The following is a series of reflections from volunteers of various medical missions conducted by Task Force on Urban Conscientization (TFUC) participated in by Small Hands Philippines since 2016.

Dustin Kaiser M. Bompat

Dustin Kaiser M. Bompat

With just one day of selfless service to the community, I would find myself dwarfed by the huge number of people in need of a helping hand but the key aspect in every mission is about how two small hands can make a big difference in reaching out and showing kindness to others one small hand at a time.

DUSTIN KAISER M. BOMPAT
Third Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Carlos Sebastian C. Calub

Carlos Sebastian C. Calub

The process of being a doctor isn’t easy but events like these fuels our passion to work harder and drives us more to succeed so we can continue to give back to the community.

CARLOS SEBASTIAN C. CALUB
First Year Medical Student
University of Perpetual Help System DALTA

Gerardo Felipe O. Diza III

Gerardo Felipe O. Diza III

It doesn’t take much to be of service to our fellow countrymen. It only takes initiative and passion. Thank you for the experience, Small Hands Philippines.

GERARDO FELIPE O. DIZA III
Third Year Medical Student
San Beda College of Medicine

Jade N. Duhaylongsod

Jade N. Duhaylongsod

Making a difference one small act of kindness at a time.

JADE N. DUHAYLONGSOD, RN
First Year Medical Student
University of Perpetual Help System DALTA

Krystle Bliss F. Fetalvero, RN

Krystle Bliss F. Fetalvero, RN

Participating in medical missions and serving our community members gave me bliss that no other work could provide. Sa pakikilahok ko sa mga medical mission, mas nalaman ko ang kalagayan ng mga kapwa ko Pilipino at nakakataba ng puso ang pagtulong sa kanila kahit sa maliit na paraan. Ang sarap pakinggan ng “Salamat doc, blessing po kayo,” at “Thank you po, malaking tulong po ang pagpunta niyo dito,” but they didn’t know that they also helped me realize my purpose in life and gave me direction to the path that I wanted to take. Kaya maraming salamat din po sa Small Hands sa pag-imbita sa mga medical mission. Dahil dito, mas pinagbubuti namin ang aming pag-aaral para sa mga susunod na pagkakataon ay mas marami kaming matulungan at mapagsilbihan hanggang sa abot ng aming makakaya.

KRYSTLE BLISS F. FETALVERO, RN
Fourth Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Kristine Joy G. Fucanan, RN

Kristine Joy G. Fucanan, RN

Being part of a medical mission is such a great experience. I truly enjoyed every moment with the people and serving them. Though I’m still a medical student, I’m so grateful that I could do something and help the people in small ways through the medical mission of Small Hands Philippines. Indeed, the experience also helped enhance my knowledge because it gave me some invaluable lessons on how I can be a better healthcare provider in the near future.

KRISTINE JOY G. FUCANAN, RN
Second Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Carah Lyn C. Lo, MS

Carah Lyn C. Lo, MS

I started to volunteer in medical missions last year. At first, I just wanted to learn from my seniors, maybe pick up a thing or two that’ll help me in my studies. But I began to take it seriously. I’ve read advanced materials, learned useful techniques, listened carefully to the upperclassmen, and observed doctors while they diagnose their patients. I wanted to give people the best care that I can provide and through the extra mile I went for the various communities we served, I realized that choosing to volunteer for the benefit of even just a few people is one of the most sensible decisions you’ll ever make in your life.

You may never know the full extent of the impact you’ve made in a man’s life but to hear someone thank you for your efforts is already beyond rewarding.

CARAH LYN C. LO, MS
Second Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Genesis Lon R. Maghirang, RND

Genesis Lon R. Maghirang, RND

Hindi matutumbasan ng anumang halaga ang mga pasasalamat na aking natatanggap mula sa mga pasyenteng aking natuturuan at nabibigyang gabay. Sana sa mga susunod na panahon ay muli akong mabigyan ng pagkakataong makapagbahagi ng kaalaman patungkol sa kalusugan at nutrisyon sa mga nangangailangan.

GENESIS LON R. MAGHIRANG, RND
Chief Nutritionist-Dietitian
San Pablo Colleges Medical Center

Harold L. Maglalang

Harold L. Maglalang

Marami-rami na rin akong nasamahan na medical missions. Iba’t ibang tao na ang nakasalamuha ko, bata man o matanda, babae man o lalaki. Minsan hindi rin madali pumunta sa mga lugar kung nasaan ang medical mission. Oo, nakakapagod siya pero kahit na ganoon, masaya at magaan ang pakiramdam ko pagkatapos.

Masaya sumama sa medical missions dahil matututo ka ng maraming bagay na minsan ay hindi naituturo sa loob ng paaralan. At higit sa lahat, nakakatulong ka na rin sa iyong mga kababayan kahit sa munting paraan sa pamamagitan ng pakikiisa sa medical missions. Sana marami pang sumama na kabataan na handang tumulong sa kanilang kapwa sa darating na panahon.

HAROLD L. MAGLALANG
Third Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Oliver L. Malimban

Oliver L. Malimban

One thing I can say every after med mission is the word “priceless”. Every small thing that we do counts or maaaring maliit na bagay lang para sa’yo pero hindi mo alam kung gaano mo na-touch yung buhay ng tao sa simpleng pagtulong mo.

OLIVER L. MALIMBAN
Fourth Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Mikhaela Pauline A. Mesina, RN

Mikhaela Pauline A. Mesina, RN

Joining medical missions reminds me why I love this profession. We do not simply learn how to handle the patient’s problems; we come to learn how to love to care for them. To be thanked by a patient for a simple service you offer is a reward I would be more than glad to accept and I would remind myself that I can do something for these people even if I am a student.

