“God always honor the pure labor”…
These were the very words of a MHAM medical clerk and lead researcher who brought home the honor and pride for winning this year’s Best in Poster Presentation in the 30th Philippine Association for Laboratory Animal Science (PALAS) Annual Scientific Conference and Workshop held at Crowne Plaza Hotel Ortigas, Pasig City, Metro Manila last May 23 to 25, 2018.
Fourth year student and one of the medical clerks, Daniel John “DJ” Bokingo, bested other researchers in the country and some from abroad with his research study titled, “LIDOCAINE-LIKE ANESTHETIC ACTIVITY OF AN ALKALOID FROM DATURA STRAMONIUM (KATCHUBONG) SEEDS ON BUFO MARINUS (CANE TOAD): A PERIPHERAL NERVE-BLOCKING MECHANISM”.
Focused on the area of high importance for both human and animal welfare, this year’s scientific conference was participated by local and foreign nationals whose works and studies were highly regarded in the Oral and Poster Presentations with its theme, “Science and Safety: Challenge in Animal Research”.
Aimed to determined the peripheral nerve-muscular blocking activity of an alkaloid obtained from seeds of ‘datura stramonium’using muscle-nerve module of bufo marinus attached to a kymograph, the winning poster presentation was the end product of a diligent research where 26-year Bokingo served as the lead researcher. His associates are Ivy Dane S. Balanay, Keren Eulyna C. Bicar, Zyphrye F. Damalerio and Danielle Marie Aleney A. Teves while Riza Mae E. Batoy is the co-author.
This year, nine entries from Centro Escolar University-Graduate School Manila, Centro Escolar University-School of Dentistry, University of the Philippines Manila-Department of Molecular Biology, Pampanga State Agricultural University-College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perpetual Help Dr. Jose Tamayo Medical University-College of Pharmacy, University of Perpetual Help System Laguna-College of Pharmacy, University of the Philippines Manila-Department of Molecular Biology College of Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños-College of Veterinary Medicine and MHAM College of Medicine, Inc.-Department of Biomolecular Pharmacology competed in the Poster Presentation.
Headed by MHAM Research Department Director and as well as a Medical Physiology and Biochemistry professor, Dr. Jose Micabalo Oclarit, the appointed veterinarian and Chairperson of the MHAM Institutional Animal Care And Use Committee (IACUC), Dr. Ellen S. Abao, also joined the scientific conference together with a part time attending veterinarian, Dr. Edgardo G. Deypalubos Jr. whose presence and moral support to boost the lead researcher’s confidence have exceedingly paid off.
One of his six siblings, David Paul Bokingo, was also present during the event.
The scientific feat, was also a come-back prestige when another lead researcher-alumnus, Dr. John Paul de La Cruz, bagged the 1st place on the Oral Research Competition during the 28th Annual Scientific Conference sponsored by the Philippine Association of Laboratory Animal Science in 2016. Dr. de la Cruz was then sent to Singapore on the same year to compete the International Scientific Congress Oral Research Competition.
A recipient of Agusan del Sur Provincial Government Scholarship Program, Daniel John Bokingo is also part of the MHAM Scholars Society under the MHAM Alumni Scholarship grant.
In an interview with this year’s champion-researcher, he was extremely grateful to the God whom he adored and revered for allowing him to achieve his goal in silence and humility. A born again Christian by birth, DJ, is a native of Agusan del Sur who yearns to become a medical doctor with a promising hope to help his unprivileged fellowmen and to change the healthcare system in their province. Having been able to feel the real struggle from a firsthand experience to fall in line for more than two hours seeking for a medical remedy with her mother but ended up unchecked because the doctor has to leave, that instant ignited his interest and motivated him to feel the inner desire to become a doctor due to the scarcity of physicians in their province in particular.
“I feel blessed for this honor as I was born to be a Christian and at the same time a medical student. I always believe that if you do things in a righteous way God will honor you as God always honor the pure labor. I belong to a province that was once noted as one of the poorest provinces in the entire Philippines and with my firsthand experience it motivated me to become a doctor. I have a great vision for our province particularly for the healthcare system which needs a drastic change”, Bokingo said.
Impelled by his life’s principles shaped from a constantly active spiritual life, DJ is also born as a researcher as he started his fascination into research at a young age.
