Beaming with a sense of fulfillment for bringing the mission to a partner community in an upland barangay for three years in a row, the MHAM Community Extension and Services Office (CESO) led by its director, Mr. Jarvis S. Prochina, together with the MHAM team successfully conducted a free medical clinic and gift-giving dubbed as “Pasko sa Kabukiran Season 3: Halad-gugma gikan sa MHAM” in Barangay Calidngan, Carcar City, Cebu last November 30, 2018.
Started in 2016 on the same month and day, the MHAM outreach program was part of CESO’s institutionalized programs with its main thrust to put health in the hands of the local residents in Calidngan where faculty members, administration, non-teaching staff, medical clerks and aspiring doctors mostly from the Student Council came together for another year to celebrate a pre-Christmas gathering on its third season.
Mr. Francisco Bacalla and Mr. Pedro Pañares were also in full support since the program was initiated two years ago where the former, who is a native of Barangay Calidngan, provided a parcel of land in the area for the community-based Nutrition Resource Development Center.
Started with an invocation led by MHArMony current president Kezia Earl D. Rivera, the half day event was in full cooperation with the Barangay Calidngan Barangay local officials. Medical clerk Ivan Ross Fernandez facilitated the significant mission that benefited the resident-recipients with the MHAM way.
This year, Dr. Ma. Socorro Manaloto, Dr. Rodolfo Berame, Dr. Flora Cabrera, Dr. Maria Luisita Caturza, Dr. Joseph Alfred De leon, Dr. Renna De leon, Dr. Axel Elises, Dr. Ted Marcerey Gallo, Dr. Jan Michael T. Lao, Dr. Elmer Kent Lopez, Dr. Luditha Lumapat-Pe, Dr. Rainelda Veloso and Dr. Jose Oclarit were among the faculty members who graced the event.
Dr. Berame, who is the current Chairperson of the Department of Preventive Community and Family Medicine, also assisted Mr. Prochina from planning to completion together with the support of the medical clerks who were presently assigned in community clerkship period.
In his most welcome address, barangay councilor Carmelito E. Satuita acknowledged the MHAM team who facilitated the medical mission in assistance with the future doctors who brought the mission ever possible. Thankful for having been chosen as a recipient community for three years now, he also looked forward to celebrate next year with the whole community.
This season, the MHAM medical mission was centered on minor surgery, hypertension and diabetes and lectures on dental care, personal hygiene, proper handwashing, supplemental and milk feeding. In addition, they were also catered with a lecture, demonstration and return demonstration of Basic Life Support (BLS) and Disaster Preparedness.
MHAM College Dean, Ma. Socorro Manaloto commended the effort of Dr. Berame together with Mr. Prochina during her inspirational message. “This is our third time of coming here every 30th of November and I would also like to recognize the efforts of all our medical clerks who organized the simultaneous activities for today and for conducting the lectures in cooperation with the Student Council led by Bryan Paña, and of course to our faculty-volunteers who are here today. Thank you for the warm welcome especially to your young and beautiful barangay captain“, Dr. Manaloto said.
During the simultaneous services that MHAM has offered to the recipients, a group of female medical clerks facilitated the lectures on dental care, personal hygiene and proper handwashing to some of the school children and mothers who were present during the activity. The future doctors highlighted the importance of maintaining personal hygiene to prevent the development and spread of virus, infections and diseases where the young learners actively participated during the demonstrations.
Known as the first level of first-aid resuscitation in times of emergency situations before the victims are placed under the care of the medical professionals, the BLS lecture and demonstration were conducted by some of the male medical clerks who explained to the participants that BLS trainings are very helpful and a foundation of saving lives after life-threatening conditions that can happen to anyone.
Meanwhile Calidngan barangay captain, Maricor E. Alcordo, delightfully welcomed the MHAM team during her inspirational message and expressed her gratitude in behalf of the people of Calidngan together with councilors Donato M. Nadela, Carmelito E. Satuita, Alex S. Embalzado, Crisanto S. Sasuita, Rodulfo B. Wonal, Ignacio S. Ochia, Rosemarie L. Bansiloy; SK chairperson, Jay-Ann Bernales; secretary, Ms. Erlinda Bacarisas; and treasurer, Ms. Rovelyn Bacus. Carcar City Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Mrs. Mercedita R. Apura, was also present and assisted the event.
