AMSEP INDONESIA FOR PHILIPPINES 2014 SOJOURN
October 19, 2014 (Sunday)
This has been the day we’ve been looking forward to for weeks! Our flight was scheduled at 5am so we had to be at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by 3am. Though it was way too early in the morning, everybody was in high spirits and excited for the upcoming AMSEP experience. After a 2-hour flight going to Singapore and another 4-hour flight from Singapore to Surabaya, Indonesia with a 2 hour layover in Changi Airport, we were finally welcomed by our hosts. The big tarpaulin welcoming the Philippine delegates that they were holding brought smiles to our tired faces.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The first thing the delegates quickly bonded over..taking pictures!!
Changi Airport. Just one of the many, many photos we took to kill some time.
Juanda International Airport. The delegates finally got to meet their hosts!
We arrived at Juanda International Airport at around 1 pm and from there, we went directly to the Mangrove Forest for the “Go Green” activity. The Mangrove forest located in Wonorejo village, Rungkut, East Jawa Province, Indonesia was approximately a 20 minute ride from the airport. The first thing we saw was a wooden bridge which is the main path to the site and the green sights that were refreshing to the eyes. For our first activity, we planted some mangroves with our hosts. There were already holes in the ground and we were given some young mangroves. We placed it inside the hole and stabilized it with some clay made from the soil. It was a messily fun experience.
Mangrove forest. Go green!
After the mangrove planting, we had a boat ride in the mangrove river to go to the ocean. The sight of the birds in the Surabaya sky and the river surrounded by mangroves was a really relaxing view. After the 20 minute boat ride, we arrived at a dock made of bamboo sticks, it was just a 5 minute walk and we arrived at a gazebo overlooking the vast ocean.
Making the most out of the wonderful Surabaya sky.
With our new found Indonesian friends.
From the Mangrove forest, we went to the house of one our host family, Julius, to freshen up. Then they brought us to Pakuwon food festival for dinner. It was like an outdoor food court with street food stalls and also some restaurants. The colorful lights made the place livelier and there were pony rides, a merry-go-around and trampoline for the kids. They made us choose among a variety of yummy, authentic Indonesian food and it was kind of hard since we wanted to taste whatever we see. It was a night to remember as we bonded over food and a lot of storytelling.
Pakuwon Food festival. The food, the lights..
...and the people. What an awesome day! :)
October 20 (MONDAY)
Waking up from 3 different house families, each of us had different breakfast waiting for us to energize us throughout the day. In house family 1 (Julius’ House), Ach, Shur, and Andrei had a Filipino-inspired breakfast, which consists of fried rice, chicken nuggets and scrambled eggs with an Indonesian twist of course. This made our adjustment with their spicy food easy and made us feel like we are still eating a Filipino cuisine. This will be the first day for us to go to University of Airlangga (UNAIR) and a day filled with a lot of tours, so a stomach-warming breakfast was appreciated. After a great breakfast, Julius drove us to the university to meet the others.
We met up at the University of Airlangga Gazebo first to wait for the others to arrive, and before leaving for the University of Airlangga’s Institute of Tropical Disease (ITD), we had our “But first, let’s take a selfie” moment.
The ITD is an Indonesia-Japan collaborative research center for emerging and re-emerging infectious disease. Tropical diseases are the primary cause of death in Indonesia, and the development of preventative and therapeutic techniques are becoming an urgent issue. The national Airlangga University plays a significant role as Indonesia’s primary institution for tropical disease research applies the University’s research results to clinical focuses such as diagnosis and treatment of tropical disease patients and to spread preventative methods. First, we were toured by Yusuf, Lambe, Evan, Nia, and Angela inside the ITD with each section and department such as their HIV laboratory, Proteomics laboratory, Leprosy Laboratory, Tuberculosis Laboratory, etc. After the tour, we had a small conference with Dr. Romdhoni of ITD, and discussed the functions and goals of the ITD to further understand their mission and vision. A plaque of appreciation was given to the ITD for accommodating us.
From Top: The tour inside the Proteomics Laboratory; Middle: A picture at the entrance; Below: and a picture with Dr. Romdhoni of ITD.
