The First 25 Years of the Philippine Psychiatric Association

Ma. Luz S. Casimiro-Querubin, MD

1998 was a year of celebration, of cheers, of soul searching, of planning, of looking back and thinking ahead. This summarizes the silver anniversary year of the Philippine Psychiatric Association. The Philippine Psychiatric Association derives its roots from the Philippine Society of Psychiatry and Neurology. The organization was borne out of feelings of alienation and frustration from a group of psychiatrists who felt that their professional needs were not sufficiently met by the PSPN. At that time, the PSPN had three component subspecialties with varied expertise and professional needs. The birth of three separate specialty groups was a natural course of evolution. And from there the pioneering psychiatrists molded the Philippine Psychiatric Association.

The primary need to create an organization more responsive to the needs of the psychiatrists provided the inertia. The first set of officers was inducted in February 1972. The PPA’s founding president, Dr. Lourdes Ladrido-Ignacio was ably assisted by enthusiastic board members which included Dr. Virgilio Santiago, Dr, Baltazar Reyes, Dr. Araceli Maravilla, Dr. Rey San Pedro, Dr. Bella Balza and Dr. Sol Balein. The Philippine Medical Association approved the affiliation of the PPA in 1973. In November of the same year, the first annual convention was held at the Hyatt Hotel. The convention theme was “Psychiatry and Its Relevance to the Times”. And that was how the PPA came to be.

In 1974, Dr. Virgilio Santiago was elected President. He further pursued the activities of the PPA. Topics concerning the child and the family were given emphasis during the Second Annual Convention. There was a continuous need to expand the realm and breadth of psychiatry as a medical specialty straddling the social sciences as issues affecting the family and Philippine Society were discussed. The board members included Drs. Baltazar Reyes, Araceli Maravilla, Floricel Evangelista, Cecilia Villegas, Alejandro Umali, Romualdo Anselmo, Hilaria Florendo, and Eduardo Jurilla.