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October 11, 2008

"Truly Inspired..."

The recognition rites for the outgoing Batch 21 of the Doctors to the Barrio program of the Department of Health, held last October 9, 2008 in Palo, Leyte, was truly inspirational. It was my second recognition rites and so far, it was the most inspiring and even emotional. I could not help but feel so overwhelmed with emotions, which I was trying hard to suppress. My batch was tasked to lead the entire group in the opening prayer. We sang the prayer which almost became the battlecry of batch 23, the same prayer we sang during our predeployment. It was Jaime Rivera's version of "I Offer My Life". I made the back-drop video containing the lyrics of the song, hoping that the audience could sing along with us. During her speech, Usec. Juris Soliman noted how she was inspired right from the start when she heard us sang the prayer. She said, the theme of the song struck the nail right on the head. The speech given by Dr. Sean, president of Batch 21, was also very moving, especially the part when they gave a tribute to their fallen batchmate, Dr. Emerson, who died a few weeks ago due to MDR-PTB. The video they made, carrying Michael Jackson's song "Gone Too Soon" was very moving. Many of us were trying to hold back our tears. The eerie silence that followed the tribute was very much palpable.

The night ended in a much lighter note though. Batch 24 presented a dance number. Of course, not to be overtaken, Batch 23 also presented a dance number, living up to the informal title of being the DTTB's "Dancing Doctors".

I was thankful to receive for the second time the recognition of being the Best reporter for batch 23. Also acknowledged was a classmate of mine, Dr. Marc, also best reporter for Batch 24. Dr. Martin ParreƱo, batch 21 and DTTB assigned in Limasawa island, received the grand distinction award.

It was truly a moment to remember, and I could confidently say that the DTTB's got the "re-charge" that we needed. CME's like this truly give us a boost in our moral, a big pat on our backs. While many do not recognize our efforts, there are a few who still remember us, whether we are embedded in the heartlands of the mountains or washed away in the distant islands of the archipelago. In some sense, we are not really asking nor demanding for acknowledgement. Many DTTBs have come and gone and were hardly noticed even for a grand distinction award. But whenever they do come back to their former areas of assignment, the people whom they have served, who understand them far better than any of us could, welcome them with open arms.

I am humbled to be part of this fraternal bond. Heroes or no heroes, I am glad that my name is among the many names that have contributed to the upliftment of many lives in the countryside, most of which forgotten, if not abandoned. We are proof that the system is working and it can work. Our only prayer is that many can also be inspired to follow the lonely path of a DTTB.

I salute us, DTTB's.

P.S. "Show me your beer!"

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