Ronibats.PH Stories of a Filipino neurosurgeon, teacher, and writer



In no particular order, Dr. Ronnie Baticulon is a Filipino pediatric neurosurgeon, teacher, and writer. An Oblation scholar, he is a graduate of the seven-year Integrated Liberal Arts-Medicine (INTARMED) program of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. He completed his neurosurgery residency training in Philippine General Hospital, the national university hospital, and his fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

He is back home in Manila, Philippines, where he has established his clinical practice in pediatric neurosurgery. He is also associate professor in anatomy at UP College of Medicine and lecturer for biochemistry at Topnotch Board Prep.

He was a fellow of the 8th University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop (2007) and the 58th University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop (2019). His essays have been published in Inquirer’s YoungBlood,, Philippine Panorama, Health and Lifestyle magazine, and Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature. In 2018, he won a Palanca for the title essay of his first book, “Some Days You Can’t Save Them All,” published by the University of the Philippines Press.

You can follow him on Twitter @ronibats, where he tweets about #neurosurgery, #medschool, #fiction, #DoctorWho, and other geeky things.


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      • dear doc/sir:

        i was moved to tears reading your blog, “five valedictorians”. kahanga hanga kayong magkakapatid at lalong kahanga hanga ang inyong mga magulang. i can’t help but express my admiration to you and the entire family! congratulations!

    • grabe talaga noong nakita ko kayo sa Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho… Saludo po talaga ako sa inyong pamilya… Na-touch talaga ako sa istorya ng buhay nyo. I was not contented to watched only the KMJS.. so I searched your blog and I found it… nabasa ko ang “Five Valedictorians” at ang speech ng bunso nyong kapatid.. grabe.. IDOL ko na po kayo…

  • i just discovered you’re back into writing… wow. link kita ha… you will always you be my favorite peyups columnist 🙂

  • Doc Ronnie – glad to hear from you again after 5 years. It’s amazing how you keep track of your old acquaintances.

    Your short stories are great read, from someone who’s very busy.

    Sana tularan ka ni Gerald.. 🙂

  • Hi Doc Ronibats! I was so happy when I received a reply from you in Facebook. After several years, finally, makakabasa na uli ako ng mga sulat mo. Keep it up! 🙂

  • grabe, doc ronnie. ang tagal kong naghanap para lang makita ulit ang site mo. i’m so glad i found it already! i will always be your fan 😀

  • Hi Ronnie. I dont know if you’ll still remember me. I was an OB resident when you were still a student way back.

    Just wanted to commend you for the great writing. Im glad you can still find time to write despite being in NSS. You should consider publishing your work.

    Anyway, God bless and all the best in your training!

    Judith Clemente

    • Hi Ma’am Judith! Of course I still remember you. First year kayo nun nina Ma’am Jaynet and Julie when we were ICCs. Hehe. Thanks for the kind words. Although it would be great to have something published, doing so would entail a lot more responsibility and pressure to come up with something worth reading. I can’t do that now because this is the time I have devoted to training. It would be unfair to my patients. Perhaps in a few years’ time. For now, I’m just glad to be able to write during my spare time. Thanks again!

  • Hello Doc! UP din po ako, IE nga lang, 6th year na. Matagal na po akong fan ng blog mo, at isa ka sa mga unang nag-inspire sakin ilang years ago (2004 ako nagsimula mag-blog) para magsulat. Gustong-gusto ko po yung writing style niyo. Hindi po ako kasing-galing magsulat, usually nagsusulat lang ako para i-express ang sarili ko kaya madalas, nagbabasa lang ako. At sa tagal ko pong hinahanap ng blog niyo, masaya ko nakita ko na sa wakas! Hehe. At ngayon ko lang rin po nalaman ang itsura niyo, yung cartoon lang dati ang naaalala ko dahil meron ka pang link sa blog ko.

    At ang daldal ko po, sorry. Haha. Pasensiya, fan lang po talaga ako. 😀

  • Hi Doc Ronibats,

    It’s so nice to see your works again. You are indeed well loved as a peyups columnist. My personal favorite was Paglisan at Ulan. If you would remember, I sent you an email before kung pwede ko syang ipublish sa parish newsletter namin. Nagulat ako kasi tumawag ka pa sa landline namin dati…hahaha…kaso di tayo nag abot so you just sent me an email giving your consent to publish the article. Oh well, di mo na siguro naalala…Hahaha! Salamat sa inspirasyon sa pagsusulat. Keep on writing and inspiring others! God bless!

