Our second day in Palawan was the Free Clinic Day for the Quezon children. Dr. Fernando Galvez, "Kuya Nanding" to me his brod-in-law and to his church mates, diagnosed a lot of kids and adolescents in the neighborhood and gave them free medicines and vitamins.
Meds we brought from Manila were sorted by the group and laid out on a table. Church volunteers manned the registration and the weighing of babies. My sister, Belinda (his wife) and Brenda, my other sister sat beside him as his secretaries, one at a time; and the rest of our companions from Manila, young adults all, manned the sorting and finding of the prescribed medicine and vitamin bottles. In the adjacent building, the church, Dinky and JM handled the Bible teaching of the many kids waiting in line.
Several local church people on the other hand, managed the kitchen and prepared the food for our group. The folks were so kind to cook all our meals day after day. Quite embarrassing actually, but Pastor Jezer, my brod-in-law and this church's minister said it had been planned and organized in advance by the church so we had nothing to worry about. True enough, the folks were so hospitable they even prepared local snacks in between meals. Now and then, people would drop by to bring local delicacies for us to enjoy. We love you, Quezonfolk; such generosity and hospitality.
When the day was over, the tireless Doc was able to treat unnumbered kids. There were 100 names enlisted for the day's clinic but we found out that every name was accompanied by more or less 5 siblings or relatives, all needing medical attention. But Doc and his "medical secretaries" managed the outpour of patients; many of which came from distant barangays (barrios/towns). It is safe to say that the actual number of patients quadrupled. But our energetic doctor remained cheerful even as we ate our evening dinner; and so was everyone else. Partly because, we were also talking about our Tabon Caves tour scheduled for the next day.
Actually, there is another Free Clinic Day come Saturday. But the concern is that due to the early heavy turnout of patients, medications might not suffice.
On the other hand, I had the great time of my life spent playing and bonding with my sister's kids, Ruthie & Marc who I sorely missed since they moved over there last April 2008. Ruthie had bounced back to her bubbly and happy personality. And Marc is something else. From a crybaby, he became a happy and playful kid; and he easily mixes with newcomers. But what I have been longing to do is to play with my Bebe Ruthie who I deeply missed.
(All images courtesy of Bethel Faye)