After the tour and conference in the ITD, we went back to the university to have a briefing on where we will be going next, which is their university’s hospital, the Dr. Soetomo Hospital. To get there, we had to walk and cross the street because it is located just adjacent to the university. We waited for Dr. Mustoha SpPD, the head of infectious disease department, but he was still in a meeting so we had to eat our lunch first at the hospital cafeteria. We were excited to try more Indonesian food as we enjoy our second day in Surabaya. After a sumptuous lunch, we went back to the Department of Infectious Diseases to start our tour in the hospital. Dr, Mustoha SpPD showed us the different specialty wards in the hospital and we were able to appreciate their effort to isolate specific cases to prevent spread of the disease. After which, a plaque of appreciation was given to Dr. Mustoha SpPD.
From the Upper Right: Lambe trying to stop the cars so that we can cross the street; Upper Left: Selfie while waiting for Dr. Mustoha SpPD; Lower Right: Lunchtime at the cafeteria; Below: A group picture with Dr. Mustoha SpPD after the tour
Two academic tours are finished, so now it’s time for a leisurely fun. Went back to UNAIR’s gazebo to meet again with everyone before heading to Tugu Pahlawan, a place for an exciting expedition in Surabaya’s rich and heroic historical tale. We entered through a passage where the Hero’s monument is erected, walked by a field of green grass and a wall filled with vibrant flowers before reaching the entrance to the museum. As we entered, we were welcomed by a huge wall sculpture that seemed to summarize everything that the museum has to offer us. The whole museum was full of different art collections from paintings to sculptures to electronic dioramas, which depicts the story on how the people of Surabaya struggled and fought for their independence against the Dutch. Also seen here are the different weapons from knifes to guns to canyons, and the symbolic cry that the first president Soekarno cried that revolutionized every people in Surabaya to fight the Dutch: “Merdeka Atau Mati” or “Freedom or Death”. Indeed, Surabaya is a city of heroes and the powerful speech he gave and that line reminded us of how we Filipino’s fought for our own independence from the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese colonialist. This made us realize that even in the history, we Filipino’s and Indonesians are very much alike. We then went off to the top of the museum and were awed with the towering obelisk and pyramid-like structures, and of course… we wouldn’t miss the chance to take pictures with the wonderful structures Tugu Pahlawan has to offer.
Upper: The tour guide giving us a brief introduction on what to expect inside; Below: A group photo inside the Museum.
Tired from the tour that started in the morning and lasted up to the late afternoon, we tried to sleep while we’re on our way back to our different house families to freshen up and prepare for the welcome party. Evan drove us back to Julius’ house, and we tried to change fast for the party will be starting real soon. Julius then drove us to UNAIR, and went to their conference hall where the welcome party was held. All of us had to wear our national costumes for this occasion. The girls wore different types of filipiniana, from the traditional to the most modern type, while the AMSA UNAIR and UHT students wore their traditional batik dress and Balinese dresses. We were greeted by familiar faces, and though some faces looked new to us, they were welcoming and friendly enough to make us feel at home. The Muslim students prayed first when the clock ticked to 6:00PM and started as soon as they finished. Maya and Misyel hosted the event, which gave a very lively vibe to the hall. They introduced their dean, Dr. Agung Pranoto, who gave an inspiring opening remark. As the dean finished his talk, we presented him a plaque of appreciation, a wall clock made up of seashells to be placed on his office, and some delicacies from then Philippines. Julius Albert, the Head Representative of the AMSA UNAIR, gave a welcoming remark as well before we proceeded with the program. It started with a game like “pinoy henyo” where the 3 of us: Jao, Tin, and Andrei were chosen to guess 1 Indonesian word each. Surabaya’s cultural and traditional dance was presented to us, and we were amazed by how graceful and refined their movements are. We all then agreed to have a dinner already, where the food was very appetizing and very sumptuous. There was a band playing a delightful Indonesian and English song to accompany us while we enjoy a satiating dinner. To finish off the party, we presented an impromptu, but stunning number where Ach, Andrei, and Shur graced them with the itik-itik dance and the rest sang the ‘Bahay Kubo’ to accompany the dance number. Of course, the night would not end without taking a lot of selfies and group pictures, and getting to know most of them. Surely, this night marks the start of a fun-filled stay in Surabaya, and a “friendship that would never end”. We are so glad to meet most of the students from AMSA UNAIR and some from AMSA UHT.
