AMSEP Philippines for Taiwan 2014
By: Desi Mina
The delegates arrived on August 22, Friday night. We were eager to meet the eight Taiwanese delegates, and even though it wasn’t yet the official start of AMSEP, we had a welcoming dinner at Recipes with a few other students from the Medical Students for Social Responsibility – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The delegates got their first taste of Filipino food of gising gising, tilapia, General’s chicken, and bagoong rice. They then headed out to their hosts’ condominiums to have a good night’s rest.
Day One of AMSEP started early, as day heads and delegates headed out to the Manila Bay docks to ride the ship that would take them to Corregidor Island. The boat ride was pleasant, and the delegates enjoyed the ocean view from the deck. They took a day tour of the island, seeing the hidden tunnels, huge cannons, soldiers’ barracks, and war memorials while learning about the history of the Japanese-American wars in the Philippine context. They took a filling buffet lunch with a stunning view of the beaches and the far-off provinces of Cavite and Bataan. After returning to Manila, the delegates were excited to go shopping in Robinsons Place Ermita. Dinner was spent in Gerry’s Grill, and delegates sample the all-time Filipino favorite pork sisig and kare-kare. The day wasn’t over yet as afterwards they went to Aracama in The Fort to let the delegates experience the night life here in the Philippines. It was a crazy night of partying leaving the delegates tired but greatly satisfied.
Day Two involved the special participation of AMSA-De La Salle Health Sciences Institute as they tried their hand as day heads. The morning consisted of a tour around the walled city of Intramuros, sight-seeing and learning about our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, in Fort Santiago, and about our Spanish colonial history and Catholic roots in the San Agustin Church and Museum. After a sumptuous lunch at Max’s Fried Chicken, they went to Antipolo to check out Avilon Zoo. Delegates loved seeing the animals, especially the monkeys and tigers! The day ended with the iconic Jollibee Opening Party. Delegates got to meet the rest of MSSR-IPPNW and of course, Jollibee, as they played many exciting games and shared a delicious meal of Chicken Joy.
On Day Three, delegates spent National Heroes’ Day learning a bit more about Philippine history as they went around Luneta and saw the Rizal and Lapu-Lapu monuments, the giant Philippine map, and the various gardens of Rizal Park. Delegates even caught a glimpse of a rally forming in the area! After was a quick tour of the private section of UP-PGH, the Faculty Medical Arts Building. This was followed by a meal in the Robinsons Food Court for a variety of foods such as pancit canton and chopsuey, and some light shopping again. They headed out to Quiapo to see the Quiapo Church and the different herbal medicines and religious paraphernalia in the market. Delegates even got their futures told to them by the resident palm-readers in Plaza Miranda. They all walked to Binondo afterwards for a taste of Filipino-Chinese food! From dumplings to noodle soup, both delegates’ and day heads’ tummies were all filled up even before the last stop of the Binondo food trip, fried frog legs! Delegates even got to experience the crazy Philippine weather as they battled it out with the torrential rains to get back to their respective condominiums.
Day Four started with a courtesy call to the UP College of Medicine Dean, Dr. Agnes Mejia. This was followed by a tour of the Orthopedics Ward and Internal Medicine Out Patient Department, with case discussions care of our MSSR-IPPNW interns. After lunch at Aristocrat, delegates and day heads went straight to Bonifacio Global City to check out the Mind Museum. Delegates enjoyed the interactive exhibits and found the spinning tunnel and T-rex replica to be highly interesting! They also went to visit St. Luke’s Medical Center Global to see the private sector of the Philippine health care system. This was followed by an exhilarating game of Laser Tag in Market! Market! and a superb dinner at Seafood Island.
The start of Day Five was one of the main highlights for the delegates as they toured around the Surgery Wards, observed several cases and scrubbed in to view ongoing mastectomies. It was their first time to observe a surgery live, and they were all very amazed. After lunch at Chicken Inasal, delegates went around the Manila Ocean Park and got to see colorful fish and jellyfish, watch a sea lion show, and experience a fish spa! They also went to the Myth of the Human Body, an exhibit showing the various aspects of the human body using preserved specimens! The day ended with a feast at Zamboanga Restaurant, accompanied by a cultural show featuring various Filipino dances from all over the country.
Day Six began with a tour of the Pediatrics departments and emergency room with a few case discussions. This was followed by a trip to the Department of Health, where they were given a lecture on the Philippine Health Care System and a tour of the offices. Lunch (a three-course meal!) was at Hyatt Hotel during the Luncheon Meeting where each country presented an in-depth report on their respective health care systems. The enlightening discussions were summarized and concluded by the MSSR-IPPNW adviser, Dr. Adrian Rabe. The delegates then visited the National Museum, to see various Filipino arts and crafts, including the famous Spolarium by National Artist Juan Luna. Last stop was Mall of Asia for more shopping, a fun round of ice-skating, and a ride on the Big Eye Ferris wheel.
Day Seven, despite being the last day, was still jam-packed as the delegates toured the rest of the Philippine General Hospital, visited the Obstetrics and Gynecology Wards and observed a Caesarian section. Lunch was at Ajisen Ramen for scrumptious bowls of Japanese noodle soup. Then delegates visited the Asocacion de Damas de Filipinas orphanage to interact with the children there, through shared song and dance numbers and fun games.
AMSEP ended with MSSR-IPPNW’s fanciest closing party yet ever, with the famous AMSEP placemats and balloons décor! The room was full with many guests, including members of other AMSA chapters. Delegates were serenaded by the Filipinos, with several English and Taiwanese songs (including the theme song from the Filipino-loved Taiwanese TV show, Meteor Garden!). The delegates in return performed a catchy dance number for the Filipinos, as they wore UP College of Medicine t-shirts. There was a round of picture-taking and gift-giving afterwards. The night wasn’t over yet as after the closing party, delegates and Filipinos headed out for one last activity – Karaoke! They all sung their hearts out until early in the morning when they had to go home to pack their bags and get ready for their flight.
This was definitely a jam-packed and unforgettable AMSEP week. We, Filipinos, surely look forward to meeting Rebecca, Rachel, Luna, Frances, Eason, Jamie, Joe and Harry once again!
Salamat and Mabuhay!
Salamat and Mabuhay!