Saturday is a religious holiday for the hospital and our team takes time out to tour some of the projects that the Rotary Club of Cebu Port Centre have undertaken. Prior to leaving with our Rotary hosts, several of the team must first do rounds at the hospital allowing for more of our patients to head home.
One of the families leaving us today are the Gonzaga family. Mom with daughter Keisha and son John Chris travelled here with their Grandmother a 14+ hour trip to attend last weeks clinic. Originally here to see about surgery for 1 1/2 year old Keisha our team was also able to schedule her brother John Chris, just 6 months old, saving them another difficult journey in the future. The typhoon and earthquake have dramatically affected this small family losing a family member (Grandfather) during the storm and leaving them without electricity since last year. Abounding love has arranged transportation for this family to attend the Rotaplast clinic and thankfully both children will receive the surgery they require.
John Chris with his mom waiting for surgery. The beautiful quilt in the background is a gift from the quilters of Rotary District 5080 a US/Canada district.
Every child having surgery this week receives one of these hand made quilts when they are brought into the pre-op areas and will have it with them to keep them cozy in surgery and recovery and will be able to keep them to take home.
Each quilt is lovingly created and generously donated by women from communities located in both the US and Canada within the 5080 Rotary District.
Careful steady hands work on John Paul’s tiny little lips making just the right moves to ensure a perfect outcome. Watching the surgery it is hard to believe this is a real person, a small boy and not a toy doll that the doctor is working on. The outcome is nothing less than perfection. The Gonzaga family has had a very good week with two successful outcomes and Keisha and John Chris are heading home to a world of new opportunities.
With rounds complete the team regroups at the hotel and we are picked up at 6:30 a.m. by several of our Rotary hosts. Our travels today will take us from Cebu City to San Remigio which is approximately 130 kms away however takes slightly more than 3 hours due to traffic. This area was severely damaged during last years typhoon and the Rotary Club of Cebu Port Centre have undertaken several projects to assist both the children and the fisherman in this region. Our first stop is at one of the clubs two school projects. Funding here has enabled this elementary school to receive a new roof as well as repair and replace the walls. In addition, today they also provided the school with a new computer, the only one that the school has.
Children are not in school today but have gathered to see the ‘visitors’. The second school project we visit is a new school that the Rotary Club of Cebu Port Centre raised the funds to build. It is a two story four-room school and each room can accommodate up to 50 or 60 students. This new building is steel reinforced concrete which they are confident will stand up to weather conditions and storms that may occur in the future. Finally we visit the club’s boat project where again the Rotary Club of Cebu Port Centre has raised funds to assist these local fisherman in rebuilding their boats and maintaining their livelihoods. Each boat costs approximately $750.00 and to date they have been able raise funds to build 300 new boats. There will soon be 301 new boats as our group agrees to contribute another $750.00 to this worthwhile cause. Rotary President Romy has advised that the recipient of our boat will be the Gonzaga family (their story is noted at the start of this blog post).
Tony Ynoc one of our Rotarian hosts provided us with a wonderful lunch at his family property, the San Remigio Beach Club. The buffet is extensive and as always there are selections for every taste, right down to an entire roast pig! Travelling back to Cebu City the streets continue to fill with people of all ages and the streets are lined with banners announcing the upcoming Happy Fiesta, which appears to be beginning tonight.
After a quick refresh at the hotel the Rotary Club of Cebu Port Centre hosts us for an evening of fellowship sponsored by the provincial Governor of Cebu, Hilario Davide III, dinner and entertainment at the ‘Capitol Social Hall’. The evening was top off by a local group the San Diego Dance Troupe providing a wonderful history of the area through dance and a final production number choreographed to the song “I Love Cebu”…., which collectively we all truly do! Our sincere thank you to all of the Rotarians and their spouses that made this day and evening possible and a special thank you to Romeo (Romy) Toledo, Antonio (Anton) Florendo and Antonio (Tony) Ynoc.