Patricia Marie M. Lota, Φ2018 Class 2022
Last March 15, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held a career talk on Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Paz Mendoza Building in UP Manila. The alumni speakers, Dr. Doris R. Benavides Φ’91, Class ‘96 and Dr. Maria Lora P. Garcia-Tansengco Φ’87, Class ‘92 shared their journey from basic sciences to residency, fellowship, and consultancy. Together with the resource speaker, Dr. Valerie P. Tiempo-Guinto Φ’91, Class ‘95, they were able to tackle the highs and lows of trying to find a balance between practice and family life. The talk was attended by the resident sisses who were able to learn more about Obstetrics and Gynecology as a career path.
Dr. Doris Benavides started the talk with sharing her journey during medical school and internship where she discussed her influences into choosing Ob-Gyne as a practice. She shared what she learned about herself, her strengths and weaknesses, that helped shape her into the doctor she is today. Dr. Doris also mentioned how important her batchmates in Phi are to her because through the sisterhood they shared, they we able to strive through medical school together. She also gave importance to knowing yourself enough to decide what residency program to take as this will determine your future — because the rollercoster ride that is residency is filled with highs and lows as you share a great number of years with your co-residents, all fully devoted to the practice and your patients. After completing her residency, Dr. Doris undertook her fellowship, first a subspecialty in Gynecological Oncology and another in Advanced Gynecological Laparoscopy outside the country. She stressed the importance of continued learning in medicine. Additionally, Dr. Doris also pursues endeavours not related to Ob-Gyne — she is part of the academe in UP Manila, particularly in research ethics, clinical ethics, and PHREB GCP Training of Trainers. Ultimately, Dr. Doris shared that in Ob-Gyne, “burnout” is a reality but it will always depend on how you spend your time — try to find the balance between family, friends, and work.
Next, Dr. Lora Garcia-Tansengco discussed how she tried to find that balance. Dr. Lora first shared how she was influenced into entering Ob-Gyne — her mother and surgery. She described herself as someone who was always ready to take on a challenge and thats exactly what she did during her residency in Ob-Gyne — this paved her way to become team captain, chief resident, and eventually to winning several awards including Most Outstanding Resident Physician by POGS and International Young Fellow Awardee by FIGO. She received an acceptance letter from King’s College in the UK for fellowship training but declined and decided to work in the country instead. She worked as a Clinical Associate Professors without compensations in UP-PGH for 7 years, as Nationwide Statistics Committee Chair in the Philippines Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (POGS), and even as a columnist in the Manila Times. Despite all the distinctions and high positions in practice, she still considers her family to be her greatest achievement. However, all that she has achieved didn’t come easy, she faced a lot of hardships in starting a family and working. Looking at her life in a nutshell, she was very satisfied with her work life but not so with her family life. She had a loving husband and a beautiful daughter amidst her busy work life but she realized that she wasn’t spending as much time with them as she would like — so she finally decided to focus more on her family and private practice. She found balance in being the best doctor she can be and being the best mom to her family. Dr. Lora also said that she found time for herself to start focusing on her hobbies in fitness, as she joins marathons, triathlons, and Iron Man races in and out of the country with her husband. Dr. Lora shares that there is more to life than just working — that finding your own happiness in work life and family life is of great importance.
As far as the academe and private practice goes, the resource speaker, Dr. Laire Tiempo-Guinto is able to enjoy the best of both world. Dr. Laire kept her ties with UP-PGH while working in her private practice. She also continued her education by taking a Masters Degree in Clinical Medicine in the Philippines which includes research, teaching, and administration. She shares that after her fellowship, she started focusing on her family and is happy to watch her kids grow up. Similar to Dr. Doris and Dr. Lora, she also emphasized finding the right balance for life in general.
After hearing the speakers, an open forum was held where the resident sisses were able to know more about the profession and about finding the right balance in life. Other alumni sisses, Dr. Serines Virian D. Decano Φ’08, Class ‘13 (Chief Resident), Dr. Maria Carmina L. Santiago Φ’09, Class ‘14, and Dr. Germaine Angela C. Ursabia Φ’11B, Class ‘16, who are currently taking their residency program in PGH, also dropped by the event. They were able to share their experiences during the open forum and how they are able to cope with the challenges in med life.
