Dr. Antonio R. Lahoz, the founder of the UNP College of Medicine, was honored through a memorial at the Vigan Convention Center on September 29, 2023.
A former member of the Board of Regents, Dr. Lahoz “worked towards the realization of the Medicine program by providing linkages for benchmarking of the UNP College of Medicine prior to its establishment,” Board Resolution No. 60, s. 2023, signed on September 14, 2023, states.
A surgeon and native of Vigan, Dr. Lahoz led a life which has exerted a “heavy influence on the early operation of the College,” the Resolution adds, and that “the College draws inspiration from him as it aims to produce physicians who are community-oriented and specialization-ready.”
Dr. Erwin F. Cadorna joins the Lahoz family in unveiling the portrait of Dr. Antonio Lahoz.
The honoree was known for his pioneering surgical procedures in Vigan. As an alumnus of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, he has chosen to go back to his hometown instead of establishing a lucrative career in Metro Manila.
The Resolution stemmed from the petition of the faculty, alumni, and students at the College of Medicine, for such an honor for him is “timeless and well-deserved.”
The program was spearheaded by the UNP College of Medicine with Dean Pablo Quedado at the helm.
One tableau performed by the medical students featured Dr. Lahoz’s earliest medical practice in Vigan whereby a sick woman has been ferried from an upland municipality. Right there and then, he responded immediately, and more patients from faraway towns of Ilocos Sur flocked to his clinic almost every day. He established the Lahoz Clinic and Hospital in 1959.
The students’ performance also showed the gift of medical education and healthcare he has initiated to the people of Ilocos Sur.
Dr. Winston Pe Aguirre, former provincial board member, testified that through the Doctor of Medicine program of UNP, his town, once considered a “geographically isolated and depressed area” (GIDA), now has six physicians, all UNP graduates.
In the same manner, Dr. Minerva P. Calimag, president of the Philippine Medical Association, explained that the theme of the event, “Tawid: An Icon’s Dream,” is befitting of the honoree because he bestowed medical education upon the province. As such, he is a paragon of servant leadership.
Dr. Digna Ragasa also shared the notable contributions of Dr. Lahoz to the Rotary Club of Vigan. He served as Club President and received the Loyalty Service award.
The event gathered the faculty and administrators of the University, as well as the members of the medical community of Ilocos Sur.
Dr. Erwin F. Cadorna, UNP President, also remarked that Dr. Lahoz “not only imparted knowledge but also led by example, advocating for patient-centered care and compassionate healthcare practices.”
“His integrity, empathy, and professionalism have set a benchmark for aspiring medical professionals to follow,” he added.
Dr. Lahoz is also a distinguished teacher, having taught at the University of the Philippines Colleges of Medicine and of Nursing.
In 1986, he received from the Phi Kappa Mu Alumni Association of the UP Philippine General Hospital a Distinguished Alumnus Award in Community Service for his “dedicated community work among the poor and the deprived sectors of Philippine society which often involved physical and monetary sacrifice.”
He is also a recipient of the Jose Burgos Award of the Vigan City government and the Rizal Memorial Award conferred by the Philippine Medical Association.
The latter is given to “outstanding Filipino physicians whose lives and works embody the ideals of our national hero in the conduct of their practice, in the way they live life that is reflective of Rizal’s love for God and country, and in the selfless service to fellowmen.”
The pioneering faculty members of the College of Medicine were also presented. Led by the then dean of the UNP College of Health Sciences, Dr. Mae Rebecca M. Azcueta, the team was composed of Dr. Esperanza R. Lahoz, Dr. Anacleto F. Advincula, Dr. Felipe P. Almachar, Dr. Reynaldo Paz, Dr. Conrado Andal, and Dr. Pablo R. Quedado.
All these accomplishments were displayed through an exhibit during the event. His awards and memorabilia are hoped to be part of the museum of the College of Medicine.
Solatio Harmonia, the UNP College of Medicine choir, performs a rendition of Dr. Lahoz’s favorite song, “The Impossible Dream.”