Central Philippine University

By Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

The Filipino Nursing Association of Quebec, Inc. (FNAQ) illuminated the night with a celebration of its 32nd founding anniversary during a gala held on March 16, 2024. The resplendent event took place at Plaza Vogue, 4371 Granded-Prairies, Saint Leonard, Quebec, Canada, marking another milestone in the association’s remarkable journey.

Established in 1992 by a distinguished alumna of the CPU College of Nursing, Mrs. Magdalena D. Belleza Calcetas, FNAQ stands as a testament to the dedication and vision of its founder. Reflecting on the association’s ethos, Mrs. Calcetas expressed, “We never forget the people who nurtured us to become who we are today: our elders, teachers, superiors, colleagues, friends.”

The Gala Night was a tapestry of heartfelt tributes and inspiring reflections emceed by FNAQ Treasurer Ma Caroline Rada and Advisor Fruan V. Tabamo. Two special poems graced the occasion, each weaving a narrative of gratitude and hope. Advisor Lyne de Palma and Advisor Lucie Tremblay stirred hearts with “Welcoming The New Nurses, Our Hope for the Future,” while “Honouring The Retired Nurses, Who Paved the Way” resonated with the wisdom of Advisor Patty O’Connor and Mayor Gracia K. Katahwa.

The poem for retirees reads,

To you, our “Retired Nurses, Who Paved the Way ”, we dedicate this poem:
R= is for: Rest, Relax, Remember, you deserved this Reward… now that you are Retired!
E= is for: Everything you wish to Explore, will be at your own Easy leisure
T= is for: Today, Tomorrow, you can Truly, Travel to places galore.
I= is for: Interesting, Ideal, Intelligent, Interactions coming your way.
R= is for: Refreshed, Renewed, Re-energized, you shall always be!
E= is for: Everyday you wake up, Extremely, and Elegantly Ecstatic.
D= is for: Dreams Distant for you to realize before, are now within your reach to Design and Develop, as Doctor Laurie Gottlieb said in her book: “Dreams Have No Expiry Date”

The poems, penned by Mrs. Eugenia F. Magalit, former FNAQ president (2009-2012) and CPU alumna BS Nursing 1964, encapsulated the essence of FNAQ’s ethos, celebrating both the journey ahead for new nurses and the legacy of those who have paved the path before them.

The program featured inspiring talks from Advisor Georgia Niarchos and Mayor Gracia K. Katahwa, alongside congratulatory messages from Ex-Officio Ms. Corazon Abdon and President Mary Grace Ocampo. A solemn Nurses Pledge, done by former FNAQ Presidents Connie Fernandez, Angie Ogerio, and Vice Presidents Ma Eloisa Dee and Milagros Gobeil and Advisor Alejandro Robles, reaffirmed the commitment to excellence in healthcare.

In their souvenir program, warm greetings were extended by esteemed figures, including Emelda Solinap Frange Valcarcel, RN Principal and Founder, ESFV and Associates, Inc.; Dr. Elmer Q. Pedregosa, Administrator of Iloilo Mission Hospital and member of the CPU Board of Trustees; Engr. Lee Romulo J. Plagata Jr., President of the Central Philippine University Federation of Overseas Alumni Associations; Mrs. Melba Capaspas Sale, Acting Dean of the CPU College of Nursing; and Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy, CPU President.

Dr. Pedregosa wrote, “May you remain to be of Iloilo Mission Hospital dedicated allies in providing effective solutions and meaningful leadership in the healthcare industry as well as improving health outcomes and quality of life of the people and the country you are serving.”

Likewise, Mr. Plagata also sent his greetings. He wrote, “Your growth over the years is testament to the key role you play for the nurses from our alma mater CPU as well as other nurses that come to Quebec in pursuit of career opportunities in Nursing. Providing that community support, coaching the new members, are vital to integrating and helping them grow in their profession. These are in line with our CPUFOAA goals.”

Another Centralian, Dr. Rosana Grace Belo-Delalriarte, Chairperson, 2024 Board of Governors
And Governor, Region VI-Western Visayas of the Philippine Nurses Association, Inc. also sent her greetings – “The FNAQ has gone a long way, and what a great feat for the association to be celebrating its 32nd year of existence. You have committed yourselves to take part in endeavors for the greater good. It is my firm belief that programs and projects that benefit both the association and the community are those that will have lasting impact and will showcase your reputation as a dependable organization of nurses.”

In the same manner, Acting Dean of the CPU College of Nursing, Mrs. Melba Capaspas Sale sent her greetings, “We are truly grateful to the association for giving us the opportunity to be part of your mission and dedication to maintain and enhance the development of Filipino nurses for exemplary health care services. We also take pride and honor in having our Nurses Alumni in many parts of the globe who keep the Central Spirit burning and upholding the core values of Centralian nurses.”

And extending his warm regards, Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy, the President of CPU, conveyed his heartfelt message. He wrote, “I pray that your time together will be fun and meaningful as you celebrate deep friendships and recall God’s many kindnesses towards you throughout the years.”

As the evening concluded, the echoes of camaraderie and dedication lingered, underscoring FNAQ’s unwavering commitment to excellence in nursing and its enduring spirit of community and service.