  • dear doc,

    i just want to say thank u for saving my daughter..

    wish u more blessings to come… God bless :)…

  • A life of giving makes for worthwhile living.
    You always find time to open your heart, your arms, and your life to those in need. You’re so admired because you care about those you help..

    Dr. Roni Thank you is not enough for saving my daughter’s life..

    May the God bless you always!

  • I enjoyed reading your stories. Your story about “Being a Happy Resident” rings true to my son who is also undergoing a rigorous training. Being a good physician is a commitment, and a good doctor is programmed to be doing his best. Good luck to you and may your tribe increase!

  • Wow! You are Lightning Crashes?! I used to follow your articles in Peyups (together with Nina’s Glass Slippers among others).

    Glad I found your site via a Facebook link (5 Valedictorians). Congratulations to your parents and good luck to you and your siblings.

  • Interesting story.
    I’d like to send you a message sana. I have a question. Would appreciate if you can email me or let me know your e-mail.

  • I have been a fan since days and I’m glad I’ve stumbled upon your blog. I’ve spent like half a day reading your essays. Great writing as usual.

  • Im a fan of you and your family especially your parents. I shared your inspiring article in my FB, if you dont mind.
    Im a single mom of 6 successful children and I know what you mean by hard work and determination. I married at 20, had 6 kids at 30 and became a single Mom at 33. Im an empty nester now with 2 children the US, 3 in the Phil and a son in Luxembourg working for the biggest sallelite company in the world. My youngest son is taking up his Masters in IT.
    Please continue to spread your inspiring stories. Congratulations to your parents!

  • Dr Ron
    so inspiring just lucky to spend my easter monday reading most of your blogs
    congrats not only to your hard work but to the hardworking parents of yours

    i’m a nanny here in montreal and work with a prominent family but kids are not that enthusiastic going to school .They can afford almost the luxury rich kids wants byte still they are good hearted

    i asked them to read your stories and translate filipino words i hope it will help them realize money cant buy everything

    again congrats God Bless you and your family hope to read more of your story!!!!

  • Your column moved me to tears… Congratulations to you and your siblings, esp. your parents….


  • Good Day,

    A couple of years ago, if I remember it right may 24 2011, I was brought to PGH. i have met an accident back at my hometown.

    Just today, while watching the television, my wife saw your family featured at “Jessica Soho”. My wife was quite amazed she saw you, and reminded me that you are the one who checked on me on the day I was brought to PGH.! Well, going back to the time I was there at PGH, I was brought there as quick as possible, and as we are not belonging in the greater earners, we dont have money that time. As my wife remembered it, upon you checking on me, telling her she had to prepare money for my operation, and the scheduled (and should be done immediately) CT SCAN. And again as she dont have any finances with her, as because its an accident, She became worried. She even told “You”, ” Panu po un dok ala pa kami pera, sa Laguna pa po kami, bukas pa po kami madalahan ng pera?”. My wife was telling me you listened, and made it to the point you given money to my mother(who was there too) for the CT SCAN. And yes the Badly needed CT SCAN was made using the money you lend to my wife. fast forward to the story, I survived the accident without needing an operation, using the money you have let my wife to borrow, but Me, upon recovering “miraculously” failed up to this date to locate you Sir/Doc. We came back, and I came back to PGH, for regular check ups, but no one we ask knows what has happened with that, and probably dont know who checked me that night, which was you… So up until now, “May Utang pa kami sayo dok”.

    Well this have been long, i have so much to say, but this is your blog, I dont want me making a “post” like comment here. if you would like Doc, i would want to get in touch with you, to thank you personally, after 2 years, and yes Doc, to pay what you have “loaned” us.

    Thank you,


    • OK na po yun, Mr Oliva. The service shouldered the cost of your CT. Just pay it forward po. Good health to you and your family. Thank you po!

  • Sir, I have read your 5 valedictorian blog and truly is an inspiring ones. I have just seen Jessica Soho reports also in Channel 7 . Congrats to your family especially with your father Engr. Pablito. We have graduated in the same school (LSHS) he is from batch 73 and mine is batch 75, your aunt Agnes is my classmate. PLease permit me to share your blog 5 valedictorian in FB. Thanks.

  • Doc, kung makikita po kita, okay lang po ba magpapicture (chos)? Idol na po kita, eh. Nakaka-inspire po ang mga kuwento mo.

  • Thanks for all your stories! During this long holiday outside the country, it is your blogs that I read to release my boredom. I appreciate it very much. I can relate to some of your stories especially about your family, your career and of course being a Filipino. I find humor, heart and intelligence in all of your writings. I’m looking forward to reading more articles from you. Keep it up Doc! 🙂

  • I am so proud of you Doc Ronnie!

