Leyte 2018: Medical and Dental Mission Volunteer '18

 The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Mahatma Gandhi

This month, I was able to go again to Leyte to assist in the annual Medical Mission of Mensa Caritatis Philippines. This is my fourth time joining them and my third time in Leyte (the other being in Polillo Group of Islands).

In this lifetime, I've worn a lot of hats already but the hats of being a volunteer and a public servant is something that I've always loved wearing; something I can't say no to.

I used to volunteer at Legion of Mary Philippines, Catechetical Ministry, True Love Waits Philippines and Philippine Animal Welfare Society. And just the other week when our newly-elected Barangay Captain held his victory party did I realized that almost a decade has passed since I wore that Sangguniang Kabataan Kagawad hat. 

I am not a doctor nor a nurse and the only contribution I can give is to volunteer at the registration, get the patient's name, measure blood pressure and weight. Also, offer help whenever we need to sort out the medicines and vitamins that we give out to people... just the sorting out since I seriously have no idea and I take forever to look for a medicine whenever they use generic names. lol. 

I am not familiar nor do I know how does this project gets funded apart from solicitation but I do know that we're not government and church funded. We are able to do this thru private donors and the sacrifices of the doctors and nurses that I go with. 

We get tired, we feel uncomfortable, and we travel far but all of these are worth the sacrifices. <3

A time away from Manila. A time when I don't just see tourist spots but I am able to live among these people and experience their way of life to understand them more. I sometimes feel bad that I don't understand their language and that they do all the adjusting to this Tagalog lady who is actually multilingual but only knows one language in the Philippines.

In this country where staying means not having the chance to improve one's economic condition;
In this country where idea of success for some is being able to work abroad and send money back home;

I hope for nothing but the best. Hopefully, the leaders we elected are doing their job properly and honestly. I really hope that good things come out of all these. Sa totoo niyan kasi tuwing nanood ako ng news o tuwing nagbabasa ko ng ibang post sa Facebook, ang hirap hirap na mahalin ng Pilipinas!

Sabi nung isa, "Basta masipag ka, hindi ka maghihirap sa Pilipinas."


That's probably the most insensitive claim I've heard in a while. 

When you go to these places and see the real situation of some of the rural places in the Philippines, you won't even dare belittle our countrymen. These people work hard, maybe harder than anyone you know, and look at them.

And yet,

When you go to these places and see the real situation of the rural places in the Philippines, you won't even notice how hard it is to live in this country. In fact, you'd get energized from their smiles, from their laughter, from their gratitude that you've actually taken time to visit and help them with their health concerns.

I don't remember their faces, tbh but our faces may forever be in their memory.

I got, "Oh, mam! Pangalawang beses mo na dito ah. Buti bumalik kayo." several times.

Tatay, I'd come annually if I can but I'd be more thankful if that time comes when medical and dental missions aren't needed anymore. Hopefully, these places construct hospitals of their own. Hopefully, these people get the medical and other facilities they deserve.

We do this to give hope for these children as well.

Once they get older, I hope they'll do things for the betterment of themselves and our country. Truly, it's in giving that we find meaning in life. It's in connecting with others that we learn more about ourselves.

Forever thankful for experiences like this.

And if you ask me if I want to go on a mission, I'd always say yes. :)

You Might Also Like