-like balcony with a table and chairs near the lobby where the elevators are located. Below the lobby is an irregular-shaped pond and on its right side is the Café. On the left side near the entrance is a huge electronic grand piano sitting on concrete in the water. The clear, blue water of the pond gives one a mesmerizing and calming effect. The presence of birds and more trees and perhaps a couple of snakes and crocodiles and lots of fish in the pond rather than pennies, dimes, quarters and nickels would have made the solarium-like center look like a small rain forest inside a hotel. Every floor has a balcony with tables and chairs to sit, read or drink while waiting for the elevator or looking at the activities below. The hotel is in a good strategic location particularly for those of us who love Chinese food. China Town is only a 3-5 minute walk or stroll and the White House about 15-20 minutes. The subway is underneath the hotel. The hotel's health club is only $10/day half as much as the one in Las Vegas. And it has a small swimming pool.

The Weather
     Our reunion was blessed with an unbelievably fantastic weather. Whereas several days or weeks before the reunion the weather was hot and humid broiling in the upper 90s to low 100s, during the reunion the weather was surprisingly pleasant in the upper 70s to low 80s during the day and in the 60s at night. Then it rained on Sunday morning when we were leaving. When I knew what the weather was going to be like, it gave me a mystical feeling that our reunion was going to be a great success. It was as though the weather would represent comfort, convenience, freedom, fun, friendship, and an escape from the sweltering heat, and from the responsibilities and deadlines of the days before. Having been subjected to the rat race of daily life, many of us have learned to push, push harder, and even harder yet, not only ourselves but also those around us. We must be better, we often think, we must work hard and fast for the future, we reassure ourselves, and so we tighten our hold on life.

    The weather was like a reward for everyone of us as if it wanted to make our reunion a time to breathe, to loosen our grip, to release the tension that keeps us taut, to soften us, to melt our resistance, to feel like someone else, to discover things about ourselves that could have never been discovered had we not attended, as we savored every event of every day and every night. And so in our own discoveries, we were all reminded that we are only humans and that like any other animal species, we need social interaction with our own kind to give us the needed spiritual energy in order to help us understand and endure the ironies of life. The fun and pleasant memories we had would be hard, if not impossible, to shake. They are likely to stick in our minds like white on rice for a very long time. Whatever gap existed between anyone of us before the reunion, we bridged it giving us a sense of closeness with each other.

The Initial Gatherings
     As planned and promised, every activity of our reunion ran smoothly and orderly; no confusion, no chaos, no headaches. Everyone felt welcome even the young alumni who seemed to stick out like teenagers among the crowd of middleagers. These young alumni like Brad Tan of the class 1983 and Leon Casals of the class 1987 with their sweet and lovely wives Ailyn Tan and Monette Casals who are of the same class as their husbands', and other friendly, smiling and charming young alumni like Tessie Antigua-Martinez of the class 1983 and Marissa Batayola-Manabat of the class 1991, blended beautifully like they were nothing more than the younger brothers and sisters who, after all the years, had finally reached the age when they are allowed to hang out with the older ones and have a beer or two or a sip of their first champagne. Everyone seemed to be proud of hanging their name badge around their neck like they wanted to be identified of who they are. It was as though they wanted to make it known that even with the bulges, the wrinkles and the gray hairs, they are a whole lot more inside; friendly and fraternal and devoid of envy and jealousy. They held their head up high with a sense of pride like they wanted to shout: "We are CIM alumni!"

    Furthermore, few of our fellow alumni who are in the non-medical professions and who used to hesitate or to be uncomfortable to mingle with the rest of the alumni, were enjoying and having fun. They felt welcome like they were back in school, ready and willing to join with the others to plan a strategy of how to cheat without being caught. However, this time, they didn't have to because the teachers they planned to cheat on, are now their colleagues. Hopefully, these few fellow alumni would help persuade and convince their classmates and other alumni like them to join with us. After all, even if you work as a mechanic, salesman, computer technician, nurse, physical therapist, etc., being a CIM alumna or alumnus is something that no one can take it away from you. You had earned it. Why lose it or fade it away when you can join with us and keep it? Unless you make a stand to constantly hold on to the professional status you deserve, such status would only fade away like the ending of a good movie but without the background music. So come, join with us, and we'll help you hold on to your professional status with a sense of pride. We understand your feelings. We also understand that every one of us has deficiencies. Every one of us had at one time or another wished we could trade places with someone else. But whatever we are and whatever we have become, we should make the best of ourselves. In the medical school, many of us used to be tough, to play rough, but more often than not, we did it for laughs. By joining with our association and interacting with colleagues you once hanged out and studied with, you could get back that old funny and friendly feelings. Wouldn't you want to?

