Venerable Knight Veterinarians Fraternity: A Glance at the Past, A Peep Into the Future, Fifty Golden Years 1959-2009
Jose Q. Molina, Mariano L. Jovellanos, Rosendo L. Gamba, Jr., Eduardo M. Celo, Jaime A. Sison, Robert H. Lo, Angel Antonio C. Manabat, Constante J. Palabrica and Wilfredo V. Maligalig
The Venerable Knight Veterinarians Fraternity, more popularly known as VKV, was formed on February 27, 1959 at the U.P. College of Veterinary Medicine Diliman, Quezon City. A group of veterinary students, having obtained grades of â€œ5â€™sâ€ or â€œcincoâ€™sâ€ and facing the dreaded prospect of dismissal from the university, decided to study, work and enjoy college life together and never give-up, never surrender in their determination to pass their academic subjects and graduate as Doctors of Veterinary Medicine. They adopted the name â€œCinco con Cincoâ€ for their group, also serving as battlecry to rally their spirits and strengthen their will to succeed.
The groupâ€™s name evolved into the more scholarly â€œ5 Kappa 5â€ and the members were called â€œKappansâ€. The number 5 was romanized to become â€œV Kappa Vâ€, shortened to â€œVKVâ€ and the name Venerable Knight Veterinarians was later adopted to emulate the ideals of the â€œKataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan (KKK) ng mga Anak ng Bayanâ€ (translated as Venerable Sons of the Motherland) and the fabled Camelotâ€™s Knights of the Round Table. The organization was formally recognized by the UP CVM and the University in 1963.
Membership, at the start and early years of the fraternity, was limited to veterinary students with grades of â€œ5â€. Later on, it was opened to all students, including exceptionally bright students and scholars as the organization shifted its focus on encouraging members to achieve academic excellence. From then on, many members garnered honors and recognitions. It added the motto, â€œThe harder we strive, the greater glory for the VKV,â€ to galvanize the value of hard work in order to succeed. A VKV Hymn was later on composed and sung at every meeting and gathering of members and the last two phrases â€“ â€œForever we will roll, for success is our goalâ€ further cements the membersâ€™ goal of success in all their undertakings.
The organization expanded to its Alpha Chapter at the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation (GAUF), now De La Salle Araneta University (DLSAU) on August 27, 1967. On March 19, 1981, the Beta Chapter was founded at the Dr. Yanga-Francisco Balagtas College (DYFBC), followed by the Gamma Chapter at the Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation (VMUF) on October 23, 1981. The Delta Chapter at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) was founded on February 7, 1982 and Epsilon Chapter in Fatima Medical School Foundation (FMSF) on March 19, 1982. The Zeta Chapter was founded on December 7, 1991 at the Benguet State University (BSU) followed by the Eta Chapter at the Isabela State University (ISU) on October 18, 1992.
Eleven more chapters were established bringing the total to 19, namely: the Theta Chapter at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) on October 9, 1999; the Iota Chapter in Tarlac College of Agriculture (TCA) on December 5, 1999; the Kappa Chapter in Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) on December 20, 1999; the Lambda Chapter in Cavite State University (CVSU) on September 9, 2001; the Mu Chapter in Camarines Sur State Agricultural College (CSSAC) in 2003; the Nu Chapter in Cagayan State University (CSU) in 2003, the Xi Chapter in Leyte State University now Visayas State University (VSU) in 2004, the Omicron Chapter in University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in 2004; the Pi chapter in University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) in 2005; the Rho Chapter in Central Mindanao University (CMU) in 2005 and the latest- the Sigma Chapter in Aklan State University (ASU) in 2008.
The Venerable Lady Veterinarians (VLV) Sorority was founded at the De La Salle Araneta University in 1969 and is the sister sorority of VKV Fraternity in all the veterinary schools where it has chapters.
