Still flying

If there is one thing that I have learned from my med school experience so far, it is that there is always joy in contentment. A typical med student would ask how but the kind of med student our school envisions me to be exactly knows how.

Entering medical school, you expect spending anatomy over some cadaver,  figuring biochemical processes at cellular level or doing some kind of a reading spree with Guyton and Harrison over summer. ‘Lo and behold, my medical school does more than that! Every after semester, we are brought to far-flung disadvantaged communities in the Zamboanga peninsula. Not to experiment on cadavers, but to meet people. Not to figure out biochemical processes, but to have a glimpse of reality. Not to spend time with thick medical books, but to take time in realizing life. Yes, this is Medicine, the Ateneo de Zamboanga way.

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The greatest wealth is to live content with little.

It’s amazing how life is so dynamic. There’s no such thing as an identical life. Each one of us has a unique way of experiencing life and various ways on how we view life. Each moment we experience, can never be the same with that of others. What makes us happy won’t matter to other people because it’s just not who they are. We are all different. But it’s our differences that makes building friendships worthwhile. I am just so glad that I get to experience a one of a kind friendship. My group mates and I have grown so close that we treat each other like family. I am so lucky to have a family that learns to love the good as well as the bad parts of you. What more could I ask for? Clearly God knows what’s best for you and truly, having these people as my family is one of the greatest things that happened in my life.


Preparing to survey Purok Mangga

Our second exposure at Barangay Sinai didn’t just paved a way for us to grow closer to each other. It also created a way for us to know the people in a whole new perspective. We were very fortunate to hear their stories. No matter what their status in the society, they still manage to fix a smile on their faces every day. I felt so thankful that our school offers an opportunity like this. Becoming a doctor should not mean that we are just in for the money. We become doctors because it is what we are called to do. Our main concern should be helping other people and putting aside our needs to address theirs first. This experience is both humbling and satisfying because you learn to appreciate what you have and realize how petty your selfish desires or “wants” are. Just like what Plato, one of the greatest philosophers, have said, “the greatest wealth is to live content with little”.

We often think about how we, merely civilians, could help save the world like a superhero could do. We couldn’t be Iron Man and create an army of suits, nor be Captain America who can defeat a multitude of men in just a single throw of his shield. We can’t all be like Thor who is a god in Norse mythology who controls thunder and we can’t all be bitten by radioactive spiders and become Spiderman and shoot webs out of his body. We can only be us. There’s no shortcut to become anything. No experiments, no gamma rays, no weird suits and no mutated genes. We just have to exhaust every single energy we have to become extraordinary. Becoming a doctor is one of the closest thing in being a superhero. We get to save lives and help those who needs it the most. What better way to study medicine than being subjected to save a whole community filled with living, breathing subjects? I am in a situation wherein I can become the bridge who can sort out the possible problems this community is facing. It may seem like a burden to carry but oftentimes these things become a blessing in disguise.

Jayvalikka A. Garcia

Batch 2020

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March 29, 2016. Courtesy call with Barangay Captain Pedro Habagat


April 1, 2016. Courtesy call with the Barangay Officials


April 1, 2016. Attended the graduation at Sinai Elementary school


April 2, 2016. Initial survey at Purok Mahogany

April 2, 2016. Geomapping and surveying Purok Mahogany


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Another life-changing experience

Hello! Thank you for visiting our site and for clicking my post. It is my first time to finally make a serious entry regarding some of my experience in our barangay.  I hope that you will enjoy reading it, just like I enjoyed every moment of it.

Barangay Sinai is one of the recently established barangays in Sergio Osmeñia municipality, Zamboanga del Norte. It has four puroks. It is mainly inhabited by the Subanen and Visayan tribe.

During our first week, we relaxed and talked as usual. We did not have a survey tool yet upon arrival here at Barangay Sinai. When we got a copy of our survey tool, we were not contented about it. We feel that the questions were just superficial and that it will not provide optimum solutions for the problems of our barangay. We kept on revising and revising our work.

When we thought that we already have our final survey tool, one of my groupmates suggested that we should do pilot testing. I never knew about pilot testing until she told us about it. We decided to do pilot testing with three houses at the same time practicing the visayan language and observing how to do each survey (such as getting the height, weight, blood pressure, etc). After our pilot testing, we revised our survey tool once more. So, for the whole first week- majority of our time, we just make our survey tool, while the other groups are busy with their house to house survey already.

