About Kita-Kita 2020.

 By:  John Sy, MD

The University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society homecoming is an enduring tradition anticipated with great fondness and excitement by the graduates. For a whole year, the Silver jubilarians host activities that bring honor and recognition to the UP College of Medicine and the culmination is the grand homecoming ball in December. 2020, a year that will perhaps go down in infamy, is Class 1995’s year. Our year. The year for kita-kita. 

If one was to describe the homecoming class, more than a few words would come to mind: creative, resolute, resilient, diverse…and blessed with an inherent, uncanny ability to have FUN regardless of how physically draining or emotionally sapping the situation is. Class 1995 was simply born to face challenges. Our first year was marked by two major happenings:

1. The walkout for academic freedom staged by UPCM faculty, staff and students: this almost derailed our schedule for the entire year.

2. The horrific, maximal intensity earthquake that levelled Baguio City and claimed more than a thousand lives throughout Luzon.

Our second year was when we were labelled “rotten apples” by an irate professor. And so one of the symbols of Class 1995 was born (the other being the orchid, Aerides Turma). Following this, we with the rest of the nation witnessed the tumultuous Presidential elections faceoff between FVR and Miriam. (It was to have been the first time to vote for a President for most of us.) When we were Interns, Miss Universe came to town! We became escorts cum medical watchdogs to these stunning international beauties. And then a few months later, there was another special guest: our beloved Pope John Paul II for the World Youth Day, the first hosted by an Asian country.

Class 1995 had the tremendous responsibility of practicing our craft while welcoming the rest of the world to see what the Philippines was all about. We were smiling while still doing our duties. Grace under pressure? Beauty with a conscience? Class 1995 was and is all that…and so much more.

These colorful, memorable events punctuating our years in medical school constantly reminded us that there was a whole existence outside BSLR and PGH just waiting for us when we were ready. The disasters, upheavals and toxicity would all have a role in making us not only better Doctors but more well-rounded human beings. We worked one by one and as one. Rising to the occasion came naturally. And hope springs eternal, for Class 1995-despite the tragedies from within and without-has always been about hope.

25 years later…after specialization, sub-specialization, creating a life of bold steps and details and finding our niche all over the planet…we were poised to reunite for the homecoming. But then, we were almost destined to have one more BIG problem. As though the Fates could not resist throwing yet another curveball at our class…CoVid-19 happened. Health and safety were compromised, traveling and get togethers became dangerous and downright impossible and we recognized that being about 50 years old sadly put us at higher risk.

However…IMPOSSIBLE was never really in Class 1995’s vocabulary. True to its resourcefulness, determination and indomitable spirit, Class 1995 refused to back down. True to the character of Class 1995, which comes together and brings the very best when things are at their very worst, we declared we will still have a homecoming. Truly…it’s going to take a whole lot more than an earthquake, a Presidential election, Miss Universe or even a renegade virus to stop the rotten apples.

On with the kita kita…


Your Organizing Committee


We’re hard at work to bring you the best ever Homecoming Event during this historical moment. We hope to give you the best and warmest experience while you stay home in your respective homes.

Click here to view


Dear Fellow Alumni,


The year 2020 has brought many life-altering changes to our lives but tradition is tradition, and this year’s homecoming is no different. It is tradition and will push through.

Yes, there was disappointment and yes, there was grief. But that was soon replaced with nostalgia and excitement.

We are proud to announce that the UP College of Medicine Class of 1995 is still holding the following homecoming activities:

Annual CME – 18 and 19 December 2020, 8 – 11:30 am, Manila time
Homecoming mass – 20 December 2020, 8 am, Manila time, live and virtual
Homecoming breakfast – 20 December 2020, 9 am, Manila time, PGH atrium
Virtual homecoming – 20 December 2020, 9 pm, Manila time

We promise a different kind of homecoming which, while not face-to-face, will certainly be different. It will certainly be memorable.

We thus, invite you all to register for the event. Kita kita sa December 20, 2020

Warmest regards,

Johanna Patricia A. Cañal, MD, MHA, MSc, FPCR
President, UP Medical Alumni Society 2020
UPCM Class ‘95

Kita-Kita. Chika-Chika.

Your collection of articles, essays and publications collated from UPCM alumni.

Filipino eye surgeon names new Philippine orchid species

By: Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra  Filipino eye surgeon and photographer Dr. Miguel David De Leon together with the UP Medicine Class of 1995 have named a new discovery of a spectacular, rare, and “stunningly beautiful orchid species” after the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM) in UP Manila. Dr. De Leon, field biologist and...

“Spectacular, Stunningly Beautiful” Orchid Discovered

By: Donna A. Apolinario, MD The discovery of a new “spectacular, stunningly beautiful” orchid species in the Philippines was announced today, bringing new excitement to the fields of horticulture, biology, and conservation. The orchid was discovered in Bukidnon by Dr. Miguel David de Leon, a retinal surgeon and field biologist from Cagayan de...

How We Became Rotten Apples

The Pathology department was like a cast of character actors. Dr. V was a charm with eyes popping out of his thick spectacles. He would drone on and on even in the blackness of the brown-outs, his voice and the scratching of the chalk punctuating the dark BSLR.  His lectures were overflowed with jokes but his exams were not funny at all. Dr. B...

And Bloomed to Aerides Turma : A scientific name is forever

By: Miguel de Leon, MD Before I discharge the duty imposed upon me by my scheming classmates, I would like to talk briefly about taxonomy and what it means for all of us. Essentially taxonomy is the science of classifying organisms. Broadly, organisms are classified to six major groups or kingdoms: animaliae, plantae, fungi, protista,...

Dr Christopher Mejia UPCM’95 President