A GLANCE AT THE PAST, A PEEP INTO THE FUTURE
At its Golden Anniversary, the VKV Fraternity looks back at its achievements for the past 50 years. The â€œWhoâ€™s Who in VKVâ€ is a veritable list of successful veterinarians and professionals in the Philippines and all over the world. To start with, the nine founders Aurelio H. Almazan, Francisco A. Aquilizan, Jr., Levy T. Centeno, Pablito T. De Asis, Tomas F. Fernandez, Jr., Librado B. Herbosa, Rosendo L. Gamba, Jr., Liberato C. Javier and Leocadio B. Macariola, Jr., later on all graduated from U.P. with their D.V.M. degrees and were all successful in their professional careers and personal lives â€“ Totoy Almazan and Levy Centeno migrated to the USA and acquired their own veterinary hospitals in Chicago and Los Angeles. Tom Fernandez is a Senior Veterinarian with Los Angeles County, California; Pablito de Asis manages a lucrative poultry farm in Rizal province; Oddie Herbosa presides over his successful veterinary drug company; Frank Aquilizan retired as Senior Veterinarian of the Department of Agriculture; and Dodong Gamba as Provincial Veterinarian of Iloilo. Dado Javier was a successful veterinary practitioner and livestock farmer in Batangas.
Many of the members that followed after the founding garnered honors and recognitions. Teofilo Saulog and Arthur Angulo were bestowed the signal honor of being invited to join the Faculty of the U.P. CVM. Later, they pursued graduate studies in the United States of America where they obtained their Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Dr. Angulo is presently with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, USA. After them followed many brods and VLV Sisses â€“ Lino de Vera, Ed Celo, Leartes Tabotabo, Jing Masangkay, Joey Molina, Cef Maala, Lito Landicho, Chito Pablo, Leo Obviar, Ed Torres, Robert Lo, RJ Ducusin, Nancy Ramirez, Rhea Anunciado, Glenda Guico, Rhea Lustria-Maligaya, Ariel Bombio and Randy Lapuz. Jimmy Sison served as Senior Lecturer at the college.
Chito Pablo was the first VKV Cum laude graduate of UP and he was followed by Leo Obviar, RJ Ducusin, Eugene Mende and Ariel Bombio. Brod Tom Acorda was first VKV Cum laude graduate of DLSAU.
Jing Masangkay, Ed Torres, RJ Ducusin, Rhea Anunciado and Randy Lapuz have PhDâ€™s from various universities in Japan, Cef Maala and Lito Landicho are PhD graduates of the famous Cornell University in New York, USA. Chito Pablo is presently Faculty Member of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida at Gainsville, USA and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologist. Joey Molina later on became Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, first Chief Veterinary Officer of the Philippines and National Consultant, FAO-UN Philippines. Leo Obviar joined San Miguel Corporation and is now General Manager of Monterey Foods Corporation. Robert Lo and Nancy Ramirez turned to business; she is now the owner of Animal Farm, Inc. and Prime Meat Deli and Assistant Vice President, Toyota Cagayan de Oro. Ed Celo is now a successful small animal practitioner in New Jersey USA.
More on the academic field â€“ several brods are occupying top positions in the different veterinary schools. Leo Solis, Jojo Trinidad, Jorge Villamil and Asun Beltran, Julpha Agustin and Jun Feranil are current Deans of the veterinary college of Virgen Milagrosa Educational Institute (VMEI), Camarines Sur State Agriculture College, Pampanga Agricultural College, Tarlac College of Agriculture, Isabela State University and Cavite State University respectively. And several others were Deans -Mar Jovellanos of VMEI and Fatima Medical School Foundation, Joseph Layson of Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, Oca Quines and Emeng Cabana of CLSU, Tom Fernandez of Leyte State University and Nestor Alonso of Southwestern University. Emeng Cabana and Tom Fernandez are PhD graduates of Queensland University, Australia and Edinburgh University, United Kingdom respectively and Oca Quines is MS Fish Pathology graduate of Auburn University, Alabama, USA.