The First Two Nights
     As the alumni came in for the parties during the first two nights, it was as if they had found the circuit to reconnect with each other and like electrical charges, the atmosphere was immediately filled with jokes, jeers and laughter. Even when the party had ended, many of us lingered in the hotel hallway and lobby just to have snatches of pleasant conversation way into the wee hours of the morning. But some of us wanted more fun and Frax Escario invited us all to their hotel suite where we continued what we'd left off, eating, drinking and having fun.

    To everyone's delight, Frax had brought with him his Karoake magic mike in the hotel. As if in luck, we didn't have to worry about disturbing others in the hotel with our noise because the rest of the hotel rooms were mainly occupied with the deaf and mute that came from around the world for the international convention of sign language. Perhaps it was not noises we were making but melodies that actually helped putting the other hotel guests to sleep. And you know who had the highest score in our sing along? - Melchor Aguilar. He had scored 96 in his only one song. He immediately quit while he was ahead. But everyone like Ray Castillejo, Frax and Rex Escario, Inting and Thelma Batiancilla, Mike and Leni Espiritu, Odo and Bebe Auditor, Spanky and Aida Tablante, Lucing Ong, Lorna and Lando Tiu, Ruby Aguilar, Ricky and Cherry Ceniza, Tito and Divine Orig, did really well considering that many of us rarely if ever had contact with a microphone. The rest like Gaming Erum, Beeboy and Helen Racoma, Sonya Ecarma, Puring Guerrero, Menci Garcia, Rise Faith Dajao, Tanny Aranas, Camilo and Elizabeth Gabiana left early. They had their own agenda - sleep, not sing. Some of us did not have much sleep for two nights in a row but we did have lots of fun. Frax and Rex Escario are terrific hosts. They make everyone feel at home as if we've been together for a long time. So anybody wants to join singing karoake with us next year in San Diego? You have a year to plan and practice your songs and have some fun, real fun. If you want a tip to score high, ask Melchor. One thing Melchor did that we didn't was to sing the web site advertisement like it's part of the song lyrics during its brief instrumental pause. Believe me, you don't want to miss the fun for the world.

     The Chinese Restaurant where we had our dinner on Friday evening provided us more food that many of us could eat. The food was good but not that great - ten courses on each table of 10 people. Many brought back left over food to the hotel. Many of us, however, did not go there for the food but for the fun of socializing with everyone. The restaurant had to add a couple of tables because there were too many of us. It would have been overflowing if the class 1966-67 had joined with us. They had their own class reunion dinner at the residence of Drs. Ecarma. They must have been having a good time and eating a lot because some of them were looking for a weighing scale when they came back. Hey, Guys, maybe some of us can join with you next time. But we have to warn you that it would be the food we would primarily be after. How about it?

    It was the best CME program so far. It was held in the audio-visual room of the hotel where the voice of the speakers sounded crisp and clear, and their visual aids in power point were shown in excellent timing and accuracy. The tables in the room were strategically placed in steps getting higher toward the back so that everyone could see clearly what's shown in front and the speaker could see everyone wherever they are. The chairs were comfortable. The attendees were all awake, alert and attentive. Although some may have booze the night before, no one had dozed the morning after. Perhaps it was the strong Starbuck coffee that the hotel provided that should have been ideal for people working on the night shift. After hearing Dr. Ernie Yu's joke, some of the alumni were tempted to pour the coffee on their crotch to make their gonads up all night.

    The speakers were wonderful, their topics were varied, and they at least seemed to enjoy the audience's attentiveness and question and answer participation. It was like a friendly session. On the first day of the CME, Dr. Horace Cabasares CIM Class 1971 and Dr. Celia Yap UP Class 1968 talked about breast tumor diagnostic imaging. They were both very impressive with their vast knowledge and expertise in the subject. They spoke with authority and yet their sense of humor seemed to say: "Just sit back, relax, listen and learn." Dr. Ernesto Yu kept everyone laughing with intermittent jokes and at the same time keep everyone enlightened about the myths in Anesthesia. He was clever enough to tell a joke like it was relevant to what he was talking about. The jokes were just like parts of his lecture. He was aware that anesthesiology means the ability of putting someone to sleep, but not this time. Mr. Matson talked about money management, about taking advantage of the foundation to deprive Uncle Sam from robbing us the money that should be left mainly to our children and grandchildren, and some to our alumni foundation, not to the federal government.

