Magandang umaga kaibigan!
Good morning friends!
Today marks the beginning of my third week in Manila, Philippines. These past couple of weeks have been absolutely amazing, filled with welcoming people and eye-opening experiences/stories. As an intern at FIMRC, I work at three different sites in Manila. Three days a week, we go to Tondo, a very poor municipality in Manila. We work at a clinic that provides free consultation and free treatment for tuberculosis patients. There, we help with vitals, medication dispensation, and the development of a feeding program. On Mondays, we go to Santa Ana, another municipality that is aiming to start up a clinic similar to the one in Tondo. We aim to help with the training of barangay (village) health workers and the assessment of the major health issues, and its causes, concerning the area. And on Fridays, we head to the Philippines General Hospital to do arts and crafts with cancer patients, hopefully giving them joy and strength to continue fighting.
The friendliness of everyone that I meet and the incredible sense of community is amazing to me. Even though the people in these disadvantaged areas have little food, clean water, and shelter, they have such strong ties to each other. Family and friendship is incredibly important to them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a community so tight-knit and strong as the one in Tondo. I’m grateful to be so welcomed into the community and to have gotten the opportunity to learn about it and build relationships with the residents. I’ve learned a lot and hope to continue learning in the coming weeks.
Thanks for reading!