Trip to Ifugao: My Story

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Ms. Xara Dumapat,RN

“Hello? Where are you now? Please hurry, the bus is about to leave!” The voice on the other end of the line seemed vexed but obviously tried to keep her cool. I jumped out of the train at Cubao when I got that phone call, wishing to have wings to fly to the station where our bus to Cagayan Valley was. I had an erroneous information about the time of departure (11:30pm instead of 11:00pm) thus left me only 5 minutes to catch the long-awaited trip to the place which stories in my elementary history books had amazed me most - IFUGAO.

As an ultimate “buzzer-beater”, I was overjoyed to see the bus, especially Mrs. Alice Torres Banas, (EVP of MAP) or “Tita Alice” as I fondly call her, who was my former college professor, who also became my former co-teacher in our Alma Mater, and now my mentor in the graduate school. Adjacent to our seat, there were also two lovely ladies to whom I was introduced by Ms Banas. One is a nurse who is also a member of the executive committee of MAP, Mrs. Tess Calupig (Tita Tess), who has a strong sense of IPR (interpersonal relationship) as the way she threw her “hello” to me. The other is a “miss”teriously single and quiet lady, the former batchmate and friend of Tita Alice who also worked as a MAP Community Health Nurse in her beginning years as a nurse- Ms. Luz Lacerna or Tita Luz.

“Where are the others? I thought this trip is a medical mission with a team of nurses and other medical professionals,” I just said to myself. With innate sensitivity, Tita Alice said,”The purpose of this trip is to make an initial revisit to the place where MAP nurses had served years ago and coordination to the LGUs regarding the upcoming Operation Samaria or OS. At the same time, a “balikbayan”, Tita Luz, will also give some gifts she had brought from the US for the friendships she had built with the natives in Ifugao, during her stay there years ago as a CHN.” I became more thrilled....
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