     The second day was something else. It was appropriately opened with Dr. Steven Foster's lecture, a Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology of Harvard University who talked about uveitis which, if not diagnosed and intervened on time or treated properly, would soon lead to blindness. Dr. Foster is definitely a great speaker and lecturer. He made his lecture easy to understand even those of us who have nothing to do with the eyes. He talked like his mission is solely to enlighten his colleagues of different specialties, not confuse them in any way with medical technicalities, nor burden them with controversies. Dr. Roberson, a rheumatologist professor from Howard University, talked about arthritis. He was a great lecturer too, but he talked fast like he wanted to make sure he finished his lecture on an allotted time. It's because he had to cover so many items in his topic. Yet he still demonstrated his sense of humor at every rare chance he had. He made it obvious that he liked his audience who showed a lot of interest and respect. Dr. Nelson Bernardo was another great speaker. He is the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory of VA Hospital in Salem, Virginia. He talked about opening up peripheral atherosclerotic arteries with balloon angioplasty and stints. He talked as if the procedure is nothing more than a piece of cake. With his knowledge and expertise, it must be for him. Finally, another great speaker was Dr. Apollo Aranas, UST Class 1974, who talked about migraine headaches. It was obvious that Dr. Aranas had been dealing mostly with women because migraine headache is very common in women. But when asked about the anecdote that the best non-drug treatment for migraine is sex, he seemed to agree with one of the attendees who said that migraine is the reason or the excuse for not having sex. Well, gentlemen, please be nice and gentle with your wife. Otherwise she'll have more attacks of migraine.

    The success of this CME program was made possible only because of the alumni participation. So far, this had been the most attentive audience that I've ever witnessed in any CME conferences I've attended. Very few if any, went in and out of the room. Everyone was listening to every speaker like they were eager to learn something. They filled up the evaluation form of every speaker on time as though it's an IRS requirement during tax time. They participated with the question and answer session with relevant and occasionally penetrating questions and then they listened carefully for the answers. Even if they were already given the CME certificate before the last speaker, almost all of them stayed to listen to the last speaker. I bet the speakers did not have such kind of audience before and they loved it.

    We, the officers, board members and CME coordinator of ASOCIMAI could never thank enough those of you who attended the CME program. Your attentiveness and courteous behavior lit up the conference room like the bright rays of the rising sun. Rise Faith had really done a magnificent job in making this program so good, so educational, and so successful. But can we do it again next year in San Diego? We can and we will. And we can even top it with your help. Speakers are not cheap. But there are lots of great speakers in our alumni who should be willing to give CME lecture on an honorarium basis or for free for our association. If you are one of these alumni, please at least think of volunteering to speak for our CME program. But please don't wait till the last minute. And if you know someone, a friend perhaps, you can ask to speak for us with a drug company to provide the honorarium in next year's San Diego reunion, please do so. Any help, no matter how little, from anyone of the alumni would at least provide a step toward success not only of our CME program but of our reunion as well. The earlier we can make the program, the earlier we can get the accreditation, and the less headaches for everyone. So let any of us officers know soon.

     But there is one thing we need to do for our fellow alumni who are not practicing medicine or are working in non-medical profession with regards to CME. We should encourage and invite them to attend our CME if they want to and they don't have to pay for the program. After all, they don't need the CME credit like the rest of us, anyway. Some of them who, maybe working as nurses and could use the credit, but just the same, we'll give them a CME certificate if they want to. The most important thing is to help them keep in touch with the woof and warp of the medical world, not lose their touch, so that they can zig and zag in the medical field with us. We'll definitely talk about it in our next officers' meeting.

The Business Meeting
     Once our sweet secretary Eppie Aranas finished typing the minutes of our business meeting, we'll let you all know and you can request a copy of it for your own record. We can send it to you as an attachment of an e-mail message. But I'm going to summarize here what I could remember. The meeting was opened with the presentation of our Vice-President Maida Antigua who, using power point, summarized the accomplishments of the new administration in a way that every complexity was reduced to simplicity. Maida, who is a stickler in detail and accuracy, presented the facts and figures like a CEO of one of those Fortune 500 companies during shareholders' meeting. It was obvious that those who attended the meeting were not only impressed but were awed by such presentation. They cheered and applauded as though the stocks they just bought had doubled while the rest went south and soured. They've never seen anything like it in any of any alumni association's business meetings. But as we've been telling everyone before that we, the leaders of the new administration, take our job seriously. We say what we mean and we do what we say because we want to walk our talk. It's not prestige but principle that motivates us. We can impress and charm you but that's not what we want to do. We do what we do because we simply want to be worthy of your trust and respect. Trust, we believe, is the glue that holds everything and every one of us together. We may not be quick and easy, but our promises are not empty.

