By Bro. Dr. Ferdinand Magno, 13 Men and a Baby
In a commencement speech he delivered in 2010 to the graduates of the university on the other side of the Pasig, Bro. Dr. Rafael Ricafranca Castillo, Tatlong Kasaysayan, extolled the students, which included his daughter, to work hard on becoming selfless by serving the less fortunate, one’s country and God.
Bro. Raffy expressed his words eloquently in Filipino, “Sa ating paglisan sa mga haligi ng ating Pamantasan, pagsikapin natin na ang ating loobin ay hindi ang pagiging makasarli, kundi ang pagiging makakapwa, makabayan at maka-Diyos. Sa ganoong paraan, mararanasan natin ang tunay na kaligayahan at makabuluhang tagumpay.”
As one browses thru Dr. Castillo’s résumé and countless accolades throughout his professional career, one cannot help but be amazed at what he has accomplished. Bro. Raffy not only talks the talk but walks the walk as he backs up his words with actions.
Bro. Raffy entered Tau Mu Sigma Phi, the Thomsian Medical Students’ Fraternity, back in 1973 at the height of Martial Law. He finished the grueling Tauan initiations with two other medical students and called their batch ‘Tatlong Kasaysayan.’
In 1977, Dr. Castillo graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery with honors, Cum Laude and Meritissimus which he parlayed into a successful Cardiology practice. At the young age of 39, Bro. Raffy was elected the youngest President of the Philippine Heart Association/Philippine College of Cardiology in 1993.
This was followed by other accomplishments such as the Chairmanship of the Board of Adult Cardiology and Presidency of the Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension. In 2012, as part of the University’s Quadricentennial celebration, the University of Santo Tomas Medical Alumni Association conferred on him the prestigious THOMAS Award for Public Health and Health-Related Issues.
Like most highly driven individuals, Bro. Raffy explored other endeavors outside of Medicine. Since the mid nineties, he has edited several books, scientific journals, health magazines for doctors and health professionals.
Dr. Castillo has also written countless articles, commentaries and editorials for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and since 2002, has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Health and Lifestyle Magazine and Vitals Signs since 2011. He has authored or co-authored 30 original researches, clinical investigations and dissertations and delivered around 500 lectures in the field of Cardiology and other life topics to organizations, schools and medical societies.
Dr. Castillo is also a businessman and an entrepreneur. In 2000, he finished his Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Adventist University of the Philippines School of Business with honors, Summa Cum Laude, Straight A in all subjects and Excellent in Revalida. He is a member of the Makati Business Club and the National Press Club, of which Bro. Raffy is a lifetime member.
“Tau Mu is a great fraternity and I’m proud to be a Tauan,” Bro. Raffy proclaimed when asked what it’s like to be a member of Tau Mu Sigma Phi. He went further when queried as to how the fraternity helped him into becoming the man that he is, “I believe in our ideals and I support them, but every member must make these ideals a way of life forever and not only proclaim them by ‘lip service.'”
“Tau Mu is a great fraternity and I’m proud to be a Tauan. I believe in our ideals and support them, but every member must make these ideals a way of life forever…” – Bro. Raffy Castillo
Bro. Raffy is a man of Faith and has dedicated his life to the service of God. This is one reason why he feels that Tau Mu Sigma Phi should look into some of our traditions and perhaps reserve these for the reverence of God and God alone.
One night a few years ago in his residence, Bro. Dr. Castillo and several Tauans, while celebrating the life of Bro. Dr. Douglas ‘Dougy’ Rimando Mendoza, Batch BT 1628, who have since passed away, discussed that physicians should, in addition to practicing medicine, be advocates for social change.
“Tau Mu should show one and all that we’re not only a fraternal organization, but a socially relevant one with programs, activities, and consistent accomplishments worth emulating,” Bro. Raffy advocates on how Tau Mu should move forward.
Lastly, like most Tauans, Bro. Dr. Raffy Castillo is a family man. He is married to Rebecca, Becky, an Internist-Infectious Disease Specialist at the Adventist Medical Center in Manila. Their union bore two daughters, Shelly Rochelle, the elder one, is an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Connecticut in Hartford and Abby Roxanne, also an Internal Medicine resident at the Mount Sinai Hospital, Johns Hopkins Program, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Among all his achievements, Bro. Raffy cherishes most the Ulirang Ama Award which he received in 2004.
The distinction, given out by the Ulirang Ama Foundation, is conferred on fathers who transcends the four walls of the house and the gates of the communities and shows us all that fatherhood is an institution upon which our society stands, according to the foundation’s president.
He has shown that despite of one’s successes in life and standing in society, what matters most is faith in God and love of family.
As Tau Mu Sigma Phi, the Thomasian Medical Students’ Fraternity, nears its 70th year anniversary, our membership continues to grow. We all need Tauans who have patterned their lives in the service of God and lived the fraternity’s ideals. Someone whom we can all emulate.
Bro. Dr. Rafael Castillo, a man of God, a husband, a father, a brother, is that Tauan.
A Commencement for Tomorrow
Youtube Video from Wazzup Pilipinas
Dr. Rafael Castillo at Brandcast 2015 Media Event