I was invited to join the medical mission of APO (Alpha Phi Omega) UST chapter in partnership with Theta Lambda Phi of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the local government of Brgy. Acacia Malabon last June of this year, I’m glad I did. Here are some of the important things I learned from this experience:

Things I took for granted

As the day started the line quickly grew, the residents were quick to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the organization and their partners. The group offered free dental, medical checkups and circumcision procedures.

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At the end of the day we were able to help the citizens of Malabon. Healthcare can often be forgotten and taken for granted when we fail to see those who can’t afford decent health services. Being part of medical missions like this one showed me how fortunate we are.

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I was not alone

I realized that I was an Idealistic guy, in the past I have spouted a lot of talk in regards to changing the world. But you see joining these events made me see that I was not alone. One of my closest friends was also part of this mission, He was one of those guys who would roll his eyes whenever I spoke about my ideals about giving yourself up for others, yet he’s here doing all he can in service to his fellow human being.

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I learned that no matter how many times we roll our eyes to the cheesy idealism of others, there will always be a part of us who believe in the greater good. In this sense, we will never be alone.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

Being part of the mission gave me a sense of purpose from the wild buzz and fast-paced life I was living. Being able to help a fellow human being in a way that says “I just want to help you, I’m not expecting anything in return” can really lighten a heart.

As I was in the middle of it all, I can really feel the sincerity of everyone who volunteered.

I saw this one dentist performing a tooth extraction, he was able to punch out jokes to his patients who were scared. He was doing his job with a smile and a kind heart. These really touched me, since I have witnessed people frown at work and grumble about it while being payed to do it.

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The scene got my curiousity so I spoke with the wonderful gentleman and when I asked him as to why He volunteered for the mission, He said that it was to advance the Kingdom of God and to give back to the people what was given to him. I was inspired by this message and truly I believe that there is no greater gift waiting in heaven than for those who offers their work to God.

When you start helping others, you forget yourself

Come lunch time, the Doctors and most of the staff picked up the pace almost forgetting to eat lunch entirely

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It’s a strange world we live in today, everything is about ourselves. We look to selfies as a form of expression, social media has created a great divide between us and communication has ironically degraded because of technology.

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Being part of the mission helped create a sense of freedom from all of these. The communication between individuals is something you can never describe in a blog but can only be felt by being there in that moment. As the volunteers helped the citizens of Malabon, you can feel the messages being sent without any words being spoken. When you’re in that situation, you forget about yourself, you only focus on helping someone.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank: the play

It’s never too late to change this world for the better

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I saw volunteers giving their time and energy to help those around them and that was enough proof that if we put our minds and hearts together, we can achieve wonderful things. This is a testimony that it’s never too late to turn things around and change our world for the better.

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Thanks to the modern day heroes who volunteered that day including the local government, Brgy. Acacia Malabon can sleep with a smile on their faces knowing that someone actually cared for them enough to lend a helping hand even for one day.

Have you ever joined a medical mission? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!