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March 24, 2010 / melissa

Dr. Roy Berberabe: The Surgeon Dreams Big

Dreams of making surgery more accessible to local communities

No one is surprised that the shy, sometimes serious and oftentimes unassuming Roy Berberabe is now a surgeon. He has that single mindedness of purpose coupled with unflinching dedication to be first, a doctor and eventually, the Dr. Berberabe of Batangas.

Along the way, he dreams of establishing a primary health care section in the General Surgery program of the Batangas Regional Hospital. In this way, surgeons are encouraged to move out of the operating rooms and clinics and reach out to communities to effect change.

If this sounds unlike the life of a regular guy, think again. For Dr. Roy is as regular as your favorite cola drink. He listens to pop songs and watches inspirational movies such as Forest Gump and The Bucket List.

Married to his “only bestest friend” Jennifer Levita Banaag, Dr. Roy considers himself a strict parent. But when he gives rewards to his children, Rened, 20 and Keziah Roi, 7 he can be generous. His wife Jennifer, an Associate Professor of Nursing thinks he might be spoiling their children.

Admitting that he has much to learn as a parent, he nevertheless should not find it hard to do so. He looks up to his own parents who instilled in him the values of family, hard work and fair play among others.

As for us, his batch mates, much is to be learned from Dr. Roy’s simple and straightforward account of his life, so far. Read on and find out more.

Name: Roy Macatangay Berberabe

Age: 46

Civil Status: Married

Address: 402  Psalm Street, Villapenafrancia Subdivision, Bolbok, Batangas City

Occupation: General Surgeon

I. Family

Name of Spouse: Jennifer Levita Banaag

Occupation: Registered Nurse, Associate Professor

Name and Age of Child/Children:

Rened Banaag Berberabe, 20

Keziah Roi Banaag Berberabe, 7

Please describe each of your family members.

My wife is presently an Associate Professor at the University of  Batangas College of Nursing and Midwifery. She is a faculty member of the said institution for about 15 years. She finished her nursing degree at the Lyceum of the Philippines, Batangas. She is a holder of a masteral degree in Nursing from the Golden Gate Colleges also here in Batangas City. She is a very strict teacher but well loved by many of her students. Her field of interest is maternal and child nursing. She is four years younger than me, a Gemini and is my only bestest friend.

My son Rened is 20 years old and currently in his fourth year in Instrumentation and Control Engineering at the Batangas State University. He finished his high school also from the said university. A little bit shy like me, he he, but active in the Victory Church at the Batangas Provincial Capitol.

My daughter is a bubbly seven year old presently a Casa 2 (Grade II) student at the Casa del Bambino Montessori at Alangilan, Batangas City. Although people say she looks like her mother, I see a lot of me in her.

II. Educational Background

Where Graduated:

  1. Elementary

St Bridget’s College, Batangas City

  1. High School

St Bridget’s College, Batangas City

  1. College

University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City


Post graduate (if any)

University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center College of Medicine

III. Favorites:

  1. Song/s:

Muli by RJ

Hanggang by Wency Cornejo

Simply Jesse by Rex Smith

Pag Tumatagal Lalong Tumitibay by Wadab

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith

Babe by Styx

Spending My time by Roxette

At marami pang iba…

  1. Singers/Musical Groups:






Apo Hiking Society

Barbra Streisand



At marami pa ring iba

  1. Movie/s:

Forrest Gump

Pay it Forward

Silence of the Lamb

Bucket List

At marami pa ulit iba

  1. Movie Actor/Actress:

Anthony Quinn

Morgan Freeman

Eddie Garcia


Jacky Chan

Lorna Tolentino

Johnny Delgado

Gloria Romero

Charlize Theron

Michelle Yeoh

Hugh Laurie

Jack Nicholson

Peter North, he he he joke lang

At iba pa…

  1. Sports:



Bowling, Tenpin and Duckpin

Practical Shooting

IV. Personal Interests and Hobbies

  1. Singing __/_ pag barik
  2. Dancing__/_ pag barik
  3. Basketball__/_
  4. Watching movies__/__
  5. Watching TV_/__

V. Passion and Causes

  1. What are you most passionate about? Why?

Presently going around Batangas lecturing about breast cancer awareness. Dreaming of organizing a breast cancer support group in our province. Also collating data to support another move towards road safety and trauma and injury prevention. I am dreaming of establishing a primary health care section in the General Surgery program of the Batangas Regional Hospital to encourage general surgeons to move out of their operating rooms and clinics to reach out to the community and effect change.

