Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health Hosts Inaugural Asian Functional Medicine Conference

Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines - March 22-23, 2024 - The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) successfully organized the inaugural Asian Functional Medicine Conference with the theme "Journeys to Wellbeing: Inspiring Healthful Transformation through Functional Medicine in the Asian Landscape.”   This conference was done in a hybrid format. It was able to accommodate over 1,000 participants both online and onsite at the JY Campos Hall, Bayanihan Center of The United Laboratories, Inc. (UNILAB) in Mandaluyong.

Functional medicine represents a proactive paradigm in healthcare, delving into the underlying causes of illness rather than merely addressing symptoms. It focuses on personalized treatments tailored to individual needs. This approach highlights the significance of lifestyle factors, such as maintaining a nutritious diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and effectively managing stress, in fostering overall health and wellness. Though economic obstacles may hinder the adoption of functional medicine in less affluent nations like the Philippines, forums like this conference offer hope for broader acknowledgment and integration.

Dr. Cenon R. Alfonso, Dean of ASMPH, opened the conference with a lineup of distinguished speakers committed to promoting holistic approaches to healthcare and wellness. Among them were Dr. Martin Graciano Raymundo S. Baquiran, Mr. Michael Angelo Genato, Dr. Ava Angela V. Arugay-Magat, Dr. Angelica Lorenzo, and Dr. Lourdes "Tippy" Tanchanco, who also served as the catalyst and overall chair of the conference.

Adding to the event's prestige, International speakers including Dr. Michael Stone and Dr. Elizabeth Mumper contributed their expertise by discussing the integration of functional medicine into their existing practices. They interacted with local practitioners, medical students,  and enthusiasts, observing the growing traction of functional medicine within the Philippine healthcare landscape. Additionally, esteemed practitioner Dr. Kara Fitzgerald delivered a profoundly insightful virtual lecture and engaged in an illuminating Q&A session.

Dr. Michael Stone

Q&A Session with the esteemed speaker Dr. Michael Stone.

Additionally, panelists Denise Tjokrosaputro from Indonesia, Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. from the Philippine Autonomous Region – Muslim Mindanao, and Former Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. from Guam flew in to join the event and enriched the discussions with their invaluable insights. Dr. Menka Gupta joined the discussion virtually to speak about practices in Singapore and India. Participants engaged in panel discussions and interactive Q&A sessions, providing opportunities for knowledge exchange and in-depth exploration of key issues.

Sessions and discussions covered a wide range of topics, such as perspectives on health and wellness, basic foundations of functional medicine, and the role of functional medicine in optimal care throughout the lifespan from pediatric care to chronic non-communicable diseases including aging, cardiometabolic health, anxiety and depression, and mind-body medicine, to name a few.

After stimulating the mind with insightful topics on the first day of the conference, Day 2 started with an activity for the body. A Cacao Meditation Ceremony and Sound Bath led by Dr. Ava Angela V. Arugay-Magat and Catherine Chiong, a certified Level 2 Reiki Practitioner and Sound Healing Practitioner. This holistic experience provided intellectual stimulation and nourished participants on a deeper level, fostering a comprehensive journey to health and wellness.

A special highlight of the conference was the carefully curated menu crafted by Nutritionist Dietician Joemarc dela Cruz. The menu underscored the pivotal role of nutrition in fostering health and well-being, exemplifying the power of “food as medicine”.

After 2 days of intellectually stimulating discussions, Dr. Ray Baquiran concluded the event with a hopeful message, emphasizing the transformative potential of holistic healthcare approaches in shaping the future of healthcare.

Organizing Team, Organizer, Asian Functional Medicine Conference

The organizing team of the Functional Medicine conference headed by ACRI Director, Dr. Lourdes "Tippy" Tanchanco.

This conference aimed to revolutionize the practice of medicine and healthcare by promoting the merging of functional medicine principles with conventional medicine. By continuing to convene functional medicine conferences, ASMPH only hopes to transform healthcare practices and outcomes, ultimately improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities across the Philippines and the broader Asian region. 

For more information about the conference and future events, please email