Overseas, Nats Tablante is Associate Professor, University of Maryland, USA. Larry Asico and Edwin Solis are Research Veterinarians at John Hopkins Medical Center, Maryland USA.
Gonzalo Martin was first VKV Topnotcher of the Veterinary Board Examinations and later on became Mayor of Candaba, Pampanga. He was followed later on by Mando Garcia, Noel Samson, Ed Torres and Ariel Bombio. Many more brods and sis garnered Top Ten positions like Tony Bautista, Ed Celo, Jing Masangkay, Joe Dayao, Joey Molina, Benny Santiago, Cris Pamparo, Cef Maala, Tom Acorda, Leo Obviar, Robert Lo, Bobby Jacela, Ludoy Cabrera, RJ Ducusin, Jun Feranil, Dioni Literato, Melbourne Talactac.
Several brods and sis now occupy high positions in government. Nedy Torralba is President of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela. Caloy Mendoza is now Executive Director of the Livestock Development Council. Oca Parawan and Joe Dayao are presently DA Regional Executive Directors in RFU IX (Zamboanga) and RFU V (Bicol) respectively. Gildo Fabros, Romy Capa, Hugo are Regional Directors of the National Meat Inspection Service. Joey Molina was the previous Director and Josefino Froyalde was Assitant Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, Ric Marero was Executive Director of the Livestock Development Council and Roger Signey retired as Regional Executive Director of Department of Agriculture RFU I. Tom Acorda is presently Veterinary Board Examiner, Professional Regulations Commission and Jimmy Sison is the first VKV to be appointed Board Examiner.
On the political side, Perry Montances was first VKV President of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association in 1986. He was followed by Joey Molina in 1989 and then Gildo Fabros, Robert Lo, Beth Callanta (first VLV PVMA President) and James Cheng. The incoming President is Bobot Carlos, presently City Veterinarian of Marikina and President of the Provincial, City and Municipal Veterinarians League of the Philippines. Ludoy Cabrera was President of PVMA Southern Mindanao Chapter. Tom Acorda and Popoy Ramos were President of the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines, Jimmy Sison was President of Philippine College of Veterinary Feed Practitioners and Mar Jovellanos was President of the Philippine College of Veterinary Public Health, Botchok Bustamante of the Philippine College of Poultry Practitioners and Jayboy Escandor of the Philippine College of Ruminant Practitioners. Aloy Martin was Mayor of Candaba, Pampanga, Cads Mendoza was Vice Mayor of Calauag, Quezon and Noel Soliman was Vice Mayor of Tarlac City. In the USA, Johnny Calimlim was the President of the Southern California Filipino Veterinary Medical Association in 1996-1998.
On the business side, the big success stories are Robert Lo and Abel de Manuel. Robert is President, Red Dragon Group of Companies where he manages RDF Poultry which produces over a million broilers monthly; RDF Piggery, a 2000-sow unit operation; and Fresh Options Meat Shop with over 50 meat shops in the Central Luzon area. Abel, on the other hand, is CEO and President, Universal Feeds Corporation â€“ the biggest commercial feed operations in the Visayas-Mindanao area. Benny Santiago owns and manages his piggery farms. Not far behind are Brods Nilo Nequinto, Jerry Valdez, Nars Intal, Ely Reyes, Roy Santos and Bles Carlos. Nilo owns and manages Eurotec Corporation, Jerryâ€“JCS Corporation, Nars Intalâ€“Inavet Technologies, Roy Santos manages their poultry equipment company, Ely and Bles (wife of Brod Bobot Carlos-Incoming PVMA President) â€“ all distributors of veterinary products. Many others own and manage veterinary hospitals â€“ Ding Ole, Epoy dela Cruz, Jimmy Aycardo, Ging Berdon, Yokyok Santos and Joana Ferazzini. Others are in related businesses â€“ Alvin Belarmino distributes livestock feeds in Tarlac, Darwin Sayoc, with Perry Mallari and Alvin Belarmino operates the San Fernando City, Pampanga abattoir. Ding Ole also operates the Recency Review Center which conducts review classes for the Veterinary Board Examinations. Johnny Reyes manages one of the largest taxi companies in Metro Manila.
