Monday, November 18, 2013


Ciudad Medical Zamboanga had a whole day affair at the Tetuan Central School for a composite program involving a Medical Mission including Breast Wellness - Psychosocial activities (for all ages graced by Jolibee) - Food and Relief Operations last October 2013 as part of the Tenth Year Anniversary of CMZ !
We made friends with amiable little girls called Charlotte and company.  I was asking how they lived there and they willingly invited us to check out their living conditions as they stayed in several classrooms of this elementary school.

So here is a glimpse of their life in an evacuation center. Most of the evacuees here are from Sta. Barbara, Lustre, Sta. Catalina and Mariki!

There are still signs of the several days with heavy rain. 
They also have stores around the place...
Here is Room 2 and Room 37 (I hope I remember the rooms right!). Charlotte shared that there are about 5 families living in each room.
The kids have already gotten used to their life in the center and have found ways to entertain themselves such as by games and dancing. But, they also shared that they were afraid of the MNLF and the exchange of fire during the Stand-off. They also sometimes fear the sound of the hovering helicopters! 

It was unfortunate, though, that the kids were afraid of having their heads chopped off because someone shared to the kids, a cellphone video of children who were beheaded. It seems the kids thought that this video is current, but, it this may have been an older video probably from another country because we did not hear this kind of atrocity during this Zamboanga City Siege 2013.

I would like to request the adults: Please do not frighten the kids in that way. Some kids verbally expressed that he couldn't sleep at night after watching the video.

Then, I was teasing Charlotte that she could be a beauty queen when she grows up. However, she said she'd prefer to be a soldier!!!

As we moved around the evacuation center, here are more scenes...
And this family lost their houses during the fire in the conflict area.
These are the portable comfort rooms for urinating only. They had other toilets nearer their rooms. 
Some can still relax in this times.
The situation in this evacuation center is still fine considering that the evacuees respect the places they are living in now.  They clean the place and the classrooms still look clean and arranged.  And, the families have learned how to live with each other. 

The kids' smiles are so sincere and it was so interesting that they could cling to me and yet, I still felt comfortable. (And, the JSOTF-P [American troops] have also mentioned that the kids were also so friendly with some of their members) Two of the kids smiled and said, "Can you take us home?"

One of the things the kids were really asking if there are toys to be given away...fortunately, we also distributed toys and clothes aside from relief goods! I realized even in dismal events, the children still needed things which could give them joy.
This was a very enlightening day for us. The kids can easily adapt against all odds. There are some who are still afraid, thus, the importance of Stress Debriefing should be emphasized.
It seems after the series of grave natural calamities such as the Earthquake in Cebu and Bohol and now, Super Typhoon Yolanda, we in Zamboanga City are now feeling blessed. We did undergo a very dragging and dangerous incident, but, it seems what happened in Zamboanga in three weeks happened to Yolanda's victims in just a few hours and sparing  no one.

We are now in the Rebuilding Phase, although, this isn't that easy either. Some of the evacuees may have gone home by now. We do hope that they too could rebuild their own lives and rise above this adversity!

P.S. Thank you to everyone from CMZ who participated in the Medical Mission including Breast Wellness - Psychosocial activities (for all ages graced by Jolibee) - Food Distribution and Relief Operations

      Thank you to our partners from the pharmaceutical industry and suppliers.

     Thank you to our partners from Chooks- to- Go! (through Ron Natividad) for our food.

      Thank you to the office of Senator Trillanes (through Cezar Carmel Tamba) for our relief goods.

        Thank you to the community partners and from the DSWD group.


  1. Sending prayers and blessings to your effort. I am glad the recovery process is going well... I am also prayerful that the areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda will recover.

  2. I'm so thankful to those people who helped our kababayans. Good seeing them smiling on the photos and that's the thing that we Filipino have our ability to smile no matter the situation is. Prayers to all..:)

  3. Good to see those smiley faces despite of all the tragedy they still have smile in their faces. Hope they will recover soon Thank you for your help and support. God bless!

  4. I hope the people in ZC had able to recover already from the tragedy.

  5. The smiles prevalent on the faces of the people are truly amazing. I hope they'd be able to pick up the pieces soon and forget the horrific past while starting anew. :)

  6. So many happened this year in our country. I hope our fellowmen are okay.

  7. I'm glad that a lot of people willing to help us when times of need. Smile on their faces is amazing! after they have been through.

  8. Glad to see that Zambo is already recovering from disasters happened to them. I hope that Tacloban will cope up soon too.

  9. It is nice to see people smiling and having a chance to relax despite of the condition.

  10. Filipinos will always have a smile on their faces no matter what :) Proud to be Pinoy.

  11. God bless your good heart Ms. Pinay. I can see through your photos how happy the kids are. That's the Filipino spirit talaga, no one can bring it down.

  12. Awwww may Jollibee! My heart really goes out to the children who have to experience such tragedy early in their lives. May this be the last tragedy we ever experience.

  13. Your photo with the kids smiling gave me misty eyes! Despite of what happened, children will always be children, they will always give happiness and joy in our hearts and will help us to somehow forget about all the bad things that's happened.

  14. The fact that they are only means they're strong and will fight to get their lives back to normal...and that is something to hope for in the near future.

  15. Good to see the pictures of the kids smiling. This shows that they have hope for their future and things will get better.

  16. You're lucky to be given the opportunity and the capability to do good deeds sis. Keep it up! :)

  17. This is what I love most about being a Filipino. We may be poor and live uncomfortably. We still manage to smile and be happy. Thank you, Doc, for continuing to help.

  18. i have the same comment as katsjourney. the pictures all show smiling faces, very heartwarming to look at. i'm sure life is tough but looking at them cope is just inspiring

  19. Very inspiring for sure.... They made me smile too. :-)