CIM '78

The Yearbook

The Yearbook

CIM '78 Silver Jubilee

June 24-26 2003 
Venue: Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City
Theme: Coming Home To A Place We Call Home


By Henry L. Yu, M.D.

For those of us who came, who saw, and who conquered Cebu on that July month of the year 2003, we will forever remember THE event – the Silver Jubilee of CIM Class 1978. Truly, it was one very significant moment in our lives, one for the record, as medical graduates of the Cebu Institute of Medicine twenty-five years ago on April 11, 1978. Yes, our looks and surroundings may have changed but not the way we love and care for each other even after all these many years. Someday when we will be old(er) and gray(er), we will look back to this diary with nostalgic undertones. That Once upon a time in the year 2003, this was what happened:

Sunday, July 20, 2003 –

Four of us met at Pete’s place at 1st Street, East Avenue, White Hills Subdivision in Banawa (Lenny Cimafranca, Ellen Alegrado-Chavez, Cleta Noval-Rosell, and myself) from 1:00 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. to finalize everything regarding the big celebration. It was the longest meeting we ever had in our whole lives.

Monday, July 21, 2003 -

The first to arrive Cebu was Luz Crystal from the U.S.A. (July 18, to attend the wedding of her daughter), followed by Nonoy and Millet Militar from the U.S.A. (July 21 3:00 a.m.) and Lucil Principe-Villanueva this afternoon from Davao. A number of us attended the product launching of Merck Pharmaceuticals (Glucovance) at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel (WCCH) Grand Ballroom tonight. Helen Yap and I hopped from table to table to personally invite some friends and colleagues present in that gathering for our Silver Jubilee.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003 –

It’s a busy and hectic day as the big event is nearing: checking on every little detail of each committee, coordinating with the chair and members, their needs, some last minute instructions, etc. We had our last production number practice at the conference room of the Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC) in the evening, with the ever generous and supportive friends from Natrapharm (Judith, Zenda, Jigs, Jun, Mark, Addison, Job, Renz, Ann, Baboo, Rom, Mira, Che, and Joyce) providing us with snacks. Tonight it was baked macaroni and pizza with lots of thirst quenchers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003 -

One by one, our classmates arrived Cebu to form again the CIM Class 1978. What an exhilarating feeling, so heartwarming. Celan Alo, Loloy Go, and Patrick Dee arrived from the U.S.A. early morning today. Vic Fianza from Iligan has also arrived at 6:30 a.m. today. We were forty something who attended the opening salvo, a Welcome Dinner Reception tendered by Servier Pharmaceuticals at the Caspian Room of the WCCH. A lecture update on the management of hypertension using a low dose drug combination was delivered by Dr. Celine Teves-Aquino. Some souvenir items were distributed (car stickers, bookmarks, and postcards). We rehearsed the songs that we’d sing for the Grand Ball (“Coming Home”, our Jubilee Hymn, and “Handog”, our tribute to our teachers).

Thursday, July 24, 2003 –

We’re at the CVGH Chapel in our CIM uniform at 8:00 a.m. for the Thanksgiving Mass. Yo! Happy days are here again! Rev. Fr. Adonis Aquino was the celebrator. While the mass was going on, we noticed a black butterfly on the front wall of the altar. Must be our dear departed classmates Inoc and Bert? Oh, just how we missed them. We sang “Coming Home” (our Jubilee Hymn) as the final song. We then proceeded to the CIM lobby for the class pictorials, followed by a tour around (revisiting) the school (Registrar, Dean’s Office, Amphi I, Micro-Para, Library, Anatomy, Social Hall, etc.). We had brunch at the Dietary/Mess Hall. This was followed by a motorcade along Arlington Pond, to Osmena Blvd., Escario, and ending in WCCH where we practiced for our production number the whole afternoon with Ike and company as our choreographers. Some more classmates arrived (Jing Abalajon, Nanneth Tiu, Vangie Yee-Zozobrado, Mila Anadon-Casenas, Mila Bacho-Bacus, Bing Rivera, Butching de la Cruz-Roa, Boy Camacho, etc.). 

By 5:30 p.m. we were at the hotel lobby waiting for the bus that would bring us to Elsa Basubas’ manz in Canduman, Mandaue, for our Klasmits’ Nite. Edwin La Rosa and Elett Barinque-Salada joined us. Close to 40 of us were in the bus. We lost our way twice, arriving the place at a little past 7:00 p.m. Thanks to the advent of cellphones. We thank Elsa and Mike for that very filling and sumptuous dinner catered by Creative Cuisine. There were games, prizes, and surprises after dinner. Whattafun really!

