THE year 2019 marks the tercentenary celebration of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the Lasallian Family, which shall culminate in April.
The institute has designated 2019 as the Year of Lasallian Vocations in honor of the patron saint of teachers. Throughout the world, events and celebrations have been planned for the common heritage of providing a human and Christian education, and promoting the vocation of the educational ministry.
From February 14 to 17, the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) started its own celebration with various campus activities participated mostly by its students. This Dasmariñas campus has become the home of champions—having many students joining the top 10 ranks in the licensure exams in the fields of nursing, radiology, rehabilitation sciences and medicine.
Accordingly, it’s the time of the year that the campus observes a festive holiday; there are no classes but every student group actively participates in various programs and even contests.
On the first day, the De La Salle Animo Center was filled to the rafters with cheers and fellow students were rooting for their candidates to Ms. and Mr. DLSMHSI Campus King and Queen. And while the beauty contest-conscious students enjoyed the Q&A and talent portions of the program, a more serious discussion was going on at the other side of the campus.
THE anti-bullying forum is being held in the campus for the first time, for the DLSMHSI students to grow and develop more respect for others, as well as to spread awareness among them—of what to do in cases of bullying and how to overcome those situations.
This is according to Mae Ann Bobadilla, chairman of the multicultural and minority department and Roberto L. Cruz III, RN, MAN, chairman of the student discipline and security department, who spearheaded the second Why Shy Series and the third Legal Updates, themed: “I am bigger and stronger than my bullies,” by the Students Affairs Office to empower students against bullying.
“Though there have been no reported cases of bullying in our school, we are taking the initiative to prepare our community, so we are all aware that bullying has many forms and faces. In the past we had cyber-bullying forums because a lot of our students are into social media. We want to protect our students. Bullying is actually included in the student handbook, or Magna Carta of students. We want our students to be informed about it,” said Cruz.
“Actually, our program is more on the preventive and intervention side. We are focused on assisting them in case bullying occurs—that’s why there are ready programs both for the bully and the bullied. We have guidance counseling and values formation. Punitive actions, such as suspension, are last resorts, and coupled with productive service programs such as sending the bully to our Bahay Pag-asa, for service and formation. Fortunately, we only had minor disagreement cases where we had meetings and dialogues for the students and their parents in order to address the issue,” Bobadilla explained.
International cultural presentation and food festival
THE DLSMHSI is an international school with some 130 students composed of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Melanesian, African and American. Every year the school gathers these students together for a program to showcase their culture and talents, as well as to promote friendship and camaraderie among them and their Filipino counterparts.
On day one students presented their traditional song and dance numbers reflecting their love for their countries. The second day was a feast of traditional food by the students presenting their gustatory delights.
“All the food was prepared by the international students. Basically, the objective of this activity is for them to showcase their culture, [and] their identity in order for us to understand them and to have better harmony as One People, One La Salle here at DLSMHSI. Actually, this is our third year of doing this kind of activity. Yearly, there are changes as some graduate go home to their respective countries,” said Anna Lyn Ferma, chairman of international students relations department.
The youngest participant, a Grade 11 student from South Korea, Gi Hea Liah Kim, said she is enjoying her stay in the Philippines because the people here are very approachable.
“The food we prepared is putong, our traditional rice cake. In Korea, of course, we have kimchi. It’s very healthy. It’s full of lactic acid so it keeps one healthy and young-looking. For ulam, we have pork belly and chicken. Among Filipino food, I like sisig. I will stay here for long because my mom is here and my father right now stays in Vietnam for training, and my sister is taking entrepreneurship also here in La Salle,” she said.
One-man exhibit by Dr. Charles Yu
GIVEN a prominent space in the DLSMHSI festive holiday is the one-man exhibit for Dr. Charles Y. Yu, vice chancellor for research.
A professor of DLSMHSI College of Medicine, the amiable and talented chest physician is an internationally recognized expert on tuberculosis. His professional career spans as a clinician, researcher, clinical epidemiologist, and advocate focused on public-private partnerships for TB control, and has held positions in various associations including the presidency for the Philippine College of Chest Physician. He speaks and participates in international conferences while being currently involved with research collaboration between the De La Salle Center for Tuberculosis Research and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, as project leader of the “Impact Assessment of Diagnostic Algorithm and Tool for MDR-TB and drug-sensitive TB in the Philippines.”
Despite his hectic schedule, Yu has successfully squeezed in some precious time to learn painting at 57. “I taught myself how to paint by watching YouTube videos. My Koi painting was my first lesson, and I moved quickly from there to develop my own style,” he said.
All his paintings—in acrylic, watercolor and oil—from the rude start to the most polished and best, and current works of art were exhibited, except those who have gone abroad as gifts to family members and friends.
Today at 60, he continues to hone his talent in painting—still learning by doing and working with the best tools (meaning expensive brushes and paints, this time around) and discovering secrets to good painting. His current favorite is creating relaxing landscapes.
According to Yu, he has learned the best lessons in his current endeavor: “One is never too old to learn a trade or develop a hobby. It is from them I have taken inspiration and have learned to keep busy, and be happy with what I do. It is in keeping busy, that is the secret elixir to live longer and happier.”
All the paintings by Yu that were on exhibit were available for bidding for the benefit of the Two Heart of Jesus and Mary Chapel, which is up for expansion and renovation.
FOR the first time, the DLSMHSI Physical therapy department held its medical mission right at the hospital.
“So this is our first time to hold this here at the clinic: Medical evaluation and assessment, physical therapy and occupational therapy. As you can see, we also give the services that are readily available, like splinting. We do the splints right here so the patients can bring them home right away,” said Physical therapy (PT) Program Director Dr. Reynaldo Cruz.
PT, or physiotherapy, attempts to address the illnesses or injuries that limit the persons’ abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PT management commonly includes the prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, and manipulation and mechanical devices such as traction, physical agents, including heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, assistive devices, prostheses or those and other interventions. In addition, physical therapists work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs. This also includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors.
Cruz, who has been serving the hospital for 13 years, believes that PT patients, mostly young children, should be given the proper treatment for them to be able to go out, study, participate in social activities and live a normal life by becoming part of the community.
“That’s why right now we have 10 satellite facilities all over Dasmariñas to treat these kids and encourage their guardians for continuing treatment,” he concluded.
Image credits: Leony R. Garcia