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Investing for the Future Now

Investing for the Future Now

In our culture, one of the things that is considered taboo in conversations is the subject of money. We do not ask a friend or a relative how much he or she is earning, saving or spending. But really, we doctors are not like regular employees. We do not get a 13th month pay, neither do we get paid vacation and sick leaves, unless we are government physicians. We are as good as our capacity to hold clinic and do our rounds.

Having attended several financial management talks inspired me to not only save, but start investing. Yes, invest for retirement. Who wouldn't prepare if, horror of horrors, you see the roots of your hair start to turn gray?

Shocking, but statistics have shown that only 2% of Filipinos are financially free after retirement. Do you think your social security will be sufficient to support you when you already have a dual citizenship? There are two types of income, active and passive. Active income is what you earn by working. The minute you stop working, the income stops coming in. That's why it pays to have a passive income, one that earns without you doing anything. Passive income comes from the interest earned, rental fro properties, etc. A lot of us are probably guilty of allowing our hard-earned money to sleep in a savings account which gives a measly interest of less than 1% per annum. Even time deposits could not offset the inflation rate of about 5%. There are other investment options like government bonds, UITF, mutual funds, stocks, etc. that could generate more income. Just understand what you are getting into, or engage the services of a financial adviser to do the planning for you.

One way to help in your investment decisions is the Rule of 72. Take 72 and divide it by the interest rate to get the number of years it will take for your money to double. Say, you invested in an instrument that earns 12% per year. Your principal will double in 6 years. As one of the financial gurus said, your financial objectives should revolve around three things: PURPOSE, TARGET, and TIME. Purpose is the reason why you are investing. Target is your desired amount to reach. And time is the period you have to achieve your target.

Our purpose is retirement. Our target is a comfortable lifestlye. Our time should start now.

Simple & Relevant

Simple & Relevant

The issues that surrounds the Philippines are varied and tumultuous. Issues on pork barrel, the response to the Yolanda Victims, the lost of an airline in midair, the Pope, Russia and Ukraine—all these issues always have lessons for us to learn.

This makes things more understandable. A good professor is somebody who can teach ideas in a manner relevant to our lives and can be easily understood. The Pope did not change any of the major doctrines but the way he lives his life and kurt messages makes things easily acceptable.

In the celebration of WORLD KIDNEY DAY, a simple gesture of starting a day with a glass of water is heart warming. No extravagant happenings. Less pompous celebrations, now with less fun fare. Today being simple does not mean that the relevance is lessened. In the hospital, people tend to see it as a practical and very easy to follow. That I believe is PSN now – understandable and relevant. It takes on projects that are viable and time bound. The Hemodialysis Summit, the active participation to the PHIC issues, The Yolanda victims and the PSN response, the prospects of transitioning all these and much more proves that the PSN is SENSITIVE, simplifies and relevant.


NKTI Pediatric Nephro Dept joins WKD'14

NKTI Pediatric Nephro Dept joins WKD'14

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Department of Pediatric Nephrology, spearheaded by the Department Chair, Dr. Ofelia R. De Leon, actively joined the worldwide celebration of the World Kidney Day last March 13, 2014, with this year's theme, “Kidneys Age, Just Like You”. Two pediatric nephrology fellows-in-training, namely, Dr. Elmer Kent A. Lopez and Dr. Ma. Rowena O. Cuya, together with Ms. Lorelie Palileo, department secretary, conducted a Preventive Nephrology Lecture to 50 Grade V pupils of Piñahan Elementary School, Piñahan, Quezon City on March 18, 2014. Blood pressure and urinalysis screening using dipstick followed after the forum.

From the screening, two pupils showed hematuria and one with proteinuria. All children were normotensive. The NKTI team focused on teaching the important pearls on kidney health care, and emphasized the main message of the celebration which is “Start the day with a glass of water”. Indeed, the activity was a huge success with the warm support of the school principal, Mr. Cesar B. Retes, and his staff. 