    Our association has great potentials, but it needs change to materialize such potentials, and change is a matter of adjustment. We want our association to evolve from what it used to be into what it should be - into something to be reckoned with. But more than an evolution, we need a revolution to move our association beyond pettiness and prejudices, let go of something old and reach out for something new. But without your participation, evolution cannot proceed, and revolution cannot succeed even if we, the leaders, have the combination of courage, consistency and consideration. You and I have got to participate if we want our association to get more out of the future than it did out of the past. Particularly if you're one of those younger alumni, we need not remind you that the future of our association belongs to you. Please participate now if one day you want to inherit an association that is in better shape. We, the older ones, will always be there to lend you a hand if needed, even when one day our hand maybe shaky.

    One of the most important issues being discussed was the amendment proposal of Dr. Horace Cabasares to eliminate the term limits for the officers. This proposal doesn't change anything about the election. The election every three years will continue as it has been. It's just that if any of the officers wishes to continue to serve, he or she can run again and again until he or she is not elected anymore. This proposal was approved with only two alumni against. Another amendment proposal was by Dr. Ramiro Cadag regarding the foundation donation that should state: "The Association may consult with donors when deciding how to use donations received. A donor may indicate the purpose for which he or she would like for his or her donation to be used. However, the Association retains the ultimate authority to determine when and how to use or apply said donations, the Association is not obligated to use the funds as directed by the donor." This was actually a recommendation from a lawyer. Since every amendment proposal to our By-Laws must be presented to all members through reasonable means like e-mail at least 30 days prior to approval, it was unanimously decided that if there would be no objection to this particular proposal within the next 30 days, it would be automatically approved. This issue of our newsletter would serve as a notification. Hopefully, you're reading it.

     The issue that consumed so much time was about membership dues - how to convince or persuade those alumni who have never been members particularly the younger ones like those in the class of the 80s and 90s and those alumni with non-medical jobs to join with the association and how to persuade all of the alumni to pay their membership dues even if they are not coming to the reunion. For the past several years, the association's fund is barely enough to break even and if nothing would be done, it would soon dwindle. In some sort of desperation, the alumni recommended to increase the membership dues to $100. This was approved with only 2 or 3 against. Some of the alumni teased those against by saying: "Uuh!… ang ma nga datu man no-ay dili gusto mo increase…" Ways and Means Committee was then recommended and formed not just to help the officers during the reunion, but also to find ways to raise funds. We, in the new administration, are really touched by the following alumni who eagerly volunteered to form this Committee: Dr. Diana Amores Class 1963, Dr. Lagrimas Sadorra Class 1967, Dr. Maria Luna Tan and Dr. Judith Nacua Bacalso both of the Class 1971, and Dr. Bradford Tan, Dr. Ailyn Tan and Dr. Ma. Teresita Antigua-Martinez all of the Class 1983

      One of the ideas floating around was that, perhaps it's the impression of many of the alumni that the membership dues is also being used to pay for the reunion and that's why many alumni won't pay it unless they plan to attend the reunion. The problem is, it has become a habit that has been going on since the beginning of the association. It's not easy to break a habit that has been allowed to grow roots in one's mind for 18 years. And that's the task, hard as it is, that we, officers, board members, CME coordinator and members of the Ways and Means Committee are going to tackle - to shed light on what could only be a misconception. Hopefully, once the alumni understand clearly the goals we set for our association, they'll develop another habit of willingly paying their membership dues on time. When our association's financial prognosis improves, we can easily promote the cause it is pursuing.

     In every association, whether social or charitable, its goals depend on the money it collects. It's like driving a car. If your gas is limited to few gallons, you can only drive a certain distance. Our membership dues, members' donations and the money collected from whatever fund raising events we have and will have, are used mainly for the achievement of our charitable goals like sponsoring scholarship, medical mission if any, contribution to other charitable organization, and any other charity that we believe we should contribute. That's why it's tax deductible. However, we need to have a certain amount in our association's fund so we can always produce a deposit on a hotel for our reunion affairs. On planning our reunion affair, we block a certain number of hotel rooms for the alumni. If the reunion attendance is high and many of the alumni reserve their rooms in the name of our association, then we don't have to worry about the blocked hotel rooms occupancy. But if the attendance is low or many of the alumni would rather stay in another hotel and thus some of our blocked rooms are not taken, then the hotel could penalize us and we may have to kiss part of our deposit goodbye. This had happened before, and we don't want it to happen again. That's why we are taking our job seriously.

