Opening Remarks of Dr. Harry Longno
My fellow PUA members, this year has been a test of our ability to respond to changing situations, such as a pandemic. We are living in extraordinary times. And despite the challenges this pandemic presents, it is our obligation to continue and keep the business activity of the PUA alive.
This day is our foundation day, and it marks a new era in the history of PUA as we move to a bigger, better residence. The executive council has called for a town hall meeting to discuss matters on our constitution. A constitution is the foundation of an organization. It gives the organization its purpose and function. Several amendments have been done by past councils to improve and adapt with the ever-changing times and we have to look back with appreciation to our elders.
Amendments are made to improve the text itself and protect the individual rights and liberties of the organization’s members. No discrimination must be among members who are considered active by attending meetings and supporting organization activities. We look at the past with gratitude and prepare for the future with dynamism and positivity. The amendments proposed by the committee do not intend to divide but simply clarify amendments that were ratified 10 years ago. Inconsistencies in our constitution, has caused division and confusion among members.
My fellow urologists, there are no hidden agendas, no conspiracy nor any intention to deprive anyone of their rights. The executive council is merely doing the tasks at hand. These amendments have been discussed several times in our business meetings.
The PUA has invested millions by sending you copies of these amendments thru mail over the course of several years. We have to decide on the direction, we want to take. Though we might differ in views and opinions, the voice of the majority should prevail.
My colleagues, collectively we can overcome this obstacle. Resilience, trust, honesty and faith are virtues we truly need during these challenging times.
I ask you to look at the constitution conscientiously and see the inconsistencies for yourselves. This is the constitution we are going to leave to the future generation of urologists. On another note, let me take this opportunity to invite you to the 63rd PUA Virtual Annual Convention. Dr. Ernesto L. Gerial, Jr. the Over-all Chair and Vice President of the association and his committees have prepared an interesting program that will keep you glued to your screen. See you all in November.
Stay at home and stay with God.
Thank you and Good afternoon.
Harry G. Longno, MD, FPUA
Inspirational Message from 1981 PUA President Dr. Ponciano Bernardo Jr.
PRESIDENT HARRY LONGNO, MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, FELLOW UROLOGISTS AND GUESTS.
I AM GLAD TO BE HOME – IN OUR OWN HOUSE – IN OUR OWN BUILDING! IT IS, INDEED, A WONDERFUL WORLD.
ALLOW ME TO SHARE WITH YOU A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR SEARCH FOR THE HOME OF THE` PHILIPPINE UROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION – THE PUA. THE ASSOCIATION WAS FOUNDED IN 1957. FOR A GOOD NUMBER OF YEARS, OUR OFFICE WAS WHEREVER THE OFFICE OF THE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT WAS. ALL OUR RECORDS WERE STASHED IN TWO RECYCLED MILK BOXES. THE PROBLEM WAS LOGISTICS.
THE MONEY WE HAD WAS ONLY ENOUGH TO COVER OUR MEETINGS AND OUR OFFICIAL STATIONERY WITH OUR NAMES ON IT. WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO GET ANY HELP FROM PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. THAT WAS, UNTIL THE CELEBRATION OF OUR 25TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY.
AROUND 1990, WE WERE GIVEN A SMALL OFFICE AT THE NKTI WHERE WE HAD A TABLE, A CHAIR AND A FILING CABINET. HOWEVER, THERE WAS AN ISSUE WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS PROPER FOR A PRIVATE SOCIETY GETTING SUPPORT FROM PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES TO OCCUPY AN OFFICE IN A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL. IT WAS DEEMED INAPPROPRIATE AND WE COULD NOT KEEP THE OFFICE IN NKTI.