Kidney in Focus

Kidney in Focus

The Philippine Society of Nephrology – Mindanao Chapter conducted a post graduate course entitled Kidney in Focus last March 14 to 15, 2014 at Apo View Hotel, Davao City. Kidney in Focus marks several milestones in the history of PSN Mindanao Chapter. This is the very first time it has spearheaded a lecture series of this magnitude, encompassing physicians and nurses from all four corners of Mindanao, with speakers who are considered the authorities in their chosen field. This is also the first time PSN Mindanao Chapter has collaborated with Southern Philippines Medical Center, the primary government hospital in

Davao City.

The conception of this course came from the desire to continue PSN Mindanao Chapter's commitment to enhance and update the knowledge of non - Nephrologists  on basic Nephrology as well as to introduce new concepts in the field of Nephrology. This also gave the society the opportunity to augment the knowledge and skills of nurses on the different modalities of renal replacement therapy. Lastly, this is one of the chapter's contributions to the celebration of World Kidney Day last March 13, 2014. The topics for this post graduate course were carefully selected to reflect the current medical issues of concern for which the kidneys play a major role. Emphasis was also placed on presenting these topics in a straightforward manner since the audience was composed of physicians from different specializations (internists, family physicians, and general practitioners) using a holistic approach.

The course was divided into two: sessions for doctors and sessions for nurses. Topics covered during the sessions for the doctors include the following: Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury by Dr. Marie Yvette Barez and Dr. Sandra Oliveros; Electrolyte Imbalance Emergencies by Dr. Alberto Chua; Multidisciplinary Approach to Lupus in Pregnancy (A Panel Discussion) by Dr. Noel Villanueva, Dr. Tommy Bangayan, Dr. Ma. Milflordeliza Gonzaga, Dr. Victor Espino, and Dr. Dennis John Ortiga; Urinary Stone Management by Dr. Benita Padilla; Leptospirosis Guidelines by Dr. Irmingarda Gueco; Guidelines on Contrast Induced Nephropathy by Dr. Maaliddin Biruar; Crush Injury Guidelines by Dr. Noel Camique; Hepatorenal Syndrome by Dr. Ramon Liboro and Dr. Benjamin Balmores, Jr; New CPG on UTI by Dr. Marissa Alejandria; Not All Pyuria is UTI by Dr. Lynn Almazan-Gomez; and Cardiorenal Syndrome by Dr. Agnes Mejia.

Topics discussed during the sessions for the nurses included Introduction to Dialysis Modalities by Dr. Margarita Abalon ; Acute Complications of Dialysis by Dr. Philip Neri Lazo; Chronic Complications of Dialysis by Dr. Michael Abutazil; Dialysis Access Complications by Dr. Odilio Yu; PD Workshop and Demonstration by Dr. Josephine dela Ysla and Dr. Chito Cornejo; Dialysis Trouble Shooting by Angeli Joyce Taleon and Engr. Raphael Roberto; and CRRT Workshop and Demonstration by Dr. William Rivero.

Organizing Committee of the course include: Dr. Jeanette Ybiernas, Overall Chairperson; Dr. Ma. Theresa Bad-ang, Scientific Committee Head; Dr. Rodelie A. Banico, Head of Registration Dr. Clarissa Arsolon, Head of Ways and Means; Dr. Bernard Ramos, Head of Booths and Exhibits, with Dr. Arnelia Masendo, President of PSN Mindanao Chapter. 

The post graduate course was well-received with more than 300 nurses and doctors participating in the said course. PSN Mindanao Chapter hopes that each of the delegates will be able to put to good use the knowledge they have gained to their area of practice for the betterment of their patients.

PSN Typhoon Yolanda Dialysis Relief Operation

PSN Typhoon Yolanda Dialysis Relief Operation


Philippines is a country which is highly humid, very warm from March to October and relatively cooler in the months of November to February. Depending on the geographical location, regions experience varying amounts of rainfall and with some areas relatively more prone to extreme weather conditions than the others. Some 15-20 storms of varying intensity pass through the country in a year, thus almost all Filipinos are aware or have experienced the inconveniences these storms bring about.

