Philippine Dermatological Society

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A Fair in the Midst of Unfortunate Events in Cagayan de Oro
by Dr. Maria Lina F. Pimentel

Cagayan de Oro (CDO) used to be one of the top of mind for medical societies of the Philippines to hold conferences. However, a series of unfortunate events, such as the 2013 bombing and the 2017 Marawi Siege, resulted to cancellations or avoidance of CME activities in CDO.

It was a ray of light for Kagay-anons when CDO was chosen for the next Skin Museum and Skin Fair Activity. With the leadership of Dr. Ana Lucia Dela Paz, all CDO PDS members were energized to have this event put in reality. Commitment of all members was evident in the preparation. As Dr. Dela Paz said and I quote, “This is indeed a CDO Skin Museum and Skin Fair Activity.”

The artistic abilities of Drs. Ana Lucia Dela Paz and Grace Dandan were put into challenge in the CDO Skin Museum which was exhibited at Robinson’s from August 31 to September 2, 2018. It was simple, concise, and educational for laymen about acne vulgaris, eczema, and the importance of protecting the skin from the sun. The PDS milestone was also featured showing who and why we are the real authorities in the practice of dermatology.

On September 2, 2018, the Skin Health and Eczema Congress/Fair began with the opening of booths of major sponsors (Galderma and Bayer) and minor sponsors (Leo Pharma, Glenmark, and Cathay Drug). There were gimmicks, such as mascots, to attract attention of shoppers at Robinson’s and to entertain invited participants. There were a total of 179 participants!

Master of ceremony was the entertaining Dr. Kathlyn Rose Mapa. The program started with an invocation by Dr. Maria Lina Pimentel followed by the opening remarks of Dr. Ana Lucia Dela Paz . She explained to the audience the importance of choosing the right dermatologist. She then introduced all the CDO dermauthorities – Drs. Kairhun M. Apostol, Cristy Marie K. Caumban, Grace B. Dandan, Ana Lucia S. Dela Paz herself, Kathlyn Rose M. Mapa, Cecile S. Melicor, Maria Lina F. Pimentel, Monica Felise J. Sabal, and Sheila Jean W. Serina. Special guests, Drs. Gemma F. Bautista and Aznaida Pandapatan, came all the way from Lanao del Norte to grace the activity.

An ice breaker trivia game about the skin that stirred the energy of both PDS members and participants preceded the three prepared lectures. A light and very practical topic on photo-protection was delivered by Dr. Monica Sabal. This was followed by a game that emphasized the 5Ss of photo- protection (slip, slop, slap, sleek, and slide). Dr. Sheila Serina gave a very thorough lecture on eczema. This was followed by a question and answer game. The participants were so interested, many wanted to ask questions, but was limited because of time constraint. Dr. Cecile Melicor gave a short, straight to the point lecture on psoriasis. The game after her lecture proved that the audience was attentive. Participants were able to answer all questions correctly! Prizes prepared by Dr. Cristy Caumban were distributed. The smile and laughter of all participants were captured by Dr. Kairhun Apostol with her video camera.

The program ended with Dr. Grace Dandan’s closing remarks. The fair culminated with free consultations.

The recently held Skin Museum and Skin Fair Activity was definitely a successful, fortunate event in CDO. It is a blessing for Kagay-Anons, not only because they learned about common skin diseases

while having fun, but also because their skin was well taken care of by the expert PDS members of CDO.

Mostly health workers from the barangays, Northern Mindanao Medical Center, and City Hospital were invited. Health workers were one of the front-liners when the bombing and the war in Marawi happened. This fair was timely dedicated to them.

It is usually perceived that doctors and lawyers are equally important professionals in the world. The unfortunate events that affected CDO, however, proves that this is not so. In peace, both lawyers and doctors can serve, but when there is war, lawyers cannot be of service to others while doctors can still serve and heal.

The PDS members of CDO served Marawi residents who fled ground zero to seek shelter in CDO last November 2017 with free consultations and medicines. In this Skin Health and Eczema Congress that was just held in a city under Martial Law, we served again. Philippine Dermatologic Society dermatologists are significant amidst fortunate, peaceful times and in unfortunate events such as war.