All the speakers and sisses that shared were able to open the opportunity of choosing Ob-Gyne as a profession. The resident sisses were able to learn the importance of finding the right balance of work and personal life and the importance of knowing onself well enough to find the most appropriate career path for the future. Truly, Phi excellence was exemplified in all the women present in the Career Talk and the warmth of sisterhood was felt all throughout the afternoon.
Lara Marielle L. Castillo, Ф2018, Class 2022
On March 10, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority, in partnership with UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, held a Gynecological Mission at the Skills Training Center of Sitio Pingkian, Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas. The Gynecological Mission is an annual event organized under the guidance of sisses from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The sorority seeks out communities in need and provides lectures on maternal & child health, along with free cervical cancer screening through visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA), bimanual pelvic examination, and breast examination. This year, 35 mothers from nearby barangays were able to benefit from the services offered by the sorority. On this day, the spirit of service and sisterhood was reignited in the hearts of all those in attendance.
Prior to the event, Dr. Ira Dominique Tabada Alatraca-Malonzo, Ф2004, Class 2009 gave the LU 3, LU 4, and LU 5 sisses a brief lecture on gynecological history taking, pelvic exam, and VIA on March 2, 2018. A skills lab training for bimanual examination of the pelvis then ensued. This workshop greatly helped the resident sisses prepare for the gyne mission.
On the day of the event, bleary-eyed and groggy sisses assembled at the PGH flagpole as early as 4:00 AM. After receiving a short pep talk from Dr. Joanne Karen Sarmiento Aguinaldo Ф1997 Class 2002 and loading needed materials and equipment for the day, sisses excitedly boarded the bus, and set off on their journey to Sitio Pingkian, Batangas. The resident sisses were joined by Dr. Clarissa Lim Velayo Ф1997 Class 2002, Dr. Reysa Omay Autentico Ф2008 Class 2013, Dr. May Bugagao David Ф2008 Class 2013, Dr. Serines Virian Dela Cruz Decano Ф2008 Class 2013, Dr. Patricia Marie Tan Fernandez Ф2011B Class 2016, and Dr. Raisa Pecson Butalid, Ф2013 Class 2017.
Sisses arrived at the Skills Training Center at around 7:30 AM, and quickly set up the venue with the help of the UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod volunteers. There were two rooms for use in the center: one where the public health lectures (PHLs) would be conducted for the women and their children, and another where the various examinations (VIA, bimanual pelvic exam, and breast exam) would take place. Making the most out of the resources at hand, sisses made improvised partitions out of bedsheets in between beds, using two tall stalks of bamboo to hold them in place.
At around 8:00 am, after the venue had been prepared, the Pahingunod volunteers fetched mothers and children from the nearby Barangays Papaya and Looc. They had previously been invited by their Barangay Health Worker (BHW) to participate in the event. Since the Skills Training Center is quite far from surrounding barangays, the Pahingunod volunteers used a van to fetch the mothers and their children.
Once at the venue, mothers and children first registered their names, then were directed to the PHL room for a brief public health lecture. At around 8:30 AM, the first PHL was conducted by Ф2017 (Phireflies). During this PHL, mothers were taught how to perform breast examinations on themselves, as well as an overview about cervical cancer, its various risk factors, and the basic principles behind VIA.
The mothers then started with history-taking and the examination proper while their children were left in the room for another PHL, conducted by Ф2018 (DiversiPhi). This PHL centered on good hygiene, including proper tooth brushing and handwashing practices. The children were treated to games, prizes, and a short dance number during this 30-minute lecture.
After the PHL for children, DiversiPhi then joined the other resident sisses and alumni. Phireflies were mainly in charge of taking participants’ gynecological history and vital signs, as well as performing breast exams; Phi Batch 2016 (Ph16ht Club), under the guidance of our alumni, performed the bimanual pelvic exam and VIA.