Friday, July 25, 2003 –

We’re at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel a little past 7:00 a.m. today, again in our immaculate white CIM uniform, for the Opening Ceremonies of the Postgraduate Course (“Current Medical Concerns Made (Ridiculously) Easy”). Everybody was thrilled to the bone and enjoyed looking at the enlarged 6’x2’ class picture taken 25 years ago being displayed at the Memorabilia Exhibit area. Countless poses here and there, with Wilma Abellana-Ty leading the fun thru her antics of pulling up her skirt uniform to above-the-knee level, followed by several others in an up, up, and away fashion. Oh my, even Dr. Virginia Paradela joined in the fun by pulling up the skirts of Elsa Blanco-Basubas and Elett Barinque-Salada that showed their shorts or half-slips (was it?). There was really so much fun and laughter.

By 8:30 a.m., we had the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the Commercial

Booth Exhibits which was done by Dr. Josefina Poblete assisted by Wyben Briones and Henry Yu. Then the ribbon-cutting for the Memorabilia Exhibit done by Dr. Virginia Paradela, followed by the unveiling of the Jubilee Book (“Photographs and Memories”).

By 9:00 a.m., we lined ourselves in rows of two’s for the processional as we marched towards the Arctic Room where the Postgrad was to start. The morning session was chaired by Edwin Minoza and co-chaired by Alice Ngo-Militante. Officers-of-the-Day were Tita Ouano and Aking Dy. The invocation was delivered by Tito Dejos, followed by the opening remarks of Jojo Antigua. The first speaker was Alcoy Rodriguez on “Lessons Learned in Reforming the Health Sector in the Philippines”, followed by Butching de la Cruz-Roa’s “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, I Still Look Young Afterall”.

Break time saw us in endless high as some more classmates arrived. Blessy Pono

delivered her lecture on “Medical Hazards of Modern Technology”, followed by 

Dr. Sally Gatchalian’s “Updates on Vaccines”. Everybody was all ears to  

Dr. Gloria Garcia Habalo’s lecture on “Sex After Menopause”.

The afternoon session was chaired by Cecil Clavano-de Asis and co-chaired by Helen Evangelista-Tudtud. Everybody was excited with the arrival of Danny Cimafranca who’s still looking good and handsome after all these years, just like most of the silver jubilarians. Agree or disagree? The Postgrad continued with the talk of Dr. Manolito Chua on “SARS: The Saga Continues”, Dr. Fems Paladin’s “SARS: Diagnostic Tests”, Nanneth Tiu’s “Not Just Any Vaccine”, and Mila Bacho-Bacus’ “Herbal Medicine: Its Role in Modern Medicine”.

Everybody was pretty excited for the coming of Hon. Imee Marcos who was scheduled to talk on “Effective Communication Skills and Power Dressing”. She arrived at 4:30 p.m. and delivered her talk after countless handshakes from the SRO audience. A total of 437 doctors have registered for the Postgrad, making it a jam-packed room, a real record-breaker in the history of CIM’s Silver Jubilee celebrations over the past 12 years.

The Fellowship Night was held at the Arctic Room (the same room where the Postgrad was held) after being cleaned and readied for the night’s activity), attended by members of Class 1978 and special friends from the different drug companies as our way of thanking them for their support. Nenita Tumanda joined us. The welcome remarks was delivered by Henry Yu who was just too happy for the turn of events. He was teary-eyed because of the joys he felt seeing his classmates and friends once again. Emcee of the night was Anton Betia of Pfizer. The class business meeting took place, followed by the production number rehearsal at the Mediterranean Room. Millet Bringas-Militar hit her nose from accidental sliding while she rehearsed for the processional causing mild epistaxis. Thanks to our EENT specialists Tito Dejos and Pete Rosell. Later during the practice, Clinia Seguerra also sprained her foot from accidental slide causing pain. Thanks to orthopedic specialist Jojo Flordeliz. The rehearsal lasted till a quarter before 12:00.

Saturday, July 26, 2003 –

The Postgrad continued with Lulu Picornell-Narcise as the chair and Nanette Raffinan-Erguerro as co-chair. Officer-of-the-Day was Leni Gimenez-Mercado. It started with the lecture of Dr. Juanita Elumba on “Echoes From Philhealth”, followed by Dr. Coralie Dioquino-Dimacali’s “Medical Management of Nephrolithiasis”. Breaktime saw us again in high spirits as Larry Yap, Ernie Sia, and Nida Cabalde-de la Pena arrived, making a total of 91 Silver Jubilarians who attended the said event. “Updates on Community Acquired Infections” was delivered by Dr. Manolito Chua, followed by Celan Alo’s “Colorectal Carcinoma: what You Ought To Know”, Jojo Antigua’s “Dawn on the New Era in Osteoarthritis – the Medical Management”, Jojo Flordeliz’ “The Surgical Management”, and the luncheon symposium by Dr. Josephine Abao-Lim on “Osteoporosis”. After the luncheon symposium, everybody was getting ready for the big night, which was the Grand Ball.

The Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Carlito Pono at the Arctic Room at 6:00 p.m. after which we had our class pictorials in our formal wears. The guests were ushered in to the Mediterranean Room, the site of the Grand Ball, which was beautifully decorated by no less than Teresing Mendezona and Pinky Chang. What with all the silver glitters and glamour of a Hollywood ambiance with matching series of lights abounding and each table topped with a kandelabra with all-fresh flowers. Emcees for the night were couples Dr. Shawn and Dr. Jackie Espina. We positioned ourselves outside and in rows of two’s as we paraded into the Mediterranean Room with balloons and white roses in hand to the tune of James Ingram’s “Whenever We Imagine”. All of us were on stage as Ruth Palermo-Asuncion delivered a very touching invocation, followed by the singing of the Pambansang Awit. Everybody then occupied the reserved seats for the Silver Jubilarians as Henry Yu delivered the Welcome Remarks. The buffet dinner followed. The attendance overflowed, reaching 455. Another record-breaker.

After dinner, Lenny Cimafranca delivered his Opening Remarks which was followed by a Ballet Presentation to the tune of Superman’s “Can You Read My Mind?” as interpreted by Henry Yu’s two daughters (Hazel Valerie and Hannah Victoria). The presentation of the Silver Jubilarians followed, with each of us making a catwalk along the center aisle, going up the ramp, and positioned ourselves on stage, as each of our names was called, and our curriculum vitae being read. The last to be called was Henry Yu who surprised everybody by not marching from the usual entrance door, but coming and appearing from the stage, walking down the ramp, to the aisle, and made a backward march, went up the ramp and stage, and down to the riser. All Jubilarians positioned themselves as they sang together “Coming Home”, the class’ Jubilee Hymn, the lyrics of which were personally written by Henry Yu himself as his special gift, a legacy, to the class (“We’re coming home, yes, we’re coming home, to a place that we call home.”). It was arranged and composed by Joel Oporto. Back to our seats, Henry distributed CDs of the Jubilee Hymn to fellow classmates as souvenir items. The video presentation (“Journey Through Time” as prepared by Blessy Pono) was such a marvelous work of art, a labor of love. The voice-over was done live by Anton Betia of Pfizer. 

One of the most touching parts of the program that night was the Testimonial (“A Tribute To Our Teachers”) where all our former teachers were given a white rose each, acknowledged and escorted up the stage. There were 26 of them that night. While they were on stage, we dedicated a very meaningful song to them by singing “Handog” amidst nostalgia and tears of joy and thanksgiving, they who have made us what we are today. Dance numbers were presented by the Natrapharm dancers who came all the way from Manila (Giselle, Bless, Jane, Joyce, Renee, Larry, Julius, Senen, and Jun) followed by the production number of the Silver Jubilarians to the tune of “One Singular Sensation” (A Chorus Line) and Madonna’s “Material Girl”, etc. Mr. Rudi T. Runes, Chairman and President of Natrapharm Group of Companies, delivered a very touching speech which made some of us teary-eyed again. Imagine, 25 long years have passed, and we’re still around. Wyben Briones presented a big frame of the class picture taken the day before to Mr. Runes while Henry Yu handed him a trophy. Wyben then delivered his thank you speech. 

Drawing of the raffles followed. And the winners of the major prizes were: Luz Crystal (Washing Machine); Fai Buenaventura-Sarita (TV); and Alcoy Rodriguez (Refrigerator). 

A Parade of Beauty Queens followed with the Class 1978’s Beauties walking down the center aisle and up the ramp. There’s Butching de la Cruz-Roa (Ms. CIM 1976), Helen Tan-Yap (CIM Homecoming Queen 1991), Tessie Yap-Dy (CIM Homecoming Queen 1997), and Elsa Blanco-Basubas (CIM 1978 Silver Jubilee Queen 2003). It was indeed a reunion of beauty queens. Yo! Mirror, mirror on the wall, Class ’78 got them all! 

The drawing of raffle for the Silver Revo Car (done by ping pong balls) took place with 0-8-0-8 as the winning numbers. And the lucky winner was Nanneth Tiu. Non-stop dancing followed with all the Jubilarians dancing the night away to the tunes of old time favorites rendered by the Mutya Band till the wee hours of the morning.

Hugs and kisses of goodbye capped the event with us shedding tears. It really hurts to say goodbye to classmates and friends. For one thing, we know not when we will ever meet again. Yes, only time will tell. Suffice to say that once upon a time in July of 2003, we had the rare chance to get together again after 25 long years. We have seized the moment and enjoyed to the max whatever little time we have the past four days of our togetherness. We did have our joy, our fun, and our seasons in the sun. All these and more, we will always treasure for the rest of our lives. Thank you for being part of history.

Yes, another journey has just begun...