OPINION AND OPTION
By ELNANDO B. CINCO
Elinando B. Cinco
The near-war confrontation between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran – the scene of the tension 7, 232 kilometers away from the Philippines – is drawing widespread interest among Filipinos.
As far as this writer could glean from reports of the volatile situation, there are triggering factors for the zealous local attention:
One, is economic. There are hundreds of professional Filipinos working in Iran. They are in the oil industry, medical profession, and health delivery services. They have their families there.
Relevant to this is the personal reason. From the late 1970s up to mid-1980s, hundreds of young Iranians finished their college courses here. When they graduated, some young men brought not only diplomas back to Iran but also young Filipina brides.
Today many of them are enjoying comfortable family lives there. The relatives and friends of those Filipino-Iranians are, of course, cheering for their relatives there.
On the other side of the front-line, many Filipinos and their families are rooting for the United States, for filial and patriotic reasons.
A colony of Uncle Sam for nearly 50 years, the Philippines hasfought in two world wars, two regional wars, and one internal revolution side by side with Americans.
Today, unofficial figures place Filipinos living in continental United States at seven million, with another million in Canada.
And so, and talks of as to which of the two adversaries has more cheering squads, the answer is too obvious.
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Fund raising at UST. The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest medical school in the country, will celebrate its 150th year in 2021. A series of pre-anniversary activities have been lined up, starting with the UST Med Gala held last January 11 at the Shangri-La BGC Hotel Ballroom.
Taking inspiration from the musical “My Fair Lady,” the red carpet dinner-dance had a theme, “Hats Off to the Trailblazers.” It gathered the illustrious alumni from all over the globe for a night of fun, laughter, and dancing.
This dinner-dance ball was a fund-raising activity for the various projects of the Anargyroi Foundation, an independent organization that manages donations and supports the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in its initiatives.
One goal is to fund 20 scholars by 2021 and sustain the program beyond this target. Included in the target projects are: facilities for the Medical Simulation Center, research, student and faculty development programs, and community outreach program.
In its more than a hundred years of existence, the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, acknowledged as the Cradle of Medical Education in the Philippines, has consistently produced board topnotchers and is a Center of Excellence in the field of Medicine.
Dr. Norberto Martinez, overall chair of the event, cited the musical adapted from Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” set in the period called Belle Époque, towards the end of the Victorian era, which was characterized by optimism, peace, prosperity, scientific, and technological innovation.
“As medical doctors, we salute this period in history as a beautiful one for humanity, and seeks inspiration for the years to come,” Martinez said.
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