Armando T. Chiong, Sr., MD (1930 - 2018)
Dr. Armando T. Chiong, Sr. is fondly called by his contemporaries as Arman. A mild mannered man, he may be interpreted as a very docile and complacent individual but, for those who truly know him, this is far from the truth. He maybe a very accommodating person willing to listen and extend help to anybody but he is never complacent. Too caring may be a better term to describe him. I still can vividly remember the controversy regarding the six students. Though his term as chair of the department was already over, he stood his ground and supported the stand of the faculty in general but more specifically, he was even willing to resign from the college if any faculty of the department was removed from the roster because of their stand. Such was the fortitude of the man, that he is even willing to risk not only his security of tenure but also whatever retirement benefits that may accrue to him.
Another incident that I can recall was his stand to protect the chairman’s prerogative regarding admission to the residency program. He decided to uphold and give premium to academic performance irrespective of the gender of the applicant. Where before females were only given at most two slots, he decided that as chair he has the final say on admission matters and gave the slot to an applicant with a better academic grade and incidentally a female one. Thus was abolished the quota system for females and academic performance upheld.
He was also a man with a mission. He preferred approaching matters in a very organized manner. He required all services/sections to formulate and submit a research agenda for the section with the intention of having a guided/directed research effort/activity by the department. Thus was born the research handbook of the department. This transpired when his own daughter, Charlotte, incidentally was the chief resident of the department. However, implementation and pursuit of the objective has been spotty and sporadic except for a few services.
A good family man, it can be said that he was, until now, the only one who can claim that two of his children became faculty members of our department. A third child is presently connected with another department of UPCM. It may be recalled that an early and untimely demise of another so devastated him. That is the hallmark of his being a good family man.
He was never a flamboyant person. You can always expect him to attend departmental activities in his usual attire of colored pants, never in denims, topped by his trademark long sleeved polo shirt without a necktie. This get-up was his invariable uniform. He never would like to rock the boat except to drive home certain principles or rules that must stand the test of time. Whenever such things do occur, that is when you can see him in his decisive best.
He was also a very approachable person. A research oriented person, he was requested by some residents for advice on certain research matters and he would gladly listen to the residents’ query and try to help resolve any quandary that may arose from the query. You can be sure that the next time he is in the department, he will be bringing with him pertinent articles and researches that may assist the resident. And chances are, included in the reprints were articles he had performed on the topic/subject when he was still with the University of Virginia under Prof. Fitz-Hugh, the same institution where Dr. Victor S. Ejercito, the younger Dr. Ejercito that is, had his training. Such was indicative of the high regard that the university had for him that a simple letter of recommendation from him is enough to guarantee admission. How many of us can make the same claim? But he never mentioned or boasted about this matter. I hope those of us present here tonight can make possible to the younger residents such easy acceptance and availability of further training abroad.
This is in a nutshell Dr. Armando Chiong,Sr. A quiet man who rarely speaks unless called for, organized and with a mission, a researcher, a father but most of all, a mentor worthy of emulation who always stands by the principles he believed in. Sir, goodbye and may your ideals be better appreciated and practiced by your successors.
Copyright transfer (all authors; where the work is not protected by a copyright act e.g. US federal employment at the time of manuscript preparation, and there is no copyright of which ownership can be transferred, a separate statement is hereby submitted by each concerned author). In consideration of the action taken by the Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in reviewing and editing this manuscript, I hereby assign, transfer and convey all rights, title and interest in the work, including copyright ownership, to the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. (PSOHNS) in the event that this work is published by the PSOHNS. In making this assignment of ownership, I understand that all accepted manuscripts become the permanent property of the PSOHNS and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from the PSOHNS unless shared under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.