It was beautiful to see sisses passing on their knowledge to the younger batches. Our alumni were assisted by Ph16ht Club (Ф2016) sisses; Ph16ht Club, in turn, endorsed the proper breast examination procedures to Phireflies (Ф2017) sisses, and demonstrated how to do the bimanual pelvic exam and VIA. The youngest batch, DiversiPhi (Ф2018) was welcomed into the gyne mission by first observing how to take proper gynecological histories and vital signs before doing these on their own. They were guided by the Phireflies.
The event ended at around 4:00 PM. After packing up, taking lots of photos, and singing the Phi Lambda Delta song to wrap up the day, sisses headed back to Manila on a Phi High. It was indeed a day that exemplified service and sisterhood, and one that will be remembered in the years to come.
Jecelle D. Masula, Φ2018 Class 2022
Last February 24, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held an event as part of the Caritas Month entitled “Children’s Fair: A Magical Affair!” at the Children’s Playground, Luneta Park. Together with the children from different beneficiaries, the day was celebrated with full of fun and games dedicated and brought to them by our partner organizations, sponsors, pledgers, and volunteers.
Around 130 kids from the different beneficiaries, namely, Autism Society Philippines UP CAMP, Pasay and Sta. Cruz Chapters, La Sagesse Rehabilitation and Development Center, and Special Olympics Philippines NCR North Chapter, joined the event. The children explored and enjoyed playing at the various booths put up by our partner organizations: U! Happy Events, Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity, UPM-OMAKE, UP CAMP Association of Physical Therapy Majors, Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity, and Phi Lambda Sorority. There’s a storytelling booth on Leprosy to increase awareness of this condition, a card matching game booth, smash hit booth, balloon twisting and face paint booth, which was a hit to the kids. There’s also an ice cream stand and a cotton candy stand perfect for taking a break from all the games and activities. The children had passports that will be stamped every time they visit a certain booth. After collecting stamps from our partner organizations, a series of games such as obstacle relay, hep hep hooray, and the boat is sinking were hosted by our sisses from the newest batch, Patricia Sy Phi 2018 and Vibiene Bernal Phi 2018.
The event was concluded with the kids going home with their loot bags, lunch and of course, smiles on their faces. Thank you to our sponsors, U! Happy Events and Baon the Go, to National Parks Development Committee, and to our pledgers and volunteers!
Danielle Colleen D. Tiu, Ф2018, Class 2022
As part of this year's Caritas Month activities, the second installment of Lifeline happened in University of the Philippines Diliman last February 23, 2018. The event was held in AS Alcove, one of the busiest and most frequented place of student body in the campus. Several students showed desire and intended to donate for a good cause. The sorority was able to collected 17 blood bags and all were donated to the PGH Blood Bank.
The event was a heartwarming experience for it was pleasant to see good-hearted and magnanimous individuals, sharing their time and blood with those in need. It, indeed, restores faith in humanity. The event would not be a success without the donors and the sorority’s partners namely, PGH Blood Bank, Maroon FM, UP Flyers, UP Pre-Medical Society, UP PUGAD Sayk, Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity, UP Tau Lambda Alpha Sorority, and U.P. Tau Rho Xi Fraternity. We hope to see you again in the next episode of Lifelife!
Danee Coline E. Mangila, Ф2018, Class 2022
EmpoweRED is an event that brings forward the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority’s advocacy that aims to promote HIV awareness in the hopes of removing the stigma among individuals positive with HIV. It involves a series of talks conducted at different schools to increase HIV awareness. Last February 20, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority brought back EmpoweRED to PGH. The event was held at Room 215, Emergency Room Complex at PGH. There were 3 speakers who shared their insight and knowledge on HIV/AIDS and free HIV testing and consultation was also offered by Love Yourself PH, one of the event’s partners.
EmpoweRED is one of the events of Caritas Month under the office of the Sister Caritas, Gianne Rosales Pagulayan Ф2016 Class 2020. The event was headed by Kristel Iris Gollayan Tiburcio Ф2017 Class 2021, Isabel Kristine Malabag Valdez Ф2017 Class 2021, and co-headed by Czarina Ann Baydo Baptisma Ф2018 Class 2022. Students, residents, and other health care professionals from different departments were in attendance including Dr. Corrina Pambid Azarcon Ф2011B Class 2016 and Dr. Melissa Rose Olivarez Orteza-Sorra Ф2012 Class 2017 from the PGH Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
The first speaker was Dr. Marlene Mae Bermejo from DOH who talked about current epidemiological information on HIV. She mentioned that as of 2017, 31 individuals are newly diagnosed per day. This increase from previous years accompany the propagating stigma on being positive with HIV. She also talked about the importance of sharing strategic information on HIV to make the public more aware of the situation. The statistics presented by Dr. Bermejo highlights the need for dissemination of proper and informative knowledge on HIV to help remove the stigma.