During the recent years, it is of note that remarkably stronger storms are being experienced and a few of them brought about significant damages in various areas of the country. Among these were Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) which hit the Metro Manila, the country's capital in September 2009, Typhoon Megi (Juan) in Isabela in Northern Philippines in October 2010, Typhoon Washi (Sendong) in Cagayan De Oro in December 2011, and Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in Davao in December 2012.. The latter two are both in the Southern Philippines. All these typhoons were characterized by heavy flooding, bringing about loss of lives and properties.

On November 8, 2013, while many Filipino nephrologists were attending the Kidney Week of the American Society of Nephrology in Atlanta Georgia, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest typhoon in history to ever make a landfall, very heavily struck Eastern Visayas, a region in the Central Philippines. The eye of the storm ravaged through major communities, particularly Samar and Leyte and a portion of Iloilo, leaving an unprecedented carnage. The typhoon in its fiercest flattened many heavily populated areas along coastal towns. Storm surge from the ocean swept kilometers away towards communities, tearing apart homes and

 buildings, sweeping away crops, destroying communication and power facilities, killing more than seven thousand and leaving almost two thousands missing. The exact loss of lives is unknown up to this time. As the recovery and rehabilitation phase continue, bodies are still are still being recovered from under the rubbles in some areas.

Guiuan, Basey and Borongan in Eastern Samar, town of Concepcion in Northern Iloilo and the towns of Tanauan, and Palo and Tacloban City, in Leyte were the most heavily damaged. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) destroyed these areas and many other cities in less than twelve hours.

Tacloban City is the seat of government of Eastern Visayas as it is the largest city in terms of population and the main gateway by air to the region. It is also one of the most competitive cities in the country being the first to become highly urbanized and where major health facilities are located. It only took a few hours for the typhoon to destroy everything that was built for many years for the progress of Tacloban. Because of the widespread flooding and the total outage of power in the region, all dialysis facilities were incapacitated. In November 9, the Philippine Society of Nephrology could not locate the five nephrologists based in the worst hit areas. Two of them were attending in Atlanta, and rest could not be accounted for. As such, it was also concluded that kidney patients were in dire situation. With all dialysis facilities down and the doctors and nurses also in bad situation, we realized that the medical relief efforts for dialysis patients would be fully dependent on a team coming from Manila.

CKD in the Philippines

Renal failure is among the ten leading causes of death in the country. In the latest report of the Philippine Renal Disease Registry (PRDR) there were in 18,000 prevalent cases in December 2012. There were 219 new reported cases from the Eastern Visayas Region where the hard hit areas belong. According to the census reported by the local nephrologists, the exact number of patients undergoing dialysis when typhoon struck can not be ascertained.

The Typhoon

All indications from early footages coming from the leading networks with access to the area showed that situation is worse than what was actually known. We knew already that some patients, maybe even some of the medical personnel could have perished from the calamity, and that dialysis was urgently needed. With no water, no electricity, washed out facilities and missing or ravaged medics, many more patients who survived the typhoon cannot may not last for long if dialysis would not be made available.

The PSN Dialysis Relief Operations

Despite the uncertainty and unclear picture of the situation, the planning started. In an emergency meeting, logistics were laid down, call for medical volunteers were made and coordination with national authorities (Department of Health, Philippine College of Physicians and the Armed Forces of the Philippines) were done. The society prepared the initial budget, and a call for donations from the members was done. Pledges from members came pouring in. The request for assistance from companies for supplies and additional medicines were immediately responded to. Thereafter, operation was ready for a headstart.