     Our yearly reunion is a separate category - a social part that is being paid for by our reunion dues. We pay only the event we want to attend in our reunion like the dinner or the Grand Ball. This would cover the room, the music, the food, the services and the equipment we rent and use. The association doesn't get any profit from any of the events. If any, it's a deficit. When the attendance is low, a deficit is likely. When the attendance is high, it simply breaks even. Anyway, the more funds we have, the more goals we would be able to set, pursue and achieve for our association. Wouldn't we all feel good knowing that we belong to an association that is doing something to help alleviate at least some people's hardships and heartaches or help dry their tears and lighten their hearts and thus make a difference in their life? As leaders and volunteers, we want to achieve a status for our association that identifies its members as being far more sensitive than most to the less fortunate ones' distress - members that have a softer head that goes along with a softer heart - members that are willing to help provide the means for someone else's hope to materialize. So for those of you who want to pay for your membership dues now or anytime soon for this year, visit our ASOCIMAI web site and you can pay it there, or send your check to Lolit Lao in this address: ASOCIMAI, 13 Garrity Terrace, Pinebrook, New Jersey 07058. Thanks.

     The venues or locations for the next three reunions after San Diego were also discussed and voted on. After San Diego, our reunion will be in Boston, then Las Vegas, and finally Lake Tahoe. So set your eye upon these cities in the near future. But please don't let the city be the sole determining factor whether or not you would want to attend our reunion. Would you rather see the city or see your friends and fellow alumni and have fun with them?

The Grand Ball
     Although there were still quite a number of alumni who decided to attend the Grand Ball the night before and during the day of the affair, Lolit and Maida were able to arrange their seats without headaches. We can always tolerate late registration, but you should discourage yourself from doing it. It gives us a dilemma of what table to seat you. Inadvertent mistake is easy to make. As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised if at least few of the alumni's setting preference was not honored. If you happened to be one of the few alumni whose seating preference was not honored, we're very sorry. Suffice it to say that late registration is not a good habit to acquire. It's a manifestation of indecision and procrastination. We should all consider that "Noah built the ark when it was not raining."

     As an appropriate culminating event of our reunion, the Grand Ball was just like that - grand. In their formal attire, men with their tuxes and two or three expensive barong, seemed to move with elegance and agility like thoroughbreds. Age could not dull their reflexes, nor slow their feet. If anything, they were sharp and they looked younger than their age. But then again, youth is not a time of life; it's a state of mind. In their gowns, girdles and glossy lips and hairdos, the women looked fantastic. They laughed and lark and danced, shook and swayed with their partners as though they could not care less whether they have won or have been defeated in the battle of the bulge. They wanted the night the way they wanted to, for to them, "tomorrow was made for some; tomorrow may never come, for all they know."

     Our EMCEE Dr. Horace Cabasares took complete control of the program. When Horace moved, every one was quiet; when he spoke, every one listened. The Class 1962 - 63 led by Dr. Anita Avila opened the event with their chorus of the Star Spangled Banner followed by Bayan Magiliw. This group of fellow alumni can definitely sing. Their voices were loud and clear in melodious harmony with each other, reverberating in all corners of the room, making it hard not remembering the sadness and sorrows of the September 11 disaster. The invocation was read by Dr. Rise Faith Dajao who spoke with a solemn yet strong and solid voice that commanded respect, and with well-scripted words that seemed to forcibly yet gently push every one to look deep inside themselves. Every one seemed to realize a sense of belonging. Thus after the invocation, the alumni seemed to come out with a definite sense of pride for having belonged to an association that has style and class. Our President Dr. Dominador Ong welcomed and thanked everyone for coming. He appeared like he couldn't believe the order and elegance of the affair that has just begun.

     The most poignant and moving part of the program was the giving of the awards to the visionaries. Dr. Rise Faith Dajao gave the introduction of Dr. Jacinto Velez whose award was accepted by his son Dr. Kenneth Velez with his lovely and graceful wife. Dr. Mike Espiritu gave the introduction of Dr. Renato Espinosa, Dr. Clem Estrera of Dr. Uldarico Bacay and Dr. Horace Cabasares of Dr. Benito Antigua who accepted the rest of the award for his co-visionaries. Many of us were moved to misty eyes watching Dr. Benito Antigua with his beloved wife whose charm and beauty age could not erase, and his family marching to the stage to receive his award he dearly deserved that ought to have been given long time ago. It was long overdue. Inko Bening hasn't changed much; nice, kind and understanding as always. He may have slowed a bit, but he is still the same Inko Bening you are comfortable to share and swap stories and jokes with.

    Another part of the program that was so good was a piano rendition by a young pianist Eddie Regner, a son of Dr. Rebecca Regner, CIM Class 1966. It was an amazing piano rendition. Eddie played the piano by gracefully and gently touching its keys like a magnificent lover caressing the body of a beautiful model, and then firmly pressing them like an expert masseur giving a sensual massage. He could have charmed a mocking bird from a tree limb onto his shoulder. One piece was not enough to his audience that did not stop applauding until he indicated that he would play one more piece. Whoever convinced this young man to play the piano for our Grand Ball, please accept our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Hope we can have him again in our future reunion.