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“Work for a cause, not for applause and live life to express, not to impress.”

“Work for a cause, not for applause and live life to express, not to impress.” Again, we spent a month long community exposure at the quiet municipality of Sergio Osmena.

We, Team MediSinai, brought with us the perseverance to accomplish something that we know may help the community. We tightly crossed our fingers and asked guidance from the Almighty to give us the strength in combating pressure. And again, we tried to do our best.

The endless trek, rough path, excruciating heat, and the hard, loud, pumping of our hearts trying to be keen from venomous snakes and wild monkeys, made the exposure more challenging than expected. But more than these challenges, lies behind our individual emotional challenge. Being able to see the reality hits so hard, that each of us had a moment of reflection about how grateful we must be for whatever situation we are in.

These people served as an eye-opener of how life is in the other corners of the world. They may not be as rich as other people or extravagantly living their lives, But they have the purest smile. They smile with their hearts full of contentment. I admire them, for being able to see positivity regardless of how hard life’s stability is. This, inspires us more to help them in our own humble ways.

Marie Dorothy Kimberly O. Lim

Batch 2020

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Community Profile Presentation

November 6, 2015

During the first community exposure, the team focused on secondary data gathering. Upon data collection, Barangay Sinai’s community profile was then presented to four panelists on Friday, November 6. Way to go, Medisinai! Job well-done!

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Bulletin Board Making

October 30, 2015

Just days after coming home to Zamboanga City, we face another task at hand: the making of our community bulletin board. This is a requirement every after community exposure. This aims to introduce our barangay to the readers and subsequently display the activities we conducted during the said exposure.

The team used the barangay’s foundation history as a concept for the bulletin board. Since Sinai is situated at the foot of a mountain, we created a mountain with different layers to reveal the barangay’s information.

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September 26, 2015. Arrival at Sergio Osmeña

September 28, 2015. Arrival at Sinai

September 29, 2015. Medical mission at Tuburan

September 30, 2015. Courtesy call with Hon. Richard Magsalay

October 1, 2015. Ocular survey of Purok Kalobian and Mahogany

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One-of-a-kind Sinai

Sinai is an outlying barangay situated at the municipality of Sergio Osmena, one of 39 barangays belonging to the partly urban areas in the province of Zamboanga del Norte in Western Mindanao. It has a laidback pace of life, with a very small population of roughly 29,453 only as of May 1, 2010, practically everyone knows each other. Majority of barangay Sinai’s population are of Visayan and Subanen ethnicity, the main dialect spoken by the locals is bisaya.

Peace and order is not much of a problem given the demographics of Sinai. Since the current barangay captain – Hon. Pedro Habagat was appointed, there have been 0 crime rates recorded within the vicinity of barangay Sinai.

It’s geographical profile is located high above sea level, hence, its cool/temperate weather almost all year round is attributed to this. Livelihood is mostly agriculture. As for health services, barangay Sinai can be regarded as still developing. One of Barangay Sinai’s major contribution t o the municipality is its water supply, which is abundant. Its lush green forest and its view is a sight to behold.

A picturesque beauty tucked away in the country’s remote areas. The biodiversity of Sinai is in harmony with its inhabitants, it holds the potential of being great in many ways, untapped and undistributed, it is one of a kind.

Christine M. Juaton

Batch 2020

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Leaving nests

There will always come a time where baby birds could leave their nests and live for themselves. But just before they could do that, they need a little push from their parents to learn how to fly. That was how it felt to live on our own at Sinai, Sergio Osmeña. We were oriented and was asked to travel light for our safety and convenience. By the time we passed its borders, it suddenly felt so real. It was not a dream anymore. The place felt so surreal, quiet, peaceful but mostly very green. The people were also very kind and every day I found myself thanking God for giving me another day to appreciate this place. Sinai was not the only thing that found a place in my heart. The seven other people living with me pretty much grew on me too. Not only have I found new friends for life but a family I can depend on as well.

Sinai is one of the barangays in Sergio Osmeña and has four puroks. Not only is it known for its beautiful resort Butanas but also for the rivers that flank it named Layawan and Sebulan. It also has a waterfall named Busay falls and the water that is being sold in Pob. Alto and Pob. Bajo came from Sinai. The people here are mostly farmers with a few exceptions that own their own business or is employed in the government or a private institution. The people are also taking care of various animals like swine, cows, goats, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.

Jayvalikka A. Garcia

Batch 2020

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