MIKHAELA PAULINE A. MESINA, RN
Second Year Medical Student
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Medicine

Kevin S. Modesto, PTRP

Kevin S. Modesto, PTRP

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a cliché saying but rings loud and true. There are many problems that burden the Philippines; a prevalent one is the extreme lack of even the most basic healthcare to a large portion of our countrymen. Even if my effort was a drop in the bucket, it’s extremely fulfilling to have contributed even for just a miniscule amount. The reward of genuine appreciation from each person I helped was more than enough to compensate.

KEVIN S. MODESTO, PTRP
Second Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Rainielle Mae M. Natural

Rainielle Mae M. Natural

Success varies in many ways. It could be the straight 1.0’s you acquire after a semester, an honorable degree, or the number of places you’ve been. As for me, success is the amount of people whose lives you have touched or influenced in a way. I can’t imagine a more concrete way in fulfilling this motto as joining medical missions while I still am a student. Being involved as a community servant under the name of your institution, it truly is through these missions that we don’t just live for ourselves but for the others as well — for God and for the country.

RAINIELLE MAE M. NATURAL
Third Year Medical Student
University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center

Gabrielle Mariz T. Nicodemus, RMT

Gabrielle Mariz T. Nicodemus, RMT

Medical missions are always special to me. No matter how small or large the number of patients is. Joining activities like this is one of my ways of giving back to the communities who have helped me shape the personality and values that I possess as of today. Ito yung isa sa mga public services na hindi ako napapagod gawin kahit abutin pa ng buong araw. Kasi bukod sa nakakatulong na ako, natututo pa ako. Interacting with patients makes me happy and being part of the team helping them feel better makes me even happier.

GABRIELLE MARIZ T. NICODEMUS, RMT
Second Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Inna Kyrene A. Parde

Inna Kyrene A. Parde

Volunteering in medical missions is a good avenue for expanding my knowledge and honing the skills that I would need as I become a physician in the near future. I get to practice and apply all the concepts I’ve learned inside the classroom by handling patients first-hand. Medical missions are also an avenue that allows us to reach out to communities in need of healthcare. Being able to serve even by just a little gives me a sense of fulfillment. Lastly, it motivates me to study not just to pass the exams but to learn for the welfare of those lives that’ll depend on me in the future.

INNA KYRENE A. PARDE
Third Year Medical Student
University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center

Adriel R. Pizarra

Adriel R. Pizarra

Hindi lang sana matapos dito yung kaya nating itulong sa kanila. Hindi biro ang pang-araw-araw na kundisyon ng karamihan sa mga pumunta at nagpatingin at madalas pa nga itong mga kundisyon sa lipunan na kinabibilangan nila – natin, ang nagsanhi ng kanilang mga sakit at nararamdaman. Kung tunay na nais nating gamutin at tulungan ang ating mga pasyente, ano ba naman yung makiisa at makibagay tayo sa pagsulong ng mga hinaing at problema nila. Dahil sa huli, walang hindi naghahangad ng lipunan na tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng mamamayan.

ADRIEL R. PIZARRA
Third Year Medical Student
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Medicine

Jasmin M. Reyes

Jasmin M. Reyes

“I’ll definitely join when I’m older.”

“I’ll do it once I enter med school.”

“I’ll do it when I’m done with the basics.”

“I’ll join once they post a call for volunteers.”

Excuses. I had a lot of them. For the next time and the next time and the next time. I thought my parents wouldn’t let me go. I thought I wasn’t smart enough. I thought I was not good at facing people. I was too shy to talk to strangers. It gives me anxiety dealing with people.

It’s kind of hard to believe someone like that would want to be a doctor.

My friend posted a picture of a med mission he went to in a community in Manila. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing but still isn’t. So, before I made excuses, I fired off a message saying to invite me when another mission comes along.
I joined once and I kept on joining since. I never let excuses stop me again. I got better at talking to people. I got better at dealing with people. Immersing myself in what used to give me anxiety slowly created a better version of me. I think they helped me more than I helped them and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities these medical missions have given me.
I realized that there were things I could do even if I felt I wasn’t prepared enough. I just need to have the courage to take the first step, and somehow, I realized I was ready all along. I realized there were problems I can’t resolve by myself. I realized I genuinely loved helping people, that it’s not just a by-product of me wanting to be a doctor, but something I want to be doing even if I don’t end up as one or use my capacity as one.

It’s when I chose to help people that they helped me back. So now that I’ve taken the first step, I’ll keep on walking.

JASMIN M. REYES
Fourth Year Medical Student
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute

Jahn Paula V. Tan

Jahn Paula V. Tan

The very first medical mission I attended to was a tuli mission. In all honesty, I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. Despite it being a minor surgery, it didn’t change the fact that I’d still be cutting up a patient. I was afraid of complications, of possible mistakes, but mostly I was afraid of hurting the patient. But when all is said and done, the fear and uncertainty you once felt could never outweigh the gratitude and expressions of happiness you see on the patients’ faces.

JAHN PAULA V. TAN
Third Year Medical Student
University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center

Jenny Ann Ross A. Tan, RMT

Jenny Ann Ross A. Tan, RMT

Working with Small Hands in a medical mission served as an eye-opener for me. It answered my life-bearing question of “Why did I choose to enter medical school and decide to become a doctor?” with “Ah, it is to be God’s medium to improve the quality of life.” It fueled my fire, passion, and more importantly my reason to be of service to the society. All of my experiences from the medical mission made me realize that there are learnings that the four corners or the classroom could not provide.

JENNY ANN ROSS A. TAN, RMT
Third Year Medical Student
San Beda College of Medicine

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