A luminous icon in the annals of medical pathology in the Philippines, Adelaida (Ida) Dalmacio-Cruz (ADC) passed away in Thousand Oaks, California on December 29, 2020 at the age of 94. Dubbed the “Supreme Court of liver pathology”, ADC was the consummate pathologist, sought after as the final word in the diagnosis of difficult cases, even after she retired from a distinguished career at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM), where she chaired the Department of Pathology and the Committee on Admissions and Scholarship.
Ida was born on August 31, 1926 to Cesario Dalmacio and Marcelina Elejorde. The second of 7 siblings, she grew up in Canlubang, Laguna, graduated from Lakeshore High School in Binan, Laguna, and completed pre-medicine at UP Manila and medicine at UPCM, graduating cum laude and salutatorian of class 1953.
A fellowship at Johns Hopkins and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in 1960 led her to pioneer diagnostic cytology in the Philippines, and later training at Case Western Reserve and the University of Kansas fueled her expertise in hepatology. She served as President of the Philippine Society of Pathologists in 1970.
Ida was married to UP Dentistry alumnus Ponciano (Cianing) Cruz Sr. and they had 4 children: Ponciano (Chito) Cruz Jr., an academic dermatologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas; Raul Cruz, an ophthalmologist at UP-PGH and St. Luke’s Medical Center in Metro Manila; Renato (Rene) Cruz, a businessman in Metro Manila; and Regina (Gina) Cruz-Singson, a pathologist in Thousand Oaks, California.
In 1997 at age 71, she migrated to Southern California, joining Gina’s family. Ida’s clan includes Raul’s family (wife Chikie Marfori, son Ryan married to Kitin with grandkid Riley, son Ronald married to Jenina with grandkid River, and daughter Celine) and Gina’s family (husband Joby Singson and sons Jed and Jason).
Beloved by all whose lives she touched, Mama/Tita/ Lola/Mam. Ida will be missed … greatly
Dr. Ponciano Cruz, Jr.