BY RUDY D. LIPORADA
Columnist’s Note: I relegate my column in this issue to Aurea Liporada, a former Clinical Instructor at the Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing in the Philippines.
I love reunions. They are hubs that remind me of who I was. Yes, they are reminders of my glorious past that could explain where I am now and where I could further be heading. Whether they are a gathering of family, classmates, town-mates, clubs, or simply friends, reunions provide a perspective of how one’s present was shaped from the past and how one could redefine further one’s future. This goes without saying that everyone in your past that you have interacted with and are part of whatever reunion you are in or will be has somehow contributed at least a pebble that has helped cement the pillar that you have become.
This coming January and February 2019, I will be attending four such reunions. Three with my husband’s: with his Saint Louis Boys’ High School Alumni, the Ex-Seminarians of the CICM, and the Beta Gamma Phi Fraternity and Sorority of the University of the Philippines – Baguio. No offense to my husband’s reunion mates but what I am most excited about is the 11th International Grand Reunion of the Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association (BGHSNAA) on Feb. 15-17, 2019 in Baguio City.
Although I am not an alumna of the Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing (BGHSN), I was a clinical instructor there from 1975 to 1979. Having attended most of the school’s past reunions, I always had the exhilarating feelings at re-bonding with my former students, former co-instructors; and forging bonds with their current families. Learning how my former students are living out in their fields, embued with the Tender Loving Care (TLC) as ingrained in them, also sent gratifying feelings of pride in my heart at how I may have played a part, no matter how minute, in their journey in life. This goes without saying that I am also thankful to them for they have provided me with the necessary experience that helped me with my career advancements beyond BGHSN.
For that matter, I believe, we should be thankful to the Baguio General Hospital (BGH) as an institution in itself and not only for its school of nursing. The BGHSNAA is but an offshoot of BGH’s humble beginnings with the humble beginnings of the City of Baguio itself. From an appropriation of mere Ten Thousand Pesos then, a sanitarium was constructed in March 27, 1902 where Pines Hotel used to be or where the present SM-Baguio now stands. The then 15 bed capacity evolved to become the Baguio General Hospital in 1937.
Recognizing the need for more nurses, the Philippine Congress passed a resolution in 1922 creating BGH’s school of nursing. It opened the following year, 1923, with nine students. From then on, throughout the peaceful times and through the Japanese war, graduates fanned out from the portals of the school to render their Tender Loving Care virtue, not only for the patients in Baguio City, but throughout the farthest corners of the world.
It is worthwhile to note that the Class of 1945 had the most unique graduation exercise. Nine seniors graduated amidst interruption by American planes carpet-bombing the City. They also stayed to serve patients even if their lives were in danger.
And the Nightingale’s light continued to shine on from the School of Nursing even in foreign lands.
I consider myself fortunate to be part of the School’s latter history. More so because it closed its portals in 1984. After 61 years, it had produced 3,885 graduates. I am so proud to be privileged to have been part of four batches. I am so proud to have been part of an institution that had been true and continue to be true, through its graduates, to its mission of tendering the highest service with loving care to patients even at the most far-flung corners of the world.
Thus, I will make it a point, whenever I can, to attend all reunions of the BGHSNAA. I will do this knowing that if the school closed in 1984, the last dwindling reunions should be sometime between 2060’s to the 2070’s. I will do so…enjoying the camaraderie of my former students, alumna and alumni, co-instructors, their families, and other colleagues…with the thought that the Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing and how it prepared us to serve society will forever live in our hearts.
*Aurea Liporada – RN-BSN, MEdM – is a graduate of St. Paul’s – Manila and was also a clinical instructor at Manila Central University, Arellano School of Nursing, St. Louis University School of Nursing, Pines City Doctors’ Hospital. She also served as Instructor at the University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing in Lusaka, Zambia. She retired as an RN operating Nurse after serving for 27 years in California. # nordis.net