UP produces world-class graduates

by Phoebe Dauz Williams, UP Golden Jubilarian

Posted at Jun 23 2012 02:50 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2012 10:53 AM

UPCN Class '62 still keeps the top record for having the most number of recipients of the annual JV Sotejo Medallion of Honor for Lifetime Achievements in Nursing*. Four out of 25 in Class ‘62 have received the award: Erlinda Agustin Simunek, PhD; Phoebe Dauz Williams, PhD; Leticia Sta Maria Lantican, PhD, and Mollyn Villareal Bohnen, EdD. Fifty years since graduation, many are now retired. Where are they now?

Lina Aguilar Cabanlig, MEd, RN, taught at UPCN for some time. She and her husband, Eduardo Cabanlig, a Philippine Navy officer and PMA Class ‘61, are retired and live in Manila.

Erlinda “Linda”Agustin Simunek
, RN, PhD, JD, is a JVS Medallion awardee. She was founding administrator of various nursing programs in the following universities: Florida International University in Miami; Purdue University in Indiana; Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago State University; National University in Los Angeles, and the International University of Nursing, West Indies. She now works full time as executive director of a US Department of Education grant for the promotion of doctoral student success at the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education at Nova Southeastern University. She is also a professor of law in healthcare education and conflict resolution and serves pro bono as legal counselor for the Philippine Nurses Association of South Florida. She has served as member of the Board of Nursing in Illinois and in Florida. She also serves as a reviewer of US Department of Health and Human Services federal grants. Linda and husband Dennis, an art teacher, reside in Miramar, Florida. They have three married children and six grandchildren.

RUBY '62 Jubilarians: 2002 Reunion in San Francisco (UPNAAI); L-R: Teresita Tupaz Villanueva, Mollyn Villareal Bohnen, Marilex Nolasco Luna, Elvira Prieto Martin, Phoebe Dauz Williams, Evelina de la Paz de la Cruz, Mercia Balibalos Ancheta, Leticia Sta Maria Lantican.

Mercia “Mers” Balibalos Ancheta. Mers had worked in PGH; New Jersey, the Virgin Islands; and then, South Carolina , where she and husband Renato retired. A musically gifted family, they had performed with Hiyas-Min (SC Philippine Cultural Group) and engaged in many church activities. Son Charlie was a church organist at age eight. An International Rotary Club Scholar in Australia, and recipient of the Richard Harris Award, Charlie is now music director/ arranger at the Savannah Theater in Georgia. Son Chris, a radiation therapist, works in Florida. Both have two sons each, their grandparents’ pride and joy.

Ester Bigornia Guiao and MD husband Ramon are now enjoying all the privileges of retirement. Now regular “snowbirds”, they live in Westlake, Ohio during the warm months and move to Cary, North Carolina when the weather gets colder. They are very proud of their three accomplished children and dote on only grandson Mateo.

Fina "Pinky" Canave Ferrer, MEd (Boston University 1970). Since 2002, she has lived in the Philippines with husband Ricardo D. Ferrer, MEconomics (UP '72), who retired as associate professor at the UP School of Economics. Pinky lived for almost 36 years in Boston and Canada. Her work as a nurse educator in public health, orthopedics, rehabilitation and continuing care has led to several peer reviewed journal and book publications as co-author and chapter contributor. Pinky developed a training manual on the Care of Ventilator Dependent Clients that facilitated the integration of adult and pediatric clients in their homes and community in British Columbia. In 1999, she was named to the B.C. Philippine Registered Nurses Society of Canada board of directors. She served as a member of the editorial board of the American Association of Spinal Injury Nurses' SCI Nursing Journal as well as the Respiratory Management Clinical Practice Guidelines Development Panel, Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Reunion in Chicago, 2004, UPCN Class '62 (UPNAAI); L-R: Sitting: Ester Bigornia Guiao, Letty Sta. Maria Lantican, Doodos Salcedo Acuna, Bing Prieto Martin. Standing: Ebot de la Paz de la Cruz , Tessie Tupaz Villanueva, Veni Novenario Jamir, Mollyn Villareal Bohnen, Lex Nolasco Luna, and Phoebe Dauz Williams

Phoebe Dauz Williams, PhD, MA, MN, RN, FAAN, is a JVS Medallion awardee. She has been Professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing for the past 20 years. She has over a hundred peer-reviewed publications and research presentations, several book chapters and four books, including one used by graduate nursing students in Southeast Asia. Dr. Williams is also the author of the Metro-Manila Developmental Screening Test kit and manual, which has been translated into other languages. She had been Visiting Professor at UP College of Nursing and several schools of nursing in Thailand. A Fulbright scholar, editorial board member, grant reviewer, recipient of awards and honor society memberships, she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She sings soprano with the Filipino Association Sampaguita Choir (KC). She has been married for 40 years to Arthur R. Williams, PhD (Cornell U). Son David, and Allison, have 16-month old twin boys; Arthur Jr and Rhonda have a two-year old son; Daughter Diane and Randy are newly-wed.