This was to be an operation that is highly specialized as no other society could handle this except ours. We started contacting the nephrologists in neighbouring areas which were also affected but not heavily damaged. Fortunately enough, outages in these areas were transient and damage to centers were minimal. Most medical personnels were called to report to assist for emergency cases. It was known thru communication with the nephrologists that trickles of patients have started migrating get dialysis treatments. Cebu, Ormoc City and even Manila were getting patients. Tacloban, where the centers were most of the centers are located, had no operational units

Through the help of a cardiologist who was in Tacloban rescuing family members, a private hospital, the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Hospital management agreed to accommodate the Philippine Society of Nephrology for its dialysis relief operations. As soon as coordination with the management was made, the volunteer nephrologists and nurses were prepared to head out for Tacloban.

Dialysis Operations

Since we were not aware about what was going to happen in the area, the volunteer medical personnel were warned to expect the worst. Each batch was composed of 2-3 nephrologists and 3 dialysis nurses, all of them prepared to stay for at least 5 days, equipped with everything. Succeeding batches were already scheduled on stand-by to fly a day before the previous batch leaves. Food, water, sleeping equipment, emergency communication power banks and personal first aid kits were readied.
Generators were made available by the hospital. One dialysis nurse and a dialysis technician fortunately were also sent by the hospital as representative to assist the PSN dialysis team taking charge of the unit.

Transport of supplies and medicines were flown thru military planes, while personnel and other additional supplies had to be flown thru commercial flights. In less than a week, the system was in place and the PSN Dialysis Relief Operation opened. Information was sent out to hospitals and medical mission sites about the availability of dialysis facility. Upon their arrival in the area, the medical team had to clean up the place, organized the supplies and set up the place. In a few hours on November 17, the first patient showed up and was immediately dialyzed.

The Patients

Informing patients that dialysis was already available also came as a challenge. With no power, no television or radio network operating, the news had to be delivered in person to the different hospitals and to areas where medical missions where being conducted. Text messaging were also done in the hope of reaching the patients. Even these were extremely difficult because of gas and power shortage. Each day however, new patients came an every single one of them were welcomed with joy and relief knowing that another person survived.

Patients came in with their own stories. For PSN our main goal was to be there for every dialysis patient who survived and to give them the best care we possibly could. Each patient had to survive the trauma of the worst calamity they had to face. We could only help them so much the way we know how. The volunteers listened to their stories, fed them and provided the hope that they will get the medical treatment that they desperately needed.

Every day for the next six weeks, more and more patients arrived. Every patient who came, the load became heavier, but for every patient who came, there was always a sense of joy because they survived. Each was given full treatment and a month's supply of the basic medicines that they needed. At least they did not have to worry about how and when they will get their treatment and how much money they would need to get one.

The Staff

The volunteer doctors and nurses were all in private practice and had to take a leave from work for at least 4-5 days. They had to do full duty jobs in the unit. At the end of the day they slept on dialysis chairs or on the floor, eat the food from the hospital or from what they brought from Manila. At the end of the month, volunteer medical professionals were replaced by the local nephrologists who by then have recovered from the stress. Likewise, instead of sending nurses from Manila, we started hiring local dialysis nurses who were left jobless by the typhoon. Instead of spending for the plane fares, we spent for the salary of local resident nurses.

The Operations

As communications were restored, more patients came in for treatment. Many of those who went to other cities for treatment came back. As more patients came, additional machines were flown in and supplies had to be replenished more frequently. A few more local nurses were hired to cope with the maximized operation.
Two vascular surgeons flew to Tacloban to do surgeries for patients who needed permanent access.

On December the last day of the 2013, with other dialysis units are already operational, we terminated our free dialysis mission and endorsed the operation to the local hospital. Other patients were transferred back to their original centers. At the end of the mission, we were treating more than 48 patients and terminated with a total of 413 full treatments.

At the moment 5 dialysis units (4 in-hospital and 1 free-standing) are already back in operation. One in-hospital dialysis unit has stopped operating because the hospital has been severely damaged and is still closed up to this time.

The people of Tacloban and many other towns faced the full wrath of the strongest typhoon ever. The unimaginable happened and the world was shocked knowing that it could happen any place. It was a tragic event indeed. The selfless outpouring of love and concern from all over the world for the people of Leyte and Samar was the light of hope that somehow, in the midst of deep pain and sorrow, they could rise again.