During his elementary years, he already vied for the Science Investigatory Project contest and contended for the Robotics Competition when he was still in high school. As he step up in college, he was known for being an active lead researcher in the College of Nursing because for him, research is life.
“In every research that I joined I always consider myself as a novice and I always consider that there would still be greater than me. All I know is that I do have knowledge of my research and I am really prepared for it. Moreover, I see to it that I always offer it to the Lord and every time we do it we started it with a prayer. Research is not just a requirement to completion in the school but for me, you have to love it as a craft and it should have an impact to the society by which to me, is the soulful purpose of a research. Everywhere, every field of knowledge should have research to discover, develop, improve and alleviate its standard. You cannot call yourself a 5-star physician if you are not a researcher. Research is very inspiring because you are in the frontline of new knowledge and the gateway for those who receive the new knowledge”, he added.
In as far as research is concern, Bokingo also emphasized that the ultimate purpose of a research is to cure the ignorance of the people and what prompted him to use the ‘katchubong’ for his study was inspired from a keen observation towards a winning research topic. Known as remedy for asthma and cough, katchubong , according to DJ is a rampant plant found in their province. Having been observed from a group of bystanders in their drinking sessions who mixed the katchubong with coconut wine or tuba and eventually weakened their hands and feet and became paralyzed after drinking, that moment ignited his curiosity and intuitive observation of the reaction.
During his research proposal in Medicine, he urged his group mates for a test in order to prove that katchubong has no anesthetic effect, contrary to what they have learned from a lecture and from current researches literature. Amazed by the result, DJ and his co-researchers have proven that indeed, katchubong has anesthetic effect with a flat line result. “With this new knowledge and discovery as a novel research, the next thing we need to do is to isolate the active molecule to know the cause. In any form of knowledge, adversaries and contradicting knowledge are present in it and it would undergo a lot of tedious process. Above all and wherever we may be, we always respect to other researchers in all field in the very first place”, DJ concluded.
Forever grateful to God, to his family, to his group mates especially to his co-author Riza Mae Batoy who have helped him a lot and to all who have touched his life in general, DJ is also grateful to the MHAM Scholarship Committee who have given him the privilege to become part of the scholars. Unknown to many, he has been engaged into music, drama, theater, dance sport, poetry, cinematography and film directing. He is also an active member of the MHAM CM Saline Option, a group of bible-based individuals composed mostly of medical students-believers.
With his pure labor and exemplary achievement, the member of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Angelica Sierra, extended her laudatory remarks to Daniel John Bokingo for bringing pride and honor to the school with MHAM Research Director and Adviser, Dr. Jose Oclarit and VP for Academics for the MHAM COLLEGE, Dr. Arlene Diaz.
To complete, this year’s researcher-winner also expressed his lifetime gratitude to his research adviser and the Department of Research Director, Dr. Jose Oclarit in achieving his goal. Two years ago, MHAM has produced its student-researcher who emerged as champion during the regional and national medical research competition. In 2017, MHAM made it again on the 1st and 3rd places in the regional level and placed 5th in the national level. Beaming with pride for having been able to produce research winners in the regional and national competitions, Dr. Oclarit has also released two Medical Research Journals from the last two years. At present, the Department of Research is on the verge of upgrading the journals to be reviewed by international reviewers.
Among the medical institutions in Cebu City, only MHAM and CDU are under the approval of the Institutional Animal Care And Use Committee as mandated by law for animal studies or experimental animal research as MHAM is always categorized at. Scientific and community researches are the two pre-screened and pre-reviewed categories for research competitions.
Last year, DJ and his group mates were awarded among the Most Outstanding Researchers in MHAM. In the same year, they were part of the fifty-one MHAM delegates who participated the convention among other medical institutions in the region where the “Lidocaine like Anaesthetic Activity of an Alkaloid Extracted from Datura stramonium (Katchubong) on Bufo marinus (CaneToad): A Peripheral Nerve Blocking Mechanism” was chosen among the qualified entries in the regional research category.
God willing, the MHAM researcher-medical clerk will compete for the International Scientific Congress Poster Research Competition in India on November this year to represent the country with his inspiring belief that living the gospel will always remind him to excel in all things he will be doing with humility and gratitude to the ‘Giver of Gifts’. (Ana Liza Abao)