In my four years in UP Diliman covering 1974-77, the UP Ibalon produced 19 Doctors of Medicine or an average of nearly five per year. I can only offer two explanations for this. One, the best and brightest of Bicolano students were then in Ibalon. And second, since it was martial law the students were not keen to take up Law (In fact only one of the 110 or so members of the organization in that period took up Law but he happened to become an abogado de campanilla: Atty. Joel Cadiz).
The Charter Batch produced 5 M.D.s. They are:
1. Delen Padilla-de la Paz, our nominee for the Diamonds in the Rough award, who specializes in Community Medicine. She is connected to the Social Medicine Unit of the PGH. She is active in many NGOs and causes and you can sometimes see her on TV as a street parliamentarian. A Manila native, Delen lived in Legazpi City for six years, enabling her to learn Bicol. Her husband Boying is a surgeon at the PGH.
2. Totie Mesia, a now-retired pathologist based in New York City, debilitated by a chronic illness. Currently, he is specializing in Journalism. But you can still easily ask him about health matters. Bako lang an mga gadan an aram niya. Totie is a native of Naga City and it is obvious in his writings that he loves Naga more than New York.
3. Ray Rayel, a cardiologist based in Wisconsin, noted for his rollicky humor and friendly manner. He can easily make his tense patient relax by spinning joke after joke until the BP drops to normal. Ray is the proud son of Polangui, Albay.
4. Eden Lao, our long-lost surgeon who reputedly married the Olivia Hussey of Naga, beating many Atenistas to their dream girl. Eden hailed from Iriga City.
5. Joey Jaucian, who soon left for the US after his studies at UP-PGH. Joey is a native of Ligao City.
Ibalon Batch 75-A produced three doctors. They are:
1. Arnel Malaya, the current Dean of College of Physical Therapy and the Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine at UERM. Kun makulog an kasu-kasuan nindo ay he can straighten it out. Also see him if ever your son or daughter enrols in UERM. Arnel hailed from Iriga City
2. Julius Lecciones, once connected to the company that markets Depo-Provera (because he has many children daw), he is now the Medical Director of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. A TOYM awardee, he is a pediatric oncologist publishing so many papers. A living proof that someone born at the end of the world can rise to the top. Marhay ta natukduan nin Bicol ninda Ray and Totie kaya nakalaog sa Ibalon (ta palibhasa nag-abot sa Molave na an taramon Cebuano ta taga-Pio V. Corpus,Masbate).
3. Nips Valenciano, who practices medicine in the Middle East and going by a linked article it seems he is active in the Filipino community there. Nips is a native of Buhi, Camarines Sur.
Ibalon Batch 75-B produced four doctors:
1. Andy Gimpaya, a former government doctor in Samar, he is now specializing in Computer Programming and Net enterpreneurship. He is our beloved website administrator. Lani Palencia told me that when Andy came back to Naga bako man daa medical practice an binakal ni Andy kundi tennis practice. You can also go to him if you need construction materials or if you need some Web or Net services.
2. Amy Goleta-Dy, a pediatric oncologist based in St. Luke’s, you can also come to her if you need wellness products and you will even be helping indigent cancer patients who are beneficiaries of the products she helps market. Her husband is a surgical oncologist at St. Luke’s. Amy’s hometown is Bula, Camarines Sur.
3. Boy Remo, an internist who practices in Missouri, and who is a frequent visitor to his hometown of Goa (and a townmate of Andy). It seems Caramoan Peninsula is his favorite destination nowadays.
4. Eden Borja-Fernando, our very gracious host and sponsor who is a renowned obstetrician-gynecologist in Naga City. Her base is the Plaza Medica. I was advised that she wants no higher praise than this. A resident successively of Siruma, Tinambac and Canaman, Camarines Sur. She is the one to see kun mangangaki an an agom nindo.
Ibalon Batch 76-A produced a lone doctor in Susan Princesa-Mallonga who is based in Vancouver, Canada but who shuttles and works here now and then so that their family won’t lose their Philippine roots.
Ibalon Batch 76-B produced four doctors:
1. Annelee Badiola-Lojo, an obstetrician-gynecologist connected with Las Pinas Medical Center and a Department Chair. An eternal Ibalon supporter whose Naga house is always open to Ibalonians, she is well-liked by everyone. A frequent visitor to Naga, it seems her recent haunt is New York City. Her husband Rommel, an Ibalon friend, is a surgeon.
2. Abet Guballa, an opthalmologist in Medical City and the Section Chief for Comprehensive Opthalmology in that institution. A sometime Naga visitor we hope he can set up a clinic in his hometown in the near future so that those with eye problems need not go to Manila anymore.
3. Ningning Joson-Villanueva, a practicing pediatric cardiologist at the Davao Doctors Medical Center. Her husband, Dr. Noel Villanueva is my nephrologist. Siyempre may istoryang Bikol pag nasa clinic ninda ako kaya napapanganga su ibang pasyente. She hails from Naga City
4. Pat Litam, a hematologist practicing in Ohio. He is a native of Naga City.
(Puro daw taga-Naga ining apat. Garo nag-orolay.)
The two batches of Ibalon in 1977 produced two doctors:
1. Ed Lim, an allergologist-immunologist based at the PGH and a section chief in that renowned institution.
2. Godo Garcia, a graduate of the UP College of Medicine, he now practices in the US.
Ten of the 19 are members of our e-group.
Additionally, there are two other Ibalonians who are familiar to us who are also doctors and just junior by a few years to them. Dai ko sinda inabutan sa UP but I know the first:
1. Penny Robredo-Bundoc, the Department Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine in PGH. A native of Naga, she is the sister of Butch and Mayor Jesse Robredo, two figures familiar to us. Her husband Pipo is a spine surgeon at the PGH and a TOYM awardee. Penny is also a member of our e-group.
2. Imelda Torres-Reyes, a UP College of Medicine graduate is a practicing pediatric cardiologist in Naga City. She was the first to detect something wrong in Pitoy’s angel.
An masasabi ko puro totoo saka maboboot na tawo an mga doktor ta. Never be afraid to approach them. Iistoryahan pa kamo ki kadakol. Puwede man na online.
They are also Ibalon’s pride.