Upper Left: Our Dessert, which resembles the kakanin here in the Philippines; Lower Left: Our very yummy dinner made less spicy for us; Upper Right and Middle Right: A photo of the traditional dance of Surabaya; Lower Right: A picture of the House Family 1, Shur, Julius, Ach, and Andrei.
Upper: A picture with Dr. Agung Pranoto, the dean of the UNAIR Department of Medicine; Middle: Misyel, Alvin, Lambe, Julius, and Andira joining the delegates as they do the AMSA Philippines’ version of ‘Peace Sign’; Below: The delegates with AMSA UNAIR and AMSA UHT posing for the last group picture before ending the party.
After a very exhausting activity-filled day, we went back to our different house family. Julius, Ach, Shur and I had a little chat for a while about the great things that happened that day, and as the night deepens, we felt the need to take a rest already to recharge our mind and bodies for another adventure awaiting us for the next following days.
21 October 2014 (Tuesday)
Academic Tour Day
During the morning, we started our day by a breakfast prepared by our house family. After this we travelled from our house family going to the University of Airlangga campus.
Around 8am in the morning, we were scheduled to attend an International class on Cardio-Pulmonary Problem Based Learning in which we were divided into smaller groups and given a chance to work on with the International students solving for their cases and identifying different differential diagnosis.
After the PBL of International Class, we had an opportunity to attend a pulmonary practical with the International Class which helped us freshened up our knowledge on how to conduct physical examination on the thorax then followed by a lecture around 1pm about Cardiopulmonary Pathology Anatomy.
For the afternoon activity, our next destination was at Ken Park. Knowing that citizen in Surabaya are religious people and most of them are Muslim, we visited other religious places like the Buddhist statue, and pray at a Hindu temple.
The last destination before going back to our house family was at the Suramandu bridge, which is the longest bridge in Indonesia and is also known as the Surabaya-Mandura Bride, though we were not able to pass through the bridge, we manage to take a photos somewhere near the bridge. At the end of the day, we were all brought home to our respective house family and have our dinner. It was indeed a day full of learning and fun memories.
October 22, 2014 (Wednesday)
On our fourth day, we were given a chance to observe how medicine is being taught in the regular class. In contrary to the International Class which uses English as their medium, being in a regular class means that the language being used is Bahasa Indonesia. Lessons in subjects such as Biochemistry and Physiology were delivered by the professors in Bahasa.
The AMSEP Delegates with the Regular Class
After which, we were paired into two and observed their physiology laboratory session. Different experiments (e.g. effect of various substances upon stimulation of a frog’s nerve, pulmonary function tests, etc.) were done simultaneously in each assigned rooms. Students were initially briefed regarding the experiment and afterwards, the professors demonstrated how it should be done so that the students can work on their own.
Students observing for the results of their experiment and volunteer underwent a pulmonaryfunction test
Presenting our very own Adobo!
After classes, we headed in one of the houses of an AMSA-UnAir member. As part of the cultural exchange, we prepared a Filipino dish that is Chicken Adobo. On the other hand, our Indonesian friends made their very own recipes. First, as an appetizer, they served Tempe, a fried tofu stuffed with vegetables. Another dish was Lontong Mi, which was a delicious combination of beef chunks, fresh bean sprouts, fried tofu and noodles all souped with a beef broth. Also, they made us taste their version of instant noodles called Indomie.
The delegates with the hosts after being full with food and laughter.
October 23, 2014 (Thursday)
The delegates were brought to the Universitas Airlangga campus to join the morning classes with the regular students. The delegates were scattered into a total eight groups, making one student delegate sit-in per group of regular students comprising of about 10-15 students, they were exposed to case discussions (Problem-Based Learning) in the Bahasa language, in each group, a different case.
For the 2nd part of the class, they were taught together with the same class group in the Skills Laboratory, in which, the professors held a demonstration of physical examinations done by the different medical departments such as Biochemistry, Anatomy and Histology, Medicine and Physiology. For lunch, they had a buffet dining experience together with the 3rd year medical students of Universitas Airlangga outside the campus, a treat and company which the delegates fully enjoyed.
