Anargyroi is an independent foundation for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, its sole and exclusive beneficiary, that envisions herself as a dynamic and highly reputable organization recognized for its ethical governance of resources.
In order to promote allegiance and systematically manage resources in perpetuity, she intends to accomplish the excellent initiatives of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery by raising and managing donations that exclusively support the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and her initiatives influencing administration, faculty, students, support staff and patients.
The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is the oldest and biggest school of Medicine in the country. Each year, since its foundation in 1879, she has produced a good number of graduates. From a handful in her origins to 500 at present. One can count close to 40,000 M.Ds. in its 150 years of existence. A remarkable contribution to the Philippines by which we can genuinely entertain a sentiment of pride for a well-done job.
As we witness year after year how our graduates are greeted with an immense joy by family and friends, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery feels what an important contribution it makes to the individual lives of young ambitious men and women and what impact these doctors can make in the Philippine society.
The cry “I am a Thomasian,” reverberates, as in unison, our graduates solemnly recite the oath of allegiance to their Alma Mater.
Some of these alumni will form everlasting relationships with their colleagues and with their Alma Mater. Others will take the diploma, say goodbye, and leave, never to come back.
Regardless of their personal involvement in the affairs of their school, all can claim the ownership of the title “Thomasian Alumnus/a.” The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas proudly acknowledges all her graduates, regardless of personal sentiments, and she opens her portals to welcome them.
Along the years, particularly on significant dates, either on jubilee celebrations, or centennial and sesquicentennial commemorations, there have been initiatives to associate particular classes, regional, or national chapters, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries in which the diaspora of Thomasian doctors have established their residence and practice. Some have been successful, others not so much. We equally thank all of them.
What can we do for our Alma Mater? This question has been met with different initiatives, individual and corporative. The USTMAA of the Philippines, USTMAAA in the United States, each one in its own way, has responded within their own capabilities and in accord with the objectives of their respective associations.
Seven years ago, just as we were starting to plan for the celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, an offer was presented to the FMS from a group of alumni who had been helping the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in different ways. As they found themselves surmounting the pinnacle of their career, they cast a retrospective glance to the years of their formation and gratefully decided to do something for their struggling Alma Matter.
To the question, what can we do for our Alma Mater, an immediate answer was provided, to give back. This was the spark that triggered the creation of the Anargyroi, a name that slowly has made inroads in the minds and hearts of some of our alumni.
Countless exchanges between the visionaries and the officers of the University were undertaken to allow the fledging bird to rise. Like all grand dreams, the hard reality soon confronted us with the ground hurdles. Anargyroi has had to struggle. However, the needs of FMS and its faith on our Alumni have never ceased to spur us and to sustain our expectations.
Aware of the fact that new ideas and institutions, besides surprise, expectation and enthusiasm convoke an equal aggregate of reticence, objection and perhaps opposition, we deem it appropriate to come out with some explanations:
- Obviously, we did not have the slightest idea how to go about. While groping in darkness, we entrusted ourselves into the stewardship of more experienced guides who patiently have steered us through the rough path.
- A gap has made communications quite difficult. The physical and perhaps the emotional distance between our consultants and us, have made it necessary the exchange of numerous messages and calls, not always properly synchronized.
- The long lockdown of the country, which has so deeply affected the regular transactions of university affairs has been irksome, even frustrating not only to our partners but to us who are at the home base.
- Not to count the innumerable requirements of the government agencies.
At present, with a well-established Development Office, with the structures acquiring shape, with donations slowly picking up, with some successful projects, we were ready to reap the fruits of a long-awaited harvest.
Unfortunately, something went wrong!
What has happened? My good friend, Saint Teresa de Jesus, who built 17 foundations in the midst of a misogynist 16th century Spain, with the hounds of the Inquisition scrutinizing all her moves, without a single centavo in her pocket, when faced to a situation similar to the one we are facing now, she had this ingenuous explanation: “When You, Lord, want to give courage, how little do all contradictions matter! Rather, it seems I am encouraged by them, thinking that since the devil is beginning to be disturbed the Lord will be served in that foundation.” (Saint Teresa of Avila, The Book of her Foundations).
Yes, my dear friends. I am convinced that Anargyroi is the Foundation of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas. It is a providential development, a good work by which God and fellow men will be well served.
If you love your Alma Mater, if you are grateful for your Thomasian education, if God has blessed you with a most noble profession, you must not allow this work to fail.
We pray through our patron saints, Cosmas, and Damian, the true Anargyroi, the penniless physicians who offered their services to the poor and needy, and who underwent martyrdom as testimony of their commitment, will forgive us.
We humbly appeal to your good hearts. Put away all differences. Trust yourselves, trust us. This is for your Alma Mater, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas.
Fr. Angel Aparicio, O. P.
Regent, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Trustee, Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc.
Article originally published on December 12, 2021.