By Keji Agbulos (Class 2027) and Iya de Claro (Class 2024)
Cover photo by UPCM FOP 2021 Organizing Committee
Last July 29 to August 19, UPCM Class of 2025 held the annual Freshie Orientation Program for the incoming freshmen of UPCM Class of 2026. Their iteration, entitled UPCM FOP 2021: Diwang, revolved around Festivals in the Philippines. Filled with exciting events held both synchronously and asynchronously over the course of 3 weeks, FOP 2021 helped guide the newest members of the College through the ins and outs of medical school. It also provided an avenue for the freshmen to meet each other and form new, meaningful bonds as a class.
To get the ball rolling, the FOP Organizing Committee held its first event, HALINA: FOP Welcoming Ceremonies. HALINA introduced the freshmen to the events that were to come and the tasks that were to be done, as well as the prizes that awaited the most creative and active teams and individuals. As the event wrapped up, each team hyped up the crowd with their cheers.
The next event, LAKBAY: FOP Fresh Forward, showcased videos and publications prepared by Organizations, Fraternities, and Sororities that provided sneak peeks of the life of a UPCM student. It also featured UPCM events, such as TRP, Mediscene, and Lantern Parade, and highlighted significant parts of the UPCM culture, ranging from dissection, SGD, and OSCE to study tips, review materials, and electives.
For the freshmen to be more immersed in the side of medical school outside virtual classrooms, representatives from OFS further introduced them to their projects and events through TIPUNAN: FOP Org Tambay Hop. TIPUNAN, hosted by Pia Nebrada and Micha Ilagan of UPCM Class of 2025, marked a jam-packed night filled with fun games, prizes, and other surprises. The event utilized breakout rooms, which successfully mimicked the Org Hop events held face-to-face before the pandemic.
Live cheers from the FOP teams welcomed the succeeding event, PAMPAGANA: FOP Pre-Culmination Night, hosted by Jet Tamin and Kaye Bazar of UPCM Class of 2025. PAMPAGANA paved the way for the first inter-team event of the freshmen through the games, Guess that XXVI, Mad Gabs, and Heads Up. This delightful event ended with closing remarks from Michaela Gacula, one of the event committee heads for FOP 2021.
Following PAMPAGANA, SALO-SALO: FOP Grand Culmination Night, also hosted by Tamin and Bazar, launched the highlight of the FOP experience of Class 2026. The teams exemplified their strong dynamics and maximized their strengths as they fought for The Overall Champion title in a Family Feud-inspired game. The winning team for the event was Ati-atihan, the team that was also crowned The Overall Champion. The Overall First-runner Up was team Sarakiki, while the Second-runner up was team Pahiyas. Team Pahiyas also bagged the Crowd Favorite Award, which was based on the Facebook reactions received by the cheer videos of each team. To further add to the fun, SALO-SALO held raffle draws to award a few lucky freshmen with free Picmonic subscriptions, Suture & Co. gift vouchers, and a UPCM hoodie.
The pandemic hindered UPCM Class of 2026 from experiencing the traditional, face-to-face FOP. However, UPCM FOP 2021: Diwang still provided the incoming freshmen with a meaningful experience that allowed them to foster camaraderie amongst themselves and with UPCM Class of 2025. Hopefully, this would help them kick off their semesters with a bang. Padayon, UPCM 2026!