Nanay Elena Felix shared a moving recount of her life as a person living with HIV. She was diagnosed as positive with HIV during a time when the stigma of the disease was very prominent. She experienced being denied of health care, mostly because of the fear of people regarding HIV. Despite all that, she has continued to live a life that helps change the lives of other people positive with HIV. Nanay Elena is truly inspiring with her courage to stand up for herself and fight the stigma.
The last speaker was Mr. Edgar “Kahel” Mutas Jr., a counselor at Love Yourself PH. Mr. Mutas shared his experiences as a counselor, talking about the different but equally challenging situations he faces as he helps people living with HIV. He talked about how a big role of his job was to build relationships and trust among those that he councils, which plays a big role in the success of what he does. Mr. Mutas and his dedication for what he does reminds us that more and more people, even those not positive with HIV, continue to join the fight against the stigma on HIV.
After the talks, people were ushered to the next room for the free HIV testing and consultation by Love Yourself PH. The testing consisted of filling out a form and extraction of a few drops of blood for the rapid HIV test. After 12 minutes, an individual’s control number will be called by a counselor. The councilor will discuss the results and general information on HIV with the councilor. Having been able to get the test myself, I very much appreciated the counselling. I liked how they started with asking with my current knowledge on HIV and how they built upon that to continue the conversation as well as add to my knowledge. I could see how knowledgeable and dedicated the councilors are in propagating proper information on HIV and AIDS.
I am looking forward to more EmpoweRED events because I believe events such as this should continue and be brought to more places. Events that aim to share proper knowledge and increase awareness on current health issues are what we need more today. Proper health education can have great impacts on public health concerns, because even just the right awareness on the transmission of HIV can improve the current situation and remove the stigma.
Patricia S. Sy, Ф2018 Class 2022
As part of Caritas Month celebrations which highlight the sorority's commitment of service to the Filipino people, the Phi Lambda Delta held its flagship project, Milk Matters, at the Canossa Health and Social Center, Silang, Cavite last February 16, 2018. This project centers on empowering women to know more about the importance of breastfeeding to enable them to take control of their own health and the health of their babies as well. It also encourages mothers to donate milk for the benefit of the patients in the Philippine General Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Upon arrival at the Canossa Health and Social Center, the sisses were gleefully welcomed by their very own sis, Sr. Maria Elena A. Adre, FdCC, Ф1986 Class 1991. The morning program started off with a public health lecture hosted by Patria Marie M. Lota Ф2018 Class 2022, and Jecelle D. Masula, Ф2018 Class 2022 for the mothers and mothers to be. Everyone could feel the energy in the air as the participants joined in a game of 'Tama' or 'Mali' that sought to clarify certain misconceptions about breastfeeding. Subsequently, Danee Coline E. Mangila, Ф2018 Class 2022 and Katelyn Edelwina Y. Legaspi, Ф2018 Class 2022 demonstrated the various positions that babies can assume while breastfeeding. They were able to show the mothers how to do the cradle hold, the cross cradle hold, the football hold, and the side-lying position. The fun fact that twins could be easily breastfed with the use of the football hold, with one baby on each arm, was met with resounding laughter.
Additionally, the hosts went on to discuss the pertinent information that mothers should always remember when breastfeeding, which was creatively presented through the acronym "G.A.T.A.S." The proper latch-on technique was also presented to the mothers. Another interactive segment ensued as mothers were asked to identify whether the images presented on screen depicted proper breastfeeding and latching practices. Everyone had their own opinion as they sought to analyze the images and correlate it with their own practice which created a space for mothers to share their own experiences about the matter.
