Flowers are so expressive and are raised with lots of needs—the need to be nurtured with enough attention and care in order to stimulate itself into an enormous and attractive flower in the future days. It entails sacrifice and devotion to grow an admirable flower that could touch one’s soul. It needs merely to be assisted, not dominated.
Like the flowers, a community needs assistance from those who bothers to care for it. This is where Community Organizing Preparatory Action Research (COPAR) takes place which we did last school year. This aims in putting the individual’s best foot forward. This means assistance—assisting the family’s needs continuously towards attaining its maximum level of potentiality. This leads us to pursue our mission, the gift of service, and to proclaim the heart of servanthood…but it didn’t end there. It’s a process. And us?! We’re still beginning a great and awesome journey…a journey that could struck us and let us foresee the beauty of life that others haven’t experienced.
The big day had come and nobody had imagined experiencing such event in our own respective lives. We never realize that this day would be the beginning of our realizations of the countless blessing of life in earth. It was August 22, 2006, Tuesday, then. We departed from school at exactly 8:30 in the morning. Everyone is quiet excited about our community exposure. We could hear some of us yelling, chatting with our co-block D nursing students and everyone could be seen wearing a smile on their faces. Due to the fact that not all of us were classmates during our last exposure, some of us were able to share our past experiences about our assigned Purok which is Purok 7. We arrived at Brgy. Tipanoy Health Center at 8:45 in the morning and immediately does our courtesy call. Our respective clinical instructors gave our correspondent assignments when one of the health workers requested some of the group to visit a remote area, Barrio Mibala, to do social investigation. The group agreed and grabbed the opportunity of that particular exposure baring in mind that this would give us improvements. Indeed, it helps us explore many things including ourselves. After giving the instructions, everyone separated and was brought in their different areas. Mr. Stephen Lee Manginsay’s group immediately proceed in the said remote area to do social investigation, Mrs. Minnie Mamauag and Mr. Bernie Casera’s groups do ocular re-visitation in our Purok assignment while Mrs. Gerlyn Gingoyon’s group stayed at the health center to assist prenatal visits and immunizations.
The group who came back to the said Purok was able to conduct re-visitation or ocular inspection that serves as the group assessment for the 64 households of the said place. They made a conversation with the Purok president itself and asked permission that resembles formality. It was observed that there are some improvements done compared during our last exposure such as the minimizing foul smell of the place. Still, there are identified problems in the said community that wasn’t able to give action since our last exposure like the problems regarding sanitation particularly regarding their own household commodes. We had rebuild rapport with the families and overwhelmed reactions are observed in their faces. We took blood pressures and provided adequate health information that is helpful in their everyday living. We had encountered a battered wife having two sons. She was able to experience bleeding due to dislocation of her Intra Uterine Device (IUD) and she had just visited the health center to gather enough information. She was given proper medications but the woman would experience vomiting when taking this medicines. Mrs. Mamauag suggested her to take another meds in behalf of what is prescribed and gave health teaching. After a long day of re-visitation, we found out that those are same problems identified few months ago. We suggested and agreed to conduct a general orientation based on the problems raised such as improper hygiene, improper nutrition and health complications. The president himself told us that it is useless because most of the residents are having work during daytime.
On the other hand, the group under Mrs. Gingoyon was able to practice their learned skills in the health center by conducting prenatal visits and immunization. They started their assigned tasks by establishing rapport not only with the clients but with the Brgy. Health officials as well. It’s been a nice feeling to evaluate our learning through the said procedures.
Another group of students under Mr. Manginsay was considered real tough among the groups. Imagine?! They were the first who bravely traveled among the 6 km. steep boundary of Barrio Mibala within the mountain ranges of Iligan City for 2 hours with nothing more but only shoes to accompany them. It’s really amazing how this set of people managed an exhausting scenario!!! Dust…heat…thirst…distance…sweat…this are some of the walls that could hinder Brgy. Workers from visiting the place. Poor place!!! It simply shows poverty and hardships among this people. They were even amazed seeing happy smiles in the faces of these innocent children. It could strike our mindset and touched our conscience reflecting that most us were wasting our blessings when in fact, this people are suffering!!! They did social investigation as asked. While doing the task, they were able to reminisce their life’s journey and had explored wonderful creations of our maker—the attractive and fascinating flowers that slowly blooms, the beauty of nature that is manifested by the cliffs and the warm welcome of the residents of the place. They decided to go back to Barrio Mibala the following day to share some of their blessings.
