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Official Publication of the Association of Filipino Physicians in Southern Illinois

Volume IV, Fall-Winter, 2015

Contents (Hyperlinked: (Click on page number to go directly to article or simply scroll down)

2 A Different Picnic (Urbano A. Dauz, MD)

Instead of just the usual sumptuous Filipino dishes and games, this years AFPSI Picnic with a Caribbean theme
offered fun and excitement that bordered on pomp and revelry. Photos inside cannot tell the whole story.

Serving the Homeland I

This issue features organizations that serve the Philippines in various ways. They show living and lasting
examples of love at work and altruism worthy of emulation.

The PMAC: CME and Medical Mission (Cesar V. Reyes, MD)

The first Philippine medical group in the US to be organized, the PMAC serves the Philippines through medicalsurgical missions done by members individually or by the association as a group.

11 PEACE- A Class Act (Carmelo C. Dichoso, MD)

Founded in the wake of People Power, the Philippine Economic and Cultural Endowment has a singular
purpose- serving the homeland- and targets the construction of potable water systems as its signature project.

16 Multiplying the Magic of Ten Cents (Cosme R. Cagas, MD)

This abridged version of the Dr. Andres B. Lao Memorial Lecture describes how a modest and inexpensive
program of feeding malnourished children in the Philippines grew quickly within a few years.

20 Meet Dr. Bone, Centenarian

Growing up in the rough and tumble of the Illinois prairie during the Great Depression, Chet Bone had to fend
for himself. A working student, he finished Medicine, later to serve man and the profession for 68 years.

23 Three Loves and the Portuguese Soul (Christopher Conner, BFA, MA, LPC)
After traveling in Portugal where he saw beautiful landscapes and stayed in fortresses and palaces turned into
hotels, the author distills the Portuguese soul through three love stories and hears it in the countrys Fado music.

26 The Quote that Refreshes (Cosme R. Cagas, MD)


A quotation from a Spanish poet on an apartment wall in the third floor in Madrid made the ascent to the last
flight of stairs with a heavy suitcase seem like a breeze.
Smitten. Chapter 32 of the WWII historical novel, I Shall Return
Black American Lt. Jefferson obeyed his commander to surrender to the enemy. Earlier, after serving as ROTC
Commander at the Silliman Institute, he met a beautiful student at the University of San Carlos, the memory of
whom inspired him to endure captivity. In cruel Japanese hands, could he really survive the war?

30 TheAugust Moon- (Lestrino C. Baquiran, MD)

31 drip drip drip (a graphic poem) - (Cosme R. Cagas, MD)

A Different Picnic
Urbano A. Dauz, MD
Conviviality. Fun. Excitement. Pomp and
revelry. All of these and more were on
display on a cloudy Sunday afternoon during
the AFPSI Annual Picnic held at the cozy and
ambient Staunton Fitness Center in Staunton,
Illinois owned by Dr. Nic and Kay Pineda on
September 27, 2015.
Hang on there. Did I say picnic? The word
picnic conjures up images of plentiful food
and drinks followed afterwards by doing a
variety of activities such as playing parlor
games or having a pickup ball game or so,
chatting with friends for a while and finally
dispersing and calling it quits for the day. Not
this one. Similarity to a regular picnic ended

after partaking of the food and drinks.

Something else happened. The atmosphere
and tempo of activities changed to a
Caribbean theme envisioned, organized and
choreographed by the creative and imaginative
duo Mrs. Elcee Cagas Conner, AFPSI VP, and
Mrs. Lily Santos, AFPSI Auxiliary President.
The contrived imagery, Caribbean inspired
music, colorful wardrobe attires requiring a
number of wardrobe changes, as well as a
variety of performances and activities elicited
so much fun and excitement among the
attendees. The oft-repeated meme never a
dull moment in AFPSI gatherings got another
boost and rightly so.

Caribbean Matinee Show

Not long after Dr. Nic Pineda, our perennial
host and current AFPSI President, gave his
welcoming remarks followed by the invocation by Dr. Virginia Dauz, the gastronomic
cravings of the attendees was satiated by a
sumptuous lunch of customary Pinoy dishes.
Luckily, a backup lechon arrived just in time

a trademark staple of any typical Filipino

party- thanks to the uncanny anticipation of
Mrs. Santos as the lechon being cooked on site
was absolutely not ready by lunchtime. In
retrospect, this turned out to be the only minor
glitch to the set of well laid plans.

The Association of Filipino

Physicians of Southern
Officers, 2015-16
Nicolas Pineda, MD- President
Elcee Cagas Conner, RRT- VP
Carlos Deleste, MD, Pres.-elect
Erica Salarda, MD- Secretary
Grace M. Farinas, BSN-Treasurer
Venerio Santos, MD-Auditor
Chris Conner, BFA,MCouns- BM.
Cesar Yu, MD-Exec. Dir.
Emma Sunga, MD, Imm. P. Pres.
Board of Governors
Calixto Aquino, MD
Solomon Apostol, MD
Claravel Criste, MD
David Deloso, MD
Arnel Garcia, MD
Marcos Sunga, MD
Board of Advisers
Albert Butalid, MD
Cosme R. Cagas, MD
Virginia Dauz, MD
Emma Sunga, MD
Jose Villegas, MD
Evelyn Yu, MD
Auxiliary Officers 2015-16
Lily Santos -President
Julie Garcia, Vice Pres.
Arlette Amorado, MD-Secretary
Ynna Naguit-Treasurer
Georgina Zurliene- Auditor 1
Vivian Deloso- Auditor 2
Freddie Salarda- PRO
Board of Governors
Wilma Aquino
Ann Butalid
Linda Cagas
Grace Farinas
Board of Advisers
Wilma Aquino
Elcee Cagas Conner
Mellie Chatto
Grace Pineda
Kay Pineda
Editorial Board
Cosme R. Cagas, MD- Editor
Urbano Dauz, MD
David Deloso, MD
Rebecca Geronimo, BSN
Virgilio R. Pilapil, MD
Associate Editors
Office of the Editor
1 Bunkum Woods Drive
Fairview Heights, IL 62208

The festivities soon turned into high gear with the

persuasively funny urgings of the lively emcee
duo of Mrs. Conner and Dr. Virgilio Guzman. The
Caribbean-inspired revelry started with a Conga
Line Dance by the ladies of AFPSI wearing their
colorful Caribbean outfits. Leading the line and
revving up the uppity tempo of the dance was Mrs.
Vivian Deloso, the energetic and lovely wife of
Dr. Dave Deloso, former AFPSI vice-president.
After another wardrobe change, the AFPSI women
consisting of Dr. Evelyn Yu, Mrs. Ann Butalid,
Mrs. Julie Garcia, Dr. Emma Sunga, Mrs. Lily
Santos, Mrs. Elcee Conner, Mrs. Vivian Deloso,
Dr. Melinda Barrientos, Mrs. Virgie Abinoja, Mrs.

