By Bro. Dr. Ferdinand Q. Magno, 13 Men and a Baby
It is clear that Tau Mu Sigma Phi, the Thomasian Medical Students” Fraternity, finds itself again at another crossroads on its 70th year as the upstart Tau Mu USA Foundation inches closer to its 15th year. At the just concluded Tau Mu USA Fall reunion, Tauans called for increased fraternity support for its fledgling trust fund and a discussion concerning dwindling number of recruits on the home front.
This year’s event was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites in Jersey City, New Jersey. The three day affair, hosted by Bro. Dr. Ricardo Quinto Binsol, GI-18 and Bro. Dr. Francis Bernard Domingo Ponce, 9 Tauan Commandos, their spouses and the entire east coast team, began last Friday and ended late Sunday, September 25, 2016. Close to eighty Tauans were expected to congregate in the Garden State not including their respective families and friends.
Despite of the challenges that obviously lay ahead, the fraternity decided to face them head on but in typical Tauan fashion, the brods wanted to party first!
The fraternity was treated to dinner, drinks and entertainment at a local watering hole late Friday night which for some, extended to the early morning hours of Saturday. It is pleasant to once again hear the Tauan laughter that reverberates thru the halls of the university or along walls of a hotel lobby.
Saturday morning, after a prayer led by host Bro. Bernie Ponce and the TAUAN Pledge by Bro. Dr. Remel Dionisio Cariño Buslig, 13s Got It, was business as usual. A three hour CME on emerging viral epidemics such as Zika, Chikungunya, Ebola, updates on Hepatitis C and stem cell therapy was presented by Bro. Dr. Marianito Olivares Asperilla, Batch Anim.
Outgoing Tau Mu USA President Bro. Dr. Ramon Ramos Contreras, Lucky 13, delivered the welcome address and an update on the status of the foundation while Bro. Dr. Stephen de los Reyes Pamatmat, Fighters 13 presented the financial report. It was at this juncture that the fraternity once again implored its members to donate more money in order for Tau Mu Sigma Phi to fund its yearly projects.
Current TAUAN Alumni Organization (TAO) President Bro. Dr. Rollo Chan Millante, 14 Kilalang Tauans, presented a report on the status of the alumni brods in the Philippines after showing a slide presentation of his own personal journey as a Tauan. He discussed his administration’s programs and philosophy and touched briefly on the frat house fund, of which he is one of the signatories.
Recent PLE passer and past MEB Bro. Dr. Joel Latimer Buncayo Smith III, Insanity, was given the floor to talk about the student brothers who are tasked to conduct recruitment at the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Base on Bro. Joel’s report it was obvious that the fraternity needs to focus its attention to marketing itself in order to increase the number of potential recruits.
An open forum ensued wherein Bro. Dr. Primo Aquino Andres Jr., Lucky 13, past TM USA President and current USTMAAA stalwart, reiterated the need for the fraternity to be more proactive than reactionary. Notable ways of marketing the fraternity to not only the Faculty of Meducine and Surgery but the entire university were discussed and debated upon.
Concerns about a small yet vibrant Tauan Faculty at the university were voiced out but it was shrugged off as immaterial as evidenced by what a prominent faculty member has said before that everybody knows we are tight!
As it has been done for the past several years, the baton was passed from Bro. Mon Contreras to Bro. Remel Buslig as the latter takes over as Tau Mu USA Foundation President for the next fiscal year. The rest of his administration consists of Bro. Dr. Ferdinand Christopher Lyndon Quebral Magno, 13 Men and a Baby, as Secretary and Bro. Dr. Nemesio Emilio Sanchez Gutierrez, 7-11 Local 2-4-5, as Treasurer.
Elections for the Tau Mu USA Foundation Board and future officers were likewise held and the following Tauans were elected: Bro. Dr. Rexinor Jesus Paragas Agtarap, 3-1 BEST, Bro Dr. Reynaldo Carlos Gacad, Twelve Tauan Apostles and Bro. Dr. Romeo Reyes Legaspi Jr., 7 Sacraments.
After closing remarks by Bro. Rick Binsol, the Tauans sang the TAUAN Rally and once again reaffirmed its status as the number one fraternity of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Lunch came next while some brothers talked about potential business ventures in healthcare back home.
After lunch, most members were herded off in two passenger vans marked with the Tau Mu logo to the PATH station on the Jersey side on their way to the World Trade Center and the 911 Memorial where they boarded a double Decker bus en route to a scheduled tour of Manhattan.
Saturday dinner and socials were held at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at the sprawling Montclair State University campus in Little Falls, NJ. The host and hostess, Bro. Bernie Ponce and Dr. Grace Ponce, treated Tauans to a sumptuous feast consisting mainly of Filipino delicacies.
A anticipated mass was officiated by Fr. Marcelino Miranda, himself a product of UST. He drove home the importance of prayers in our daily lives. Tauan family including Jackie and Joaquin Magno, Madie Mercado acted as altar servers during the entire celebration.
Tauans got to dance all night long with their partners and savor the open bar which served multitudes of drinks including imported beer, liquor and shots of Johnny Walker Blue. It was clearly evident once more that Tau Mu Sigma Phi knows how to have fun and a great time and mix business with pleasure.
Sunday is moving day as most attendees trek back to the airport and board planes to take them back home. A surprise breakfast of tapsilog, tocilog, longsilog and bangsilog, in take out boxes, were doled out at the hotel parking lot and lobby by Drs. Bernie and Grace Ponce. It was classic Filipino and Tauan hospitality at its best.
Once again, the Tau Mu USA Foundation had a successful fall reunion wherein Tauans from the entire United States and some from the Philippines meet up once a year to hash things out. Differences were ironed out, goals and programs were set up and issues resolved but more importantly, the fraternity seizes the opportunity to renew ties and rekindle BROTHERHOOD.
Most of us left New Jersey feeling full and complete and vow to hook up with each other again in Las Vegas next year. HAIL TAU MU!