On January 14, 2017, representatives from UST Medicine Batch 1986, including Dr. Eduardo Tanhui, arrived in Legazpi and travelled to CamSur to join the Tomasinong Bikolano (TomBik)-CamSur team in Barangay San Ramon, Lagonoy town to distribute 100 pieces of donated canvass/”trapals” to 100 families, to be used as temporary roofing materials. The medical members of TomBik CamSur did a medical mission in the community, while the other non-medical members did a feeding program to the children of the barangay.

The next day, January 15, 2017, TomBik-Albay held a relief, medical, dental, optical mission in barangay Lourdes, Tiwi, Albay. This project was also participated by almost 100 members of four other organizations aside from TomBik-Albay. TomBik-Sorsogon chapter came with more than 20 members, including medical doctors, medical technologists, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers and other graduates of the different Faculties and Colleges of UST, to help in the overall logistics of the missions.

Announcers and staff of DZGB and OK-FM, two of the biggest radio stations in Albay, also provided entertainment programs and games to the people of the barangay. Even the retired Auxiliary Bishop of Legazpi, also a Thomasian, visited the mission site and brought with him 100 packs of noodles to be added to the relief goods being distributed. A ten-member dental team belonging to the Pilar, Sorsogon Women’s Federation was brought by the town mayor of Pilar, who is also the current president of TomBik-Albay. Before noon, a 15-delegation team from the Daughters of St. Jude, the Filipino-Chinese Catholic Women group of Legazpi, came to feed 600 children and 150 elderly. They also provided lunch packs for the almost 100 mission volunteers. In the afternoon, UST Medicine Batch 1986 distributed the donated 600 pieces of GI sheets to the 100 beneficiary families. These GI sheets were complemented with the equivalent GI nails and vulcaseal, which were donated by the owner of the hardware where the GI sheets were purchased upon learning that these were intended for the typhoon victims. Students in the barangay were also given school supplies and slippers.

The UST Medicine Batch 1986 also donated the roofing and construction materials needed to rebuild the barangay chapel. The owner of the neighboring resort also donated cash to be used for the labor cost in the reconstruction.

When the covering media interviewed Dr. Tanhui, he mentioned that the UST Medicine Batch 1986 just provided the ‘spark’ and that it was the Bikolanos themselves, particularly the Tomasinong Bikolano, who made the ‘fire’.

Contributed by Dr. Rollo Milante, MD (2016 TOTAL Awardee)