Wilma Aquino and Dr. Elvie Salarda, attired in

their beautiful skirts and matching flowing veils
performed a lilting and captivating Caribbean
dance which later turned into an unexpected
fundraiser for a charitable project in Leyte. As
they were finishing their dance routine, they
randomly invited surprised and unsuspecting men
from the audience to dance with them and
beguiled them further to donate for this charitable
cause as well. Everyone cooperated willingly and
raucously all in the spirit of fun and gaiety.
Towards the end of the matinee show a Best
Costume award ended as a two way tie between
Mr. and Mrs. Alan & Gina Zurliene and Dr. &
Mrs. Albert & Ann Butalid.

Limitations and a High Point

The passage of time exposed the vulnerabilities and limitations of the aging members
of AFPSI as the younger members showed
their athleticism, flexibility and agility with
effortless ease. Dr. Erica Salarda, about thirty
something, won the Hula Hoop Contest and
the limber Mrs. Vivian Deloso trumped everyone else successfully limbo rocking her way
under a bar set 3-4 feet high. Any senior member of AFPSI who watched them cannot help
but feel the angst and dismay of facing the
reality of aging and putting up with stiff and
arthritic joints. They just cannot keep up try4

ing to bend their knees, hyperextend their

back or shuffle their waist for the hula hoop or
the limbo rock. Poor guys!
The high point of the day? Nothing matched
the special presentation set to the tune of The
Banana Boat Song sang by Dr. Carlos
Deleste and his dancers with our AFPSI
founder, Dr. Cosme Cagas, as the main
character. He practically held everyone on
edge as he hilariously and realistically
impersonated a drunken, one-eyed pirate of
the Caribbean appropriately attired as such
holding a big bottle of half-consumed Bacardi

rum, dancing and prancing about amidst a crowd

of costumed Caribbean lady revelers. What
surprised everyone was his remarkable
transformation from an impeccably dressed
attendee who looked dapper wearing a spot-less
blue blazer at the start of the day mingling easily
with everyone. It turned out to be a successful ruse

as no one expected him to be part of the cast

acting as a tipsy vagabond. You can bet not even
the strict-looking and stern-faced, mystical
Captain Hook in the Pirates of the Caribbean
could have suppressed a word of praise or stifle a
trace of a smile on his face with the splendid
performance of a fellow pirate.

Popes Visit A Coincidence

Then came the time to say goodbye. All good
things have to end somehow.
It is apropos to mention at this point that a
seemingly providential coincidence in time
occurred when Pope Francis, who was visiting
this country for the first time, happened to
attend the Celebration of Family
commemoration in Philadelphia the evening
prior to our picnic date. In his message to the
congregation then, he lauded the family and
its structure and stated in strong terms why

mankind should sustain, strengthen, and

maintain it, paying special emphasis and
attention on the very young and on the very
old members, because according to him, the
young represent the future of the family and
the old represent the living memorial of the
This exhortation holds true with our own
families. It extends to our very own AFPSI as
well because we, too, are a family.

Back to Contents

Continuing Medical Education and Medical Mission
Medical Association in
Chicago (PMAC) was founded on March 27,
1961, and preceded the Association of

Dr. Isaias Sunga PMAC

Founder and First President

Dr. Anita Avila, first woman PMAC president, a prototypical mission

volunteer, attends to Tacloban children in January, 2015.

The founding of the PMAC was prompted by

media news releases belittling foreign
graduates who were dubbed to have had
substandard education and poor postgraduate
training. The fledgling organization did
disprove the negative view of the Pilipino
physicians who came to the United States,
specifically Chicago, under the Foreign
Medical Graduate (FMG) Exchange Visitors
program. Among the earliest members
included Drs. Sunga, Elpidio Gamboa,
Vivencio Battung, Jose Manaligod, Andres
Botuyan, Helen Yuvienco, Romeo Quiniquini,
Nicanor Ligon, Abellardo Pelaez, Deogracias

Philippine Practicing Physicians in America

and virtually all other Pilipino medical groups
in the United States, by seven Pilipino
physicians led by Isaias Sunga,MD.

Esquerra, Leonardo Maguigad,

Guinto, and Hernan Reyes.


The inaugural election was held on April

1961. Dr Sunga was elected first president and
Dr. H. Reyes vice president. Early on, they
use the Philippine Consulate at 201 North
Wells as its postal address. The initial
constitution was ratified by 25 new members.
In 1974, the name was expanded to Philippine
Medical Association in Chicago and the
Midwest with the admission of Pilipino
doctors from 12 other Midwest states. Later
the name was changed back to PMAC when it

really represented only Pilipino physicians

residing in the Chicago area.
When a law passed discriminating against the
FMG and a Visa Qualifying examination
requirement added to slow down immigration
and imperil early practices of the Pilipino
physicians, the PMAC under the leadership of
then President Enrique Villalon successfully
lobbied in Washington against these hurdles.
A Visa Qualifying examination fund was also
raised to continue to fight biases against the
Pilipino physicians.

In 1992, the PMAC Foundation as the taxexempt arm was initiated by Dr. Sunga. Anita
Avila, MD became the first woman president,
followed by her husband Meneleo Avila, MD,
making a history as first as wife and husband
to have had own terms as prexy. Emma Yee
Salazar, MD, the second woman president, led
the PMAC at its half-century milestone. In
2014, Nida Blankas Hernaez, MD was the
third woman president; while Ramon Lopez,
MD served as the 54th president. The current
president, 55th in line, is Gerardo Guzman,

Continuing Medical Education

As a legacy, the continuing medical education
activities was not accredited early on, but the
PMAC members patiently continued to have
scientific seminars and educational meetings
to update their medical knowledge and to keep
abreast with the changing trend in diagnosis
and management of old and new diseases. The
first scientific meeting was held in August,
1966, under the presidency of Max Baldoza,
MD, held at the Illinois Masonic Hospital,
under the guidance of Dr. Manaligod. The
topic was Hemodilution Technique in Open
Heart Surgery with Dr. Battung as speaker.
The second scientific meeting was held at the
Rizal Center in Chicago with Nunilo Rubio
MD, lecturing on Diabetes Mellitus.
The first scientific meeting jointly sponsored
with the Chicago Medical Society was held at
the Conrad Hilton, Michigan Avenue, in
downtown Chicago. The conference was also
organized by Dr. Manaligod, was most
elaborate, and included high-caliber topic like
cardiologist and professor Rene Arcilla MD of
the University of Chicago, Electron
Microscopy of Kidney Diseases by Dr.
Manaligod, Pediatric Surgery by Dr. H.