The afternoon activity started with the visit to one of the adopted elementary schools of the medical university, also situated in Surabaya. They went together with the medical students from Universitas Airlangga and University of Hang Tuah. The delegates were given the chance to mingle with the elementary students via an interactive learning presentation prepared by the medical students of AMSA-UA, it comprises of singing and dancing along with the children’s songs and playing of guessing games that basically teaches the elementary students about good health and nutrition. Together with the said activities is the handing out of chocolate as a reward for winning the guessing games, but most importantly, is the giving of packed drinking milk for all the students in the class, as a reminder that milk (susu) aids in the good nutrition of everyone especially for the growing children. It was a fun learning activity for the students and as well as the delegates.
October 24, 2014 (Friday)
Our sixth day was the last day of our official AMSEP schedule and so it was dedicated to non-academic activities like socio-cultural tours. But before we set out into the City, we first toured the Airlangga Campus A as it is the last time we’ll be there. Once all of the delegates have arrived from our respective host families’ homes, we finally had our obligatory AMSEP Philippine Delegation photo at the Universitas Airlangga’s ‘campus monument’, wall of alumni and the Arc of Institute of Medicine. When the clock struck at 8AM, the delegates, together with our campus guides for the day, Lambe, Evan, Misyel, Tioky & Nong, headed to their University Library (Perpustakaan). This campus library was a two-storey building which housed several books and had different discussion rooms. Following this, we went up to one of the buildings’ rooftop and we were able to see the span of the whole campus A of the university. We then passed by their different rooms for Gross Anatomy, their Histology Laboratory and other PBL rooms and then the whole group had snacks at the College of Dentistry’s cafeteria. After being refuelled by the yummy shawarmas and cold fruit drinks, we headed back to the Gazebo where we met some old and new faces from AMSA Universtias Hang Tuah, who joined us for the next part of our itinerary that day. We met Eky, Shinta, Cut, and Vina.
The Philippine delegation was divided into three groups for the three cars which we’ll be riding for the next part of our tour. The second part was a cultural tour. First stop was the House of Sampoerna. The House of Sampoerna is one of the most popular destination places in Surabaya. It has become one of the most important historical sites in Surabaya. The House of Sampoerna houses Indonesia’s most prestigious cigareete, Dji Sam Soe and it has been dubbed to the one of the most important products of the country. It is like a compound which houses the museum and at the back part is where the actual production plant of the cigarette can be found. At the museum’s 2nd floor, one can view actually process of how they make the cigarettes. Live viewing is also situated as you enter the 2nd floor of the museum. At the east side of the compound, an art gallery is located. It is also where one can find the most expensive batiks ever produced.
Moving on from the list, we visited Gereja Katolik Kelahiran Santa Perawan Maria or also known as the Kelsapa Church which was said to be the oldest Catholic Church in Surabaya. Most of us Filipino delegates being catholics, went in to appreciate the beautiful architecture the church has and stayed for a bit to give praise and thanks to the Lord. And as we went out, finally it was time for lunch.
Almost just across the church, one can find Disini Lontong Balap & Sate Kerang which they say is where one of the most delicious lontong mi can ever be tasted. Eating like a native Indonesian, we watched as the cook prepared our noodles in front of us. After the yummy and filling lunch, we had a refreshing coconut infused drink and a native Indonesian dessert.After our satisfying lunch, off we went to the next agenda on our itinerary – go to Pasar Atum where everything and anything can be found. Pasar Atum is a bargain shopping mall complex, which contains a mix of the old and the new – from selling traditional batik dresses to the modern souvenir shirts. Name it, they have it all!
Turnover of friends/hosts happened and this time, we bid goodbye to Shinta, Eky and welcomed Indra and Vina to be our hosts at the mall. We split up again into 3 groups, each group having our own tour guide (either form UnAir or from HangTuah) and just decided to meet at 430pm to give us enough time to haggle our way to the best prices possible for all the goodies we could find, before going back to Julius’ place for the Farewell party.
After the oh-so-tiring of going up and down all the way to the 6th floor of the shopping mall, but none-the-less fun shopping spree, we met up and waited for Tioky, who was gonna pick us up. The Philippine delegation was divided into two, one who will ride with Tioky and the other with Lambe. Our friends from Hang Tuah also said goodbye but will also follow to the farewell party. After almost 40 minutes of travel in the Surabaya traffic, we have finally arrived at Julius’ place. An hour was spent for us to wash up, and prepare for our presentation that night.