More on the business side: Dante Palabrica is Manager Swine Business Unit of Robina Farms and Leo Obviar is Assistant Vice President and General Manager of Monterey Foods Corporation, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation (Dante and Leo are Vice President and President of the Philippine Swine Producers Association, respectively). Bobby Jacela is General Manager, VIRBAC Philippines and VIRBAC Vietnam Joint Stock Co., Ltd. Ben Bagui is Chairman, Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative Inc. (SIDCI), now the biggest livestock cooperative in Batangas, overtaking LIMCOMA.
Abroad, Cris Pamparo owns and manages Pet Care Center Veterinary Hospital in Seattle, Washington USA. Johnny Calimlim is the owner of La Mirada Animal Health Center in California and is County Veterinarian at Los Angeles County, Department of Animal Care and Control Spay/Neuter Clinic. Beyo Tolentino bought and now manages Levy Centenoâ€™s veterinary hospital in Los Angeles, California. Joji Soriano owns Easton Animal Clinic and is Veterinarian, Township of Franklin, New Jersey USA. Jess Naldo is Senior Resident Veterinarian at the Wrsan Wildlife Division, a private department of HH Sh. Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahya. Ernest Coloyan is Camel Veterinarian in Oman in the Middle East. A husband (VKV) and wife (VLV) team, Alvin and Lou Arucan are Poultry Veterinarians in Indonesia. And Nilo Endoso is serving as a volunteer in in war-torn Afghanistan.
Looking ahead at the next 50 years to its Centennial in 2059, the fraternity has established the VKV-VLV Foundation, Inc. as its vehicle to propel it to more achievements and greater heights. With 65 Charter Incorporators, the foundation has initially accumulated 1.3 million pesos seed fund to support the activities of the fraternity and sorority. With more than a thousand members, the foundation fund is targeted to reach a trust fund of 10 million pesos, the proceeds of which will finance the various scholarships to deserving veterinary students at UP and DLSAU and, in the near future, in the other schools where VKV-VLV have chapters. The foundation also aims to undertake Rabies Control Programs in the college and university campuses and Livestock Livelihood Programs for indigent families in the adjoining communities.
Meantime, the VKV Fraternity celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its founding. Kick â€“ started by a Photoexhibit at the CVM UPLB Communal Building last January 28, followed by the Inauguration and Turnover of the Dr. Jose A. Solis Museum of Veterinary Anatomy at CVM UPLB on February 13, 2009 (10:00 A.M.). Renovated at a cost of 0.7 million pesos under the universityâ€™s Adopt-A-Room Program to commemorate the golden anniversary of the VKV Fraternity, the museum honors Dr. Jose A. Solis, Professor of Veterinary Anatomy and Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Medicine. Fellowship of VKV-VLV Alumni and residents followed at the CVM UPLB grounds.
On February 14, 2009, the VKV-VLV Family Olympics was held at the De La Salle University campus where the alumni and resident brods and sisses played fun games to bond their fraternal ties and spirits. Culminating the celebrations was the Grand Knight Anniversary Ball on Valentineâ€™s Night at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Hotel at Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City. The highlight of the ball was the recognition with the Golden Knight Award of the VKV Founders â€“ nine brave hearts and souls, struggling veterinary students who rose to the challenge by vowing among themselves never to give-up, to never surrender with their ambitions, dreams and goals until they succeed. And so they did and more followed after them â€“ the Venerable Knight Veterinarians and Venerable Lady Veterinarians of the Philippines â€“ and of the world.