It is our spirit of communal unity and collaboration to achieve one’s goal. we are born with it, bayanihan is in our DNA. It is a unique Filipino trait that no exact English term can give justice to its soul. Thus, it was never literally translated. As the world today faces the new decade with a pandemic – COVID-19, everyone is moving and working hand in hand to defeat it. The spirit of bayanihan is ignited once again and it is evident to our three alumni doctors.

Hailed from Luzon, is Dr. Dalvie Agbayani Casilang who took an oath to serve as a Public Health Doctor. Our former Doctor to the Barrio is not our usual doctor, part of his add-on job description is being a health vlogger. If you are looking for a reliable source of information, consultation is free and open 24/7 to his own YouTube Channel and Facebook Page Doctor Dalvie. Doc Dalvie posted videos educating the public on practical health tips to fight COVID-19. Off-cam he facilitated mobilization of resources by linking donors with hospital recipients.

Down in the island of Panay, is a frontliner during on duty and a fundraiser after duty. Dr. Mitz Serofia chose to continuously serve and hasn’t been home for months since the pandemic began. Our Visayan doctor from Iloilo is currently serving as a medical officer at Ibajay District Hospital in Aklan and a Hospitalist at St. Gabriel Medical Center. Doc Mitz together with their NGO, Global Shapers Iloilo, coordinated with the Office of the Vice President to answer the needs of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of the healthcare workers. Currently they have raised 200,000 of cash donations and they already delivered the first batch of PPEs to the healthcare workers in Iloilo.

Here’s a salute to our friendly doctor of the south. Stationed at the boundaries he is tasked to see to it that all livestock animals are healthy before it can enter their area; and that all meat and meat products that enter the city are fit for human consumption. Dr. Arnedo Agbayani, is the Chief of the Animal Health Division, Office of the City Veterinarian, Zamboanga City. He coordinates with the military, city personnel and motorists at the boundaries of Zamboanga Del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay to check the entry of people and livestock commodities. They are also monitoring African Swine Fever and Bird Flu. With a doc at the checkpoint people are at peace with the food they eat, and Doc Arnedo’s smile is an add-on bliss.

The three doctors were all alumni of U.S. Government Alumni Association programs, Doc Dalvie is Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) 2016 Professional Fellowship Program on Legislative Process; Doc Mitz is a YSEALI Engage 2019 alumni; and Doc Arnedo is a Hubert Humphrey Alumni at Tulane University 2008-2009. You might wonder what makes these doctors do things beyond the call of duty. Why they spent their rest time checking out how to help others when knowing being a doctor is already a laborious job. Yet, here they are, sharing their skills and talent to spread awareness; initiate collaborations with organizations; joined the youth, adults, without discrimination on working together. I’ve come to the conclusion that all rooted from being a professional who support and immerse themselves in youth development programs. Those who do develop skills beyond what they have learned from years of schooling, build a network of like-minded people willing to collaborate whenever one alumni calls for help. Because beyond the call of duty, it’s in our blood to become far more than we expected. In times like this, from the words of Doc Dalvie, “We all have a role to play. Not one person can put an end to the pandemic.” This is our bayanihan, kapit-bisig sa panahon ng pangangailangan.

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