A Woman of Substance
Written by Annie B. Steele
April 23, 2008
Thirteen years ago, my first recollection of her was a fragile, poised, regal, low key, and of quiet demeanor. Hearsay was that she was a doctor who just moved in from Indianapolis. She was new in the regular social functions, parties and get together, and the hoi polloi’s of varied social circles and interests. Her name comes across on occasional tête-à- tête. I came to realize that at that time, she wanted to be significant but low key, proactive but work behind the scenes. Well, that was from my perspective and I haven’t been around the same circle anymore for years to come.
Fast forward, thirteen years later, my perception realized that she is significant to a lot of going on. She has morphed from a quiet and low key personality to a vibrant and active member of three influential organizations in our local community. I am not surprised how her role has surpassed and reached great heights of becoming a shaker and mover in various affiliations to the local community.
Going back to her basics and grassroots details Dr. Anita Cal Jackson’s life and attributes. Her profile is overwhelming. You meet someone who is quiet and composed but within her frame is a spirited woman of deep and defined character.
Anita was born and raised in Tagbilaran, Bohol, and a middle child from a brood of ten children. Her parents, Alejandro “Dandoy” Roble Cal originated from Danao, Cebu and Leoncia “Lucing” Cagampang Envalido from Jagna, Bohol. A very smart young lady who graduated Valedictorian in high school at the College of the Holy Spirit, Tagbilaran City, graduated Cum Laude earning her Bachelor’s Degree Pre-Med Sciences at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, then pursued her medical degree at the Cebu Institute of Medicine, Class 1976. She obtained her medical licensure in 1977 and became a resident physician in Obstetrics-Gynecology at Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City, Bohol Provincial Hospital in Tagbilaran City, and General Medicine in Danao General Hospital, Danao City, Cebu.
She moved on to expand her horizons. From 1992 to 1995, she completed her residency program in Family Medicine at the Community Hospital of Indianapolis, Indiana, after which she relocated with her family and settled in Murrieta, CA where she is now running two medical offices in the cities of Temecula and Lake Elsinore. At the same time, she is an active medical staff at the Inland Valley Regional Medical Center in Wildomar, CA and Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, CA. Board certified in Family Medicine since 1996, Dr. Anita Jackson further pursued and obtained her Board certification as Diplomat of the American Board of Geriatrics, American Board of Ethical Physicians, and American College of Geriatric Specialists (F.A.C.G.S.).
Tracing back from her humble beginnings in Tagbilaran Bohol, as she journeys through her educational and professional accomplishments in Cebu, Indiana, and Southern California, we see a vibrant and tireless young woman of substance. And the journey has just begun.
Prior to residency in Indiana, Anita suffered a major stroke in 1990 while struggling to settle in humble beginnings as a migrant in Los Angeles, CA. The stroke manifested expressive “aphasia” (inability to utter her thoughts) and right side paralysis. Being the driven and spirited that she was despite her disability, she never got discouraged to pursue a comprehensive medical board review in preparation to the long dreaded medical board exams. And as God showers His blessings to the deserving, Anita Jackson’s blessings poured to its brink. She gives back the honor and blessings to the local community affiliating herself to various local organizations in Southern California.
Today, Dr. Anita Cal-Jackson is an active leader of Filipino-American Associations of fellow Boholanos, Tagbilaranons, and Danawanons. She is serving as Chairman of the Tagbilaran Association of California (TAC), Vice-President of the Boholanos of Southern California (BSCI), President and Chief of Medical Mission of the Danao Association USA (DAUSA). As Chief of Medical Mission since 1998, she returns to Danao every September with a team of missioners to offer voluntary services to the deserving people in Danao City, Cebu, in honor of her late beloved father, “Papa Dandoy Cal”. Having been reelected Chairman of the Tagbilaran Association of California (TAC) and President of the Danao Association USA (DAUSA), she also serves as a Board of Director of the Boholanos of Southern California (BSCI) and member of the Council of Leaders of the CONBUSAC (Confederation of Boholanos in USA and Canada), and member of the Inland Valley Filipino-American Association in Temecula, CA. In line with her profession, she is a member of the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Medicine and American Board of Family Medicine.
With her involvement in fund-raising to support noble projects of the different organizations she’s actively involved in, she is a philanthropist who donates her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes. She makes an impact through gamely volunteering and won the titles’ Balik-Danao Queen in September, 1998; runner-up Diamond Jubilee Queen of the College of the Holy Spirit in July, 2001; Golden Jubilee Queen of the Boholanos of Southern California in October, 2005; Mrs. Philippine USA California-Ambassador of Goodwill to the Philippine Humanitarian Project sponsored by the Society for Humanitarian Aid & Relief Endeavor, Inc. (SHARE) in May 2006; Mrs. Bohol International Runner-Up in the Grand Reunion of Boholanos in the Whole World or “Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan” (TBTK) in July, 2006; Reyna Elena 1 in the 1st Santa Cruzan for the Balik-Danao during the fiesta in September, 2007; Miss CIM Golden Jubilee in December 2008; and also represented on behalf of the TAC which she chairs, as CONBUSAC delegate and Beauty Pageant in July 2007 in San Francisco, CA. Her love and nostalgia for Filipino folk dancing, especially the Tinikling, inspires her to choreograph and perform Filipino native dances with her husband, Ben Jackson, children and adult participants during fiestas and other Filipino events in Southern California.
In memory of her beloved parents, Alejandro “Dandoy” Roble Cal (Danao, Cebu) and Leoncia “Lucing” Cagampang Envalido (Jagna, Bohol), Dr. Anita Cal Jackson dedicates her life above all else to her loving husband, Ben Jackson who has nurtured and nursed her back to health, albeit still suffering from residual expressive aphasia resulting from her stroke in 1990. A proud mother to her three children, Claire, a US Marine who served in Iraq in 2003; Francis, an independent rap artist in the Bay area; and Nicole, who finished her Masters Degree in Public Health from Columbia University; and a sister to Tessie, Joy, Nopie, Bitsi, and Ganjie, she is an amazing, generous, and selfless woman, courageously noble in mind and heart. With all her accomplishments and achievements, what more is there to uncover except for her simple desire to be a devoted follower and instrument of The Greatest Healer!