In an interview with the lady-captain, she gracefully expressed that they were so blessed for being the recipients of the Community Extension projects that MHAM has laid in their barangay for three years now. Young, dynamic and committed as she was, Capt. Alcordo started her local service in Calidngan when she was still fifteen years old.
After her three-year terms as a councilor aside from her hope to become a role model among young women of today, she eventually decided to run for a higher responsibility with her will to serve her co-Calidnganons in a higher level. Today, she is happily married with a loving son who gave her strength in becoming a government official by heart.
“Actually naka-witnessed ko sa first, second, ug third nga Pasko sa Kabukiran nga gi-conduct sa MHAM kay konsehal paman ko ana nga time dayon karon nga year ako na ang barangay captain. Mapasalamaton kaayo mi sa MHAM ug hinaut nga magpadayon kini tungod kay wala may laing mabulahan kundi ang among mga katawhan sa barangay (Actually I witnessed the first, second, and third Pasko sa Kabukiran that MHAM has conducted because I was then a councilor during that time and this year I am already the barangay captain. We are very grateful to MHAM and we hope that this will continue because the ones who will be highly favored are no other than the residents of our barangay)”, Alcordo said.
As the highest elected official in their barangay, she started her role and responsibilities last July, 2018 and she looks forward to carry out her duties and purpose in cooperation with her co- public officials. A graduate of Computer Engineering from the University of Cebu-Main, the 32-year old public official divulged that being a public servant is indeed her destiny to behold.
Indebted for the opportunities that their barangay has received, Captain Alcordo cited that among the fifteen barangays in Carcar City, only barangay Calidngan became the sole recipient of the MHAM CESO programs, to which she is forever grateful to Mr. Bacalla and Mr. Prochina for their unrelenting effort and support for the local residents. “Sigon sa giingon ni Sir Jarvis, magfocus mi karon sa nutrition inubanan sa Barangay Nutrition Council ug among gi-tie up ang atong Barangay Nutrition Scholars kay sila man ang naay record aron mahatagan og priority ang atong mga malnourish children dire (According to Sir Jarvis, we have to focus on nutrition in coordination with the Barangay Nutrition Council and we also tie up to our Barangay Nutrition Scholars since they have the record and we will prioritize our malnourish children here)”, she added.
As one of the barangays in Carcar City, Calidngan is an agricultural barangay where most of their crops and farm products are usually brought to Carbon Public Market in Cebu City.
The event was completed with the gift-giving initiated by the Student Council known as the Shoe Box Project. Instead of a thousand boxes for a thousand children, 200 mothers were this year’s recipients of the big boxes intended for 200 families who were present.
Among them was a happy receiver from Sitio Lunas who expressed her gratitude to the MHAM team for being one of the recipients of the Shoe Box Project this year. An at-home mother of two, Joan Abalos is also happily married to a native of Calidngan who works as a roving guard.
“Nalipay kaayo ko nga nakaari og balik kay naa ko’y gift sa MHAM. Ikatulong tuig na pud nako ning pag-ari (I am very happy for being here again because I got a gift from MHAM. This has been my third year of being here)”, Abalos said in an interview.
Driven with love and care as the most powerful weapons to bring out the outreach programs to partner communities, this year’s Pasko sa Kabukiran will leave a mark to every Calidnganon with an overwhelming impact to their lives much more in a season that the act of giving to the less fortunate is the perfect gift that anyone can share.
In a place where its common populace continuously promotes social responsibility and embrace the chance to create a change, the MHAM community is always committed to share hope at Christmastime with the joy of giving and volunteering. An opportunity to discover that great lasting joy comes from giving, a simple act of kindness can spark someone’s soul to remember the small to life-changing gesture. (Ana Liza Abao)