2021 Gawad Chancellor Awards
December 10, 2021
By: Joaquin Julio Reyes, UPCM 2025
We celebrate UP Manila Day and the anniversary of the autonomy of the Health Sciences Center every 22nd of October. In conjunction with this, the University celebrates numerous individuals from the community who have exemplified the nature of excellence. This year’s awarding ceremony was hosted by Dr. Melfred Hernandez, Director of the Office of Alumni Relations, and Dr Emily Dicolen, a representative from the National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions.
The 39th UP Manila Foundation Day and 42nd Anniversary of the Health Sciences Center was celebrated last October 22, 2021 and was hosted by Dr. Melfred Hernandez, Director of the Office of Alumni Relations, and Dr Emily Dicolen, a representative from the National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions
The first speaker of the day was Dr. Cornelio Banaag who spoke about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Filipino family. Dr. Banaag emphasized the multiple roles that individuals hold in the household especially in the time of this pandemic which in turn add to the stress each of us feel everyday. In the context of our country, Dr. Banaag highlighted research conducted by faculty from the UP College of Medicine together with Philippine One Health University Network and Southeast Asian On Health University Network. It was found that NCR students had experienced more stress, depression, and anxiety from the pandemic. Moreover, Dr. Banaag also highlighted the factor of parental burnout as an inciting factor in the poor mental health of our country. This parental burnout is caused by a distress or discomfort that results from demands associated with the role of parenting. Burnout begins when this stress becomes chronic and overwhelming.
In spite of these barriers for the Filipino family, Dr. Banaag also highlighted the creative and resourceful ways that families have thrived during the pandemic. He cited an instance of sixth graders in the Philippines using remote- controlled robots to hold cyber graduations. This is an example of how digital technologies can be used to support schools. Furthermore, he also highlighted the heightened awareness of some families to create healthy habits and take care of one’s body which has resulted in an example of self-directed health.
Resilience is a word often overused in this day and age, but Dr. Banaag made it a point to differentiate this concept from post-traumatic growth which may be what we want to achieve in post-pandemic. Resilience, he says, is the ability to resist and recover readily from a traumatic event. Post-traumatic growth however is a much deeper experience wherein positive psychological change helps people become stronger in order to live more meaningful days (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004).
Taking these ideals into the context, it is important to see that these awardees from our College have shown growth despite the pandemic and they prove to be examples that we too can rise above the blows that all of this has dealt us.
There were three awardees from the student body of the College. Leandro Salazar, currently a medical intern in the Philippine General Hospital, bagged the Outstanding Student award for his exemplary performance both inside and outside the classroom. Mr. Salazar was instrumental in the 7th Philippine Conference on Community Health and the National Health Resource Masterplan. He was also the Medical School Representative in the passing of the Republic Act no.11509. He has shown what it means to be a holistic and well-rounded student by excelling at his academics while being at the helm of numerous student organizations. Mr. Salazar served as the Chairperson of the 42nd Medicine Student Council, the National President of the Alliance of Philippine Pre-medical Societies, and he was also recognized by the Asian Pacific Medical Colleges’ Student Network as “Mga Natatanging Mag-aaral ng Medisina sa Pilipinas” and “Natatanging Mag-aaral ng Medisina ng Pilipinas sa Larangan ng Liderato.” Given these achievements among many other smaller ones that we may not have heard of, Mr. Salazar is a rightful recipient of this award.
Leandro Salazar from UPCM 2022 received the 2021 Gawad Chancellor Award for Outstanding Student for his exemplary performance
The second recipient of a “Gawad Chancellor Award” from the student body was William Thomas Lara from UPCM LU4. He was awarded as Outstanding Athlete for his contributions to the UP Men’s Varsity Swimming Team. Mr. Lara was a consistent podium finisher during his 5-year stint with the team. He amassed consistent gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Philippine Swimming Inc. Long Course and Short Course National Championships. Furthermore, he also finished silver in his first year competing in the UAAP Swimming Tournament and bronze in all his succeeding years. In his graduating year, Mr. Lara finished summa cum laude with a degree in Sports Sciences. Mr. Lara continues to shine in medical school as a student and as a leader as he holds a place in the Executive Council of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity.