Reyes, and Missile injuries of the Chest and

Abdomen by Dr. Battung.
It was not until in the 1980s, however, under
the leadership of Benjamin Lumicao MD that
the continuing medical education program was
accredited by the ACCME (Accreditation
Council for Continuing Medical Education.
professor of
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine, chaired the
continuing medical education program until
1998. Then Alfonso Estrada MD, a
cardiologist, took over the continuing medical
education committee from 1998 through 2003.
Dr. Estrada appointed CME committee
members who belonged to a wide range of
specialties, to help develop topics that cut
across different specialties and to fill in the
practice gaps of prospective learners.
The mission of the CME program was revised
and reviewed to update with the everchanging healthcare environment. In 2003,
Leonardo Malalis, MD, an entrepreneurial
neonatologist, became the continuing medical
education chairman until 2008. Members of
the CME committee remain essentially the
same, and occasionally new members were

invited to replace those who quit or retired

from their medical practice. Dr. Malalis was
replaced by Celso Del Mundo, MD who had
served to 2015 when the ACCME
accreditation received for another four year
The CME is under the auspices of the PMAC
and funded by supports received from the
organization and the PMAC Foundation.
Quarterly meetings are done to assess the
needs of the organization in term of
continuing medical education, for educational
purposes, evaluation of past activities, review

of joint sponsorship applications, for approval

and evaluation of the ACCME guideline for
compliance. CME Committee meetings are
also scheduled any when it is deemed
necessary. The committee members are all
active PMAC members and belong to
different specialties. The members receive no
compensation, including the committee
chairman. They are dedicated bunch with
main goal of maintaining a viable program to
provide quality medical education to all the
PMAC members and other medical

During his term as president, Dr. Philip Chua
started the publication of a monthly PMAC
Bulletin, which later became the Philippine
American Medical Bulletin, edited by Cosme

R. Cagas, MD for many years. After a brief

hiatus, the PMAC News is restarted as a
monthly e-newsletter with a circulation of
some 6000 subscribers worldwide.

PMAC mission in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna, in January 2015

Charitable Projects
Other subsequent presidents also developed
various projects, including the funding of the
Maria Project; Leprosarium visits and
donations; free Chicago clinics for indigents; a
full scholar at the University of Santo Thomas
Faculty of Medicine and Surgery; review
classes for the ECFMG by Procopio Yanong,
MD; licensure review for Illinois and other
state medical examinations; mobile medical
health clinic by Pedro Lucina MD; medical
surgical mission to the Philippines by
Rolando Casis MD et al; and several other
philanthropic endeavors.
What have become annual undertakings by
every president in recent several years are the
Thanksgiving luncheon provided to Pilipino
seniors, indigent and homeless in Chicago
held at the Rizal Center, and the medical
mission. The latter has expanded to
encompass medical, surgical, dental and
ophthalmological works, is now the PMAC
biggest function every year and essentially the
highlight of a presidents term. It is usually

preceded a few months earlier by the largest

fund raising of the organization, and often
participated by the most number of volunteers
from all over the United States.
In the recent years, the PMAC and its
volunteers have helped the mother country in
short-term free healthcare services to the
indigent and less fortunate people who would
not have any access to a physician for lack of
resource, in the following venues: 2008 in
Laoag City;2010 Iloilo; 2011 Bantayan in
Cebu; 2012 Vigan City; 2013 Surigao; 2014
Maringuque; 2015 Tacloban City and
Calamba in Laguna. In January 2016, the
PMAC will be serving the citizens of
Olongapo City.
The other aspect of mission works is
extending medical education to the local
physicians and physicians-in-training at the
mission. The PMAC has always endeavored to
share new knowledge and know-howin
balance with patient care. This usually is
realized in a formal continuing medical

education seminar, recruitment of skilled and

experience lecturers to join the mission works,
grand rounds with interns and residents
whenever available, and planned involvement

of local physicians in the surgeries as well as

local nurses in preoperative and postoperative

1. Battung VR. History of the Philippine Medical Association in Chicago. PMAC Directory 2013:3-7.
2. Del Mundo C. CME Corner series. PMAC News, 2013-2014.
3. Reyes CV, Reyes EA. The role of fine-needle aspiration cytology in medical-surgical missions. Acta
Cytol 2009;53:524-526.
*The author edits three monthly e-publications and is
the third recipient of the PEACE Life Achievement Award (2015).


Back to Contents

PEACE A Class Act

Carmelo C. Dichoso, M.D.
The decade of the
1980s marked a welcome chapter in the saga
physicians who immigrated to America,
seeking professional growth and a better
life for themselves and their families. It
was around this time that this audacious
group of doctors had already established
themselves, quite comfortably, in their
respective private practices and/or
academic appointments, after having been
assimilated into the mainstream of
American medicine. Having benefited
from the bounty of the West, they began
to look back towards the country they left
behind and started asking themselves how
to give back. It was also at this time that
the complexion of events in the
Philippines was profoundly changing with
the rise of People Power, and talk of
nation rebuilding was in the air. It was
against this backdrop that concerned
Filipino physicians in America, other
Filipino Americans and their friends
initiated the creation and launching of
organizations, foundations and projects
geared towards humanitarian endeavors
in the Philippines.


One such organization was conceived by

Dr. Cosme R. Cagas of Illinois who in
turn asked Dr. Philip Chua of Indiana to
be Co-Founder. It was Dr. Chua who
named the organization PEACE, the
Philippine Economic and Cultural
endowment. Its preamble states that it is a
brotherhood of men and women united
by a common bond of love and concern
for the Philippines and its people and for
one another, and through science,
charity and education shall uplift the
human spirit, promote the dignity of man
and provide assistance to people in
need. So robust was the endorsement of
the new organization that even before the
formal organizational meeting was held in
Norfolk, Virginia twelve physicians
already paid their dues as Life Members.
These were: Cosme R. Cagas, MD,
Eusebio C. Kho, MD, Daniel Fabito, MD,
Leo Pardo, MD, Jose G. Vijungco, MD,
Casimiro C. Garcia, MD, Felipe S. Chua,
MD, Manolo Apanay, MD, Edgardo
Dujon, MD, Wilfrido Feliciano, MD,
Victor OYek, MD, and Ludovico
Villanueva, MD.

Editorial. Phil Am Med Bull, July 1988

Potable water is lacking almost everywhere:

50% of rural folks are not served with potable
17% draw water from creeks or rivers
47% from inconvenient sources

37 from shallow wells that dry up in the


To have a grasp of how to operate in the

Philippines, PEACE officers journeyed to
the country and conferred with a crosssection of the populace including ordinary
citizens, leaders in various fields and
government officials. This resulted in the
formation of a sister organization
christened PEACE Philippines and the
crystallization of the building of artesian
wells throughout the Philippines as the top
priority project. It was recognized that

there was a dearth of potable water in

sitios, barrios, towns and even some cities
exposing the population to the spread of
water-borne diseases. An Editorial, The
Need for Clean Water, elucidating this
fact was widely received and appreciated.
As PEACE membership grew, PEACE
Chapters were founded in Southern
Illinois by Dr. Reynaldo Gotanco and in
West Virginia by Dr. Rano Bofill.