     Then the Class 1972 gave their presentation of the Vienna waltz with Doming on the lead, who changed to a fancy coat like that of Captain Von Trapp or the members of England's Royal Family. For some men like few of us who rarely dance, no matter how perfectly we practiced, during the final presentation, we just couldn't do it without missing a step or two and bumping each other on making a turn. The women, however, did it gracefully like they were just strolling on the park under the moonlit sky. But we had fun and that's what counts most. The rest of the night was dance, dance, and dance with the beautiful songs and music of Lino's band. Lino is terrific as always. However, the decibels his band used were a little bit too high. Conversation had to be like a shouting match. Lino's lady crooner had a magnificent voice. One could just sit there listening to her and enjoy. She was awesome. But the night could not just slip by without the beautiful rendition of Dr. Fernando Sitoy, CIM Class 1965, on Besame Mucho. It seemed like this song is Dr. Sitoy's masterpiece. Dr. Sitoy had me wishing I could dance with all the movements of cha-cha. Unfortunately, I don't even know the basics without stepping on somebody's foot. Hey, can somebody give me a crash course on cha-cha in our next reunion please? I know a little of it only after having a couple of beers and a slice of pizza. But heck, let's cha-cha-cha.

The Next Reunion
     All good things must come to an end. But there is always the next time. And we certainly hope that those who attended this reunion will attend again next year, and those who did not and could not, will seriously consider attending next time. For those who have never attended, all we plead and ask of you is to attend just once and you never have to attend again if you feel you don't belong and you don't enjoy. Just once, that's all it takes, and if it's not for you, then we can finally understand. Please see it for yourself and not just assume that there is nothing there for you to enjoy or nothing to make you feel you belong. Yet if you're concerned that you'd only get addicted to it, then join the club. We all have the same benign addiction. If you're one of those having bad experience with it in the past, give it a second chance. Everyone and everything deserves a second chance. Don't you? We'll be looking forward to see you next year in San Diego.

Attention Class 1963, 1968, 1973 and 1978
    If you belong to any of these Classes, you know what I'm talking about. It's your anniversary. We'd like for you to contact each other and see if you in each Class can give us a presentation for our Grand Ball next year. Those of you in the Philippines particularly if you belong to any of these Classes, we'd appreciate it greatly if you can come and attend our next year's reunion. Those of you who read our newsletter, if you know the e-mail address of any of our fellow alumni anywhere in the world or anyone who may interested in the wisdom and philosophy of our newsletter and the jigs and jags of our association, please tell them to contact Brain Waves.

     San Diego is not that far from the Philippines and the plane fare is not that expensive. The plane ticket is all you CIM alumni in the Philippines need because our association will pick up the tab of your hotel and reunion dues during the duration of the reunion. This is an offer that is hard to refuse. This offer is for every alumnus or alumna from the Philippines who wants to attend our reunion regardless of the year of graduation. You have a year to think and prepare. If you have never attended any of our alumni reunion in the past, attend this time, and your life will never be the same. It will open your life to a new dimension where you end up saying to yourself: "Why did I miss this kind of fun before? Now I can spend the rest of my life with pleasant memories to remember by."

     Lastly, our reunion is missing something the past several years - organized sports tournament. For sports lovers, our association will provide trophies for your tournament, but someone has got to organize the sports event or events - perhaps one person for golf and one for tennis, etc. So those of you who play golf, contact Ben Fajardo at benfajardo@yahoo.com for your golf tournament in San Diego. Again, all our association can provide are the trophies, not the golf course. So let us know at least three months in advance how many trophies you'll need. Inting Batiancilla has already promised to organize the golf tournament in our Boston reunion after San Diego. Now, how about other sports? If you want the e-mail address of others you know who you think would want to play tennis or golf, etc. with you and if I have it, let me know and I'll send it to you. Any other event anyone of you can think of that would make our reunion more fun, please don't keep it to yourself. Share it with us. We are always open to everyone's idea and suggestion. Please do not procrastinate. So many opportunities have been misssed, jobs lost and hearts broken because of procrastination.

