AMSEP Philippines for Indonesia 2015
The week with the Indonesians was a blast, jam-packed with various activities that kept both delegates and hosts on-the-go from sunrise to sunset!
AMSEP Philippines as hosted by MSSR-IPPNW is unique as delegates bunk in with different students throughout the week so that they get to experience our well-known Filipino hospitality. This started during the first two nights when each delegate went home with different students to their host families. Each host/delegate grouping did various activities, such as visit the other University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City and taste Filipino street food, visit another medical school’s campus in a different province and watch students from various Philippine medical schools compete in a sports competition, and watch how a commercial in the Philippine is made and party in a dance club at night. For the rest of the week, each delegate stayed with a student in their condominium units beside school and was able to taste Filipino breakfasts each morning.
MSSR-IPPNW is known to have an intensive AMSEP academic program as delegates get to interact with patients in the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and to discuss with doctors various medical cases and try different procedures. After an enlightening tour of the PGH and the Faculty Medical Arts Building beside UP College of Medicine, delegates were able to do rounds in the Pediatric Surgery ward, sit in and observe conferences in Plastic Surgery and TCVS, discuss cases in the Pediatric department, and perform examinations on pregnant women in the Obstetrics and Gynecology department. Aside from rotations in the biggest tertiary hospital in the Philippines, delegates were able to tour the premier private hospital in the Philippines, the St. Luke’s Medical Center Global. Delegates were able to visit the World Health Organization – Western Pacific Regional Office, take a tour in their amazing headquarters, and discuss the various projects WHO has in the area. During the Luncheon Meeting, delegates and hosts discussed Indonesia’s and the Philippines’s health care systems in an interactive forum. To cap off the academic part of the program, the delegates visited an orphanage to teach the young children health and hygiene practices, to play with them Indonesian games, and to perform a mini cultural presentation.
Delegates caught a glimpse of Filipino culture as they visited various well-known Filipino landmarks and cultural sites. They visited Intramuros, the famed walled city of Manila built during the Spanish colonial era. There they visited Fort Santiago and learned about the Philippines’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal and his many literary works and various accomplishments. They also visited the San Agustin Church, one of the oldest churches constructed by the Spaniards in the Philippines, with a museum of artefacts and remnants of the Spanish times. They also caught an on-going wedding during the visit! Delegates also went to Quiapo, to visit another church as well as the Golden Mosque, and to see their fortunes through palm-reading and tarot cards! Delegates viewed the Spolarium, a famous Filipino painting during the Spanish times, in the National Museum, as well as other classic Filipino artworks and artefacts from the Philippines’ past. They also had a tour of Luneta Park and took pictures at the many monuments built there. The trip to the Mind Museum was memorable as they had a great time with the interactive displays of scientific knowledge. The Manila Ocean Park was an exciting look the wonderful sea creatures from around the Pacific Ocean. Aside from the sights and sounds, delegates also tried their hand at playing Filipino games!
Of course, just like any part of AMSEP, the delegates were able to try various Filipino dishes throughout the week. The food trip in the Chinatown of Manila, Binondo, was a scrumptious delight as delegates tried various Chinese-Filipino dishes. Delegates got to try eating with their hands in Seafood Island, while the dinner in Zamboanga Restaurant even came with a cultural show of assorted Filipino dances from different regions of the Philippines.
The most memorable events, however, are definitely the leisure and bonding activities! The delegates experienced how fun a children’s party can be with the Jollibee Opening Party! Delegates and hosts alike played group games and danced with Jollibee as they ate the well-known Chicken Joy. Aside from this, delegates were able to go around Robinsons mall to shop and to play in the arcade, around the Mall of Asia, the biggest mall in Southeast Asia, to try ice-skating and to shop for pasalubong of Filipino delicacies, and around Fort Bonficacio for some lasertag games in Market!Market! and to see the night mall along Bonifacio High Street. Delegates and hosts had a blast during the most rousing round of karaoke, while they taught each other a few dance moves. The week ended with the Cultural Night as we bid farewell to delegates. The Indonesian game, and their song and dance number was truly memorable indeed.
Hosting Indonesians has always been a delight, and we Filipinos are definitely looking forward to more exchanges between the two countries. Maraming Salamat!