For the Philippine Society of Nephrology, it was a heart-warming realization that commitment of the members and its partnership with allied healthcare partners was strengthened. The tragedy that occurred reminded us of our highest goal - patient care.



In a subspecialty where childhood illnesses are carried over to adulthood, like NEPHROLOGY, TRANSITIONING is a reality that all physicians should practice. It is done to give our patients outmost benefit of care. The moving force behind the transition project is the ISN-IPNA Policy statement (2011) recommending the development of locally appropriate transitioning programs for the pediatric patients with chronic kidney and urinary tract diseases who are eventually transferred to adult health services for purposes of continuity of care, training and research. Thus, the PSN in support of the statement embarked on the PSN TRANSITION PROJECT spearheaded by Dr. Carmelo A. Alfiler.

The project aims to develop models of structured transitioning programs for various Philippine hospitals meeting major requirements, to adopt appropriate models among PSN-TPAB accredited fellowship programs and integrate it to their 2 year curricula, to recommend appropriate models for non PSN-TPAB accredited hospitals

where there is substantial presence of adult and pediatric nephrologist and to conduct studies among patients who undergo transitioning programs. The adhoc committee members are Dr. Elizabeth Montemayor, Victor S. Doctor, Remedios Dee Chan and

Norma V. Zamora. There are 3 hospitals included in model 1 which are: UP PGH. UST, PCMC and NKTI. Model 2 includes: The Medical City and St. Luke's Medical Center. Timelines were set. Initial reporting will be on April 2014 and on December 2014. A workshop on transitioning was offered by UP PGH who has pioneered this transition clinic thru their LIPAT KALINGA program. The participants of this session actually embarked on a writeshop and consultations on how to solve issues besetting local institutions.

PSN Celebrates World Kidney Day

PSN Celebrates World Kidney Day

In celebration of the World kidney day, a Patients' Benefit Forum was held last March13, 2014 to provide Dialysis and Transplant patients more information on the financial support / benefits that can be provided by the government agencies like Philhealth, SSS and PCSO and how the patients can avail of them to support their expenses for renal replacement therapy.

Dr Susan Anonuevo - PSN President gave the welcome remarks and the resource speakers were: Dr Marvin Galvez of Philhealth, Dr Brenda Viola of SSS and Mr Rubin Magno of PCSO. Around 220 patients and relatives attended the event. Raffle prizes, T-shirts and food packs were also given to the participants.

Southern Tagalog Chapter Celebrates WKD 2014

Southern Tagalog Chapter Celebrates WKD 2014

Since 2006, World Kidney Day is being celebrated every second Thursday of March aiming to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

This year’s theme “Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Aging” outlined the objectives of our celebration: To increase public awareness about CKD through lay fora and promote early detection of kidney disease through free basic screening.

The PSN – Southern Tagalog Chapter, thru the efforts of our dear president, Dr. Faustino, has called into action all its members to participate in this worldwide event. Satellite lay fora and free urinalysis has been scheduled all throughout the province of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Quezon on or before the week of March 13, 2014.

The members of the Southern Tagalog Chapter also aimed to bring the awareness of WKD outside the hospital and conducted a lay fora and screening to the seemingly healthy population of its community. Thus, they brought the activity to the employees of the Municipality of Imus City last March 17, 2014 to heightened their awareness of the risk factors for kidney diseases to be shared to their families and respective communities. A total of 170 urine test was done to those who attended. Cavite based nephrologist: Dra. Cha escobin, Dra. Gladys Diaz, Dra. Tess Madrazo, Dr. Aljun Malambut, Dra. Ruth Bernardo, Dra. Lala Ting – Tan, Dra. Jeanne Monzon and Dra. Faye Vergara – Lim Dy, organized the said event.

WKD14: Starting with a Glass of Water

WKD14: Starting with a Glass of Water

Start your day right with a glass of water! Because kidneys don't function without water. Drinking water can help keep kidneys healthy, although it won't cure kidney disease. The glass of water is a conversation starter to talk about how to prevent kidney disease.