    I read your article just today in the Inquirer at the Young Blood Column!

    It’s Really a shame!

    God Bless and More Power! Regards to all!

  • Ah,
    I’ve been stalking you for the past year and a half (I discovered your blog just early 2012 I think) and I wanted so much to comment on your articles about how they have inspired me and changed me in ways you cannot even begin to imagine but I guess it always felt as though words wouldn’t suffice and so I always held back; but now (hindi ko talaga alam kung bakit ngayon ko biglang naisipan mag-comment dito), now I want to express my gratitude to you as a reader and just recently an avid “fan”.

    Thank you for taking the time to write stories about your experiences whether tragic or success stories. Thank you for making us feel good, for making us cry, smile or laugh through your heartfelt realizations and reflections in life. Thank you because for every paragraph I finish reading in your blog entries, I feel the love, sincerity and humility.

    Thank you for being this amazing inspiration to a lot of people.

    Thank you for being you.

    Thank you for choosing the probably most altruistic career in the world (being a doctor plus a surgeon in a developing country such as the Philippines–biyaya ka sa ating bansa!) and above all, thank you for choosing the path to excellence and inspiring us along the way.

    Para kang gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis o ketogenesis sa harap ng matinding kagutuman (amidst our hunger for a good read or an inspirational story). Para kang substrate level phosphorylation o di kaya naman electron transport chain–provider of ATP/energy pag pagod na sa mga stressors ng buhay. Haha sobrang pilit, pero seryoso, salamat talaga. Here’s to hoping I get to meet you someday. God Bless! 🙂

  • hello po doc! isa po akong probinsyano–galing pa ng basilan. nangangarap po akong maging doctor. kahit gaano man kahirap, susubukan ko pa ring tuparin ito. nais ko lang pong ipahayag ang paghanga ko sa inyo at so inyong mga blog. maraming salamat po!

  • Hi, Ronnie. I don’t know if you still remember me, but I’m one of your co-fellows in the UST National Writers’ Workshop way back. I stumbled upon your blog and wow, glad to see you still writing! I’m just happy to have found your blog, that’s all. Good luck, doc, and take care always. 🙂

  • hi doc. ewan ko kung tanda mo ko….ni like kc ng churchmate ko un link mo then i view po, kc title p lng n amazed nko….then lalo n nung nkita ko pic mo… i told my self familiar sken un face mo, then i rem dr. ko sya s pgh…wow congrats po ang galing! i read ur blog po…

  • I do not work in the medical field (I crunch numbers for a living *accountant*) but I enjoy reading your posts. Doctor, you have a gift. As a reader, you take me to where these happened, whether be it the courtroom or a stranger’s car, or at the hospital, you vividly paint the sorroundings. I compare your posts/articles to a book that I cannot put down… each article has a soul. I am looking forward to reading more of your stories.


  • hi! just saw your ‘artik’ in rappler 🙂 when i saw it was called ‘ronibats’, i immediately thought of peyups 🙂 and then i saw ms. noringai replying… that’s when i know ikaw talaga yun… hahaha! the great old peyups days!

    anyway your family story is very inspirational 🙂 congratulations in advanced to your graduation! astiiiig!

  • Hey, Doc! I’m not sure if you’d still remember me. I can’t tell exactly when we last spoke but I think it was when you were being offered a teaching job at the Ateneo Med School. My family was watching some re-runs of Jessica Soho’s lifestyle show when I heard your name being mentioned alongside the words family of valedictorians. Anyways, just want to say congratulations! I knew you’d make an amazing neurosurgeon. I’m very thrilled to know you’re still writing. I’ve always enjoyed reading your stories – Sa Chowking and Paglisan at Ulan used to be my favorites 🙂 I wonder what happened to the author’s note though ;p Wish you all the best!

  • Dr Ron, I am sure I am not replying in the proper window but am using a cell and leaving to USA tomorrow morning.. I read your post about Ms. Ofelia and her husband/son. The one that was held up in the FX after mortgaging her home. My question Sir, is how can I help? I was touched by the story. I may be reached via email. I hope you can assist my company in helping this family. Thank you in advance.

  • Congrats Doc Ron! You are such an inspiration! I’ve read your article in Rappler today… Keep on inspiring and I thank the Lord because HE gave you a BIG HEART for your fellowmen 🙂
    God bless!

