3D2N in Leyte: Medical Mission + Kalanggaman Island

By Tin Gallemaso - 2:37:00 AM

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” 

Before we left, I was not sure if it was the right decision to join a Medical Mission to Leyte when: 1.) It was Ilocos ver. 2.0 that I was looking forward to. 2.) I only know two persons in the group. 3.) I am not a healthcare professional. 

But so as not to confuse the universe because this year's hashtags are #explore2015 and #othersbeforeself2015, Leyte it is. 

Arrival link: here.
Afternoon Medical Mission link: here.
Whole Day Medical Mission link: here.
Kalanggaman Island and Sandbar link: here.

This was my second fly out for 2015. I have some (some kasi baka may madagdag pa) more so keribells. Make it work nga, diba. Hahaha.


1. No internet. Alam mo 'yung ngayon pag bored ka na, pag gusto mo lang ng kausap o makatakas sa isang awkward situation, kukunin mo lang 'yung phone o gadget mo tapos okay na. Pero pag wala, we're forced to be in the moment and actually try to get to know the people we're with. On our second night, we gathered outside the house and shared stories. Seryoso, sobrang bihira na lang ng ganung eksena na sa isang grupo e wala kahit isa ang may hawak na gadget. To tell you, we even got thrilled while watching lizards plan on how they'd attack a praying mantis. Also, I'm thankful for the people I went there with. Kasi kahit dun lang nila ko nakilala, they were all accommodating.

2. Fiesta. Hindi talaga celebration ng fiesta but we never ran out of food. Bago kami pumunta, iniisip ko na kung paano kaya kami kakain pero bakit nga ba ko nag-alala? E may mga nagluto ng pagkain namin, may namili sa palengke nang naka-Sunday dress pa para lang maipaghanda kami ng pagkarami-raming pagkain nung pangalawang gabi namin, may mga hindi natulog para lang may baunin kaming lechon baboy habang nasa Kalanggaman Island kami at may nag-bake ng cake at mga nagbigay ng pampasalubong. I was really touched but how the locals treated us. It was the first time to experience such thing. Lahat nang 'yon for free eh kaya lalong woah.

3. Water. The house we were staying at did not have its own water supply. Pinagi-igib pa kami para may magamit lang but since we were more than ten, nakakahiya magpa-igib ng tubig kaya problema kung pano kami maliligo but on our first night, may nag-offer na dun na lang kami maligo sa bahay nila since they have their own water pump. On our second night, nakiligo kami dun kay Ate na namalengke ng nakapang-simba mapaghanda lang kami ng marami. We were strangers but they treated us as if we were friends who've known each other for years. Kapag kulang ka a lot of people would be there to help you at times but it's still better to find solution on your own. 'Cause on our third day, we bathed at the water source. Yep, dun kami naligo sa bundok kung saan galing 'yung tubig. Sarap maligo. Masagana sa malamig tubig. Fresh. Parang buhay lang natin diba, hindi dapat lagi na ma-mroblema kasi pakiramdam natin kulang kasi kung hahayaan mo lang sarili mo na mag-isip ng paraan and to let blessings pour in, lagi naman enough at minsan pa nga, sobra. Wala naman talagang shortage ng grace sa universe; hindi lang natin agad mahanap 'yung source. Hahaha. #ansabe 

4. Language Barrier. I felt ashamed. I can converse in English because English is still my second language kahit ganito lang level ng English ko. HAHA! I can somehow converse in Korean and I am a level 2 basic TOPIK passer. I can introduce myself and count from 1 to 100 in French, Spanish and Japanese (Sino-Japanese). Pero wala naman masyadong relevance, gusto ko lang sabihin skills ko. #yabangkainis HAHA! But in all seriousness, I felt ashamed not knowing any Philippine language apart from Tagalog. I've been to a lot of provinces but in all those places, Tagalog-speaking persons abound or so I thought. I forgot to take into consideration that in all those provinces, I was a tourist who only went to famous tourist attractions and that's the reason why conversing wasn't a big problem - marami sa mga taong nagt-trabaho doon sa mga lugar na 'yun ay bi-lingual o multi-lingual din.

 "Tagalog lang."
"Ah galing pala kayo ng Manila."

"Tagalog lang."
Wala. End of conversation sa isang hand gesture na nagsasabing hindi nila maintindihan.

Ayun pala 'yung pakiramdam kapag pumasok ka, hindi lang 'yung titingin ka lang mula sa labas. 'Yung pakiramdam na kasama ka kahit panandalian lang kesa 'yung napadaan ka lang sandali. Pero alam mo 'yon, one thing I noticed is that during the priest's homily, I didn't  know every word he used but I somehow managed to understand what he was talking about by picking up the familiar words and applying context clues.  Nakakatuwa rin na kahit wiz ako sa conversations, naiintindihan ko ng kaunti pag may nagk-kwento. 
Balang araw, matututo rin ako ng ibang wika sa Pilipinas. I also want to adjust to the locals as much as they are adjusting to me.

"There is always something to be thankful for." 
"Whatever is worrying you right now, forget about it. Take a deep breath and trust in God." 
"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see."
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

I have stopped telling myself that I am lost. I am on my way and I am enjoying my journey now more than ever even if I do not have a definite destination yet. I have learned to be grateful and to stop worrying even if I feel that I am not good enough or I am not suitable for something. I have learned to do things for others without expecting something in return.

 Last but not the least, I am convinced, that in this lifetime, I am not only destined to go places but I am also made to influence and share stories with others. Kaya nga nagb-blog ako eh. Charot. HAHAHAHA! Pero uyyyy, universe sige na please! Marami pa please!! Paka-Dora the Explorer forevs please. Hala ito na naman ako, sabi ko gagawin ko 'tong seryoso. Haha! Pero ang lifestyle peg ay maging isang traveler at hindi lang basta basta turista. Haay, funds. Ginusto ko 'to eh.

I'll be forever thankful for the three days I spent in Leyte because they proved something... possible pala. Kahit anong gustuhin natin, pwedeng mangyari. Naniniwala ka ba???? Hehe. OO YAN! GO. PUSH. KERI! :)

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