     Actually, the alumni golfers did have some golf tournament during this reunion, but it was too late for our association to provide trophies. The participants were: Ray Castillejo, Inting Batiancilla, Spanky Tablante, Mario Anselmo, Echo Aguilar, Ben Fajardo, Max Napoli, Andy Yap and Celia Yap. Spanky had to play with rented clubs having crooked driver, but he didn't make any excuses for not winning. Here are the Thursday winners: Ben Fajardo for the men with a net score of 70, and Celia Yap for the women. The Friday winners: Inting Batiancilla for the men with a net score of 68, and again Celia Yap for the women. A big trophy would have been appropriate for the winners, something to bring home and display in the living room. So, boys and girls, organize yourselves and let us know months in advance. To another reunion success next year!


Readers' Comments

    (Editor's Note: These are only very few of the comments sent through e-mail. I had collected many of them and proud to say that all of them were positive. Unfortunately, as soon I put them in one file and saved, I deleted them from my e-mail. The virus hit my computer and the file where I kept them was one of the two or three files that was destroyed and unrecoverable by the virus. Sorry for those of you who sent those beautiful comments. I wanted badly to publish them in our newsletter.)

     "My husband and I are friends of Ray Castillejo who is a CIM grad. I was with the APPO Medical Mission in Cebu this past January and met Ed and Vivian Suico, Roland Tiu, and Frax Escario who are all CIM grads. I found them to be very nice and gracious people. I don't know how my name got included in your mailing list but please don't stop. I enjoy reading your newsletters. Thanks." - Emilita Torres, M.D. UST '68


    "I really enjoy reading CIM Brain Waves. It's like I was in school again." - Vilma Camomot Witten, M.D. CIM Class 1972


    "As always your articles are superb. Keep it up." - Andy Yap, M.D. UST


    Let me make a comment on the current issue of CIM Brain Waves. You wrote a beautiful tribute to Four Visionaries who started an institution from which we all sprang forth: Dr. Jacinto Velez, Dr. Benito Antigua, Dr. Uldarico Bacay and Dr. Renato Espinosa. How appropriate and well-deserved, especially if Ingko Bening can make it to the Reunion.

    I wish to take issue with the comments of Dr. Orejola (Class 74) on the remake of the Hippocratic oath, the non-Hippocratic Hippocratic oath, as he calls it. I do not know about the class of 1974, but when the class of 1968 graduated, the Hippocratic Oath was administered by Dr. Uldarico Bacay, our Dean, with the 3 other visionaries you spoke of in attendance. He called it the Hippocratic Oath, and his booming voice still echoes in my ears:

    I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug, nor give advise which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners.

    We ended this Oath with, “So help me, God.”

    Those were the words, uttered some 35 years ago, and now we have the “song and dance”, the wiggle-wiggle dance.

    A few months back, I sent you the Hippocratic Oath without commentary. I thought I’d let the words of the Oath speak for itself. We are all highly educated professionals, we understand what “I will not give a woman a pessary to obtain an abortion” means.

    Now, in our present culture, we are all confronted with colleagues and patients who approve of, or perform abortions, euthanasia, and the like. What happens to the Oath so solemnly taken so long ago? Did Hippocrates really make that Oath? What happens to the dichotomy between science and religion, between reason and conscience? Can one rightly appeal to the “spirit” of the Oath while violating the prohibitions expressed by its words?

    Try another Oath taken by many of us: “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

    What cultural situation, ancient or modern, can alter the clarity and commitment, the beauty and the demands of these words? It is precisely in the daily struggle to live up to the demands of this Oath that one can hope to attain the “purity and holiness” of life, both personal and professional.

    Let us have some honesty here: When it becomes expedient to violate the precepts of these Oaths, and embrace the “values” of the cultural milieu, then just say so.

    Do not try to change the words or their meaning to soothe a guilty conscience.
    -Vicente Villa, CIM


Laughs Only

    A State Trooper pulled a car over on a quiet country road and walked up to the driver. "Excuse me, ma'am," he said, "but is there any explanation for your erratic driving? You were weaving all over the road."
    "Thank goodness you're here, officer," she gasped. "I almost had an accident. I looked up and there was a tree right in front of me. I swerved to the left and there was another tree. So I swerved to the right and there was another tree. It was the most terrifying experience."
    Calmly the officer reached through the side window to the rear view mirror and said: "Ma'am, there was no tree. It was your air freshener."


    A woman went to an attorney to ask about a divorce.
    "What grounds do you have, madam?"
     "About six acres."
    "No, I don't think you quite understand. Let me rephrase the question. Do you have a grudge?"
    "No, just a parking space."
    "I'll try again. Does your husband beat you up?"
    "No, I always get up at least an hour before he does."
    The attorney could see he was fighting a losing battle. "Madam, are you sure you want a divorce?"
    "I'm not the one who wants a divorce," she said. "My husband does. He claims we don't communicate."