  • Hi Dr. Ron, I read your blog post shared in Rappler. I was touched and inspired by your family. I just want to extend my congratulations to your siblings and especially to your parents for raising all of you so well. Thank you for the inspiration! God bless you and your family.

  • Hi sir/doc! I’m finding my comment on one of your blogs but i cant find it. I opened almost all your stories but i still cant find my comment. I wonder if you could help me find it. It’s about my experience in an interview with my values teacher, like a job interview. And about my dream car, audi. Please help me find it, sir. Thank you in advance! God bless 🙂 and keep inspiring your readers.

  • Sir! nagrereview po ako ngayon sa topnotch… Sayang po at nasa australia po kayo., I was looking forward sana of meeting you in person.. Been followibg your blogs as an intern in medicine and you have inspired me to be inspiring… Sana magkamilagro at makita kita in person sa reviews namjn ngayon.. I’ll be taking my boards this august… seeing you in person is a great opportunity.. God speed sir! Continue to be inspiring!

    Judee jabonillo
    topnotch reviewer for ple august2015

  • Dear Dr. Ronibats,
    I read your article on the 5 Valedictorians that was republished by Rappler tonight. I immediately shared the article to everyone in my email list, my family, and closest friends expressing my awe and admiration for you, your parents and your siblings!

    I connected to your blog site and I was even more amazed at how good a storyteller you are. You write from the heart and you truly inspire people. I am already a big fan of you and your parents who raised you so very well ; so gifted yet so humble.

    You are a true gift of God to the medical profession. God bless you more.

    Vic Eduave

  • I look forward to reading new posts from you doc. I hope you will continue writing because your writings inspire us, your readers. I have a daughter who is an imed student and I pray that she will be inspired by you as well. Ingat po lagi and all the best.

  • Doc, Gusto kitang maging professor kaso I have a small possibility ? pero I’m inspired to be a doctor like you someday . . .

  • Found you! I used to follow Lightning Crashes, my youngest sister is now in UP and I mentioned peyups to her, wala na pala yun 🙁 sad. So we googled you instead and eto na! Balik alala sa mga sulat mo 🙂

  • Thanks doc.i was one of ur students in topnotch last year..u inspired me a lot to take the exam and u taught us very well na naintindihan ko what biochem was all about..doc ill ask po sana where to go for pediatrics na residency?thank you

  • Hi Dr. Ron,

    I sent a message/my queries on your fb page. I would like to ask for your advise on certain matters that troubles me regarding med school. I hope you could send a reply.

    Thank you veey much po.

  • Hi Dr. Ron,

    I am aiming to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. I would like to ask for your advise on some matters Is it alright if I ask for your email address?

  • Hi dok! Been reading your blog since 4th yr high school before i decided to go to UP aiming to get into the INTARMED program. But i failed to be admitted there. Now, im a 4th yr science major in UPD. I wanna say im truly inspired by your writing. I also write, and it is my ultimate dream that my writings be read by people. I am so happy your book will soon be published. I hope I can read it!

    I just want to share that at this point, i am not sure what to do after graduation. Before, i was sure that i want to be a doctor, a community doctor particularly. But then, there are a lot of restraints, especially those with regard to financing my education.

    But there’s one thing i am sure. I want to be a writer, just like you. You may not be a popular writer, but I admire you because you save lives not just through medicine, but through the narratives you share to people.

  • Blessed day po doc! I am currently a first year med student and I want to become a neurosurgeon someday. With my dedication and perseverance to achieve that dream, i could not compare with anything else. However po, i feel like i am not right for the field because I am not that smart. I managed to graduate as Cum Laude and have nmat percentile of 90 but med school is just a different story.. My first failures arose from med school and I feel like entering internal med instead of neurosurgery. But, sometimes my heart just yearns for neurosurgery and nothing else.. What advice can you give me doc? Thank you so much din po for your blog.

  • Hi,
    Sir I would like to buy a copy of your book ‘Some days you can’t save them all’. I am from Pakistan. How may I purchase a copy?
    Thank you

  • Wow, Salute to you Doc, amazing talaga makakita nang isang Doctor na kahit busy sa trabaho may time pa sumulat at i share ang kanyang kaalaman, good luck Doc God bless

  • Your Aug 6 article/post was shared by our Pedia, and the name “Ronibats” reminded me of something and felt familiar.. I was a fan of all your peyups posts/articles back then. Nice to know that you are now a neurosurgeon. Good job. Will save your link and will start reading your writings again.

Ronibats.PH Stories of a Filipino neurosurgeon, teacher, and writer