Philippine Minnesotan Medical Association
The Philippine Minnesotan Medical Association, Inc.
The First Twenty Five Years

The Philippine Minnesotan Medical Association was established in 1972 by practicing physicians of Philippine descent in Minnesota. The three Founding Fathers of the Association were Doctors Emmanuel Balcos, Ramon Gustilo, and Teodoro Elumba.

The Association was incorporated on the 24th of June, 1976. The incorporators were Doctors Emma Asuncion, Emmanuel Balcos, Joseph Canto, Eliseo Dejoras, Teodoro Eluma, Liboria Lira, Nelson Paguyo, Jose Romero, and Eugenio Siruno.

Dr. Eliseo Dejoras (deceased) was the president at the time of incorporation.

The first president of the Association was Dr. Ramon Gustilo, an orthopedic surgeon and former Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Dr. Emmanuel Balcos, noted specialist in colon-rectal surgery, was the second chief executive of the Association.

The third president of the PMMA was Teodoro Eluma, a well-known general surgeon. Dr. Eluma was also the Executive Secretary in 1976.

It was during the tenure of Doctor Eugenio Siruno that the PMMA was granted tax exempt status.

The Association is organizated primarily for educational, charitable, social and scientific purposes. The Annual Scientific Conference takes care of the educational and scientific aspects. This is a two-day comprehensive presentation of multispecialty topics. There are also Spring and Fall Seminars. Once in a while there are Round Table Conferences with various pharmaceutical companies. The Association likewise contributes to educational and charitable institutions such as the American Red Cross, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Little Sisters of the Poor, Feeding Center of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines, Sain Mary's University, and Visitation School. Individual members have conducted charity clinics in the Philippines. The PMMA sponsors medical missions to the Philippines. The first was held in Batangas, Philippines in February 2002 headed by Bernard Quebral, MD. 26 volunteers who saw around 2000 patients, bringing around $350,000 of medical supplies to the Philippines. The Philippine Medical Scholarship is in the works.

During the early years, Continuing Medical Education was done in various metropolitan hospitals. The social gatherings following the medical conferences were held in the various Twin Cities' hotels and country clubs.

The first CME conferences started during the term of Dr. Joseph Canto.

The Dinner Dances proved to be full of pleasant surprises as when the members and their spouses danced the "Tinikling" and "Curacha" during Dr. Crispin See's time.

Dr. Purisimo Lucas brought new life to the Annual Scientific Conferences by having them at the Breeze Point Center, Breezy Point, Minnesota. With this changein venue, there were also opportunities for different sports activities such as golf, volleyball, walkathon, tennis and fishing.

The Association showed its pioneering spirit when it elected to the presidency Dr. Concepcion A. Laqui. She became the Association's first lady president to serve three successive terms. That same spirit was evident when in 1995 all the officers and two of the seven Board members were lady doctors, too. Dr. Laqui gave the PMMA the benefits of a woman's touch. She highlighted family and friendship and injected spirituality in the annual gatherings. She inspired the Association's Newsletter, "Progress Notes." And for the first time in the Association's history the Annual Scientific Conference's venue ventured out of Minnesota.