So let's talk start talking about patients and their benefits. The PSN is spearheading a kick-off activity to be lead by the Section of Nephrology of Chinese General Hospital and The Medical City with a Patient's Benefits Forum March 13, 2014 (Thursday), 7am-12nn at the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, 6th Floor Medical Auditorium (Old Building), 286 Blumentritt Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila.

TIP: If you are organizing a special activity or event on the occasion of World Kidney Day, make sure that all your participants get their glass of water.

1. Have a glass of water ready for your guests, and take this opportunity to inform them about the importance of their kidneys. Don't forget to display and distribute the campaign material (posters and leaflets available on World Kidney Day website)
2. If you know some, help us engage highly visible local public spokespersons (politicians, artists, journalists, TV presenters, professors/teachers, CEOs, etc) to become advocates of the campaign and bring life to the "call to action". Ask them to drink a glass of water before any public intervention (talk/speech etc…) and encourage people to check their kidneys if they are at risk.

Here are some other materials you can use for WKD 2014:


Acute Renal Success!

Acute Renal Success!

The 2013 PSN Midyear Convention

It was a first of many . . .

Dr. Mara Baking Tugade, on her debut as an officer of PSN (of any organization, by her admission!), caught by surprise, shy, almost reluctant

A multitude of security risks, reaching even the sunny and ever smiling City of Bacolod, the land of sweet and affluent gentry

A challenge, albeit gently delivered, and consistent with the character of the serene national President, Dr. Susan Anonuevo-dela Rama

The acceptance of two regions, baptized with humility, sworn to unity, determination and industry for



At first glance, it was Mission Impossible.  The message could have self-destructed in 10 seconds but before that could happen, it was etched in the consciousness of the Central Luzon and Western Visayas Chapters.  The distance between the two regions was 24 hours by boat, 45 minutes by plane and seconds by cell phone.  Distance was never an object.

Sworn to unity, the theme was conceived from the souls of two cultures

A TALE OF 2 KIDNEYS, Unity in diversity


Nephrologists always knew that God made two kidneys so that one can be donated in the time of need.  This midyear convention gave the renal duet an entirely new meaning.  The smiling masks of Bacolod flew to Angeles, Pampanga.  The Kampampangans and Tagalogs opened their arms in welcome to their Ilonggo colleagues. 

The next six weeks were bound to steam with work and imagination as the one thing clearly common between the Bacolod and Angeles is:  they are not open to the option of defeat.

But wait . . . something here is NOT NEW.  The Central Luzon team just happened to be veterans and victors of a recent battle: the 2012 PCP Midyear Convention held last year, also in Angeles, Pampanga.  Last year’s PCP Midyear had no less than PSN’s former president Dr. Renne “Bong” Toledano as over all chair.  He trained us well and one year after that victory in Fontana, the nephrologists of Central Luzon still have the gumption, the organization, the talent and the connections to give another big roar!

And then, there’s more.  Apart from the organization of Dr. Dong Sese who served as over all chair and Dr. Joy Mallari who managed the treasury coffers, the next six weeks had to be hot with promotions.  The renal community of the Philippines MUST KNOW about the 2013 Midyear Convention.  They MUST WANT TO COME to the 2013 Midyear Convention.  Today, this is the PSN Central Luzon’s open secret:  we have an artistic genius named Dr. Rene Francisco.  A pediatric nephrologist, he is the formidable talent to beat.  He is the mind and the hand behind that gorgeous poster of the 2013 Midyear Convention.  With the help of Biomedis, our absolutely artistic posters were printed and spread all over the archipelago.  Electronic teasers were made by our Dr. Milik Pasumbal and our Metro Manila friend, Dr. William Rivero.  With only six weeks or less, we had to almost “seduce” the nephrology community to come to Pampanga!  Chapter Secretary Dr. Mia Collado could have compiled a book with all her e-mails and text messages.  Dr. Mara befriended every nephrologist in the country on Face Book!