     "The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it." - Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1878-1969, American Minister

     "I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man." - George Washington

     "Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time." - Cicero

     "Sincerity is to speak as we think, to do as we pretend and profess, to perform that we promise, and really to be what we would seem and appear to be." - John Tillotson

     "The man who cannot believe in himself cannot believe in anything else. The basis of integrity and character is whatever faith we have in our own integrity." -Roy L. Smith

     "I will govern my life and my thoughts as if all the world were to see the one and to read the other; for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God all our privacies are open?" - Seneca


REUNION, and… The Gift of Friends

by: Marie Belen C. Flores-Rosales, MD MPH

    Sister Amparo, O.P. once wrote “ I have neither gold nor silver, beauty nor wisdom. I can give you only my heart. It is friendly because it is full of faith. It is happy because it is free of malice. It is peaceful because it is full of hope. Such I can give you willingly and freely, for my store is unlimited.” Such is the gift of friends. The friends we have made, no matter how many or how few, are dear, whose love is all that mean best, and that which makes the joy and splendor of life.

    Reunion is the time to celebrate friendships. These are friendships born in the “supposedly” best years of our youth, nurtured through common dreams, common successes and common failures, and have “supposedly” withstood the test of time.  

    Last year I attended the 40th alumni homecoming of my high school class. The class was composed of 68 unforgettable characters, and the reunion became a hilarious gathering of sorts of seniors who refuse to grow old. Only 36 classmates showed up, as a good number of us have moved on to meet up with our Maker, while the small minority have moved on with their lives in the anonymity of their families and work. It was interesting to see how life was treating each one of us. This class is proud to have produced medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, military and police personnel, entrepreneurs, teachers and other occupations that are seemingly “ less” important to society.

    At the reunion, anecdotes were told about the good old days, as we unashamedly roasted the classmates who were not around. Even teachers did not escape the ribbing. It was not uncommon for a classmate to ask “Kinsa gani ka?” or “Kaila pa ka nako?”. Embarrassing as it may seem, it needed to be asked, and understandably so, since the once slim bodies had given way to the bulges in the wrong places, and the once fully coiffed pate had given way to graying or absent hair. The lolos and the lolas now were the teeny boppers of yesteryears learning how to dance the boogie, the chacha and the tango in preparation for the junior-senior prom. We had our prom at the school grounds and we had to dance our hearts away during the ungodly hours of 1-6 PM, fully chaperoned by our teachers, notwithstanding the afternoon heat.

    It felt good to reminisce our youth, but more than this, the anxieties and fears of the present time seemed to vanish into insignificance. Comparing our misadventures with computers and cell phones evoked delirious laughter as we unmasked the true purpose of our attempts to use them…. we just wanted to be counted as part of the “in” generation. My friend, Maria Y.L. a teacher, narrated how eagerly she had enrolled in a computer class but quit on her second day because the teacher instructed her to “move your mouse”. 

    There is Conching C. who, in her retirement, has become tireless in her pursuit of what’s new in ballroom dancing – adding the reggae, jive, cumbia and merengue to her usual repertoire of boogie, chacha, rhumba and tango. And, oh yes, there’s the “todo-todo”, too.

    And then there is Esen Q who, when asked what she does now, replied, “ I pray, I go to mass everyday. At our age, it is wise to sweeten your way up to that Someone above, to make sure He remembers when your time comes.” Does this explain why we see mostly elderly folks frequenting churches these days? I wonder !!!

    Reunion is a also a reckoning that we have had more years behind us than we have years in front of us. If we have had thoughts of doing something, or getting in touch with someone, some friend in our distant past, we have to speed it up a little, and throw away unnecessary baggage such as anger, guilt and envy, and be forgiving all the time. Former US President James Garfield once said, “ If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon our hearts.”



     Those of you who were taking pictures during our reunion, if you want to share your pictures with everyone, we'll be happy to put them in our web site. So send us a copy via e-mail if you have a scanner and you know how to resize them just enough to fit in the monitor screen. For e-mail, send them to our asocimai web site. For snail mail, you can send them to me: Clem Estrera, 1982 Dodson Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23805. I'll scan and resize them and then send the copy to Maida for our asocimai web site. I'll mail the pictures back to you as soon as I finished scanning them. Also, when you have your pictures developed, you can ask for a CD copy of them. If you have the CD, send it to Maida and she'll get the pictures from the CD. The CD in my computer is not working. The too many music downloads my son has been doing probably burned the hell out of it. But I'll be getting a new computer as soon as I get the DSL modem that I've been waiting for the past two weeks. I was told that it would take 3-4 weeks to verify lots of things. They're probably running a trace in the FBI on me. Hell, they would probably be better off if they just visit our web site.