Dr. Alberto Barrios Roxas is presently the Dean of the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines (UP) in Manila. At the helm of the prestigious UP College of Medicine is a patriotic Capizeño with a genuine heart to serve. He is married to the former Cecilia Alovera of Maayon, Capiz.
A tradition in medical service runs through his family. His father, Dr. Beltran Roxas, was a rural doctor who served in Panay Town, Capiz and who later became the Assistant Provincial Health Officer of Capiz in the 1970s. His mother, Canuta Acuña Barrios of Roxas City, was herself a Pharmacy graduate from UP in 1939. He has eight other siblings, six of whom are alive with three now based in the United States, and the other three in Capiz and other parts of the Philippines.
Dr. Roxas studied at the St. Mary's Academy of Capiz from kindergarten to Grade 6, Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion during high school, and University of the Philipppines in the Visayas (UPV) in college.
One of his most significant moments as student was as a West Visayas Regional representative to the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) Games (on General Information) at the national level.
His education and achievements inspired him to rise to the occasion of serving Filipinos in his own country, for never was it his personal desire to migrate to a foreign land. At the crossroads of his student life, he has always wanted to be a doctor; and his father was ever supportive of his pursuit.
At the UP College of Medicine, Alberto Roxas' intelligence and talent were all the more honed. He qualified to be among only 104 select qualifiers, among more than a thousand applicants, to the said college. Upon graduation, he decided to go into surgery. Afterwards, he was offered a faculty position at the Philippine General Hospital and the UP College of Medicine. He eventually served as College Secretary from 1997 to 2000, Associate Dean for Planning and Research (2000 to 2006) until he became the College Dean in June 2006.
It was not easy for Dr. Roxas to say 'no' to the invitation of an exemplary UP Alumnus Awardee and Capiz-based Dr. George Viterbo to go back to Capiz province to serve as a doctor. He had to write Dr. Viterbo a lengthy and heart-warming letter regarding his decision to stay in Manila and practice his profession. At that time, he thought he can also be of service to Capiznons, even when he is in Manila.
Looking back at his 31 years in government service, including residency training it must have been providential that he stayed on in Manila. For Dr. Roxas' collective accomplishments are something that his family and all Capizeños (including the late Dr. Viterbo) can be very proud of:
- 1st Capizeño Dean of the UP College of Medicine
- 2006 Highest Award for Excellence (from the Capiz Provincial Government)
- 2002 Outstanding Teacher in Oncology (from Philippine Society of Oncologists)
- 1999 International Publication Awardee (from Univeristy of the Philippines)
- Trustee, Philippine Cancer Society,
- Founding President, Philippine Association of Training Officers in Surgery,
- Past President, Capiznon sa Manila Incorporated
- Member of the Asia Pacific Hospice Pallative Care Network (APHN),
- Past President, Philippine Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons,
- Past Chair, Philippine Board of Colon & Rectal Surgery,
- Past President, Philippine College of Surgeons / PCS Foundation,
- Diplomate, Philippine Board of Surgery /Philippine Board of Colon & Rectal Surgery
- Fellow, Philippine College of Surgeons/Philippine Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons / Philippine Society of Oncologists
- Member, ASEAN Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons, among others.
Apart from his professional, administrative, socio-civic awards and affiliations, Dean Roxas has authored various teaching materials, books, creative works, and research papers.
Back in his hometown of Roxas City, Dean Roxas was a simple lad who enjoyed the simple joys of life (like walking along the Baybay Beach). He envisioned himself to be “sucessful in life”, being able to balance his professional, family, spiritual, and physical aspects. He further adds that as he progresses on in life, his life's mission is enhanced by the ultimate vision to “serve the Lord through others”.
Accomplished as he is, Dean Roxas continuously dreams to do his best to help his country. As a medical educator, he hopes to see his medical students get exposed to the Philippine countryside and serve the people. This is so that the brain drain problem can be alleviated or, at best, resolved. As a medical practitioner, he desires to serve his patients the best way he can. This is his way of helping his country achieve its goal of “economic development towards a 1st-world Philippine Economy”. This is hoped to resolve the brain-drain problem.
A believer in education as a major equalizer in life, Dr. Roxas advises to Capiznons and all: “Get the best education you can and do your best.”
For all that he has accomplished so far, we salute and honor Dr. Roxas and feel proud that he is one world-class Capiznon. We wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors. - Hariette Ong-Banzon, 30 August 2008