Evelina “Ebot” dela Paz dela Cruz, a Public Health Nursing major, Ebot first worked at the Manila Health Department. She then went to the US and specialized in critical care nursing, then returned to the Philippines and established the critical care unit of St. Luke’s Hospital. She left for the US later and also specialized in critical care nursing, until she retired in 2006. She and husband Ric live in Westlake, Ohio. RN daughter Anna Nerissa, works as a visiting nurse; son Michael, an I.T. Specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, wife Charina, and children Miguel and Chayla live in California.

Nilda Gragera Garcia and MD husband Manuel now live in Annapolis, Florida. Manuel is an avid golfer, and Nilda is passionate about gardening. Her beautiful flower garden was enjoyed by Class ’62 classmates during the October 2011 "mini pre-golden jubilee class reunion” (jointly hosted with the Acuna family). The couple has two sons: Noel, a lawyer and Joel, a dentist, both practicing in Indiana and six grandchildren.

SILVER '62 Jubilarians, 1987 UPAA Reunion, Manila Hotel; L-R Sitting: Ellen Palafox Yu, Cecile Drain Silverio, Edna Sino Cruz Gaffud, Nellie Tantengco Santos; L-R Standing: Mollyn Villareal Bohnen, Lina Aguilar Cabanlig, Pinky Canave Ferrer.

Josefina " Josie" Macaraeg Sison lives in Terra Pura Homes, Q.C., with husband Antonio B. Sison, MD, UST’63; MPH UP’89, an orthopedic surgeon (who served as director, Philippine Veterans Medical Center; president, Philippine College of Orthopedic Surgeons; and president, Philippine College of Surgeons). Three children are all MDs: Gerardo, orthopedic surgeon, specializes in spinal surgery; Toni, ophthalmologist, specializes in pediatric ophthalmology; and Evangelina, specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery. A housewife and businesswoman, Josie had brief stints in clinical nursing in Chicago, and at PAGCOR. She was also a nurse educator at Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing and Philippine Chinese General School of Nursing. Josie represents UPCN Class '62 at the UP Jubilarians planning meetings in Diliman, Quezon City.

Marilex “Lex” Nolasco Luna retired as an operating room nurse of a VA Hospital, and now works with the Cleveland Clinic Systems where her MD husband Teddy also works. As leaders of their Couples for Christ unit in Ohio, they make pilgrimages to many apparition sites of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Aside from participating in many community activities, they also travel to Minneapolis, Columbus, Youngstown and Cleveland to visit daughters Meichelle, Mary Anne, Melissa and Mara and their families.

Veneranda “Veni” Novenario Jamir and MD husband Efren left Florida to retire at the Ayala Estates West Grove Heights in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. Efren continues to enjoy tennis, golf, gardening, while Veni dabbles in real estate, plays great tennis, and travels worldwide. She is also an excellent homemaker-- a great cook. Lately, she ‘chairs’ their church social service ministry. Two children are engineering graduates: Jocelyn “JJ” and James, a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force. They have five grandchildren: Olivia, Emilia, Mason, Zachary and Ava.

Elena “Ellen” Palafox Yu, MN, RN, and husband Carl live in Manila, near PGH. She is head of the UP-PGH Employee Cooperative, after many years as PGH nursing supervisor. They have four children: Eugene, Maritess, Peter John and Maria Luisa, and four grandchildren. Ellen works on various projects on the UPCN advisory board. She, Connie, and Pinky are key links between ’62 classmates in the USA and the Philippines.

Elvira ‘’Bing’’ Prieto Martin, MS, RN, CHN-BC. She is a community health nurse certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She received the Mount Sinai Hospital Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice while working at its out-patient department. Bing retired in 2007 after working for 45 years in the Philippines (Manila Doctors and PGH), then in Ontario, Canada (Hamilton Health Association); and finally, in the U.S.A. She now lives in Teaneck, New Jersey with daughter, Maribelle and occasionally goes to Colorado to visit with son, Anthony, his wife, Shirlee and children, Mikhaela Raffaelle “Mikee” and Derek Angelus. Bing remains active in the Teaneck community especially with the Filipino-American Society of Teaneck, an organization she helped found and nurture, now celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year.

Concepcion “Connie” Mendoza Manabat and her MD husband Leonardo manage the Manabat Maternity and General Hospital, in Pampanga, with five children, all MDs. They have six grandchildren.

Carmelita “Menchu” Reyes Montinola is a registered nurse in a community health center in New York City where she lives with her family. On her free days, she performs flamenco dancing with a group upon invitation at various locations around the NYC-Connecticut area. Trained in ballet, Menchu always had been such a graceful dancer among Class ’62.

