In the last couple of years we witnessed many negative news about the Philippines; it was news not only here but abroad, as well. From the war on drugs, corruption, poverty, typhoons, the Marawi war with fundamental Muslims, the South China Sea dispute with China, a dengue outbreak, and now polio coming back after twenty years, it is quite hard to figure out what is good news especially when the country struggles with image problems.
These are some of the general impressions of the world about the Philippines that, while unpleasant, are undeniably true.
Despite the many negative comments that quite often overshadow, positive things are happening, and many things to be proud of emerge in the Philippines.
The Filipinos are renowned all over the world for remarkable qualities, often downplayed or overlooked, but which nonetheless bring pride to the country. I have observed one of the best traits and distinct assets of Filipinos is that they display a sincerely heartfelt, nurturing spirit and caring touch in the way they interact with those close to them including others outside their kin circle.
A proud Filipino showed the world that Filipinos are gifted, courageous, loving, strong, compassionate, selfless as well as eager and always ready to help anybody in need. These traits arise whether here at home or with the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar at the refugee camp, or going to the country of Benin to assist with surgeries for the indigent, or attending to those in South Sudan after years of conflict have forced millions of people from their homes and exposed them to extreme violence, so that they fear for their lives. Hundred of thousands of people in the South Sudan are unable to access basic necessities, such as food, water, and healthcare.
Jerwin Capuras grew up in Compostela Valley in Mindanao, graduated from the University of Mindanao, worked for a few years at a hospital as a registered nurse, and now works for the Doctors without Borders as a nurse providing basic and specialized health care, responding to emergencies’ and outbreaks affecting isolated communities, and serving internally displaced people and refugees from Sudan. These accomplishments would make anyone proud to be a Filipino.
To inspire the students to persevere, Jerwin spoke at the Minority Care International weekly study forum and shared some of his experiences with the Rohingya Muslims in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, his work experience in Benin, and his service in South Sudan. He was himself once an MCI scholar, and now he is a professional encouraging other young minds, to help needy people.
Jerwin is a one of the greatest examples of many Filipinos here at home and abroad who serves as living examples of the best of the Philippines.
MCI sent Jerwin to the university, guided him, and equipped him during his years with MCI.
Dr. Aland Mizell is with the MCI, SETBI and is a regular Mindanao Times columnist. You may e-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
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