In the next part of the program, everyone from DiversiPHI, Ф2018, pitched in to present to the mothers the many benefits associated with breastfeeding, with each benefit having a corresponding poster. Afterwards, therefore, the mothers were also able to run through all the amazing benefits associated with breastfeeding. Finally, common problems surrounding breastfeeding and the solutions to these problems were also discussed to help the mothers address these concerns more easily.
To cap off the event, a breast milk expression activity was led by PGH's NICU nurses. Through this activity, the youngest batch of sisses were able to experience first hand how to facilitate milk expression from mothers. The joy among the mothers were palpable as they felt truly grateful to be able to share something that they had in excess to those who they know were in need.
Vibiene Norma C. Bernal, Ф2018, Class 2022
Last February 13, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta sorority held Lifeline at the PGH corridor in front of the Health Service, from 8AM to 4PM. Lifeline is a yearly blood letting event of the sorority intended to benefit the UP PGH blood bank.
Lifeline is under the Office of the Sister Caritas, Gianne Pagulayan Φ2016 Class 2020 and was headed by Danee Coline Mangila Φ2018 Class 2022. There were also partner organizations whose members donated blood too. These were namely: Agham Youth UP Manila, CAMP Volunteer Corps, CAMP Student Council, UP Nursing Artists' Corps and UP Manila Junior Marketing Association.
This yearly project is always done in two venues and the this Lifeline at PGH was the first episode. All in all, thirty-four blood bags were collected and donated to the blood bank. This hopefully can alleviate in the hospital's problems regarding blood supply.
Katelyn Edelwina Y. Legaspi, Ф2018, Class 2022
On February 5, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority launched its exhibit to mark the beginning of this year’s Caritas month. The sorority holds service to be one of its core values, and the various events and projects during Caritas month are meant to be an application of Phi Lambda Delta’s understanding of service. The sorority believes that service projects should be sustainable, and be conducted in such a way that the community can learn to empower themselves through education, rather than being given empowerment from an external source.
The first project of the month is Lifeline, a blood drive that encourages people to donate blood for the PGH blood bank. There are two collections, one in PGH, and one in UP Diliman. Next is the breast milk drive held in partnership with the Canossa Health Center in Cavite on February 16 entitled “Milk Matters”. A short public health lecture on the benefits of exclusive breast milk feeding for the first 6 months of life is followed by breast milk donation by willing mothers for the babies in the Neonate Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). This is followed by EmpoweRED, an HIV-AIDS awareness campaign, where future medical professionals and health workers are invited to listen to a series of talks by doctors, people living with HIV-AIDS, and speakers from the organization Love Yourself Philippines.
Then there is the Children’s Fair, a day of fun, games, and sweet treats for children with special needs. Various booths featuring different forms of entertainment like face painting, carnival games, and tasty sweets were put up in the Children’s Playground in Rizal Park Luneta for them to enjoy. The Phi Lambda Delta sorority put up a story telling booth with members acting out an abbreviated version of “John’s Brave Adventure: Leprosy You Can’t Defeat Me!” in order to spread awareness and minimize stigma against those living with the condition. Caritas Month comes to a close with the Gynecological mission, which aims to provide knowledge and access to simple gynecological tests for women in areas where these services are difficult to access.
The exhibit is meant to be a preview of these events, as well as a show of the members’ creative skill. The exhibit’s attractive theme of a mother and child surrounded by flowers invited many to come look at the exhibit and read about the sorority’s many upcoming wonderful projects, and to perhaps join in us in our quest for service.
Danicca Noelle V. Pineda, Ф2018, Class 2022
PHIsiklaban is not only the first event of the year, but also the very first PHI event of the newest batch of brods and sisses - Untouchables, Ф 2017B and DiversiPHI, Ф 2018. PHIsiklaban was held at the Ayala Alabang Village last January 20, 2018, from 2-6pm. While this was an event under the office of the Vice Superior Exemplar of the Phi Lambda Delta, Liana Mae Jajurie Lobo, Ф 2015 Class 2019, both the sorority and the Phi Kappa Mu participated and enjoyed the festivities. In attendance were sisses and brods from Ф 2013 (Eigthieths), Ф 2014 (Noche Buena), Ф 2015 (SapPHIre, Stormtroopers), Ф 2016 (PH16th club), Ф2017 (PHIreflies), Ф2017A (Juggernauts), Ф2017B (Untouchables) and Ф2018 (DiversiPHI).
