Alvin Cloyd Dakis: Nursing nurses’ rights

Do you think this finalist deserves to be the Pitong Pinoy "People's Choice" awardee?

Vote at Yahoo! PH Pitong Pinoy

His strong support for various health-related advocacies, especially nurses' rights, has earned him the title "pambansang nurse (national nurse)," but Alvin Cloyd Dakis, 27, said he did not become a nurse by choice.

"I had to take up nursing because I had been offered a scholarship in the course. My family cannot afford to send me to college after I studied high school in the University of the Philippines in Cebu," Dakis told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in an online interview.

He would have studied psychology given a choice, Dakis said, even as noted that he has grown to love nursing in his third year in college.

"I fell in love with the profession and I have sworn to be proud of it when I get the license," Dakis said. "I guess I was called to reform the nursing profession, instead of becoming a doctor."

But he's no ordinary nurse for he believes "that nursing is not just bound in the walls of the hospital or the nursing school."

"Currently, the profession suffers from a great surplus: There are a lot of unemployed nurses due to lack of funds but we badly need nurses in rural and underserved areas," Dakis said.

He added that the nursing profession needs leaders who are sensitive about the needs of practitioners but who are also aware of the need to regulate the profession.

So in 2009, he formed the Alliance of Young Nurses and Advocates International, Inc., a youth-led organization which has since grown to about 12,000 members.

Back then, he was teaching at the Cebu Normal University and had pushed for improved awareness on the sexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus among students while acting the school's student publication adviser.

When he moved to Manila in 2010, Dakis joined networks pushing for the Reproductive Health bill and became the youngest member of the expert panel of both Senate and House committees that reviewed and finalized the controversial bill.

"[D]octors and midwives spoke bravely about the bill but there were no nurses. So I led the nurses to speak for RH and educated them about the bill," Dakis said.

Issues of sexuality and rights of the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are also "close to his heart," Dakis said.

"I'm an open bisexual so I speak about it," he said, admitting, however, that he had feared that revealing his sexuality would "weaken his leadership."

"But as soon as I have accepted myself fully two years ago, I was no longer afraid of being criticized for who I am," Dakis said.

"After all, my leadership is not being determined to whom I get sexually aroused," he quipped.

Dakis' honesty paid off and he became one of the well-known health champions in the country. He is currently the youth and student sector head of National Anti-Poverty Commission's health committee.

Riding on his popularity, Dakis also continuously uses his social media network to invite more people to his cause.

Dakis admitted, however, that living up to being a "pambansang nurse" is hard.

"I earn a small amount of money… I don't get anything for myself—I don't even get to watch a movie unless treated by someone," he said while laughing.

He also has his fair share of "haters", Dakis said, noting that a few more senior nurse leaders have questioned his leadership especially when he emerged into the national scene.

But Dakis said: "There are two choices before me: to work to make things better by focusing on my goals and working with like-minded people, or to spend the rest of the day dodging blows. I choose the former."

Read about the other Pitong Pinoy finalists here.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

  • Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative
    Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative

    Negotiations to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade zone are in the "end-game", US Trade Representative Mike Froman said Sunday. Asked about a timetable, Froman said: "We agreed to conclude (the TPP talks) the moment that we have an agreement on an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement." "The focus will now shift to the US House of Representatives when they come back from recess and we look forward to working with them to get it passed as soon as possible," he …

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options