Binhi ng Buhay: UP PAGSAMA Celebrates 30th Year

By Lorena Osorio (Class 2021) and Er Pilotin (Class 2021)

In celebration of the organization’s thirtieth year, UP Pangkalusugang Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral (UP PAGSAMA) held PAGSAMA Week, themed Binhi ng Buhay, from March 13 through March 16, 2018.

The week kicked off on Tuesday with an exhibit in Calderon Hall, featuring Rizal’s Triumph of Science over Death adorned with colorful flowers and photos of PAGSAMA’s most recent projects and achievements. Rani Domingo (Class 2022), who gave opening remarks, stressed the importance of the family as the “binhi ng buhay” not only for the children but also for the community.

The week’s Tuesdays with PAGSAMA featured Joyce Tiam-Lee (Class 2020) and Er Pilotin (Class 2021). Tiam-Lee’s talk, entitled “Human-centered design thinking in the community setting”, was about experiences with a community project for children with special needs, which she and her friends created in their undergraduate years. She shared its strengths and weaknesses, along with some tips on how to build a successful community program, stressing that it must be centered around the needs of the community.

Pilotin’s talk, entitled “Quezon, Quezon: A perspective on community-based health care”, was about his summer immersion in the municipality. He highlighted some memories which shook his perspectives on rural healthcare, welfare, and development.

Tribyang Pusit, the organization’s trivia quiz bee, was held on Wednesday at CH 222. Several teams of three competed through rounds of questions, with categories ranging from pop culture to random everyday observations. The team of Anj de Vera, JL Cabrera, and Karen Amora bagged first place.

On Thursday, PAGSAMA held Tales from the Community, featuring Class 2012’s Dr. Alberto Ong Jr., one of the college’s physicians under the Doctors to the Barrios program. He talked about his experiences in the communities of Eastern Samar and even the surrounding areas while under the program. Stressing the importance of building rapport, Dr. Ong elaborated on gauging the atmosphere of the community and working with the people — including those who do things differently — to make changes happen. He shared how he maximized the use of the communities’ small health budget to improve their health sector and aid in their empowerment. While it is difficult to tread on unfamiliar and occasionally disagreeable political and social climates, Dr. Ong emphasized that the service for the community is most important and rewarding.

Dr. Ong is the executive director and project manager of the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO), junior area facilitator for the areas of Romblon and Masbate, and former junior area facilitator for Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

Medisings, the College of Medicine’s annual singing competition, was held on Friday. For this year, contestants were to sing by duet, and in two rounds. The theme was Pamilya, to give emphasis to the smallest unit the make up the community.

The representatives of Class 2024 were Alyssa Regino and Carlo Virrey, who sang Jefferson Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part”. Class 2023 had Pamela Pasco and Miguel Ordoñez sing Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart” and Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”. Class 2022 chose Justin Bañez and Aldwin Baronda, who performed Civil Wars’ “Falling” and “Remember Me” from the the movie Coco. Class 2021 had Jitka Canlas and Micaella Empleo, who sang Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. Finally, Class 2020 had Chin Vista and Federico de Jesus sing their renditions of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

The People’s Choice Award — given to the pair with the most number of piso votes, which have been collected throughout the week — went to Class 2020. Class 2023 won Best in Class Spirit. For the contest proper, Class 2022’s Justin Bañez and Aldwin Baronda won first place, Class 2020’s Chin Vista and Federico de Jesus won second, and Class 2021’s Jitka Canlas and Micaella Empleo won third.

It was all in all a week of unity, song, and insights into serving the community for the organization as well as the medicine student body.

Photo from the PAGSAMA Facebook page

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