A decision was made not to use
membership dues for the construction of
artesian wells. The money for this purpose
initially came from donations from
individuals. Later, additional funds came
from a variety of fundraising activities. A
fundraising committee headed by Dr. Leo
Pardo arranged for Rico Pelaez of
Cagayan de Oro to perform a guitar
concert in Springfield, Illinois and for
noted pianist Joselito Pascual from Manila
to tour the USA and give piano
performances. Early on, two Singing for
Peace events were staged by amateurs
who themselves remunerated PEACE for
their participation. In 2013, A Singing for

the Philippines presentation was successfully orchestrated by PEACE and the SIMO Chapter of the University of the
Philippines Medical Society in America,
in cooperation with the Association of
Filipino Physicians in Southern Illinois
and the Association of Philippine
Physicians in America.
During the presidential tenures of Dr.
Lestrino Baquiran and Dr. Antonio Abiog,
golf tournaments sponsored by PEACE
generated substantial revenues. Other
sources of funds have come from lotteries
and auctions held by the ladies of PEACE.
A tax-exempt organization, PEACE
welcomes donations from all quarters.

The first flow of water

is a celebration of life
and thanksgiving

Lucban, Quezon, 2014

Tacloban, 2014

Ozamis City 2015

Artesian Wells
The construction of each well or water
system is normally triggered by a proposal
from an individual or group of individuals
who will essentially supervise the
progress of the project and develop a
sense of responsibility for the projects
success. The Commission on Filipinos
Overseas had been instrumental in
certifying the safety and drinkability of
the water produced by these wells. Other
agencies and organizations such as
PEACE Philippines, the Philippine
government entities, rotary clubs and

foundations have invaluably contributed

to the success of this project.
PEACE-funded artesian wells vary in
shape, size and depth, from the simplest
jetmatic to medium-sized wells, and to
regular deep wells costing a few thousand
dollars. PEACE has also subsidized the
construction of elaborate water systems
that allow water to be piped into school
buildings and homes supplying whole
barangays. Each well or water system
bears the name of the person or group
who donated the money through PEACE,

PEACE members attending annual meeting 2013

and a picture of the finished product is sent to

the donor. At the time of its 25th Silver
Jubilee, PEACE had constructed more than

500 artesian wells and other more elaborate

water systems.

Other Charities
Although the building of artesian wells
remains the paramount preoccupation of
PEACE, it has extended its humanitarian
reach to other areas in need of assistance.
These include a program for immunization
against measles in orphanages in Greater
Manila led by Dr. Daniel Fabitos APPAPMA Medical Aid Assistance in coordination
with PEACE Philippines, as well as the
raising of funds to assist victims of natural
calamities. For instance, PEACE raised more
then $22,000 for the earthquake victims in
Central and Northern Luzon. Funds were also
raised for those affected by the Mount
Pinatubo volcanic eruption and the flooding in
Central Luzon and the Bicol region.
Additional projects initiated by members and
officers of PEACE are Education for
Philippine Children through TV by Dr.
Rolando Sineneng; Breast Feeding Promotion
by Debbie Bocar; the DADS Foundation;
assistance with the building of homes for the

poor (Gawad Kalinga); a Free Medical Clinic

in Taguig, Rizal; and projects defrayed by
UST Medicine Class 57. Together with the
DADS Foundation, which was established by
Dr. Cagas and his brothers, PEACE has
constructed a Barangay Stage in Matanao,
Davao del Sur, a covered pathway at an
elementary school in Oroquieta, Misamis
Occidental, contributed to the construction of
the Doa Salud Village in Digos, Davao del
Sur, the Christ UM Church in Kabacan, North
Cotabato and water systems in Oroquieta
City that allow water to be piped into homes
in two barangays. These structures clearly
bear the name of PEACE. DADS F. has also
given substantial cash awards to outstanding
teachers in Oroquieta. During a meeting last
year, it was agreed upon that scholarships,
feeding of school children and dental health
initiatives be added to PEACEs charitable
activities. This year, it approved a breast
cancer screening project.


In 1996, PEACE as an organization was a

recipient of the LINKAPIL AWARD. In

the earlier years after its founding, members who donated at least $3000 were


PEACE officers for 2015-17. Pres. Urbano Dauz is second from right

recognized with a certificate and a medallion.

The first was Dr. Nilda Ante who donated
$5000.00. Others included: Dr. Casimiro C.
Garcia, Dr. Lestrino Baquiran, Dr. Cosme R.
Cagas, Dr. Rosario Laserna, Dr. Antonio
Abiog, Dr. Oscar Laserna, Dr. Carmelo
Dichoso, and Dr. Paul Sambat. Later, PEACE
Humanitarian of the Year Award: 2007
Eusebio C. Kho, MD; 2009 Manuel Cacdac,

M.D. and Fe Cacdac; 2010 Daniel E. Santos,

MD; 2011 Jesus Ho, MD; 2013 - Augustus
Soriano, MD; and 2014 - Ramon Suarez, MD,
Nenita L. Suarez, MD, Engr. Roberto Kiamco
and Benita Kiamco, MD; Family of the Year
Award: 2008 Drs. Philip and Farida Chua
and Family; and Lifetime Achievement Award:
2011 - Lestrino Baquiran, MD; 2014
Virgilio R. Pilapil; MD, and 2015 Cesar V.
Reyes, MD.

Incumbent Officers
President- Urbano A. Dauz, MD, PresidentElect Arachelle B. Jose, MD, Vice President David M. Conner, MD, Secretary -Engr. Djien
Su, Treasurer -Elcee Cagas-Conner, RRT,
Auditor- Cesar G. Yu, MD, Immed. Past
President Augustus P. Soriano, MD.
Governors: Conrado Abinoja, MD, Calixto F.
Aquino, MD, Arch. Penn Baluyut, Enrico T.

Farinas, MD, Wilfrido C. Feliciano, MD,

Ramon G. Lopez, MD, Nicolas C. Pineda,
MD and Ramon Suarez, MD. Advisers:
Lestrino C. Baquiran, MD, Nelson D. Bocar,
MD, Carmelo C. Dichoso, MD, Virgilio R.
Pilapil, MD, Daniel E. Santos, MD, and
Rolando S. Sineneng, MD.

Twenty nine years ago, Dr. Cosme R. Cagas,
who has started four other foundations,
conceived the idea of PEACE, a purely
charitable organization that is virtually devoid
of the ever lurking specter of politics and
shored up by genuinely humanitarian men and
women eager to mitigate the suffering of our
disadvantaged compatriots in the Philippines.
Through his leadership, tenacious dedication
and perseverance, and with the assistance of
staunch and innovative officers and members
of the organization, PEACE has touched in
salutary ways the lives of many Filipinos with

its principal Artesian Wells project as well as

its other various altruistic endeavors which
continue to multiply. These are tangible and
unimpeachable accomplishments with longterm benefits -- a feather in the cap of an
organization that does not thrive on empty
With the continuing infusion of new wellmeaning and enthusiastic officers and
members who share Dr. Cagas passion for
living life for others, there can be optimism
about the future.
Back to Contents

Multiplying the Magic of Ten Cents


Bisaya Medical Association

Orlando, Florida

June 14, 2014

(This article is an abridged version of the

Dr. Andres B. Lao Memorial Lecture shown above)

Cosme R. Cagas, MD
Visiting the US for the first time in 2009, my
youngest brother Rio spoke before the
Belleville (Illinois) Rotary Club at the
invitation of Rotarian Dr. Enrico T. Farinas,
Jr. His topic: The Magic of Ten Cents.

