AMSEP 2016: Fostering Friendship Beyond Borders
By: Jann Mark Capalungan, Patricia Mae Cabatit, Angela Cielo, Marycris Alenton,
Francesca Lirio, Eunika Dirige, Jerrica Galope and Justine Go
February 14, 2016 marks the first day of the Asian Medical Students' Exchange Program (AMSEP) Philippines x Taiwan. The day started with a welcome party at 10am held in Jollibee, Lacson cor Dapitan. The delegates were assigned to different tables to give them the chance to interact with the medical students of UST. The program officially started with a welcoming remarks delivered by AMSA UST president, Mariane Loe Bringuelo. It was then followed with interactive games played by the delegates and the medical students. After that food was served. For the rest of the day, the delegates and the Filipinos had a bonding time together in order to get to know more each other and their culture.
Immediately after lunch, the delegates headed to the National Museum to marvel at the magnificent obra of our Filipino painters and of course the rich collection that displays our rich heritage. After the National Museum, the delegates strolled through Luneta Park and Manila Bay to enjoy the majestic sunset before heading for dinner. It was a long day but the delegates enjoyed another favorite Filipino activity before retiring for the day--karaoke! Everyone, both the Filipinos and Taiwanese, sang their hearts out as they end their first day of AMSEP.
On Monday, February 15, the delegates arrived in PGH at 9am and they were welcomed by some students from the University of the Philippines – MSSR. The UPM students gave a small briefing about PGH and UPM followed by a simple campus tour. At 9:30, two 2nd year UP medical students took over the tour and showed the group the different wards and they were able to allow the group to go inside the wards. Then, at 10:30am, Dr. Borg Seῆa met the group and gave a briefing for the OR tour. For the OR tour, the group was divided into two between two surgical residents then they showed the different operating rooms, discussed the usual cases, showed the group some on-going cases, and taught the group the proper hand washing techniques. The group was also able to view the excised masses of some of the cases and try out individually hand scrubbing. After the tour, the delegates presented their token to the surgery department.
In the afternoon the delegates went straight to the heart house in Medicine building for their next activity. With their sports wears ready, they were eager and set to learn Filipino martial arts; but before doing the actual learning session, Mr. AJ Quidlat from section 2C gave out a very good lecture about the history, background and basics of Filipino martial arts. He even invited his brother on stage to demonstrate some helpful techniques that the delegates found practical to learn. The crowd very much enjoyed the lecture and headed to an empty classroom to finally do the real thing. They changed clothes and assembled in the classroom. Mr. Quidlat started the class by showing how to salute the Filipino fighter way. As they were trying to do it, it was evident that everyone followed and listened very eagerly. They were taught different techniques ranging from the most basic technique up to the average sparring-level moves. It was so interesting that even the AMSA officers and members joined in too. After the almost 3-hour session, the day head Francesca Lirio brought donuts and cold water to cool down their tired bodies. They ate together happily as they get to know their new Filipino friends.
On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, a special lecture on infection control was given by Dr. John S. Delgado to introduce to the delegates how to effectively protect one’s self when faced with an infectious case. Everyone found the doctor’s lecture very informative most especially because the way of his discussion is very interactive. Dr. Delgado had this technique of asking questions in the end to check if everyone listened or understood.
After the lecture, the delegates toured around the historical University of Santo Tomas. The first stop was the Univeristy Chapel. Everyone was oriented about how pious the UST students are by always praying about everything may it be before, during, or after doing something. After that, the delegates went to the UST Museum where different artefacts such as religious, environmental, and historical, were displayed. The delegates continued their tour with photo op in every National Cultural Treasures found inside the campus.
In the afternoon, the delegates boarded the van going to St. Luke’s Medical Center at Bonifacio Global City for their scheduled hospital tour. Mr. Kahlil from the HR department welcomed them and he was also the one who toured the delegates around the different departments and suites in the hospital. After the tour, since the delegates were hungry, everyone had afternoon dimsum snack inside the SLMC cafeteria. At around 6pm, everyone drove to SM Aura to shop for souvenirs at Kultura. There, they met up with some of the AMSA members who came all the way from UST to join them for dinner at Seafood Island Market Market. After dinner, everyone walked around High Street and had churros for midnight snack before heading back to UST.