VI. On Childhood to Adolescence

  1. Where did you spend your growing up years? Please describe the most important features of the place where you grew up. (Is it more of an urban center or is it a rural village?)

Grew up in Batangas City but spent most of my summer either in Pinamucan or Lobo, Batangas.

2.Who were the persons who influenced you most when you were in the elementary and high school? Why?

The people who influenced me most during my elementary and high school days were my parents. My father taught me the value of the family and pakikisama. My mother, on the other hand, taught me the value of hard work, doing the right thing, fair play, survival of the fittest and faith.

3.Who were your best friends among your classmates? Please cite your memorable moments with your best friends.

Gerry Fetalvero and Obel Ramirez were my good  friends in high school.

And still in communication with them. Tetiboy de Leon and Pareng Willie Villano became barkadas after college

  1. Who were your favorite teachers and why?

Miss Vilma Rosales was one of my favorite teachers because of my interest in the Sciences. Miss Macarandang who made Economics look easy. Mrs Gutierrez and Miss Dudas in Math. And Miss Macalalad in Filipino.

  1. On hindsight (and based on your experience) what would be your recommendations to today’s teachers of young children and adolescents?

Separate the girls from the boys.

VII. On the Trying Twenties to the Roaring Thirties to Mid-Life

  1. 1. What was your first job? What were the challenges and problems that you had to face then and how did you address them?

Had some summer jobs especially during college days but the most memorable job me and my wife had was selling throw pillows to earn some money. We just got married then, unknown to my parents, and I had not taken the medical board exam yet. With no source of income, we tried selling throw pillow covers made by my wife’s aunt in Manila. We stayed in a small house near Joy Beloso’s home in Sta Rita. Fortunately a friend recommended me to accompany and watch over patients transferring to Manila in ambulances. During those times it was Php 1,500 per trip. Although my stint as a businessman was short, it is a part of my life which I cannot forget.

2. What is your current job? What do you consider as your achievements and on the other hand, what else do you need to improve on, in terms of getting better/performing better in your work?

I am now a General Surgeon in Batangas City, a visiting consultant at the St Patrick’s Hospital, Jesus of Nazareth Hospital, Golden Gate Hospital and at the Bauan Doctors Hospital. I am a part time consultant of the Department of Surgery of the Batangas Medical Center (formerly the Batangas Regional Hospital) and active in the training of doctors undergoing residency in general surgery. Passing the Philippine Board of Surgery written and oral examinations to become diplomat and later becoming fellow of the Philippine Society of General Surgeons, Philippine Association of Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeons, and the Philippine College of Surgeons are accomplishments a general surgeon dreams of in our country.

This year I am the President of the Southern Tagalong chapter of the Philippine Society of General Surgeons and the Batangas Medical Society. Being doctors of medicine and with the fast pace of technological changes and developments in our field, improvement is the name of the game. Future plans include undergoing advance courses in laparoscopy, ultrasound and finishing either a Masters in Hospital Administration (MHA) and /or a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

1. How do you see yourself ten years from now?

Older but still operating, teaching and having fun. In my wildest dream, publish a book.

2. How do you like to be remembered?

The Doctor Berberabe of Batangas

VIII. On Parenting

  1. How do you describe yourself as a parent?

Strict and believes in Pavlov’s reward and punishment in rearing them. I am result oriented but do not impose on my children. I do not believe in physical punishment and explain to my children why they are punished. I always stress the value of self control. In terms of giving rewards, I am a little too generous that my wife thinks I’m spoiling my children. I am still learning to become a parent. Each child is a unique individual that you cannot impose stereotyped characteristics on them. Still too much to learn.

  1. What are the challenges of parenting that you have so far experienced and how did you address them?

The greatest challenge so far is how to prevent my children from marrying early or while still studying. Teenagers are so aggressive these days. I remember the time we were called by our housekeeper because our son brought a girl into his room. Drove home like a NASCAR driver. Luckily nothing happened and just let the wife do the talking then. Had a heart-to-heart talk with my son a few nights later.  Roy Berberabe


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