Whats so magical about $0.10? Impressed, a

member in the audience, right there and then,
cut a check for $150 as donation. More than
impressed, I resolved to do more.

Better than Christmas Gifts

To put the subject in perspective let me give a
little background:

speak, I spoke with Pat and husband Jim

Dunn. Jim had been most responsible in the
building of our sister church called Christ
United Methodist Church (Upper Paatan,
Kabacan, North Cotabato), named after our
very own church in Fairview Heights (Rev.
Shane Bishop, Senior Pastor). I convinced
them to convert the funds she spends for the
annual Christmas gifts as well as the money I
spend for the Balikbayan boxes to start a new
project in an elementary school.

Since 2001, Mrs. Patricia Dunn, a member of

the Christ United Methodist Church of
Fairview Heights, IL had been giving me
school supplies, clothing, toys, dolls and shoes
that I shipped out to the Philippines in
Balikbayan boxes. Timed to be distributed
there at Christmas time, the recipient children
and teenagers and their families had been very
thankful for the yearly gifts. After hearing Rio
The Magic
As president of the Rotary Club of Digos
(Davao del Sur), Rio adopted as one of his

projects the feeding of children in Igpit

elementary school, the feeding being given

five times a week during school days. Before

the start of the program Igpit kids had been
known to score badly compared to other
schools in the district. After a few years of the
feeding program, they ranked among the top
performers! (which only proves that one

cannot think with an empty stomach!). How

much did it cost the Rotary Club? Believe it or
not, only $0.10 a meal! Thats about $20 per
child per year. In 2013, four years later, the
cost stayed inexpensive at $0.118 per meal or
$23 per child per year.

Cooperative Effort
The Feeding Program has been a cooperative
effort of the Rotary Club, the community
(Barangay officials), the school, especially
the teachers and the parents. Supervision is

done by the Rotarians, marketing by the

teachers and cooking and serving by the
parents, the mothers in particular. (Some
schools also grow vegetables).

Modest Start
With Jim and Pat as co-chairs we at Christ
Philippine Missions, in 2009, the same year
that Rio spoke before the Belleville
Rotarians, started out with 100 recipients in
Barangay San Miguel also in Digos, Davao
del Sur using Rios pioneering work in Igpit,
as model and involving the local church to
do the evangelization. We named it Mimis
Kitchen in honor of Dominic Lucmayon, a
devoted worker of the Digos City United
Methodist Church. As it develops, Pat
announced she was giving more to the
program and we immediately created
another center in a different school, calling it
Pats Kitchen, at my suggestion, to recog17

nize this kind and generous lady who gives

not only to the Philippines but everywhere,
which the church senior pastor the reverend
Shane Bishop calls, down the hall, around
the corner and around the world.
The following year, Rev. Jeffrey Bealmear
who used to be Associate Pastor at Christ
and then Pastor at Aledo United Methodist
(Aledo, Illinois) convinced his
congregation to start a feeding program for
100 of their own and we at Christ added
another 25 recipients at Mimis kitchen.
Because of my observation that virtually all
children that I examined during a medical

mission suffer from dental caries, I recommended to the board to add dental health
program. Today all children in the feeding
program also receive two toothbrushes and a
jumbo sized toothpaste (cost-- $4.00 per
dental kit).
In 2011, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Heitkamp (who
traveled with me and Rev. Shane Bishop to
the Philippines in 2007) and the Journey
United Methodist Church also began a feeding
program in a fourth elementary school.
In 2013, as we at Christ expanded our
program, Rev. Bealmear who had visited the
Philippines twice with me (2009 and 2111)
and now Pastor at Metropolis United
Methodist Church (Metropolis, S. IL) inspired
the men and women there to feed all 79


students at the small Cosme Cagas Memorial

Elementary School in Dullan Sur, Oroquieta,
Misamis Occ. Mrs. Anne Olson has taken
charge of the Aledo program and her church
has increased their sponsorship to 125
including the provision of dental kits. Finally
Jim Holloway of the Grace Community
Baptist Church (Trenton, IL) donated half his
wages to the Christ Philippine Missions, a part
of which was allocated to feed another 29
children. Meanwhile the local Rotary Club
had changed its area and left Igpit without
sponsor. Mrs. Buenaventura Magbanua, a
retired school teacher who taught there long
ago supported the program there last year; this
year DADS Foundation (Cagas brothers) has
assumed the responsibility with Mrs.
Magbanua supplying the dental kits.

The Feeding and Dental Health programs


2013 are summarized below:


Rev. Heitkamp
Jim Holloway*

Dental Kits




(*of the Grace Community Baptist Church, Trenton, IL)

The program reaches many children at little

cost. Because of many donors and helpers
working together, it has been possible to
replicate the pioneering work of Rio and the
Rotary Club of Digos. I thank Rev. Bishop for
initiating the Philippine programs in general,
Jim Dunn (a passionate advocate who go on
speaking engagements with me and who had
accompanied me to many places in the
Philippines (three times starting in 2006) and

Pat Dunn, both devout and benevolent souls,

Rev. Bealmear, Mrs. Anne Olson, numerous
individual donors, workers for Christ, both in
the US and the Philippines, too many to
mention here.
Other groups can follow the Digos model and
replicate and even multiply the magic for
many malnourished children.

Malnutrition in the Philippines (9-2015)

1. Filipino children suffer from Sub-Saharan levels
of malnutrition.
2. International studies show that the Philippines has the
ninth largest proportion of stunted children. One of three
Filipino children under five suffer from stunting.
3. One in four children sometimes skip meals and as many as
1.5 million sometimes go a whole day without a single meal.
3. Sometimes families hide children out of shame that they
cannot feed them.
4. Filipino men average height is 53 inches, one of the shortest
in Southeast Asia (Thai men average height 57).
(Source: Filipino Reporter, Sept. 4-10, 2015)


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Meet Dr. Bone, Centenarian

Cosme R. Cagas, MD
Even at the IL DDS, Department of Human Services, where physicians enjoy work until their
late 80s or early 90s, usually after retiring from clinical practice, Dr. Ernst Chester Bone holds
a record worthy of a Guinness.

