Friday, April 8, 2016


Medical Students for Social Responsibility-International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War
November 3 (Tuesday)
Day 0
The University of the Philippines Manila was the host university for AMSEP Philippines for Thailand 2015 held last November 3-9. Four delegates from Ubon Ratchathani University, namely Jenny, Meck, Ploy, Chanya arrived at NAIA on November 3 at around 6 pm and were cheerfully and warmly welcomed by the members of Medical Students for Social Responsibility – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (MSSR-IPPNW). After a quick dinner, the delegates were brought to their respective hosts’ places to have a restful evening for the fun-filled activities the next day.

November 4 (Wednesday)
Day 1

            The delegates had their scrumptious breakfast with their hosts and were ready for the day ahead. First of the activities was a courtesy call to the Dean’s Office of the College of Medicine. The delegates were cordially welcomed by Dr. Salome Vios, who represented the Dean.

The delegates and LU 1 members of MSSR-IPPNW met with Dr. Salome Vios of the College of Medicine and presented to her a token of appreciation. What a pleasant way to start the day!\

After the courtesy call, the delegates and the MSSR members proceeded to have a quick tour of the campus. They visited the “Lady Med” or what is officially known as “The Triumph of Science over Death” and the Oblation Statue in front of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Despite the hot and humid weather, the delegates and MSSR members were all smiles and full of energy!

The delegates visited “The Triumph of Science over Death” which is a sculpture by Dr. Jose Rizal himself. This statue is more commonly known as Lady Med.

The Oblation Statue is the most famous symbol of the University of the Philippines. The nude figure represents selfless service to the nation, an oath the University lives for.

In PGH, they met Ms. Imelda A. Mangaser, the Deputy Director for Nursing Services, to be given a tour of the hospital. Before the tour began, the delegates and the MSSR members played some games and icebreakers. The delegates were then brought around to see the conditions of the different wards and departments. There they were able to see the bedridden patients, their families, and the different health care providers.

Upper Left (UL): The delegates had a quick ice-breaker to get to know more about each other; Upper Right(UR): The delegates had their courtesy call to Chief Nurse Ma’am Imelda Mangaser; Lower: The delegates toured around PGH with the hospital nurses

After exploring the enormity of the PGH, they were taken to Mang Inasal, along taft Avenue, to be given a taste of a truly Filipino meal. They tried Chicken Inasal with toyomansi. They enjoyed the food and they likened the tastes to their countries’ cuisine. A dish they were really eager to try was the halo-halo.

The delegates had their lunch in Mang Anasal and had a sumptuous Filipino meal. They even tried the famous halo-halo. 

From Taft Avenue, the delegates put themselves in the shoes of a Filipino, and took a jeepney to the National Museum of the Philippines. First stop was the Spoliarium, after which they were given the time to explore the rest of the artistic, cultural, and historical galleries. This helped give them a clearer picture of Filipino tradition, values, and culture. The life and works of Jose Rizal was a common topic during the tour, as he played a major role in our history. The National Museum tour was culminated by visiting the gallery on the History of Filipino Medicine, where the delegates took many pictures and were given more perspective.

UL: The delegates experienced the hustle and bustle of Manila when they rode the jeepney to the National museum; UR: The delegates and MSSR members pose in front of the Spolarium in the National Museum; LF: They visited the centuries old Intramuros and Fort Santiago; LR: Rizal Shrine was a must place to visit since it represents our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. 

The members took the delegates to Intramuros, to be given more information about the cultural heritage of the walled city. They took a stroll around the city, seeing sites like the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the Philippines, was the first stop. Luckily, the delegates visited just in time to watch a wedding take place. The style and architecture of the Spanish-era houses were the perfect setting to learn about the Spanish influence. At Rizal Park, they tried some Filipino street food while appreciating the wide open space. As they approached Rizal’s monument, they also learned more about his role in Philippine history.

After a whole day of travelling, fun, stories, and laughter, the delegates and MSSR members proceeded to Jollibee for the welcoming party. Here they were warmly welcomed by even more MSSR members and the officers. There were also guests from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila who joined in the fun. The program consisted of games, a delicious meal, and an opening remark by the Exchange Commissioner of MSSR to officially open AMSEP PH for Thailand 2015. To end the night, the MSSR members and the delegates had some drinks and bonding time at the Oarhouse Pub.

The Jollibee-themed opening party gave the delegates more opportunity to meet MSSR members as well as guests from PLM.

