To encourage the public to enroll in medicine education, the Bicol University College of Medicine (BUCM) launched MaPaLaD (Medisina Para sa Lahat Dapat) at Daraga National High School (DNHS), with emphasis on convincing interested students from underprivileged backgrounds that there are scholarship grants and other support services to become physicians.
Through a Memorandum of Agreement with DNHS, BUCM proposed a health and education training through Project 1 – Bayanihan Engagement Network for Community Health Education Support (BU-BENCHES) and career guidance under Project 2- Career Guidance Advocacy Project- (CGAP Medicine).
This linkage program will develop and educate interested students to pursue a medical career. BUCM plans to further this partnership with other schools of the Department of Education in the region. The program also supports the government’s “Doctor para sa Bayan” program and the CHED Scholarship Program, which offers beneficiaries the opportunity to study medicine for free provided they pass the NMAT and the BUCM entrance exams. Additionally, the program is a capacity building and career guidance extension project of BUCM.
Meanwhile, Provincial Governor Edcel “Grex” Burce Lagman, was one of the guest speakers at the launching of the MaPaLad program at the DNHS Covered Court, held on January 25, 2023.
The Provincial Governor extended his gratitude to BU President Dr. Arnulfo Mascariñas, for formally launching the program and BUCM Dean Dr. Ofelia M. Samar-Sy.
“The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) will be your enduring partner as the Provincial Education Department (PED) also has a similar scholarship program for allied medical courses,” he captioned on Facebook.
BUCM Dean Ofelia M. Samar-Sy expressed her gratitude as she was declared one of the Most Outstanding Filipino Physicians in the country.
In an interview with Ako Bicol Online TV on January 27, the BUCM dean was overwhelmed and honored to receive the award.
“Sorbrang nagulat ako, sabi ko ‘Lord ang bait bait mo naman, ang dami ng blessings na nabigay sa akin.’ And then, here’s an award which is a national award. Ang alam ko naman ang daming doctor din naman na magagaling, pero bakit ako? Taga-Albay lang naman tayo, ‘di ba mga taga-probinsiya, bakit ako yung na-awardan. So, I find this really as a huge blessing.” she said.
Due to the hardships she faced in life, she didn’t even dream of becoming a doctor. Her first dream was to become a teacher.
In 1981, Dr. Ofelia M. Samar-Sy was hailed as the first woman to graduate Summa Cum Laude in the BS Biology program at BU. She received a scholarship grant to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
“Dahil sa kahirapan na ‘yun, nag-aral talaga ako ng sobra. ‘Di ako nag boyfriend when I was in the Bicol University. So, dahil hindi ako nag boyfriend, nakafocus talaga ako sa pag-aaral. Before I knew it, because all I wanted was to make my parents not pay the 100 pesos, kasi wala nga kaming pera.” she said.
As she worked hard on her studies, she recalled an experience she had during her college years, when she would go to a guava tree just to dissect a cat. Her grades were excellent without her realizing it, and given her desire to be a full-scholar student, she didn’t pay for anything.
Moreover, she chose to serve her own province and community through her profession.
She also mentioned that, as a medical practitioner, you must quickly make decisions. She learned the art of deciding fast because of the emergency situation that they were always in.
“There are doctors, I guess, that limit their practice. Ako, I’m open to my patients, so, if I have a patient, they can text or message me on Messenger, and I have a wide open line for them,” she said.
In addition, Dr. Ofelia M. Samar-Sy expressed her gratitude to her family, Sir. Greg Lipa, the former president of Junior Chamber International (JCI) from Albay, to Junnie Bordeos, the Senate President of Legazpi City, who was present during the launching of the MaPaLaD program at DNHS, to BU, her consultants, her colleagues at the Philippine College of Physician, and the people who has been continously supporting and helping her throughout her journey.
The official awarding ceremony of the competition will be held at the Quezon City Sports Club on February 9, 2023. | by Arnold C. Noda, MPS I – CPRO, with reports from Darlene Kate B. Lastrullo, BUCPRO Student Affiliate CM-CL