Work Ethic
Growing up at the rough and tumble of the Illinois prairie as a teenager during the Great
Depression, Chet Bone had to fend for himself. Jobs were not to be found and his father, a real
estate broker, didnt earn much during those difficult times.
While attending Illinois College, he worked for board and lodging, delivering cream and eggs
early in the morning. He bought wheat stalks (straw), baled and sold them to a paper company.
Soon he employed crew of five to do the physical work, paying them $1 per day thereby
launching himself as a budding entrepreneur when gasoline cost $0.13 per gallon and corn the
same per bushel.
Finding no suitable job after finishing college (AB, 1936), he accepted the only position offered
him, teaching chemistry and physics at his Alma Mater for which he earned $1,035 per year. The
college elevated him to become director of admissions (1938-43) while Chet pursued a masters
degree in education (completed 1942) at the University of Illinois. A biology teacher urged
young Chet Bone to aim for medical school, a study that took three full years (1943-46) without
any vacation, just a few days off for Christmas. He paid $30 per month for board and lodging.

Medical Career
After internship at the University of Illinois Research and Education Hospital in 1947, Dr. Bone
was back in Jacksonville, Illinois where began his romance with medicine. He scrubbed for

general surgeon Ellsworth Black for four years, an experience that permitted him to tackle any
condition at his office and the hospital. At last count, he had delivered 4500 babies.
Dr. Bone served briefly with the US Navy Medical Corp ((1951-51). In 1954, Dr. HD Scott, Jr.
joined him until 1989 when Dr. Bone retired from clinical practice to start as medical consultant
of the Illinois Department of Human Services until his full retirement on March 15, 2015 at an
age just past 100. That is a period of 68 years as working physician!
In the last few years before retirement, Dr. Bone came to work with a walker. I asked him why
medicine and why he worked this long.
I love people, I love interacting with them. Work keeps me cognitively active. Besides,
I enjoy the flexibility I take time off! He considered it a joy to see caring people.
As to his longevity, it helped that his father lived 80 years and his mother 93. He never smoked,
had occasional whisky and even that he quit 30 years ago because of arrythmia.
Dr. Bone didnt just do and thoroughly enjoy medicine, he was a physician leader. Among many
other positions in organized medicine, he was a charter diplomate of the American Board of
Family Practice, a charter fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a member of
the Illinois State Medical Society, serving these organizations in a number of committee
positions and president of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians and the Morgan-Scott
Medical Society.
Entrepreneur and Community Man
His early experience as an entrepreneur, which was forced upon him by necessity, and having
grew up in one, led Dr. Bone to own and manage a farm for 30 years (1950-80). He was one of
the founders and directors of the Lincoln-Douglas Savings and Loan Association and the First
National Bank (both in Jacksonville) and later served as a director of the Elliot State Bank and a
Medical Preferred Provider Organization.
Dr. Bones service to the community maybe gleaned in part from the positions he had held:
medical director, MacMurray College Health Service and the Barton Stone Christian Home;
trustee Passavant Area Hospital Association; elder of the First Presbyterian Church; member,
Angus Society, Jacksonville Hall of Fame, Jacksonville District #117School Board, State
Educational Advisory Council, National Board of Directors of the American Korean Foundation
and many others.
Athlete and Entertainer
A big and tall man, Chet Bone played basketball. While attending college he graciously accepted
the position of coach to the basketball team called Flaming Arrows of the David Prince Junior
High School.

Dr. Bone is third from left (photo circa 2004)

Former Illinois Congressman Paul Findly recalls with nostalgia Chet Bones rich, strong and
expressive voice as a singer for the Double Octet, a group of male college students. While
doctoring, Chet regularly sang with the Passavant Follies. Every Christmas the DDS Section F
physicians and psychologists treat the entire staff with a luncheon. At the conclusion, Dr. Bone
used to entertain with his jokes, a skill that he had honed as a stand-up comedian.
Spending a long lifetime of service to profession, community and humanity, Dr. Ernst Chester
Bone received many awards of recognition, among which are: Illinois Physician of the Year, 4-H
State of Illinois Alumni Recognition Award, and Outstanding Older Worker Award of the State
of Illinois.
Some of the testimonials heaped upon him on his 100th birthday follow:
A name easily recognized to mention follows praise and positive reviewKayla Hurt
Morgan Countys most admired citizen, a friend of allPaul Findly
One living hero among usPaul Bradbury
Friend, mentor, gentleman, role model. His presence commands respectDavid Faulkner.
I worked with Dr. Bone for 13 years. During this time it had been my pleasure to know him.
Always humble, he greets with a soft voice, a ready smile and a warm handshake. Dr. Bone is a
giant among men.


Back to Contents

Three Loves and the Portuguese Soul

Chris Conner
Sitting in the Clube de Fado, an intimate
nightspot nestled in the heart of Lisbon, one
can hear the heart wrenching songs of love
and loss etched upon the Portuguese soul. On
a balmy summer night, Lisbon breathes a
whisper of past loves, of stolen kisses and
passionate farewells around every turn of its
winding streets. One of the oldest cities in
Western Europe (predating London, Paris and

The author

In 1579, when the poet Lus de Cames

published his epic Os Luciadas, the
Portuguese Empire was at the height of its
power. An immense navy carried gold, silk
and spices to Lisbon from colonies that
spanned the known world. Cames carried his
manuscript across the empire in his
travels, writing all the while, from Goa to
Macau and finally back to the land of his
birth. The poem tells a fantastical version of
explorer Vasco de Gamas sea voyages, in a
style clearly modeled on Virgils Aeneid.
However, Gamas adventures provide little
opportunity for dalliance and the Portuguese
soul demands a love story. So Cames
digresses, much as Virgil wrote of Cleopatra,
to tell the tale of Portugals doomed Queen,
the posthumous royal consort Ines de Castro.
This legendary beauty married the crown
prince Pedro in secret, only to be assassinated
at the whim of her cruel and disapproving

Rome), Lisbons history stretches back across

the centuries, a history filled with
romance and tragedy. When my family
announced our summer trip to Portugal, I
selected three works for study, stories which
would transport me through Portugals past
just as I traveled to her shores. Within these
three works, I found three loves that cut to the
heart as deeply as that haunting Fado music.

