The USTMED150 Sesquicentennial Commemorative Timepiece: A Legacy and Tradition

By Dr. Jason Letran

How it Begun:


During a fateful trip last February 2019, while on a bus ride back to the hotel from the Nikko Botanical Garden in Japan, a group of University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery alumni, all urologists but trained in different institutions, mulled over what they could contribute as their share for the 150th activities. Drs. Jason Letran,  Juliano Panganiban, Gerry Albano, Apol Lasala, Carlo Bisnar, Roderick Arcinas, Johnson Sy and Adviser Dr. Samuel Ang immediately agreed on a fundraising "Commemorative Watch Project."


Our horologist-in-residence, Jason Letran, ran through a list of watches to pick from, contacted Dean Dr. Ma. Lourdes D. Maglinao, for approval, got her resounding "OK" for the watch project, and by the time we got to our lodgings, we had the mechanics of the plan all done and set.


The only thing that was missing was the timepiece,


The Search is On:


So, the search is on for the ideal timepiece, befitting the Thomasian physician's qualities: excellent and unassuming, innovative yet respecting of tradition, with an unending drive to continue, challenge, and conquer.


In the end, we have identified one of the best-kept horological secrets. But first, we needed to get approval to use the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery's seal and the USTMED150 logo, to which Dean Odette Maglinao and Father Angel Aparicio were most helpful. Then, we had to convince a high-end watchmaker to produce just one hundred fifty units of exclusively hand-crafted individually numbered timepieces, all with the USTMED150 logo distinctively engraved at the case back.


We had to present our story, our rich heritage, tradition, and of course, our purpose to the watchmaker. Lastly, we had to find one hundred fifty alumni willing to own one of these one hundred fifty timepieces at a premium price. In retrospect, it seems so coincidental that the entire project was conceptualized in Japan, the birthplace of our Chosen One.

The Chosen Timepiece:


The chosen timepiece, symbolic of the 150 years in the pursuit of excellence in medical education, must carry the qualities of precision, timelessness, versatility, and elegance, which would embody the virtues of a Thomasian physician.


Grand Seiko combines luxurious mechanical watchmaking craftsmanship with modern electronically generated movement unmatched by any other brand with its unique spring drive technology.


The result is truly Thomasian—an exclusive timepiece bearing the four colors of the University seal. The gold stands for royal patronage and pontifical roots, the black and white represent the color of the Dominican order, and the Marian blue symbolizes the Blessed Virgin Mary.


The one hundred fifty years of excellence in medical education is distinctively marked with the unique serial number represented by each of the 150 generous Thomasian physicians.


The USTMED150 sesquicentennial commemorative timepiece, truly ...... a piece of history .... and ...... tradition.


The Purpose:


This project raised a total of Fifteen million pesos (PHP 15,000,000.00) which was earmarked for the Simulation and Research Building Project in raising the next generation of Thomasian physicians.


The Turnover Ceremony:


A group of dedicated Thomasian Medical alumni headed by the Dean, Ma Lourdes Maglinao, Catherine Teh, Johnson Sy, Juliano Panganiban, Larry King, John Solamo, John Domingo, Karl Morales, Mayette Valencia, and Jason Letran braved the modified extended community quarantine to claim the 150 watches and took responsibility in distributing the watches to the rightful owners.


The chosen date for the turnover ceremony was 26 September 2020. The feast day of Saints Cosmas and Damian, the patron saints of Medicine.  Initially, it was planned to be a grand gala night attended by the 150 proud owners of the timepiece with their respective spouses/partners or significant half.  The Father Regent, Fr. Angel Aparicio, and the Dean will complete the invitees.


As it turned out, the world came to a standstill with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not even a pandemic could stop the spirit of the group. Like the resilient Thomasian physicians that UST FMS is known to produce, the plan shall go on.


In an unprecedented move, the very first online gala celebration was held to commemorative the turnover ceremony of the fifteen million pesos (PHP 15,000,000.00) donation for the cause of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.  It was a night of fun, glamour, loyalty, and nostalgia as we unveiled the timepiece that everyone has been patiently waiting for.

The 150 Owners of the Sesquicentennial Watch

Dr. Jason Letran

Dr. Karl Morales

Dr. Pedro Lantin III

Dr. Richard Olalia

Dr. Harry Longno

Dr. Ronnie Cacas

Dr. Juliano Z.K. Panganiban

Dr. Johnson Sy

Dr. Edwin Yu

Dr. German Jose Albano

Dr. Charles C. Cuaso

Dr. Buenaventura Jose Reyes

Dr. Reynaldo Sebastian

Dr. Romeo Nelson Lee

Dr. Randy Pablo Talamayan

Dr. Dennis Agapito

Dr. Jaime Songco

Dr. Carlo Bisnar

Dr. Teddy Opulencia

Dr. Steve Lim

Dr. John Arnel Solamo

Dr. Marcelino Morales, Jr.

