Written by Jordan Ramirez* - VYLH-Philippines Dumaguete City
“I never thought my life would become somewhat like an extraordinaire”.
It was once a drizzly day when a friend of mine messaged me about a camp to be held in Cebu. An unadorned message, I should say. Perhaps, I wasn’t really fascinated with the message that without more ado, I got out from my inbox and went back to the main screen of my phone.
My life by then was, if truth be told, busy that I even got only an hour or three for sleeping. And Yes! You’ve heard it right, an hour or three per day. I’ve spent a third of my day at school and eight hours for my hospital duty. As an Accountancy student, devotion of time is a must for you to give. It took me scarcely to cope up with my assignments and exams since accounting is not that easy to surpass, not at all (sighs). And I could not just simply afford the privation I’ve had to be turned out to zilch. So I have to toil hard to pass my course. After which, I do an 8-hour voluntary work at Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital which is in line to my previous course. A strenuous work it is! Needless to mention, it is a government hospital so a lot of get-up-and-go has to be vested for this work for it to be well thought-out as an efficient one. Added to it, is an online job which engrosses critical thinking since I do article writing. I sleep at 3:00 A.M and wake up at 6:00 in the morning. Sometimes, I go into deep contemplation and ask myself ‘why I have to do these when in fact I could make life simple?”. Well then, it’s hard to be left with options which are all imperative to yourself, so hard to just drop one among them. I may know my limits, but then I have to go afar to what has been expected from me. And up to this instance, I am still doing these stuffs. I could hardly believe I’m such a jerk! Bottom line is—time management.
Days after, in times of weariness and desolation, I took the chance to scan over the messages I have on my phone. Much more by circumstance, I went through that scrupulous message for more than three times and decided to give it a try. So in response, I messaged my friend and told him that I’d be adhering for that seminar. Apropos, the seminar is free of all expenses.
It was the day before the weekend seminar that I and other delegates from our locality met each other as we head towards the place. It wasn’t a predicament to befriend them since they were all affable and that we’re of the same ages. We had some chitchats and soon became close friends. When we arrived at the place, we were amazed because we never expected things to be happening that way. The place alone added exhilaration thus made us more engrossed. We then had an opportunity to convene with other delegates from other places and by that time, I could say, responding to the text message of my friend was not bad at all.
The program proper had started and we had a sort of an ‘acquaintance party’. We had some conundrums and games to establish rapport to each and everyone and were disseminated accordingly to groups. We all had our laughs by then. We then were thrashed out with the rationale of the seminar and leveled-up our expectations.
The seminar ran for three days. We have tackled on: the importance of newborn screening, why newborns have to be screened in their first three days of life, why there is a need for each of us to be supplemented with Folic Acid, why Folic acid is important to our bodies, the diseases which may affect the individuals if being unscreened and remained untreated, and the importance of all of these in our own individual lives. The seminar was undeniably informational but was not only limited to talks and discussions because we also have group interactions as well. To further enhance our leadership skills, we had leadership training. To assess our abilities as a team, we had team-building. And lastly, our pursuit of continuing to disseminate the information we have acquired from the training to our community. Through our own little ways, we can help perk up the quality of life we Filipinos are having. Also, we are in the quest of accumulating signatures for a bill to be passed on the Philippine Congress which is the Rare Disease Act. At last, we’re now Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health.
But the journey isn’t over yet, this is just the beginning. This is a start of a new undertaking in our own different lives as Youth Leaders. We are not just here for the sake of merely joining the seminar but we are here because we are committed to become Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health.
After all, the text message I have received has changed me into an extraordinary person. Right now, my life will continue to rotate on its axis from a typical student to a Volunteer Youth Leader for Health. Indeed, I have benefited a lot from the seminar and because of this; my spirit of volunteerism has been deepened. I am now ready to face another existence of my life. Payment in pecuniary measures is not a necessity for someone whenever he works. Sometimes, we see contentment from the noble things we have done of our own accord in our own little ways at the right time under the right circumstances.
Hail all Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health! To God be the glory.
*Jordan Ramirez is a BS Accountancy Student at Siliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. He also completed a six-month vocational caregiver training at the Asian College of Science and Technology. Jordan became affiliated to VYLH-Philippines during the Visayas Island-wide Camp last July 2010.