Adoracion “Doodos” Salcedo Acuna worked in Indiana as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse at General Motors Corporation for 30 years, She and husband Alberto “Ting” now enjoy the warm weather of Beverly Hills, Florida. Children Annette, Annabelen and Ariel with their families all live in Cincinnati, Ohio and come for regular visits. These family visits, playing golf year round, and traveling to exciting places are the top three things Doodos likes best in retirement.

Edna Sino Cruz Gaffud and husband Miguel “Mike”, CEO of Enron Power, Philippines live at BF Homes, Paranaque, after being in faraway places (Netherlands, Africa, etc.) when Mike was with Caltex. Asked what they like doing best, the couple said, with no hesitation: “Doting on the young ones: son Christopher and grandchildren Joseph, Miguel IV and Paolo.” Daughter Maria Edna “Mae”, son Miguel III and his wife Marizel, had their own share earlier.

Leticia “Letty” Sta Maria Lantican, PhD RN, is a JVS Medallion awardee. Her career spans 45 years of service including 23 years’ in the Philippines: clinical instructor, staff nurse at PGH and UPCN faculty for 21 years, where she retired as professor in 1986. She was associate professor at the University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing (UTEP-SON) for 21 years, director for six years and associate dean for three years. She was an Expert Consultant ( 2002-2003) at the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Mental Health. She had served in professional nursing organizations, received awards; presented, and published, in peer-reviewed professional conferences and journals. Now semi-retired, she continues to serve on special assignments at the UTEP-SON as associate professor emerita and lecturer (since 2009). She lives in El Paso, Texas with husband Ed (UP Eng’g), and sons Vincent (and daughter-in-law Floriza) and Eric. Son Edwin and daughter-in-law Monica live in California.

Maria Lina V. Santos, MA, RN, had worked as a certified school nurse (bilingual, Spanish) with the Board of Education in Chicago, IL (1985 to 2011). She was president of UP Club of America, Chicago Chapter; fellow at the University of Chicago (1972), and Outstanding Citizen of Metropolitan Chicago (1978). Lina says Dean JVS spurred her ‘growth and development’. In 1994, she founded the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association, Midwest (UPNAAM), of which she was president for four years. It is the precursor of the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International (UPNAAI), An accomplished pianist, Lina intends to pursue this skill in her retirement.

Constance “Connie” Tipton Silao and MD anesthesiologist husband Manuel “Alel”, UP Med’58, live in Capitol Parks Homes, Q.C. Now a housewife, she used to work as a specialty clinic nurse in Manila. Daughter Catherine Lyn, MD (UP) pediatrician, is also a PhD in molecular genetics at Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan. Economist daughter Susan works in California. Son Hans is in communications. Just like Ellen and Pinky, Connie is a vital link between ’62 classmates in the USA and the Philippines. She is also actively involved with the UPCN Foundation and key activities of the UPCN. Dean JV Sotejo had once likened Connie’s beauty with that of Mona Lisa.

Mollyn Villareal Bohnen, MS (U.Utah); EdD (U. San Francisco), is a JVS Medallion awardee. She worked in PGH for eight years, and then in New York, Utah, and California. In 1973, she taught at the California State University in Sacramento; received grants, awards, memberships to honor societies, and headed an NIH-funded minority recruitment program, until her retirement as Professor Emeritus in 2000. She was Visiting Professor at UPCN in 1997, and donated to the skills lab a ‘teaching doll’. Mollyn’s expertise is in obstetrics/ neonatal nursing, and nursing education/ international nursing training. Now retired, she and MD husband Robert (singer/ performer in community theaters) live in Oregon; Mollyn also creates/ designs jewelry. They have three grown children: Sharon, Scott, and Paul who is completing MD residency training, and one granddaughter, multi-talented Dallas, on whom they dote.

We miss three classmates who have passed on: Cecilia Drain Silverio; Petronila “Nellie” Tantengco Santos, and Teresita “Tessie” Tupaz Villanueva. One classmate, Raquel Villaluz Johnson, has not been in touch with Class‘62 for some time now.

*Named after the founder and first dean of the UP College of Nursing, Dean Julita V. Sotejo (RN, MA, LLD), the J.V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor Award is given to a nursing alumna of the UP who has brought honor and distinction to the nursing profession, university, and country, and who has made a significant, unique, and innovative contribution to the nursing profession.

Calling all 1952, 1962, 1972 and 1987 graduates of the University of the Philippines! You are this year’s Jubilarian honorees at the UP General Alumni-Faculty Homecoming and Reunion, which will be held on June 23, 2012, 3:00pm at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman Campus, Quezon City. For more details, please contact the UPAA Secretariat at landline numbers 9206871, 9206868, 9206875, e-mail [email protected], or cellphone number 09178372098. You may also visit the UPAA website at http://www.upalumni.ph.