December 10, 2012

Most Exalted Sister, Dominique Espiritu; Most Illustrious Sister, Maria Isabel Nabor; Senior Guardian of the Temple, Maria Regina Naval; Junior Guardian of the Temple, Dominique Joyce Concepcion; Sister Custodian Externals, Maria Agnes Cubillas; Sister Custodian Internals and this year's project head, Sheryll Anne Manalili; Sister Recorder, Angeli Carlos; Sister Reporter, April Rose Sales; Service Committee Chairperson, Frances Dianne dela Cruz; Internal Affairs Committee Chairperson, Marie Jeazelle Redondo; Consultant Adviser, Dr. Johanna Patricia Adevoso; Resident Adviser, Dr. Maria Anna Morales; members of the Alumnae Board of Directors; members of the Alumnae Council; sorority sisters of Mu Sigma Phi Sorority; winners and participants of this year's Gaward Panitikang Pangkalusugan contest; ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant evening to all of you.

I would like to thank the officers of Mu Sigma Phi Sorority, led by your Most Exalted Sister, Dominique Espiritu; and project head, Sheryll Anne Manalili for your generous invitation to address the illustrious sisters and guests on the awarding ceremonies in connection with your sorority's flagship project, the "Gawad Panitikang Pangkalusugan," and the launching of the book of the winners tonight.

As your fellow alumnus, I know that the Mu Sigma Phi has deservedly etched your sorority's name in the annals of our University.

True to your motto, you have conditioned your sister-members to the idea that women can serve not only themselves but our communities; that women can be outstanding scholars, and to top it all, that women can be great leaders.

That is why I am not only deeply honored to speak before you, I am awed.

For 78 years, over a thousand lady doctors have passed through the rigorous requirements of membership in your Mu Sigma Phi sorority. And the accomplishments of your Sorority speak for themselves.

Apart from being the first medical sorority ever established in the Philippines and in Asia, your sorority has been a trailblazer in many areas.

To cite a few examples, the Mu Sigma Phi Drug Bank has been providing free medicines for the indigent patients of the Philippine General Hospital, and the Mu Sigma Phi Blood Bank led to what is now popularly known as the PGH Blood Bank.

Then, your sorority has been supporting the PGH Pediatrics Ward through your "Parol Para Sa Sanggol" project. And you have not forgotten to include in your charitable work, the patients in the hospital's Medical Ward through your "MUla sa Puso" activity.

No wonder that your sorority has carved your name in the Hall of Fame - no less - for the "Most Outstanding Organizations in U.P. Manila".

Additionally, your Sorority was declared one of the National Winners of the National Youth Commission's "Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations" in 2009, and a year later, it received an "Anvil Award for Excellence in Public Relations" in 2010.

Tonight, the nation will witness the launching of yet another pioneering work of your sorority that will now impact more directly on the health literacy of our children. It is actually the second leg of your project called "Gawad Panitikang Pangkalusugan" a nationwide children's storybook writing competition. Its theme: Luksong Tinik: Kwentong Kaligtasan Para sa Kabataan", I understand, aims to encourage children aged 5 to 10 years old to write about the need for them to be aware of how they may go about their young years in safety inside and outside their homes. And the project also seeks to encourage the children to understand the importance of healthy activities and the relevance of health literacy to their lives now and in their later years.

As a Senator who is besieged every day by people in need of medical care but who are unable to shoulder its costs, I know that pursued to its logical conclusion, your current project will go a long way to help alleviate the plight especially of the marginalized sector of our society. If the children of today would begin to apply the ways of healthful living that your present project tries to inculcate upon them, there is no question that their tomorrow would be less filled with sorrow as they would in all likelihood grow up as adults as healthy as can be knowing that many diseases even of the life-threatening kind afflicting especially the poor are preventable by observing basic cleanliness and healthful habits that your sorority is avidly trying to impart to them.

I can go on and on talking about the importance of what your sorority is doing. But at this juncture, let me share with you two points that will hopefully help to widen the reach of your wonderful work especially among our children.

One is the hope that other medical groups will replicate what the Mu Sigma Phi Sorority is doing to extend medical care to those in need of it, and two, that the government, itself, would adapt, if not adopt, what your sorority is valiantly doing on your own selfless effort to emphasize that medical care should include what is preventive and not only what is curative. And in the process, educate children - and inevitably their parents too - on ways to avoid diseases and preserve their health through common sensical education.

The health of our children is vital to the nation's development. We cannot attain national development if the children of today are debilitated by illnesses that would impair their becoming effective leaders and constructive builders of our nation's tomorrow.

In sum, my message is that the Mu Sigma Phi Sorority deserves not only our people's admiration but our people's support also for what it is doing in the delivery of health services and education in health matters to our children.

Congratulations once again and thank you for your kind indulgence. Mabuhay po kayong lahat!

News Latest News Feed