In this modern era where innovations come and go, scientific explorations are released from time to time and inventive gadgetry are produced, civilization has stepped up creating a faster and better way of life to many but not in the case of Barangay Talos. Situated on top of the hill, this quiet little village is home to around eighty families of our Lumad brothers and sisters. I was fortunate enough to meet them and render my service through the Mobile LGU Program of the Municipality of Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte headed by their dynamic Mayor, Hon. Maximo Estela, M.D. They aim to bring, aside from government services, medical and dental examination to the various barangays of their municipality.
|The next Generation|
|Dr. Erwin and Dr. Karen - agent of change|
I arrived at the area with excitement running through my veins. I find it rather an honor to meet with the tribes who have helped shaped our society and despite globalization have cling to their ancestry. The place was peaceful and the houses were mostly made of nipa. As the parents enlisted themselves for the consultation, the children were then asked to line up and were individually given specially cooked meal as part of the Feeding Program. Children from different ages sat on an empty lot and savored their food while I and Michael were taking pictures of them. I was consumed by the moment that I could no longer locate my colleagues, Dr. Erwin Polinar and Dr. Karen Kathleen Palec, only to find out that consultation has begun.
|Food. Glorious Food!|
My patients included a three week old baby with hernia, children with either parasitic infection or protein deficiency, a mother with a heart problem and an 80 year old woman with tribal tattoo marks on her body which complained of low back pain. I could not help but comment on other kids who were dirty and unkempt only to be told that water was scarce on their area and that they have to walk a few kilometers to get their water which was not clean as remarked by one villager. Worst, electricity could not reach them. Their fight for survival was noticeable in their faces. My only happiness came from the fact that they have a school in their locality and education is one of the priorities. Children can read and can pronounce well.
We finished by noontime and have given free medicines as well. As I bid farewell to this solitary place, Karen and I realized that truly, we are blessed. While we complain about how we look, what clothes to wear, why our life is a mess, they try to make it through hoping to have a decent meal at least three times a day. We took our ride and after a few minutes of the bumpy, roller-coaster like road, passing foliage of trees and a single windmill, we were back to civilization. I hope that through our simple efforts, we made their lives a little easier even for that single moment. God bless everyone.
|The Austere Professor|
|The Mark of a true Survivor|
(Fearless times 2011)