Bertrand Bookstore (open since 1732)

father-in-law. As the story goes, upon her

husbands eventual ascent to the throne, Ines
was unearthed from her tomb to sit beside him
on the throne as courtiers paraded past to kiss
the ring on her skeletal finger and pay
homage. At his own death, King Pedro was
buried in an tomb adjacent to his lost bride,
facing her even in death, so that he may
behold her once again at the time of judgment,
from their graves.
The 17th century saw Portugal fight a long
and bitter war for Independence from their
Western neighbor, Spain. Desperate to liberate
their country, Portuguese rebels turned to
France for support. The arrival of a French
regiment in Beja, Portugal, would give rise to
another enduring love story. In 1669, the
publication of five love letters, from a
Portuguese nun named Mariana Alcoforado

Fountain in the heart of Lisbon

to the French Captain who seduced and

abandoned her, captivated the literati of
Europe. Convent walls could not hold back
Marianas rage and despair, but there she
would live out her life, cloistered away for
almost six decades after her affair, never to
see her Captain again. Whether she repented
or regretted her writings in those long years is
open to conjecture. The searing intensity of
Marianas desire soon associated the very
term Portuguese with frustrated, doomed love,
despite the fact that the letters were published
in French and Marianas actual authorship is
The stories of Ines and Mariana, however
fictionalized, come from history. This last
love story exists only in fiction, albeit in a
novel hailed as Portugals literary masterpiece, a work still mandatory for all Portuguese high school students. Visiting Bertrand, the oldest bookstore in Lisbon, one can
buy a copy in the original language. Luckily, I
had already brought the most recent English
translation in my backpack. Jos Maria de Ea
de Queirss 1888 novel, Os Maias, or
Episodes from the Romantic Life, follows a
wealthy Portuguese family through the

St. George Castle, Lisbon

tumultuous 19th century. The hero, of sorts,

Carlos de Maia, exemplifies the dreamy
romanticism and languorous apathy of his age,
the slow waning of past imperial glories.
Indulged by his doting grandfather, Carlos has
every advantage in life: money, intelligence
and good looks. But as time passes, Carlos
cannot bring himself to accomplish anything.
He graduates medical school and sets up a
practice, but spends more time decorating his
office than seeing patients. He dreams of
conducting research and publishing articles,
only to succumb to procrastination and ennui.
He speaks of reforming the country and challenging the establishment, yet his evenings are
spent running around town with his best friend
and personal Mephistopheles, the charming
and dissolute writer Joo de Ega. Carlos drifts
through life, unfulfilled by worldly pleasures,
until a chance encounter with a mysterious
woman on the streets of Lisbon. This is Maria
Eduarda, whose unhappy past is tied to Carloss own, and whose love will bring him the
first real joy and true sorrow of his young life.
In one evocative chapter, Carlos takes his
carriage to the nearby town of Sintra, in search
of Maria Eduarda, but does not find her there.
Less than an hour away from Lisbon, Sintra

Seteais Palace interior

blossoms where the mountains meet the sea,

still adorned with the same palaces and
gardens where the melancholy Carlos would
have wandered, hoping to find his beloved.
During my stay in Sintra, my family and I
lodged in the Seteais Palace. As described in
the novel, this ducal residence was abandoned,
still lying in ruins during the 1880s. But newly
renovated, we could enjoy the past brought
back to life, see those once dormant gardens
full and lush, hear music playing within those
once silent halls. Carlos found the setting a
sad sight, reminiscent of his own internal
emptiness, but now the same place bustles
with visitors, each room restored to its former
splendor. In the end, having lost Maria


Seteais Palace maze

Eduarda, Carlos confides to his friend Ega that

he finds nothing in life worth striving for. And
yet, as the novel closes, Carlos and Ega begin
to run, laughing, hurrying to catch one of
Lisbons famous streetcars. The possibility of
hope, tantalizing and elusive, stretches out
ahead of them. Like Pedros dream of a
reunion with Ines at the final judgment, like
Marianas letters enflaming hearts far beyond
her convent cell, the hope for human
connection never dies.
In those Fado songs, still sung in the cafes of
Lisbon, we hear the voices of a love that lasts
through time, across centuries, even beyond
death itself.

Back to Contents

The Quote That Refreshes
Cosme R. Cagas, MD
Winding down our (my wife Linda , daughter
Elcee and grandson Christopher and me) trip
of Spain and Portugal this summer (2015)
where we stayed in castles, fortresses or
palaces turned into hotels, our last stop, the
day before going home to the US, was Madrid
(this was our second trip of Spain). By this
time, because Elcee has the weakness of
shopping at local stores with the lame excuse
that goods are cheaper there or could not
bought anywhere else (sometimes true or
partly so), our luggages were the heaviest than
at any other time during the trip. To top it all,
of all places, of all times, Elcee, who made all
the arrangements, reserved an apartment near
Plaza Mayor ( for a different experience and
because we are having dinner with Evelyn

Pardo and her husband there where the

bullfighters dine).

Although the name of the author of the

quotation was barely legible, I knew that the
third part of the name was erased or had
faded. I told Chris, who is quite

knowledgeable on the arts and world

literature, it was a quotation from Federico
Garcia Lorca. I challenged him to furnish the
last word as I translated in English

The taxi took us to an address, which I

thought was the apartment. But no, it was only
the office where we were given the keys. No
worry, said the lady who accompanied us,
its only a couple of blocks. So we pulled
the suitcases (in my case plus a shoulder bag)
along the side walk. The couple of blocks
turned out to be six blocks. And that was the
less laborious part. Our apartment was on the
fourth floor and there was no one to help us
haul our luggage up. I had to stop at each floor
to take my breath. Linda upbraided me for
tarrying too long on the third floor. I pointed
to a quotation on the wall to her and to Chris:

When life presents you reasons for crying,

show that you have a thousand and one reasons to ___?
Chris quickly provided the last word


Reading the quotation made my day.

Somehow the suitcase seemed lighter; the
ascent up the last flight of stairs a breeze.

Back to Contents

(Chapter 32 of the historical novel, I Shall Return)*
Cosme R. Cagas
Wainwright assigned to Sharp all command except that
on the fortified islands on Manila Bay. But Homma insisted
that all troops surrender. Sharp and the regional commanders
initially refused to obey Wainwrights order to surrender but
once convinced that the helpless in Corregidor might be
slaughtered if they didnt, they too waved the white flag. Many,
however, parted with their commanders to organize guerrilla

It seems appropriate to tell at this time the

story of an American soldier who chose to
obey a direct order to surrender to the Japanese because you will hear more of him as
this story unfolds.
Unable to sleep, Lt. Jefferson ruminated on his
life and how he came to be at the Old Bilibid
Prison in Manila. His mind haunted him with
existentialist-type questions.
Had I made the correct decisions in my life?
What if I had listened to my parents way back
home in East St. Louis pleading me not to
leave them in 1937? Why did I respond to my
Presbyterian pastor who announced the need
for a senior cadet officer at Silliman Institute
and arranged for my appointment there? Why
was I so eager to take the first available
Pacific Clipper flying to a strange and
unknown land halfway across the globe? Why
did I obey my commander when it seemed out
of character for me? I could be watching
baseball in St. Louis this very hour instead of
being bitten by bedbugs in this miserable,
God-forsaken place!
He first believed that it was all his fault. He
had always been a non-conformist and as far
as he could remember he did what others
generally didnt like to do. And he knew he
was head-strong and at times driven by
passion instead of by reason. And although he

was not particularly religious, he was so

smitten by a sermon one Sunday that the
following week without his parents
knowledge he transferred his church
membership from the Southern Baptist Church
in his home town of East St. Louis to the
Presbyterian Church in nearby Belleville
despite that he was the only man of color in
that congregation. Since then he became a
devout Christian with Kierkegaardan leap of
faith and passionate commitment.
Rethinking, he decided that his life had not
been that loathsome after all. His decisions
that seemed to be rash at first blush were not
that bad at all. Being a Japanese prisoner of
war now was really the worst in his lifes
history. Moreover, compared to hundred
others, he was well off, one of the relatively
healthy POWs. Many developed bloody
diarrhea when Manila got flooded resulting in
sewer backup at Bilibid, the most malnourished among them succumbing to amebic
dysentery; many had recurrent fevers, chills
and shaking from untreated malaria; and still
num-erous others were maimed, decrepit or
swollen with beri-beri-- virtual walking deads.
He believed that God would see him through
this physical, mental and emotional trial. And
then there is the matter of predestination. He
finally decided that up to that point in his life,
it had been God who helped him make the
difficult decisions or that God had made the
decisions for him, he was not sure now which.