William Thomas Lara from UPCM 2025 received the 2021 Gawad Chancellor Award for Outstanding Athlete award for his contributions to the UP Men’s Varsity Swimming Team
Lastly, the Mu Sigma Phi Sorority was awarded the Most Outstanding Student Organization for their service to the community. Projects such as the Health Education and Literacy Campaigns have helped improve patient education and health-seeking behavior in the communities that were served. Other projects such as Sine Gamutan and COVIDgilance webinar series proved that service could prevail online in spite of the pandemic. Furthermore, Mu Relief has raised more than Php 4,000,000 in cash and in kind to help the frontliners and communities that needed it urgently at the onset of the pandemic. The Mu Sigma Phi Sorority embodies tenacious service undeterred by challenges brought about by the pandemic. They continue to show that relevant service can still be rendered even with barriers left and right.
The Mu Sigma Phi Sorority of the UP College of Medicine garners the 2021 Gawad Chancellor Award for Outstanding Student Organization. The plaque was received by Micaella Maria Gonzales, Mu Sigma Phi Sorority 2022, Most Exalted Sister
Our esteemed faculty were also awarded. Dr. Maria Julieta Corazon Victoriano-Germar, better known as Ma’am Jayjay, was awarded Outstanding Teacher. She has been teaching for 18 years, and she has been known for her development of clinical teaching and student evaluation. She designs simulation-based education modules using high-fidelity simulators to teach and she has also created low-cost alternatives for commercially available task trainers. Furthermore, she also helped provide training modules on basic clinical skills to student volunteers from UP Manila and individualized learning plans for students from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. During the pandemic, she also designed the UPCM-OB-Gyn virtual simulation learning kits which covered procedures such as pap smears, pelvic exams, and episiotomies. She further supplemented their learning with checklists and online workshops. Her published works on online courses for health practitioners have displayed her prowess and ingenuity in creating new ways for students to learn. Currently, she is the head of the UP College of Medicine Clinical Simulation center.
Dr. Maria Julieta Corazon Victoriano-Germar, better known as Ma’am Jayjay, was awarded the 2021 Gawad Chancellor Award for Outstanding Teacher. “Kung sa tinagal-tagal ng iyong pagdadalubhasa ay natutunan mong tumangis sa kahirapan at kalungkutan ng iyong mga kababayan, kung natagpuan mo sa iyong puso na maglingkod sa kanila nang kahit paminsan-minsan ay walang inisip na katumbas na kabayaran, ikaw na marahil ang isa sa maitatanghal na tunay na bayani ng ating pangkasalukuyang Lipunan.”
Dr. Emmanuel P. Estrella from the National Institutes of Health was awarded Outstanding Researcher. Dr. Estrella is currently practicing reconstructive microsurgery. From 2016-2020, Dr. Estrella had published seven scientific articles and had authored six reputable papers on topics such as fractures, injuries, and microsurgeries such as nerve transfers for shoulder reconstruction in brachial plexus. These publications have cumulatively received over 50 citations. He is currently in the editorial board for several scientific journals and he was awarded UP Scientist I from 2015-2017. He was also awarded with the Promising Star award in 2017 from Thomas-Reuters and he has been named as one of Asia’s Top 100 Scientists.
Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, Professor 12, and current UP Manila Chancellor received the Service Award from the College of Medicine.
Dr. Diana R. Tamondong Lachica was awarded Outstanding Teacher in Extension Service for her contributions to patient safety and quality of care in the institutions she is a part of. She was involved in formulating evidence-based standards of care and policies for hospitals as well as clinical practice guidelines on lifestyle intervention, COVID-19 living treatment, and adult sepsis. She has also served in the DOH Technical Group for the National Patient Service Program and has been involved in the DOH Drug Price Advisory Council on Government Policies and Interventions of essential price reductions. Her staunch involvement led to the signing of Executive Order 104 on the Maximum Drug Retail price. In our hospital’s time of need, she spearheaded the Patient Query arm of the COVID Operations - Bayanihan Center Hotline which has helped PGH services nationwide deal with the pandemic.
From how these awardees have been described, it is evident that they have grown through this pandemic in more ways than one. Despite the obstacles that they have been faced with, they have shown grit, creativity, and consistency.
To end, as Dr. Germar quotes her own teacher Dr. Augusto Manalo,
“Kung sa tinagal-tagal ng iyong pagdadalubhasa ay natutunan mong tumangis sa
kahirapan at kalungkutan ng iyong mga kababayan, kung natagpuan mo sa iyong puso na maglingkod sa kanila nang kahit paminsan-minsan ay walang inisip na katumbas na kabayaran, ikaw na marahil ang isa sa maitatanghal na tunay na bayani ng ating pangkasalukuyang Lipunan.”
Most honorably, these awardees have exemplified compassion for those who have been affected most in our country. They have gone above and beyond what has been asked of them to ensure that we can continue to grow after the blows dealt by this pandemic.