Travel Light

I arrived in Mindoro after 2 hours of riding a bus, another 3 hours of sailing between islands and 45 minutes of a windy bus ride.

My friend Mike told me to travel light— this was the lightest I could ever bring: a 9-kg backpack and a big shoulder bag filled to the brim. I was having back pain as I headed to the hospital dorm to my room.

The hospital was set in the middle of trees and grass land.Wow, I felt  like I was still in Antique. The air was cold and clouds were hanging in the sky like curtains, giving the island a kind of melancholic shadow. A huge Acacia tree stood outside our yellow dorm, a shower of leaves fell every second, covering the dorm’s balcony with a mosaic of yellow, green and brown.

I dropped my bags in my blue-colored room and headed to the Emergency Room where my friend Mike was on-duty. I’m officially on-duty tomorrow but I asked him if I could admit some of his patients so I could get into the momentum of the hospital a day early.  I wrote the admitting orders for a child with dehydration, then Rups came from the OPD and greeted me with a hug. She pulled me out of the emergency room and we headed to the wards where she introduced me to some of the staff.

The hospital has 4 charity wards —Pediatrics, Surgery/Orthopedics, Internal Medicine and OB-Gyne. There is also a wing for private rooms and Phil-health wards. It’s a one-level hospital and at first  seemed like a maze — i got confused because of its U-shaped symmetry. I checked out the doctor’s quarters for on-duty residents — pink walls, wifi equipped with air conditioning and 3 comfortable beds and a bathroom.

Rups and I went to town to buy stuff at the groceries — the town was just a quiet neighborhood with Mercury Drug standing tall among other structures. I was quite surprised, the capital of Antique was far more progressive than this capital —- with Gaisano and City Square  looming over the small businesses  plus mushrooming of fast food like Jollibee and Chowking. This town though was thriving with local stores and businesses — mini-marts, small canteens, food stalls, ukay-ukay and sari-sari stores. It feels like my hometown —quiet with a little local buzz as the day starts, in between and as the sun sets.

Tomorrow, I’m officially starting my 10-day duty. Breathe. I can do this.


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