The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery has unveiled historical markers as part of celebrations marking its 150th founding anniversary.

The first marker was unveiled during the inaugural ceremony of the sesquicentennial celebration at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion on May 28. The plaque will be placed at the entrance of San Martin de Porres building.

The second marker was unveiled at Plaza Santo Tomas in Intramuros, the original site of  UST, on May 29. The marker was installed on the pedestal of the monument of the UST founder, Miguel de Benavides, the third archbishop of Manila.

The markers read: 

“Established on May 28, 1871, by Decree of the Superior Gobierno de Filipinas, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest school of medicine in the Philippines. Known then as the Facultad de Medicina y Cirugia, it was originally located in Intramuros and was transferred to its present location in Sampaloc in 1945.

150 years on, the Faculty has grown into the biggest institution of higher learning in medicine in the country. True to its Christian mandates, it reaffirms its commitment to foster the growth of men and women of science and medicine, educating them in reason and strengthening them in faith, branding them with humility, courage, industry and brilliance.

In commemoration of the history, fortitude and legacy of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery on its Sesquicentennial Founding Anniversary”

In her message during the unveiling of the first marker, Medicine Dean Ma. Lourdes Maglinao said the sesquicentennial celebration was a testament of how the faculty has evolved through time.

“Our alma mater is the cradle of Philippine medicine and the birthplace of Filipino physician heroes. The [medicine sesquicentennial] is a celebration of Thomasian grit, gratitude and glory. It is a renewal of a lifelong quest to be the biggest, the brightest and the best in medical education,” she said. 

A Eucharistic celebration was concelebrated by UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. and Medicine Regent Rev. Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P. 

Ang said that the celebration was a fitting tribute to past generations of “missionaries and vanguards” in medicine such as Dr. Jesus Valencia, Dr. Graciela Gonzaga, Dr. Rolando Lopez and Dr. Angeles Tan-Alora. 

“What you are enjoying at present came at the great sacrifice by dedicated leaders who lighted the torch for your pathway. You must therefore preserve the legacy that your stalwart predecessors secure unselfishly for your sake. Respect for tradition and honor for their heritage will forge a clear vision about where you are heading 150 years from now,” Ang said. 

Ang said the sesquicentennial celebration was a “milestone for both the University and the Filipino nation.”

Aparicio urged Thomasian doctors to “make use of the sesquicentennial motto”: “continue, challenge and conquer with compassion.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, a UST alumnus, attended the celebration. 

In his keynote address, Duque, who earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology and medical degree at the University in 1978 and 1982, looked back on his UST days and narrated how the campus became his “second home.”

Duque praised the faculty for remaining “true to its mission of forming capable and compassionate individuals committed to the service of the church, the nation and the global community.”

Since its inception in 1870, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery has been at the forefront of medical education and development in the country….Through the unique Christ-centered formation of the faculty, graduates emerged truly equipped to continue the legacy of Saints Cosmas and Damian, proudly carrying the seal of Thomasian education,” he said.

The health chief, who has been widely criticized for his handling of the pandemic response, also expressed his gratitude to the University for giving him “sublime foundations” in his career in public service.  

“The Thomasian ideals I carry with me perpetually propound me to seek improvements in public health. The competencies that the faculty of surgery and medicine aims to develop are identical to the competencies we wished to improve in our healthcare system,” the health chief said. 

Unveiling of marker in Intramuros

UST administrators were joined by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña-Pangan and Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat at the sesquicentennial rites in Intramuros.

“Your institution has grown into a big institution of higher learning in medicine in the country, and of course, with the guidance of our Christian faith, of our Catholic Church,” Domagoso said.

Puyat called the sesquicentennial celebration a “historical moment.” 

“To say that the day is a celebration will be an understatement, for an educational institution to mentor and harness the knowledge of skills of men and women in the medical profession for 150 years is indeed a historical moment,” Puyat said in her speech.

“This moment is special considering the time we live in now, where the graduates of the university are in the front lines leading us in the battle against an invisible enemy on a daily basis even at the cost of their own lives,” she added. 

The faculty announced other projects to celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary, such as charity balls, community pantries and telemedical missions. 

Later this year, the faculty plans to have an unveiling ceremony and blessing of the redevelopment of the San Martin de Porres building, presentation of sesquicentennial commemorative stamps and the launch of the UST Medicine sesquicentennial commemorative book.

The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, the oldest medical school in the Philippines, traces its beginnings to the “Facultad de Medicina y Farmacia,” which opened on May 28, 1871, by Spanish decree.

Surviving the Philippine revolution against Spain, the war against the United States and the Japanese occupation during World War 2, UST Medicine has become a Center of Excellence for Medical Education, producing the most number of medical graduates and topnotchers in the board exams.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.