November 5 (Thursday)
Day 2

The busy day started with a scrub-in session in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The delegates were able to observe how a woman gave birth via cesarean section. It was a memorable experience for the delegates since according to them, it was their first time to witness such procedure. Hungry from watching the operations, the delegates had a quick snack break at UPCM MedCaf, giving them a genuine feel of how medical students at UPCM have their meals! After the quick snack, the delegates had a quick stroll around Paco park. Then, the delegates then visited the oldest existing university of Asia, the Pontifical and Royal University of Sto. Tomas (UST). There they met other Asian Medical Students’ Association International (AMSA) members while having Filipino peanut stew for lunch. They were then toured the UST Campus and Faculty of Medicine and Surgery building .

UL: Day 2 started with a scrub-in session in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; UR: The delegates had their lunch with members of AMSA-UST; Lower: The delegates visited and toured around UST with members of AMSA-UST

After the tour at UST, the delegates rode a taxi to the Mall of Asia, the 11th largest shopping mall in the world. As it was their first time to try ice skating, the MSSR members joined the delegates in learning how balance and stay upright. They went around buying shoes, clothes, and souvenirs for themselves, their families, and their friends. To top it off, the members and the delegates had dinner at Gerry’s Grill, where they tried sizzling sisig, crispy pata, and liempo.

Left:The delegates had their first ice-skating experience at SM MOA; Right: The busy but fun day ended with dinner at Gerry’s Grill where they ate genuine Filipino cuisine.

November 6 (Friday)
Day 3
            The delegates started the day with a tour at the Minor Operating Room of the Out Patient Department-Philippine General Hospital together with Dr. Derek Resurreccion. Jenny, Mek, Ploy and Chanya were taught the basics of scrubbing and donning of gloves and they had the exciting opportunity to assist in minor surgical cases together with Dr. Resurreccion and Dr. Lucero of the Department of Surgery.

Top photos: The delegates learning the basics of scrubbing and wearing sterile gloves. LL: One of the two minor OR area where they assisted in an operation. LR: The delegates and one of their day heads pose for a smile at minor OR complex.

After the OPD visit, the delegates and the LU 5 day heads had a quick lunch from BaOn the Go and proceeded to Makati Medical Center for a tour of their various departments. They were given a glimpse of the different procedures, equipment and resources of the hospital.

The delegates and the LU 5 day heads toured the various departments (Hematology, Oncology, Dermatology, Medicine, Radiology and Ophthalmology) of Makati Medical Center.

Chanya eagerly volunteered for an indirect ophthalmoscopy procedure. After the tour, the delegates and the day heads were treated by an ophthalmologist with kutsinta, a local sticky brown rice cake. Tokens of appreciation were distributed to the accommodating staff afterwards.

UL: Chanya’s indirect ophthalmoscopy result. Both her fundus are perfectly fine!  UR: The delegates enjoying the local delicacy kutsinta. Lower: The delegates and Makati Medical Center staff smile after receiving the tokens.

The second half of the afternoon was filled with a fun and educational experience as the AMSEP team headed to the Mind Museum at Bonifacio Global City. Jenny, Mek, Ploy, Chanya and the day heads enjoyed the various interactive amenities and mini lectures of the museum.   

UR: Mek and Jenny had a hair-raising experience with the static energy ball. LL: Ploy poses with the astronaut display. LR: Chanya screams at the sight of the T.rex fossil. 

Mind Museum experience in pictures. All the delegates had a wonderful time there!

After enjoying the great line-up of activities of the day, the hungry delegates had a hearty dinner at Sarsa restaurant where they were treated with Filipino dishes.

Dinner at Sarsa. Group picture and food selfie before eating the delicious menu.

After the dinner and upon seeing a nearby food fair, the delegates were still game for more gastronomic experience and headed to Midnight Mercato Food Market where they got a taste of the popular lechon (roast pork), tacos, potato cuts drizzled with cheese, mozzarella pops and cheesecakes in jars.  

The delegates were all smiles at the Mercato Food Market.

After their food trip, the delegates and the day heads headed for Karaoke Night at the Music Malvar together with other MSSR-IPPNW members and applicants. They all sang their hearts out to the different tunes of the karaoke and had a good laugh in each other’s company to end the night

Karaoke Night at Music Malvar

November 9 (Saturday)
Day 6

Last November 7, 2015, the Thai delegates with some MSSR-IPPNW members went on a nature trip to Minalungao National Park. Located in the municipality of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon, they immersed themselves in the beauty of the Philippines as they trekked the scenic Peñaranda River bordered by limestone walls in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range.

