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Global Clinical Immersion in the Philippines

After three flights, 2 layovers (one in Tokyo!), a very long, traffic-packed bus ride, and a late-night run to Jollibee (the Philippine equivalent to McDonalds), 9 very tired, but excited students had finally arrived at UST.  After an all too quick night of slumber we experienced our first day in the Philippines and what an adventure it was.

In the morning we joined several UST nursing students who took us on a walking tour of UST and then they spoke to us about the history and culture of the Philippines, UST, and Filippinos.  The country and campus is rich with a wonderful history.

We then boarded the UST school bus and took a tour of Manila.  One of things that stood out to us the most was that while the city does have an established infrastructure there is still the potential for much development.  We spoke with our host as well as a couple of UST students and they mentioned a several of interesting things:

  • The Philippines defines their social classes by A, B, C, D, and E, with E being the lowest class
  • Mental health is the number one public health issue, with HIV being a close second
  • The poor who live in condemned buildings or the streets are not removed as it is viewed as a human rights violation

Our first day was a wonderful introduction to the Philippines and we are excited to learn more about the country, their people, and their public health needs.