UPDATING YOU (LIVE?) FROM CEBU

Ok. This was long overdue. Darn you procrastination.

So, we were just finishing with a Correlate (which is like class where a doctor will condense everything you learned the whole week, in an hour’s lecture) and we were about to begin watching the movie our batch prepared for the 11th APMC (Association of Philippine Medical Colleges) which our school hosted this year. The theme for this years conference was on Professionalism in Medical Education. Enclosed is a link to a blog article one of the faculty members, Dr. Henry Yu, contributed to cebumd.com with a list of details about the event because I am too lazy to describe it.

(http://www.cebumd.com/2012/01/cebu-institute-of-medicine-cim-hosts.html)

 Each Medical school in Cebu was tasked to present a 15 minute film for the APMC with different variations on Medical Professionalism.

  • Physician to Self – CIM first years
  • Physician to Patient – CDU
  • Physician to Community – CIM (Pag-naan group)
  • Physician to Physician – SWU-MHAM College of Medicine
The only reason I’m really bringing this up, is because I wrote the script for the movie. 🙂
Anyway, as I was saying, we were about to begin to watch the premiere of the movie which is a Cistron (batch name) production, when something went wrong with the sound system and there was a delay in the feed. Possibly due to the fact that the movie is over 8gig and in high def. While people were sorting out the technical problems that arose, the class was getting rowdy from seeing our fellow batch mates on screen in the amphitheater acting. (Post grads behaving like Schoolchildren, go figure.)
The ground began to shake and initially, I thought it was because of the number of feet stomping which usually accompanies excessive laughter. Then I saw the ceiling light fixtures moving. I looked around and no one seemed to notice and I was hoping no one would because I didn’t want anyone to panic. Suddenly, the tremors became really intense and it became evident that I was not the only one who felt it or saw what was going on. As the tremors began to increase in intensity, a few of my batch mates began to get up and were probably about to run out the door since we were in the 4th floor of the building. A few of us stood up and raised our hands motioning for everyone to stay seated until we got all the doors of the amphitheater open.
I was really glad Dr. Suson was there because he stayed really calm and that radiated to everyone else which is why on the way down and out, people were in 2 lines and walking briskly but calmly outside. Some of us walked into the library and motioned for everyone to get up because of the earthquake. People quickly closed their books, surveyed the area and calmly walked out of the library and exited the building.
I still can’t get over how calm everyone was and how maturely everyone handled the situation. Once outside, people were talking about whether there would be class in the afternoon. The second years were in heated discussion on whether they would still have their exam at 1:30 PM. The third years looked mildly annoyed to be disturbed from their readings and the 4th years and interns were outside the hospital huddled together eating banana-que and chatting animatedly amongst themselves eager to get back into the hospital.
We experienced a 6.9 magnitude earthquake that day. Everyone seemed more concerned about whether they could go back into the building after the aftershocks and continue studying. This is what us first years looked like outside CIM.

I was more concerned by the fact that my younger cousins were still in school and I was about to walk to their school with my friends to pull them out of class (if they still had class) and take them home with me, when the driver arrived so I told him that I was going to pick up the girls instead of going straight home.

Apparently,  my cousin and her friends, were the first ones to notice the earthquake and took the initiative to ring the fire alarm. My other cousin, who is in the 6th grade, also had the presence of mind to tell her classmates, who were huddled under their chairs and tables, to go down to the field. I am so proud of them for staying calm and knowing just what to do in situations like that.

When we got to the house, there were multiple aftershocks, and since we live on the cliff in a mountain, we were asked to pack our bags with the bare necessities in case we have to leave the house if and when the quakes get too strong.

My cousin, who is a senior, packed her important college documents as part of her bare essentials. My cousin in the 6th grade, packed along with her things, a deck of cards and her camera. I wanted to take all my medicine books, but I could not. So I settled for my jewelries, a pair of denim shorts, a shirt, slippers, my gadgets, the very first bear my bf gave me, important documents and my back scratch-er. Yes. That is very important. It’s from my dad. I also packed Maximus and my main med books (Carpenter’s Neuroanatomy, Netter’s Atlas, Guyton and Hall Medical Physiology)

We dumped our things and took pictures and realized that we looked like some obscure refugee camp. 🙂 We also transferred rooms since we sleep downstairs, we had to transfer upstairs and sleep in the guest room. Which is why we brought blankets and pillows with us, even if the guest room has an excess of blankets and pillows, it’s very comforting having something familiar in bed with you. My blanket is the bone colored one with green turtle prints. 🙂

We barely slept that night because we kept trying to anticipate aftershocks. You can just imagine how scary it is for us, living where we do. My cousins barely slept even if they didn’t have class the next day because they kept waking up to check for an aftershock.

What made things worse, was during the course of the day, there was a Tsunami alert and everyone in the city began to panic and drive up towards the mountains. Mass panic and hysteria can move people like that. It would be nice if people stopped and thought about the likelihood a tsunami would appear out of nowhere in the middle of the city. AND if the people from up here ever needed to go down because of some landslide or something, we wouldn’t be able to do that because of the traffic they created. 😐

It was terrible.

We are still relocated to the guest rooms because there are still aftershocks. But mostly, because we’re all too lazy to transfer back downstairs and unpack. :))

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3 responses to “UPDATING YOU (LIVE?) FROM CEBU

  1. I want to be worried and laugh at the same time. Anyway, I pray that you guys are safe. It was great that you had the initiative to pack all the important stuff you need in case of emergency. If you’ll think about it, its really scary but after what happened, you realize that its was really funny how you reacted. But that was not a joke. Cebu is a small place, its scary when tsunami hits the island. Good thing, there were no after effect.

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