The delegates needed hotels to stay in and lecture halls.  PHAP finally approved the Holiday Inn Clark for us and arrangements for other hotels needed to be made.  Those were the days and nights that Drs. Darwin Darjuan and Ritchie Rebong did not work and did not sleep.

All dolled up in our Filipiniana gowns and barongs, we opened the Midyear Convention on October 4, 2013 at 8:30 in the morning.  Overcoming her stage fright, Chapter Vice President, Dr. Shalee Santos led the prayer drafted by Dr. Olive Idio.  The orderly academic march, the warm welcome of President Dr. Mara and finally the climax of the adventure began to rise.  Our key note speaker was no less than one of the medical community’s guardians of ethics, Dr. Antonio Miguel Dans.  He gave us many critical points to ponder as we practice this enviable specialty.  New fellows were inducted and welcomed to the society and Dr. Susan Anonuevo-dela Rama raised the gavel and declared the convention open.  The game’s afoot . . .

We knew that organization is the key.  Another secret is revealed by PSN Central Luzon: even as Dra. Mara claimed to be a newby leader, she has a powerful tactical weapon in the person of her devoted and industrious spouse, Dr. Robert Tugade.  An organization man, by nature, necessity and force of circumstance, Dr. Robert outlined the details of the convention from the first step of the academic march in the Opening Ceremonies to the final minutes of the scientific program.  Happily, he was able to relax with rest of us during the social gatherings in between and after the convention.  THANK YOU, DOC ROBERT!  Sa uulitin ha . . .

Dr. Agnes Estrella worked with Dr. Soc Maravilla of Bacolod to recruit speakers that will make the scientific program engaging and unforgettable.  There was a balance of adult and pediatric nephrology (so glad we were able to get Drs. Angeles Marbella and Lorna Simangan to discuss Pediatric KT and immunology).  The topics discussed were those that speakers usually fear to tread:  Renal Nutrition (Dr. Lynn Gomez), Medical Stone Management (Dr. Coralie Dimacali), Deceased Organ Donation (Dr. JP Lagunzad and Dr. Sonny Paraiso). There were two lectures that caught our fancy and furor:  BIR and the nephrologist with Ms Jesusa Bigay, CPA as speaker (thank you LRII Therapharma!) and Hemodialysis Issues by our beloved Dr. Irma Gueco (she is our very own former PSN President with Kapampangan roots).  The lunch symposia were equally instructive with Dr. Marie Carmela Lapitan discussing Lower Urinary Tract Syndromes (Astellas). Dr. Agnes Estrella reviewing Lupus Nephritis (Macropharma), Drs. Lynn Gomez and Nines Bautista talking on their take on Incretin Therapy (Natrapharm) and Dr. Irma Gueco on Renal Anemia (Roche).

The Grand Dames of the Socials Committee, Drs. Marizel Catungal, Eden Castillo and Emely Pasumbal with their shared “consort,” Dr. Edison Guerrero crafted the social activities to the tiniest detail.  We have to thank LRII Therapharma (again!) for the Welcome Dinner that served as a warm up of our sterling and sosyal gatherings, so typical of the two regions.  You know you’re in good company when you have no less than THE COMPANY to rock your first night at the convention.  The fellowship night with the generous sponsorship of Biomedis only fueled more of the party attitudes of the midyear.  The Masskara art competition and the SIDE A Band released the other side of normally obsessive compulsive renal specialists! With the scientific sessions finally accomplished, groups of doctors and their families bonded with their pharmaceutical industry sponsors to tour scenic spots of Pampanga.  Among them, was the tranquil PRADO FARM where we ate Pampanga cuisine, awed ourselves with interesting houses and decors of the farm and just chilled out and enjoyed full body massages!       

It is done.  The mission is accomplished.  The longest six weeks of our lives was well lived.  Will there ever be another like it again?  We wonder while others dread and hope not as it was a challenge that intimidates those with faltering hearts.  It is only for the brave.