On February 17, Wednesday, the whole day was intended for socio-cultural activities. The delegates were toured in different heritage sites around the historical city of Manila – Intramuros, Bahay Tsinoy, Bahay Nakpil, San Sebastian Church– to foster their appreciation of our rich history and how we fought for our freedom from different colonizers. The Catholic culture of Filipinos was also introduced to the delegates through their visits to several beautiful cathedrals that includes the 1st Cathedral in Asia, the oldest stone church in the country, and different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the evening, the delegates headed to Zamboanga Restaurant to eat dinner and to watch a cultural show that showcase the different Philippines dances from the pre-colonial era until the Spanish colonization. At the end of the show, the delegates were given the chance to learn and try tinikling, the national dance of the Philippines, and they really enjoyed it!
On February 18, Thursday, the delegates had breakfast together at Subway before the ultrasound lecture. The ultrasound lecture took place at the UST-FMS Life Support Training Center (LSTC). The delegates listened to Dr. Robert Chan give an overview on the history of ultrasound and an introduction of its integration with the UST Medicine curriculum. The ultrasound of the neck, the heart and the abdominal area were individually lectured and followed by a quick hands on session so concepts learns could immediately be applied.
In the afternoon, the Philippine healthcare was introduced to the delegates through an Interactive Forum with Mr. Paolo Aguilar as the Filipino guest speaker. The forum served as a venue for CGU and UST medical students to understand and compare how Taiwan and Philippines manages their own healthcare system. After the forum, the delegates headed to the oldest Chinatown in the world to witness the fusion of Filipino and Chinese culture.
On February 19, Friday, the delegates left UST to go to the partner community of the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery at Navotas. A team of doctors and 4th year medical students accompanied the group. Upon arrival at the community health center, they were given an introduction on what they were going to do that day. There were two settings in that center: one was the nearby school and the other was the clinic where doctors and interns were stationed. The group was first divided into half, one for each setting. Each group had a 4th year student as a team leader. These two groups were rotated at 10am. The group assigned for the school was then divided into two again—one went to the grade school section and the other to the high school. In the school, the junior interns taught them how to take vital signs, history, and physical examination. The group gave a general check up to the students in that school. Most of the procedures were done by the 4th years but the delegates were given the chance to try out some of them with the guidance of the interns. The interns were very accommodating and informative. On the other hand, the group assigned to the clinic did the same procedures (vital signs, history and PE). However, there were few patients compared to the school so what they did was mostly observe the doctors as they handled different patients. The delegates enjoyed and learned a lot from this hands-on experience.
On the night of February 19, a cultural show and farewell dinner was organized to feature the culture of both Taiwan and Philippines. The party started with Filipino games then followed by a harana and dance presentation from Filipinos. The Taiwanese delegates showcased their outstanding and well-crafted performance afterwards. The night ended with gift giving and goodbyes from their new family in the Philippines.
On February 20, Saturday, the delegates went for a beach weekend to relax from the jam-packed weeklong program at La Luz Beach Resort in Batangas. They were able to enjoy the view from the shore while having a very good massage. Afterwards they went into boating, snorkeling and of course swimming!
On February 21, Sunday, the AMSA-UST bid goodbye to the delegates. L
AMSEP holds a very special place in the heart of every AMSA-UST member who has had the privilege and pleasure to experience any of its inclusive activities. This program gives us an opportunity to connect and build lasting friendship that transcends geographic boundaries and sociocultural backgrounds. It is a special experience filled with memories that are worth keeping and stories worth sharing. Truly, there is magic in AMSEP!
The male delegates during the Welcome Party at Jollibee – Gov. Forbes competitively recreating an emergency scene in order to win the game!
The delegates enjoying one of the best sunsets in the world!
The delegates presenting their Certificate of Appreciation to the Doctors of UP- PGH after an enlightening Hospital and O.R. Tour.
Both the Taiwanese delegates and Filipinos enjoyed learning the Filipino Martial Arts
Dr. Delgado with the delegates after his very informative and interactive lecture about infection control
Photo op with the founder of the oldest existing university in Asia, Fr. Miguel Benavidez O.P.
A jumpshot with the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal inside Fort Santiago, Intramuros.
Olivia trying to dance the tinikling and she nailed it!
Dr. Robert Chan guiding the delegates as they try to look inside the abdomen through ultrasonography.
Ms. Olivia Hsiu, the chief Taiwanese delegate, presenting Taiwan Health Care System during the Interactive Forum
Dra. Iluminada Lerma from the Department of Preventive Medicine of UST-FMS demonstrating to the delegates how to auscultate the posterior thorax in a pediatric patient
The 11 Taiwanese delegates with their newfound family in the Philippines!
Enduring the scorching heat of the sun while on our way to the snorkeling site to witness the rich marine life in Laiya, Batangas
The Filipinos being punished after losing the game against the Taiwanese delegates.