Matias H. Aznar II Memorial School of Medicine Building: A glimpse to behold

banawaThis, soon will rise…

For several decades now, keeping the founders’ spirit alive and active has been the foremost goal of its inheritors with a vision to establish a school of medicine that is within the reach of the common people. Had it not been to Don Matias Hipolito Aznar II and his wife Doña Anunciacion Barcenilla Aznar, there can never be a name which is far more reaching than any other school name- the Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, known to the general public today as MHAM.

Realizing the founders’ dream after the institution was converted and registered under the corporate name Southwestern University- Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine Inc. (SWU- MHAM CM, Inc.) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May 26, 1970, a ten-storey building will soon to be the permanent home to students and employees in honor of the late Don Matias H. Aznar II.

Located at R. Duterte Street Banawa, Cebu City, this 4,000 square-meter lot was purchased by MHAM’s Chairman of the Board of Trustee and President Elma Aznar-Sierra worth Php 88M.

This has been divulged by the dean from the College of Medicine- Dr. Arlene A. Maceren-Diaz in a recent interview.

“The ideal setting of the proposed building in Banawa will include offices for the president, director, dean, administrator, registrar, accounting, department officers, community-extension, guidance, multi-purpose cooperative, student council and alumni. We also need one floor for simulation center which will be of composed of emergency room, medical ward, surgical ward, pedia ward, ob ward and delivery room”, said Dr. Diaz.

There will be twelve to fifteen sufficient classrooms ideally audio-visual rooms that can be used simultaneously, a library, research laboratory, state-of-the-art students’ lounge area, research center and twelve laboratories for basic sciences.

“We will also provide students with thirty small rooms for small group discussions in another floor”, she added.

However, all of these plans are subject to changes with additional proposals.

IT/Publication and Media Office will also be given a separate office.

Moreover, the installation of adequate closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in every area shall be put up to ensure the over-all safety and protection with regards to the belongings of all students, employees and visitors as well.

20161019_14174020161019_143539MHAM CM Dean, Dr. Arlene A. Maceren-Diaz in an interview

The proposed Don Matias H. Aznar II Memorial School of Medicine Building which was started last year during the groundbreaking ceremony on the occasion of its Founder’s Day takes pride to present its notable features which includes in-campus dormitory, roofdeck gardens, lounge area and 100-capacity basement and surface parking.

Following the three-year contract from the Redemptorist Plaza since it has been operational, the MHAM CM has been two years now with number of diverse students who are aspiring to become dedicated physicians here and abroad.

20161019_133438MHAM’s temporary location at the REDEMPTORIST plaza

To note, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has given MHAM a unique institutional identifier number 7071.

First year medicine student, Mark Anthony A. Romano expressed his excitement for the new building in which he and other classmates will finally be relocated. “First of all I am excited and it’s nice to know that by next year we will be settling with a new environment. For us students it is very relaxing to know that the school is making effort towards a conducive learning environment”, said Romano who hails from Mindanao.

To date, there are 1,113 medical students composing of 372 freshmen; 261 sophomores; 256 third year; and 224 seniors respectively.

The futuristic memorial building will also pave way for the school to open for paramedical courses such as medical technology, pharmacy, occupational therapy and other possible courses.

At the building site under construction

Tentatively by May next year, the new building shall be the home and dwelling to all medical students and MHAM employees.

21-year old Indian student Srushti Dave who is now in her second year also shared her personal views on the new permanent home for all MHAMians. “It is a mixed feeling of excitement with the thought of new facilities especially the library. We had good memories in this temporary building but transferring to the new location will be more exciting. I chose MHAM because my cousin also studied here before and I am willed to graduate here soon”, said Dave who comes from Surat, India. She had her BSBS preparatory course at the SWU Inc. and graduated last 2015.


After having been acquired a distinct and separate juridical personality as a corporate being with its own governing body known as the SWU-MHAM CM INC. Board of Trustees, truly, MHAM fulfills the vision of its founder and is still committed to provide quality education with quality educators in the field of medicine both in the country and across the globe. Nevertheless, those nameless and countless graduates of this institution in various fields of specialization and professional health education are the ultimate living proof that MHAM is indeed the home of unparalleled achievers tested and proven by times.

All through the years, the Matias H. Aznar II Memorial School of Medicine Building will truly become an igniting glimpse of yesterday, today and forever.

Indeed, it takes pride to sing the MHAM HYMN which goes, “Rising firm before the world…We are MHAM! We are MHAM!

Rise up, MHAMians! (Ana Liza Abao)