TWO YEARS LATER, THE PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OFFERED OFFICE SPACES TO SURGICAL SPECIALTIES FOR A VERY MINIMAL OR EVEN SUB-MINIMAL COST. THIS WAS DONE TO ATTRACT AND BRING THEM CLOSER TO THE MOTHER SOCIETY. WE TOOK THAT OPPORTUNITY AND TRANSFERRED OUR OFFICE TO THE PCS BUILDING. WE WERE ABLE TO PUT UP A COMPLETELY FURNISHED OFFICE – WITH A BEAUTIFUL SECRETARY TOO – THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF SOME DRUG COMPANIES.
IN 2005, A PROPERTY BELONGING TO MY IN-LAWS WAS PUT UP FOR SALE. KNOWING THAT I COULD BARGAIN AND GET A REASONABLE PRICE, I OFFERED THE PROPERTY TO THE ASSOCIATION. HOWEVER, IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE. THE PUA WAS NOT READY FINANCIALLY TO PURCHASE THE PROPERTY, AS ONE OF THE MAJOR SPONSORS OF OUR ANNUAL CONVENTION, WHICH WAS INTERNATIONAL, IN NATURE, BACKED OUT. THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE FINANCES OF OUR ASSOCIATION.
THE PURSUIT TO FIND OUR OWN LOT AND BUILDING CONTINUED; LIKE A FAMILY WISHING TO HAVE THEIR OWN HOME, THE OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION ALWAYS HAD THEIR EYES AND EARS OPEN FOR THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY.
FAST-FORWARD TO SEPTEMBER 2020, HERE WE ARE NOW!
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! THIS NEW HOME IS THE REALIZATION OF OUR DREAM – A “DREAM COME TRUE”. A BIG ASSET AND SOURCE OF PRIDE FOR OUR ASSOCIATION. A PRESTIGIOUS AND LASTING LEGACY OF THE PRESENT EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINE UROLOGICAL
ASSOCIATION AND ALL OUR MEMBERS.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL AND ALL THOSE WHO HELPED ACCOMPLISH THIS MAGNIFICENT STRUCTURE. – THE PUA’S NEW HOME.
STAY SAFE AND HAPPY, EVERYONE. THANK YOU.
Dr. Ponciano Bernardo Jr., MD
Former PUA President (1981)
Closing Remarks from Vice President Dr. Ernesto Gerial Jr.
It was truly a pleasure being with all of you today in this truly momentous occasion. For 63 years, we continue to celebrate yearly the founding anniversary of our mother organization, the Philippine Urological Association. But this year is obviously unique and unprecedented.
It has truly been challenging for all of us, as it was in any other organization be it local or international. No one has prepared for this and no one ever imagined a catastrophe as big as this pandemic would ever happen in our time. But we stood up to the challenges. All of us are here today to bear witness to an important landmark in PUA’s history. The health crisis was not able to stop us from pursuing our set goals this year. Imagine, despite the limitations brought about by this crisis, we were able to do something so historic that we were not able to do during normal times.
Now we have a place we call our own.
May this place be a symbol of our organization’s resolve to maintain its purpose of keeping us all together under one brotherhood protecting the common interest and welfare of each member as we continue to cultivate the art of surgery that belongs to us.
We know that there might be some differences in opinion on certain matters, disagreements and petty conflicts but it is how a healthy organization shows its strength and deep regard to the ideals of democracy.
I hope that each and every one of us would have a good reflection of how things turned out to be good to our society thru the years despite the challenges because of its members who continually supported, showed sacrifice, love, and concern for the organization.
For sure, we will continue to reminisce about today’s event for many years to come and at the same time continue to look forward and work harder to achieve further a brighter future for our organization.
It would have been ideal to celebrate this happy occasion face to face with everyone tossing a glass of wine and sharing pleasantries but unfortunately, the situation would not allow us to do so. But seeing everyone remotely, virtually is much better than not seeing you at all.
As we separate ways once again and come close to ending this morning’s event, we maintain our sense of optimism and continue to hope and look forward with excitement in meeting each other once more in our future activities, hopefully, face to face, exchanging greetings with handshake back to normal times here in our new home.
Mabuhay and ONE-PUA.
Dr. Ernesto Gerial Jr., MD