|NEWS & NOTICES|
October 8, 2009. Faced with a hectic schedule for the day and a not-so-smooth terrain to tread, the AMA Tulong sa Bayan Medical Mission team led by SASN COO Darwin V. Dominguez trooped to a resettlement center at Barangay Sta. Ana, San Mateo, Rizal even as the sun had not risen yet and the roosters were still crowing.
The travel time was long and the roads were inaccessible and the scenario in the evacuation center was bleak. But the medical teams from SACN Makati and SASN Espana led by School Directors Dr. Roger Macusi and Edith Cablao, respectively, directed the set-up of the treatment area before the evacuees started coming.
Doctors Joyce Manalo, Sunshine Molina, Nicolle Lourdes Dela Cruz, and Portia Gonzales wasted no time in providing medical treatment to the thyphoon victims. GMA Network 7 covered the event through its early morning program “Unang Hirit”
The residents of San Mateo are real survivors. News revealed that the nearby river overflowed at the height of typhoon “Ondoy”. “The flood reached our roofs,” said one resident. The muddy streets, excessive garbage in the streets and most of all, the hundreds of people waiting for help will testify to the ravaging effects of “Ondoy”.
Later on during the day, the tandem of St. Augustine College and School of Nursing Directors Tina Que and Danny Reyes, respectively, together with their mission teams were off to Barangay Nagpayong in Pinabuhatan, Pasig City.
The SASN delegation rode in army trucks. It was a better option since they treaded areas still with knee-high flood. Tons of garbage were scattered and even pigs were literally walking through the flood. One cannot help but notice the residents waving and seeking help from the medical team while walking through the grimy floodwaters.
It was a lonely scene at first. GMA 7 Kapuso Foundation was also onsite providing relief and support with the SASN volunteer team. The doctors started giving medical assistance to the Pinagbuhatan residents and the mood changed as smiles flashed from the faces of the evacuees.
It was not just another ordinary day. The doctors had to treat several medical cases while the registered nurses assisted them. The student volunteers took the patients’ vital signs. The team even had to use flashlights as electricity was cut off.
The exhaustion and fatigue easily faded as soon as the words “Salamat Po” were sincerely uttered by the people of Pinagbuhatan, Pasig.
The experience will not be fully complete without the overwhelming support of the evacuees themselves. Makeshift walkways were provided for the mission team so they will not get wet and everyone held open arms, as if to say, may I help you?
On the way back, the team rode in a container van bringing home with them a luggage containing a heart feeling light, a basket of joy and a sack filled with fulfillment.