The whole class met at Purok 7 and talked about the exhausting, fun-filled experienced of the different groups. Due to the reason of having not enough work at Purok 7, the whole group decided to adopt Barrio Mibala as an extension of our exposure. We were able to rationalize every decision were making. We had agreed that every minute and every second is important and thus, we will use it in serving our fellow who is in real need because we believe that we are there mainly to serve. We also agreed to buy milk (Nestogen) for the children who will undergo immunization the following day. We departed from Brgy. Tipanoy at exactly 2:45 in the afternoon and had reached in the school at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon.
The following day, August 23, 2006, Wednesday, is another day to look forward to. Carrying our essential requirements—extra shirts, cap, umbrella, lunch, snacks and most especially, 2 liters of water to sustain us in the long walk--, we were embedded with our steadfast faith, excellence and service.We departed from school at exactly 8:30 in the morning with different thoughts in mind. Everyone was having a mixed feeling of nervous and excitement. The bus had dropped us at the foot of the hill. During that time, other groups had no knowledge of what they are going to climb; all they had is simply a goal—to reach the place no matter what happened. Some of the students tried to walk till the best breath that they could and eventually end up riding a single motorcycle because of health reasons. In behalf of these people, almost did survived in the long walk. Upon reaching the place, tiredness and sacrifices could really be manifested in the faces and gestures of this young people. Their shirts were really wet and their liters of water were really drained. That’s the real thing!!! That’s what we had experienced!!! This is real cool and real fantastic…a great adventure that only few had undergone!
We assisted some of the health workers in conducting immunizations for vitamin A, measles, etc. and we did feedings for malnourished children as well. Before the immunization, we were bothered with what one of the health workers had said. “Nindot na man diay ni diri noh?” as verbalized by her. This indicates that even this people weren’t able to visit the place for a long time. During the immunization, we noticed that most children were having tooth decays and were having foul smells. When we did an informal interview, we were touched by the kid’s different, amazing stories. This are one of a kind stories that we could hear only if we go deeper within the children’s lines. They even had their own routines. Early at 5, they are already awake watering their flower farm until such time that they wouldn’t have enough time to fix for themselves and take their breakfast. This is also a main reason why most of the students were malnourished. It resembles a prick in our hearts to know these things. We also played with the children to establish bonding and to make these children comfortable with us. We had established trust with one another. We decided to come back the following Monday to provide some of the needs of this children merely with the abundance of our hearts. We started to move back to the lower part of Tipanoy at exactly 1:00 in the afternoon. Another long walk to conquer. This time, with smile in our faces but mostly, the smiles which are not seen with the bare eyes, the smile inside in our hearts…the treasure that nobody could grab!!! We arrived at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon.
August 28, 2006, Monday, is another fulfilling day ahead. Everyone was busy preparing for the culmination program to be conducted in Barrio Mibala. We had prepared snacks, used clothing and prizes for the children. We also gave packages which include toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoos that could enhance their proper hygiene. It’s indeed a fun-filled day…we did a program that is started with a prayer by Mrs. Mamauag. One of the students, namely Ma. Corazon Trangia teaches the Barney song. Even Barney, the purple dinosaur, is not known to them…We really imagine!!! We taught them actions songs which they really enjoyed…they also played games like give me something, show me the best dance, etc. every prize they endure means a lot to them. The smiles of the innocents captivate our young hearts. ..our young mind…our young spirits!! During lunch time, we had witnessed the lunch that they were taking—lunch with only rich alone. So shameful in our part.
Before we went home, some children offer us flowers freshly picked from their farms as a sign of thanksgiving and appreciation. They even asked us to come back the next time. They promised us to have more flowers if we would come back the following day. But we can’t. We still have lots of things to do. If we’ll be given another chance to be there for the next time?! It’s our pleasure. We would never refuse an act that could change our lives in a lifetime…
There are lots of things and ways to touch someone’s life. Some are through other person’s impressive acts or other people’s great conducts. Through this exposure, we are touched in many ways. We are taught to bloom like flowers do—slowly and gently. We are able to realize our strength and weaknesses. We learned to share in abundance of our will and transformed ourselves into a fantastic citizens manipulated with trust, faith and excellence. The community itself learned how to bloom using its own capabilities. They learned to trust because they were given such. They learned the value of things around them and they learned to hold on. They were given enough attention, care and love that had made them become a more productive and efficient individuals in the future. What’s the use of exposure when this is not used accordingly and fruitfully? The key to a great society is the invested emotions on it. The greatest realization we had was both the team who are exposed in a particular place and the community being exposed with benefits together in this amazing journey of life. Together, like flowers in the meadows, we had bloomed and fascinates like flower do!!!