Finally, the time came and the farewell party officially started. It was hosted by Tata and Cuppa and they started off with a welcoming address by the AMSA UnAir Representative Julius and the AMSEP Chief, Lambe. The rest of the AMSA UnAir Officers and EBs were also introduced to the crowd. Following the introduction, the long awaited cultural performance of the Philippine delegation followed. A muslim-inspired dance choreography by Andrei Galupino was performed and was followed by an interactive dance to the tune of Kanta na, Pilipinas. After the dance routine was performed, we delegates grabbed people from the audience to join in and dance along with us as the song finished. The audience enjoyed it so much that we taught them the steps and later on had two rundowns of the song wherein everybody joined in.
The programme continued with the awarding of the certificates. Each delegate was called upon and one member from AMSA UnAir and from AMSA UHT presented the certificate and gifts to all of us. And then it was time to eat. A yummy spread of Indonesian delicacies was served that night.
Mats were spread out on the floor and that’s where everyone sat on. Some of us played card games together with our Indonesian friends while others just chitchatted the night away. Before the programme was officially over, Chief Delegate Kristine presented a plaque of appreciation to Julius, AMSA Unair’s Representative for hosting all of us the whole week. Together with the plaque, some Filipino delicacies and goodies were also given for Julius to share to the other AMSA UnAir members.
Almost an hour before midnight, we had to part ways with all of our Indonesian friends as an out of town trip was scheduled for the following day. Some of the UnAir and HangTuah people split into groups in bringing us home to our respective host families that night and the bonding continued in the cars. Definitely, it was a night to remember for all of us.
October 25, 2014 (Saturday)
Brunch time!!! Brunch with Philippine delegates and AMSA-Indonesia hosts A local Indonesian delicacy
Our group decided to extend our stay in Indonesia for a couple of days and we are very fortunate that AMSA UNAIR-Indonesia organized an overnight trip to Malang, Indonesia. Malang is the second largest city in the East Java province of Indonesia. Our day started quite early as the van that will take us to Malang was already waiting for us at the university campus. It took us almost 4 hours to reach our destination due to the moderate to heavy traffic caused by the celebration of the Islamic New Year on that day. On our way to Malang, we stopped by a local restaurant to have our brunch and ate a mouth-watering local dish.
The first place we went to was the Batu Secret Zoo, claimed as the first modern zoo in Indonesia. The zoo showcases variouskinds of animals – from primates, birds, insects, reptiles, fishes, to wild animals. It was subdivided into different areas that were built closely similar to the actual habitats of the different animals. The zoo was well maintained and organized since we only have to follow the arrows that allowed us to go around the whole place. The most interesting part of the trip was when we were able to take a photo with a nocturnal animal, as well as touch the fishes on the aquarium. Apart from the animals, another main attraction of the zoo was the rides where we were able to ride their mini rollercoaster.
Afterwards, we went to the villa to leave our things, rest, and freshen up for a while. The villa was situated near our next destination, the Batu Night Spectacular (BNS), so we enjoyed the cool weather of Malang as we strolled our way to BNS. The BNS held true to its name as it really was a spectacular theme park, filled with many rides and attractions that families and friends alike can enjoy together. We had our dinner at the food court and proceeded to make the most of our time by trying out different attractions such as the Gravitron, 4-D Cinema, and the Flying Swinger. We also had some pasalubong shopping before retiring back to the villa, where we spent some more quality time with our beloved Indonesian friends before calling it a night.
October 26, 2014 (Sunday)
Breakfast is served!
The day started off with a breakfast at the villa, afterward we went for some water rafting! We first had an orientation on how to do’s and dont’s during the rafting. Then we went to the rafting site. It sure was an adrenaline and fun- filled day and well, what more can I say? YOLO!
After the water rafting, we went on our way going back to Surabaya. We stopped by Grand City Mall which is located in the heart of Surabaya. It is one of the best and biggest malls in Indonesia. We ate our dinner there and we were able to buy some groceries and other stuffs. Once we were finished, we went on our respective houses.
Indeed, we do! <3
October 27, 2014 (Monday)
One last picture at the airport!
Till next time, friends!
Regrettably, the days went by so fast. Our last day at Surabaya has finally arrived and goodbyes had to be made as our departure day came. For the last time, we met up at the campus, and then ventured on to the airport. We bought some snacks for the ride home, and reluctantly and sadly bid our hugs and farewells to our dear Indonesian brothers and sisters.
Marina Bay at night
AMSA Philippines in Singapore for the layover