The event began with the two hosts, sis Gabrielle Pagdilao Flores, Ф 2017 Class 2021 and brod Gabriel Paulo Candongo Orosco, Ф 2017A, asking us to group ourselves into the colors we were randomly assigned with. There were 4 teams all in all - Orange Team, Yellow Team, Purple Team, and Blue Team. The members then had to exercise their creativity, work as a team, and think fast and smart as they competed in 5 activities - simple parlour games but with twists.
Once all teams were assembled, it was announced that the first activity was to make costumes for the 2 chosen mascots (1 brod and 1 sis), and to create a cheer for the team. With Liana Lobo, Ф2015 and Edmond Rodiel Bries, Ф 2014 as the judges, it was declared that Purple Team won 1st place, while Orange Team placed last. It was then revealed that after every activity, the team who placed last had to send 2 representatives (1 brod and 1 sis) to entertain and showcase a talent - singing, dancing, acting, etc. The next activity then was that we had to name the chosen sis/brod of the opposing team. Personally, this was where I got to meet and know the names of some of the brods. The Orange Team bagged first place, while Blue Team was last. The next game was Newspaper Dance wherein 6 members per team had to play with only one newspaper for all players. Purple Team won, with Yellow Team in second place, while both Blue Team and Orange Team were eliminated at the same time. An eating contest was up next, wherein 5 members of each team had to eat or drink a particular item (e.g. chug a beer bottle, or gatorade, eat polvoron, okra, bananas, or spicy noodles). Purple Team snatched first place, followed by Blue Team; while it was a close fight for 3rd place with Orange Team winning over Yellow Team. The final, and most anticipated game of PHIsiklaban, was the modified Trip to Jerusalem wherein almost 20 brods and sisses participated, leading to a highly competitive, aggressive and intense game! Blue Team with 2 members standing then won the game.
In terms of the overall ranking, Yellow Team was fourth place (sad since I was part of this team), and followed by Orange Team in third place. It was then realized that there was a tie between Blue Team and Purple Team for first place. To settle this, a tiebreaker was done to determine the champion through one round of Trip to Jerusalem. After that wild tiebreaker round, Purple Team emerged victorious, with Blue Team placing second. Afterwards and throughout the event, the sisses and brods were also eating, drinking and socializing - with everyone seeming to enjoy themselves!
PHIsiklaban couldn’t be possible without the efforts of the head of the event with their respective teams: sis Aurora Suter Nakpil, Ф2017 Class 2021, sis Gabrielle Pagdilao Flores, Ф2017 Class 2021, and Jian Kenzo Ong Leal, Ф2017A. Phi would also like to acknowledge and thank the gracious host for providing her basketball court and home: sis Lara Marielle Lazaro Castillo, Ф2018 Class 2022.
Overall it was a fun afternoon, filled with laughter, sweat, and yes even tears and a bit of blood (lol). It was also a great way for the DiversiPHI and Untouchables to meet and bond with the sisses and brods. Surely, my batchmates share my sentiments when I say that we would look back on this event with very fond memories.
Maria Lourdes S. Mahusay, Φ2017, Class 2021
Last December 20 and 21, 2017, the Phi Lambda Delta warmly welcomed their one of a kind alumni at the UPMAS Homecoming Parade and Ball 2017: ‘Walan9 ka2lad’. Phi Sisses from different batches and from all corners of the globe came to gather, reconnect, and celebrate Sisterhood that stands the test of time. As they paraded around UPCM and PGH grounds, the alumni were able to reminisce and share their memories to the younger sisses – serving as inspirations and as aspirations. UPMAS events were capped off with the Homecoming Ball on the eve of the 21st at Fiesta Pavillion, Manila Hotel. It was a festive night filled with dancing and merrymaking. Congratulations to our Jubiliarians, UPCM Class 1992, and Golden Jubilarians, UPCM Class 1967. It was a was a truly wonderful event to catch up, share laughter, and celebrate sisterhood.