Dr. Timothy Dy

Dr. Daniel Alonzo

Dr. Michael Louis Gimenez

Dr. Editha Fernandez

Dr. Mellmont Ocampo

Dr. Samuel Ong

Dr. Raymond Norman Casipit

Dr. Argyll Arcigal

Dr. Jose Fernando Syquia

Dr. Hayden Kho Jr.

Dr. Widmark Dy

Dr. Reynaldo Perez

Dr. Jaime Anthony Arzadon

Dr. Jose Bonifacio Rafanan, Jr.

Dr. Gary Avendano

Dr. Anna Lissa Ruste-Chan

Dr. Rufino Agudera

Dr. Jaime H. Morales

Dr. Don Edward Rosello

Dr. Michelle Luciano

Dr. Edward Yap

Dr. Mario Magcalas

Dr. Esteban V. Almeda

Dr. Luzcielo Roxas

Dr. Rodelio D. Lim

Dr. Ramon Jose Angelo A. Casipit

Dr. Rodrigo Hipol III

Dr. Allan Policarpio

Dr. Roderick Arcinas

Dr. Ernesto Gerial, Jr.

Dr. Jose Rizalito Catipay

Dr. Ferdinand Antonio Tolentino

Dr. Herman Sorongon Jr.

Dr. Nelson Co

Dr. Maria Elena Mendoza-Aoanan

Dr. Francis Roasa

Dr. Aldrin Joseph Gamboa

Dr. Norberto Martinez

Dr. Mateo Ilano

Dr. Medel A. Reyes

Dr. Dakila De Los Angeles

Dr. Raul Castillo

Dr. Kennedy Lim

Dr. Pavio Buac

Dr. Louis Francis Tanco

Dr. Glenn Angeles

Dr. Dante Eugenio

Dr. Melvin Marcial

Dr. Steven Chan

Dr. Rogelio Lagasca

Dr. Hermenegildo Jose Zialcita

Dr. Ramon Torres

Dr. Samuel Ang

Dr. Dennis Jose Delgado

Dr. Jonnel Lim

Dr. Brian Christopher Ang

Dr. Victor Lopez

Dr. Steve Lim

Dr. Rene Chan

Dr. Rosemarie Aguirre-Castro

Dr. Nelson Maglinao

Dr. Michael Mendoza

Dr. Purificacion-Hency Marquez

Dr. Rollo Milante

Dr. Edison Guerrero

Dr. Benito Tan Jr.

Dr. Ferdinand Tan

Dr. Jose Joel Eclarinal

Dr. Elna Fajardo

Dr. Edwin William Tan

Dr. Catherine Teh

Dr. Aldrin Cuasay

Dr. Narciso Atienza

Dr. Ian Paredes

Dr. Jose Ernesto Roces

Dr. Rudie Frederick Mendiola

Dr. Rudolfo De Guzman

Dr. Pio Purino

Dr. Ma. Lourdes Domingo-Maglinao

Dr. Miguel Arambulo III

Dr. Nines Bautista

Dr. Roberto Uy

Dr. Juvido Agatep Jr.

Dr. Valerie Floro-Herbosa

Dr. Aristotle Bernard Roque

Dr. George Co

Dr. John Knight Gulla

Dr. Noel Aypa

Dr. Sammy Cunanan

Dr. Joseph Michael Abcede

Dr. Romulo Buzon

Dr. Florimond Garcia

Dr. Pascualito Gutay

Dr. Jade Jamias

Dr. Jesus Querubin, Jr.

Dr. Claro Ziegfriedo Nacorda

Dr. Eduardo Tin Hay

Dr. Carlo Antonio Romero

Dr. Sigfred Ian Alpajaro

Dr. Gabriel Eala

Dr. Alex Clemente Santarina

Dr. John Kenneth Domingo

Dr. Raphaell Giancarlo B. Mordeno

Dr. Jorge Jose Antonio R. Mendoza

Dr. Louis Salinas R. Hudencial

Dr. Larry S. King

Dr. Nelson Lim

Dr. Ericson B. Reyes

Dr. Raymundo R. Dimaculangan

Dr. Peterson M. Paner

Dr. Hildegardes "Heal Doc" C. Dineros

Dr. Widmark A. Dy

Dr. George V. Aczon

Dr. Constancio C. Reyes

Dr. H. Rommel R. Seno

Dr. Rafael R. Vera Cruz

Dr. Jocelyn Cobankiat

Dr. Francisco E. Tan, Jr.

Dr. Joselito V. Casipit

Dr. Sjoberg Ang Kho

Dr. Allen A. Valencia

Dr. Rex A. Madrigal

Dr. Apolonio Q. Lasala, Jr.

Dr. Benjamin L. Ramos, Jr.

Dr. David T. Bolong

Dr. Robert M. Magsino

Dr. Rodrigo D. Segui

Dr. Freddie Yap Sy

Limited-time back-to-school offer!

Donate at least 10,000 pesos and get a complimentary copy of the award-winning commemorative book, Honora Medicum. Offer is available until supplies last only.