The delegates with some MSSR members taking a selfie at the towering limestone walls on the
way to the cave.

Left: Gliding along the side of the mountain along a shrilling trail. Right: Selfie inside the cave while using cellphones as light just to document this achievement

In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila, the picturesque scenery of the green pristine river and unique rock formations captivated them. Friendships were strengthened and memories were made as they hiked the side of the mountain and explored caves together where shimmering stalactites and stalagmites can be seen.
Some delegates revealed that this was their first time to experience such nature adventure. Hence, to maximize the once in a lifetime experience and appreciate the beauty of the place from the top, literally, they all agreed to ride the zipline to cross the two ends of the mountain overlooking the breath-taking river below.

Excited faces of the delegates before getting released into the zipline. Allu Sy proudly displaying the AMSEP banner throughout his zipline flight.

Upon reaching the top of the mountain where it was conducive for relaxation and reflection, the delegates had a circle time to share their experiences, learnings, and unforgettable memories during their stay in the Philippines

Left: Achievement unlocked upon reaching the top of the mountain Right. Last picture for the day with the famous AMSEP pose.

At the end of the day, everyone was exhausted but very happy. Definitely, this trip will truly be treasured and remembered until the delegates go back to Thailand. 

November 10 (Sunday)
Day 7

Today was an art-filled day for both the delegates and MSSR members. They first had their morning breakfast at a fancy and cozy café in Antipolo called Eggs for Breakfast. Everyone enjoyed the sumptuous meals and had a great time chatting and sharing their experiences. The homey and artistic interior design of the café made breakfast more meaningful and enjoyable.

The delegates and MSSR members had a fanciful breakfast at Eggs for Breakfast in Antipolo, Rizal. 

After breakfast, the group went to Pinto Art Gallery, a museum and a little piece of heaven for art lovers. The delegates and MSSR members were greeted with splendid artwork even through the main entrance. The beautifully crafted garden and displays were such a wonderful sight to marvel at. The good weather added to the splendor of the gallery. True enough, the delegates all had fun taking photos and appreciating the art work made by skillful Filipino artists. After spending the whole afternoon in Pinto Art Museum, the delegates and MSSR members went to UP Diliman just in time for a stroll before the sunset. The day ended with a scrumptious Filipino meal at Pino’s.

Upper  and middle photos: The delegates and MSSR members had a wonderful time appreciating and taking photos of the art displays at Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo Rizal. Lowermost photos: The delegates visited UP Diliman and had dinner at Pino’s.

November 11 (Monday)
Day 8

Monday would be another busy but fun-filled day for the delegates. To start of the morning, they had a short visit to the Department of Pediatrics wherein they first attended a summary rounds session with Clinical Clerks of the Philippine General Hospital followed by a short tour with the MSSR members who are clerks. After the Pediatrics visit, they proceeded to the World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO WPRO) in United Nations Avenue. They were warmly welcomed by Ms. Ruth D. Macapagal, external relations officer of the WHO WPRO. They had a plenary session introducing the functions and works of the WHO WPRO in terms of medicine and public health in the regional context. The delegates then proceeded to have a tour of the facilities around the compound which was then followed by a photo op with Ms. Macapagal and other officers of the relations office. After the visit to the WHO WPRO, the delegates attended a luncheon meeting with the faculty adviser and health commissioner of the MSSR-IPPNW to have an interactive discussion regarding the health care systems of both the Philippines and Thailand.

Finally, as the saying goes, every good thing must come to an end. After a fun-filled week of adventures and learning, AMSEP PH for Thailand was coming to an end. The delegates were cordially welcomed by MSSR-IPPNW to a humble closing ceremony to celebrate the successful AMSEP. There were games, video presentations, and delicious food served. The delegates even performed a song and traditional dance for everyone. Everyone was so caught up with sharing stories, taking, photos, and exchanging gifts that time went by without anyone noticing. Although everyone wanted that evening to last, the time came to say goodbye. Many tears were shed that evening but everyone believed that even though we had to part ways, the memories shared among delegates and MSSR-IPPNW members will always remain in our hearts. Until then!

The delegates visited the Department of Pediatrics and toured the wards together with MSSR-IPPNW clerks.

Uppermost photos: The delegates visited WHO WPRO and met with external relations officer Ms. Macapagal. Middle photos: A luncheon meeting was held in the UP College of Medicine with the faculty adviser and health commissioner of UP MSSR-IPPNW to discuss health systems. LL: A closing party was held to officially close the AMSEP; LR: Homeward bound for the Thai delegates

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