THE THOMASIAN core values proved to be a pivotal factor in the excellence and service of the Lasala family, who was hailed as this year’s Outstanding Thomasian Family in the 2016 The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Awards (TOTAL).
Led by Dr. Apolonio Lasala, who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1970, and his wife, Evangeline, who graduated from the College of Nursing on the same year, the all-Thomasian family has had a long history of their education and work experience with the University.
Dr. Lasala is a graduate of the then existing Pre-Med program before he pursued medicine. He taught under the Department of Surgery for 36 years. He is also a practicing surgeon in the UST Hospital.
Evangeline worked as a nurse at the UST Hospital until she served as the Assistant Nursing Director. She taught at the College of Nursing for 10 years and retired after working at the hospital for 32 years.
Dr. Alfred II Lasala, the residency training officer of General Surgery, narrated how the University came to play a major part close to their family’s hearts.
“My dad and mom worked at the UST hospital, and that is how they met. They were married at the Santissimo Rosario Parish Church. All of us, their children, were born at the UST Hospital. My brother Apol and I still work here. UST is our home, literally,” Dr. Alfred said in an email interview with the Varsitarian.
Four of them are doctors, having finished their medical studies at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Alfred, Ma. Carolyn and Apolonio Jr. obtained their degrees in Medical Technology, with Alfred graduating cum laude, while Dorothy Marie took up Nursing as pre-med. Bernard graduated from the Faculty of Engineering with a degree in BS Civil Engineering.
The award came as a pleasant surprise to their family.
“Upon knowing that our dad was the Humanitarian Service awardee, we were extremely proud! I believed that he truly deserved it and it was a validation of all the good and hard work he has done throughout the years,” Lasala said.
“He has constantly offered his expertise for free to our less fortunate countrymen. He has always been involved in many medical-surgical missions to far flung areas of our country,” he added.
The medical-surgical missions were led by the UST Medical Missions Inc. and the UST Medical Alumni Association under Dr. Lasala’s watch.
Apolonio Jr. is a practicing urologist. Bernard is currently the manager of Engineering and General Services Department at the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Philippines. Ma. Carolyn and Dorothy Marie are now living in the United States and are now managing and operating a self-owned home health services company. Alfred, Bernard and Apolonio Jr. also have Thomasian spouses, namely Eden, Hazel and Cher, respectively.
“Being competent, compassionate and committed [molded us]. Growing up, and until now, our parents have constantly reminded us to put God in the center of our lives,” he stated.
The Lasalas all have held various positions in the institution and in professional and socio-civic organizations.
“[We also learned] to be grateful of what we have and pay it forward, to extend help when we can, where we can. Generosity not only in terms of material things, but more of service to the needy. And all these we plan and hopefully pass on to our own children,” he concluded.
According to the Office for Alumni Relations, the Award is conferred upon a family whose members are all alumni of the University and who exemplify the Thomasian core values in their respective fields of expertise: competence in pioneering human endeavors, commitment to their profession and compassion for others, particularly the marginalized in society.
Twenty-seven other Thomasian alumni were also cited for their significant contributions to society and the Church in an awarding ceremony that took place at the Grand Ballroom of the Buenaventura G. Paredes O.P. building.