Pandemic notwithstanding, there is no stopping the Philippine Urological Association (PUA) from celebrating a night of camaraderie and laughter in its annual Fellowship Night, conducted virtually last November 21, 2020. Even with a “new normal’ format, the event was still made smooth and ever dynamic by the masters of ceremonies, Dr. Ramon Marin and Dr. Michael Castañeda. Year after year, the Philippine Urological Society holds this event with mainly three aims: to narrate the year that was, to anticipate the year that is to come, and to strengthen the culture of camaraderie in the process.
The program commenced with a welcome remark that was kept short and sweet by PUA president-elect Dr. Ernesto Gerial Jr. This was followed by a heartfelt valedictory address by PUA president Dr. Harry G. Longno, who recounted both the hurdles and accomplishments of the society the past year. He took the opportunity to give credit to everyone who contributed to the success of his tenure, especially his executive council, advisers, and consultants, who relentlessly worked beside him, unfazed by the pandemic. He also expressed gratitude to everyone who are continuously extending support in the current health crisis. It was humbling to hear how Dr. Longno acknowledged and welcomed criticisms, time and again exemplifying how remarkable of a leader he is. He thanked his family, especially his wife and children, who supported him despite the logistical challenge that they had to face. He concluded his speech by dedicating his presidency to his late father, and imparting a nice food for thought to his successors, “walk alone, you can walk faster; walk together, you will go farther”.
Led by Nomelec Chairman and Inducting Officer, Dr. Rufino Agudera, the valedictory speech was followed by the induction of the 2021 Executive Council: Dr. Ernesto L. Gerial Jr. (president), Dr. Aristotle Bernard M. Roque (vice president), Dr. Eli Paulino F. Madrona (secretary), Dr. Diosdado C. Limjoco (treasurer), Dr. Jubido P. Agatep (auditor), Dr. Enrique Ian S. Lorenzo (council member), and Dr. Harry G. Longno (adviser). The incoming President-elect Dr. Ernesto Gerial Jr. raised a glass for outgoing President Dr. Harry Longno, but not before sharing anecdotes of their time together way back in medical school. Dr. Gerial narrated that the he even shared the same master initiator with Dr. Longno in their fraternity. He congratulated Dr. Longno for being a leader of perseverance, and for being a hardworking and loving president. The toast was followed by Dr. Gerial’s acceptance speech. Dr. Gerial has been a part of the executive council for 6 years before being elected as president.
To spice things up, short video clips of dancing residents submitted by different institutions were shown. In this intermission “Tiktok Challenge”, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center and Batangas Medical Center ranked second, while Dr. Andrew Valdez from EAMC bagged the first prize. Generous raffle prizes were also given away.
Last on the official agenda was the induction of the Philippine Urology Residents Association (PURA) officers. Led by PUA President and induction officer Dr. Harry Longno, a new set of PURA officers were sworn to position for the year 2021: Dr. Karl Marvin Tan (adviser), Dr. Joseph Tuazon (president), Dr. Nikolette Josephine Caro (vice president), Dr. Bryan Geoffrey Arce (secretary), Dr. Rabi James Buxant (treasurer), Dr. Kurt Roland Asperas (auditor), and Dr. Almanzhor Sendad (public relations officer).
The after-party was kicked off by standup comedian Alex Calleja, hailed as “The Funny Man”, being among the winners of the international stand-up comedy competition, “The Funniest Person in the World”. His entertainment was on point, and his material and standup routine were definitely a hit to his audience of physicians. Capping the festivities and the fun-filled fellowship night off, were unlimited sing-alongs led by Dr. Michael Tan. This, of course, was complemented by bottomless fuel of alcohol.