He moved on to thinking of more pleasant

He had come to love the country so much that
before mid-1941 when his contract with the
institute was to expire, he chose to join the
United States Army requesting a Philippine
assignment. Before reporting for duty, he took
a terminal leave visiting the sprawling comercial center of the Visayas, the old City of
Cebu, where the best thing that really happened in his life until then occurred. By
chance he met this young, charming and
beautiful student at the University of San
Carlos, the Philippinesoldest school that
became a university. He cherished every
minute when they spoke together. She had
given him attention as if he were the only man
in this world. He had met many beautiful
Filipinas before but they only saw his color or
acted as if he was invisible or so transparent
that they could see through him. He thought,
this particular girl saw him as a person, as he
really was, so that the color of his skin did not
matter. He believed that when she politely
declined his invitation for dinner, it was not
because she didnt like him but because
Philippine ladies at that age simply didnt go
on a date. He was sure that she meant it when
she offered her soft and delicate hand for a
goodbye handshake and said, I hope we meet
again! She didnt seem to mind his holding
her hand much much longer than the customary time usually considered socially acceptable. He had carefully folded and kept her
letter written on linen paper between the pages
of his King James bible. He read and reread it
many times over because it gave him the
inspiration to see through the difficult days
and the thought of seeing her again after the
war was just tantalizing, challenging. He
vowed to move heaven and earth to win her
love and make her his wife.

The sound of Japanese guards shouting jogged

Lt. Jeffersons reverie. When it was quiet
again, he recalled his days after Silliman.
Entering the army as first lieutenant, his
instructions were to report to the Davao
garrison. Except for a few including a sergeant
all those under him were Filipinos, the
majority of whom were new recruits. Barely a
few months after his arrival, after heavy
bombing, the Japanese landed in Davao on
December 19- 20, 194.2*
Most of the Filipino soldiers ran away seeing
the futility of the fight. A number rejoined so
that an army of about 500 took the long and
arduous trek to Del Monte to connect with
Gen. Sharp.
The easier route would have been through
southern Davao because there was a highway
being constructed between the city and Digos,
and from there the Sayre Highway was open
clear through Cagayan de Misamis. But the
Japanese had already occupied the area south
of Davao where they shortly established a
seaplane base.
They had to cross and scale heavily forested,
unchartered, and sometimes steep mountains
of the Mt. Apo range that were without roads
or even trails. They lost one man who fell into
a deep gully. They had to hack their way
through dense and matted undergrowths and
had to contend with hunger all day and cold
and rain especially at night. With heavy rain
sometimes came landslides and flash floods.
On crossing rivers or streams blood-sucking
leeches hang on tightly to their bare skin or
underneath their trousers.3*
All told it took them more than one month to
reach Del Monte. In contrast, today the route
they covered, now with well paved roads,
could be traveled by car in eight hours.

The headquarters at Del Monte bustled with

war preparations. But there was some time to
socialize. Lt. Jefferson met Capt. Tugas one
day at the mess hall. Upon learning that the
captain came from Misamis Occ., the lieutenant requested him to carry a letter to the
lady student with whom he was smitten with
love. Although Capt. Tugas told him that he
didnt know when hed be back to Westerm
Misamis, he agreed to carry the letter. The
envelope bore her name with address at
Dagatan, Oroquieta, Misamis Occ. Capt.
Tugas said he knew her family.
Lt. Col. Hilsman command was reassigned to
Negros. For Lt. Jefferson, the short annals of
his Philippine travels, travails, and adventures
only a few months long, had come full
In answer to an inner restlessness and turbulence, with the help of a former cadet
officer, Jefferson sneaked into Silliman at
night. Using a flashlight, they searched names
of graduates with the same address as his lady
love in the librarys yearbooks, starting with
1941 down. To their disappointment, not all
yearbooks bore the addresses of the alumni.
They then searched for the list of registrants
by year. That job was quite formidable
because since its opening at the turn of the
twentieth century, the institute (university by
1938) had enrolled hundreds of students.

Nevertheless after three hours, they found

one! That happened to belong to my father, a
physics major, the records showed. He wrote
in pencil my fathers name beside his lady
loves and their common address at the inside
back cover of his bible, the only material item
he owned that the Japanese guards didnt
Negros was divided into five sectors each
under a battallion commander. The officers
were released from central control but under
Hilsman. When the commanders received
direct orders from Sharp to surrender their
forces, all, including Hilsman resisted it at
first. Their feelings and responses echoed the
pain of command and onus of responsibility
that King, Wainwright and Sharp before them
had to bear and suffer in making their fateful
So, thats how I ended up in this crowded,
stinking, mouse-and-bed-bug-infested place!
Jefferson muttered to himself. Is this the result
of disobedience to my parents? He decided it
didnt matter then. Opening his bible, he was
at once thankful that he still could read the
fine prints despite the poor lighting. Turning
to the Book of Job he found the answer to his
questions and more: Nothing happens in this
world without God at least permitting. Gods
always in control!

(Hard copies available from the author,, and
e-books form Outskirts and Amazon for only $3.00. Chapter notes are omitted in this reprint)


Back to Contents

The August Moon

The August Moon
Under the August moon
I saw you again
Without the bright lights
Mostly moonlight.
The same smiling face
Now, more shifty, less eye contact
Portending, after apologies, excuses,
Small to and fros,
Nos, maybes,
What cannot yet be,
What might never be.
I would still see your face
Were the moon to go dark
Were I to go blind
Without benefit of touch
Of your cheeks, your nose
The eyelids around your eyes
Your so distant lips.
Full, new or crescent moons
Will illumine you.
Why does your face persist, why do you?
Why this desire?
I must try to forget you
Store feelings that know only accepted pain
In the cloud of love
Wait for their download
A kind bombardment
Drops of relief
Released by you.
Lestrino C. Baquiran, MD.
(Reprinted with persmission from the Filipino Reporter)


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Cosme R. Cagas, MD

(Revision of a poem originally published in Our Twentieth Centurys Greatest Poems, 1982)


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