All twelve students are now on Philippine soil! Many of our students came early into Manila beginning on December 31st and our group was finally completed on January 9th. We toured the sites in Manila and Cebu City while our relationships with each other grew, creating a strong sense of team. In Cebu City we were greeted by the staff of Hotel Asia, the owner is a friend to one of Susan’s colleagues. We were able to experience mass and a prayer ritual at Magellan’s cross. We also saw the Lapulapu monument in which Filipino praise as a historic moment in their fight for freedom against the Spaniards. The owner of Hotel Asia has a daughter that is also a nursing student and she accompanied us on a tour of her university, The Cebu Doctor’s University.
Following Cebu City we were divided into two groups each with six students. The first group flew back to Manila to attend the University of the East in Quezon City. All of those students will continue their experience in the Philippines for eight weeks, during which they will do both their community and acute senior practicums. The second group flew to Iloilo to attend the University of Saint Paul. Two of these students (Cristina Santoro & Melanie Fontaine) will also be completing eight weeks of clinical covering both the community and acute senior practicums. The other four students (Cara Burgess, Kristin Carmichael, Brianne Suderman & Jill Peacock) are completing only their community practicums in the Philippines and will return to Canada for their acute senior practicum.
We are part of the second group attending the University of Saint Paul in Iloilo and will be blogging about our experience with community health in Iloilo and a smaller community called Janiuay. We were greeted at the Iloilo airport by many nursing students and Sister Carol, The Dean of Nursing and the President of Saint Paul’s University. Today we spent the day preparing to work in the community, specifically with a strategy aimed towards decreasing morbity and mortality in children under 5 years old called the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI). Tomorrow we will travel 30 kilometers from Iloilo to Janiuay and begin our work as community health nursing students.