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Launch Pad of Coffee Table Book and SPARKS Int’l Conference draws a Full House
July 20,2017

18 July 2017 | Makati City, Metro Manila


It was a double-billed evening when two initiatives were formally unveiled. One of these is the coffee table book, “50 Years: A Glorious Journey to Greater Heights”, while the other is the SPARKS 2017 International Conference.


The Coffee Table Book

The book chronicles the rich, 50-year history of the Fatima University Medical Center (FUMC) and Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU). Filled with anecdotal narratives of alumni, employees, business alliances, friends and family members, the publication takes the reader from the very beginnings of Fatima as a 25-bed hospital, to the Fatima of the present day where FUMC is slated to open (November 2017) a new tertiary hospital in Antipolo, and where OLFU operates from five campuses already, and is about to begin construction of a state-of-the-art, 10-storey Science & Technology Center.



SPARKS 2017 International Conference

SPARKS stands for Synergizing Partnerships in Advancing Research, Knowledge and Service. A first time for OLFU to host an international conference, the learning event will dissect the concept of “academic diplomacy”. With four international speakers and five Philippine-based education experts in the pipeline, professional educators from all reaches of the globe are invited to attend this conference at the Novotel Hotel, Quezon City on September 15-16, 2017. Learn more about SPARKS2017:



The Launch Event

Highly-regarded alumni, doctors, teaching professionals, employees, business partners, clergy, CHED and DepEd officials, long-time friends and kin gathered at the Gallardo Function Room of the Makati Diamond Residences. The venue was filled to maximum capacity which was telling of how OLFU and FUMC have touched lives of many more who have walked the grounds of both institutions.


Poignant was the keynote address of OLFU President, Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez. Reminiscing on how Fatima began as literally her parents’ house and their family’s house, she shared a number of childhood anecdotes which endearingly revealed the simple yet consistent and dedicated work ethic of her parents, Dr. Vicente M. Santos and Dr. Juliet O. Santos, and  the unique formula of Fatima’s family-owned yet professionally-managed business.



“I remember my entire family dressing up so we could “make pasyal” on a weekend, rushing to the care, entering the car, closing the door, then opening it again to go out because my dad, Dr. Vicente Santos, Sr. had a last-minute patient who was about to deliver. We could not complain; we accepted it as a part of our lives that the welfare of

 the patients always come first, the “pasyal” later. My parents worked hard, were always on-call, and did multi-tasking when that term wasn’t even popular then.”


-  Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez



In her speech, Dr. Enriquez also narrated about personal misgivings on taking over as University President upon the passing of her mother in 2008.Then, she felt that Dr. Juliet Santos left very big shoes to fill. She, too, expressed initial feelings of inadequacy because she had to “hit the ground running” from day one. Through the years, though, until present day, all these thoughts had long been eclipsed by the meteoric growth and unprecedented achievements of OLFU.


During the same July 18th event, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Heracleo D. Lagrada gave a snapshot of the concept of “academic diplomacy” as a prelude to the official launch of the SPARKS 2017 International Conference. In support, Dr. Lagrada called upon a special guest in the person of Dr. Lourdes Nepomuceno, President of the University Mobility in Asia & the Pacific (UMAP). The latter touched on considering breaking down cultural barriers and prejudicial mindset across geographies as key in leading to border-less education.



On the other hand, Dr. Michael Joseph Dino and Dr. Rodehlia Macaspac, SPARKS 2017 International Conference Chair and Scientific Program Chair, respectively, rationalized that learning events such as SPARKS 2017 “provide a valuable platform and creative channels for networking, collaboration and lifelong learning.” As an interesting way of formally launching the conference, LED bracelets, that had previously been provided to guests as they registered that evening, all came alit in varied colors. It was symbolical of igniting the “spark of knowledge”.



Following after was the official introduction of Fatima’s coffee table book. A testimonial from Dr. Ramonita Salazar, Campus Administrator for OLFU’s Quezon City Campus told the story of her own journey when Dr. Juliet Santos put her to task in establishing the said campus--- a task that seemed impossible at the time. Dr. Salazar recounts, “I can vividly remember how the Regalado Avenue looked like in 1996. It was surrounded by cogon grass and there were no establishments around.” Nowadays, it is a known fact that OLFU has marked its presence in the Lagro area through the construction of multiple school buildings, beginning with the Hilltop Mansion, the residence of late Philippine President Elpidio Quirino.



FUMC Nursing Supervisor Roly Nono had her own memories to share. She credits Dr. Juliet Santos for inspiring her to accomplish three things, almost simultaneously: one, to keep fulfilling her role as an FUMC Nursing Supervisor; while, two, also serve as an OLFU Clinical Instructor, and, three, earn her Master of Arts in Nursing. Ms. Nono also honoured Fatima veteran Dr. Rebecca Deduyo, citing the latter as the one who had taught her one of the most important skills in being a nurse--- that of accurate computation for drugs in solution.





Robert Bjorn Santos, author of Fatima’s coffee table book thanked Dr. Salazar and Ms. Nono. He averred that it was a huge honor to have been chosen to put the history of OLFU on paper. With sincerest appreciation, he called on OLFU’s Mr. Jilson Tio to stand up and be recognized for the unwavering support he had given in the course of the research, writing and production of the book. Mr. Santos then proceeded to present the first two copies of the book to OLFU’s Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez, and to the Chairman of Fatima’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Yvonne Guevara. Next, he gifted Dr. Salazar and Ms. Nono with their personal copy of the book; a book encapsulating Fatima’s history of which the two and others like them have been very much a part of.



Subsequently, FUMC President, Dr. Vicente O. Santos, Jr. led a ceremonial toast. Speaking on behalf of the other members of the board of trustees present that night, namely, Dr. Guevara, Dr. Enriquez, Dr. Mylene S. Abad-Santos, Mr. Enrico O. Santos and Mr. Robert Bjorn O. Santos--- Doc Vic (as he is fondly called) said, Here’s to the people who, through the years, have gone through our doors as strangers, and found themselves a family and a home. Within our walls, we hope that we have treated you with respect, kindness and compassion. We have learned from one another. We have healed one another. We have uplifted one another. We have been emboldened to dream and to seek what is better. We have given one another the push that drives inspiration to aspiration.”


And such ended the eventful occasion, as guests celebrated with great food, good wine, melodic song and the cherished memories of Fatima.








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