Sam’s Blog:

12 hours to flight time:

Final preparation for traveling. Hope you can follow the blog and provide your comments.

January 25 to 29, 2012:

Travel and our first few days in Baguio

It’s time to fly to Manila. I arrive at the airport around 7 pm. The group starts to assemble at the airport. Some people are early/prompt, Danielle, Erica, Rob, James and Rosalyn. Some people thought we meet at 7 but I think Mike has suggested 8. Does not matter, the counters are closed and for those that did not have “the box”, we have to wait. This year I decided to bring a scale, as the airline is very strict on the weight restrictions. The remaining people start to arrive and we await the arrival of the “white boxes”. Mike and Shirley arrive with 20+ boxes and we are each assigned one as one of our two pieces of luggage. As we line up to check in, the counters finally open up. Flight departure is delayed for 35 minutes to accommodate Manila’s airport opening timeline. Barb makes the “GRAND FINAL” appearance. I haven’t heard her story, but I am sure it is legit, something about a delayed flight, not to matter, she is here now.

There are a few new faces on this trip and I am sure they will fit in very quickly and will add their knowledge and experience to the mission.

Some of us decide to gather at Milestones for some food, water and Diet drinks.

This flight is not full, and we are assigned seating that allows most to have a row by themselves. Bart is delighted; he gets 4 seats to himself. This is a newer plane than last year, Boeing 777 as opposed to the A340 wee traveled on last year.

As soon as people are boarded and doors close we start our journey. Forms are handed out for the immigration and landing protocol. Supper is served and the lights are dimmed. Most people are sleeping, given all the space. I don’t sleep on planes, but this time, I managed to get some sleep for a change as I had three seats to myself. We cross the dateline and just like that we have lost a day. At around 11:30 am Vancouver time on the 26th or 3:30 am Jan 27th Manila time, we are served breakfast and the crew readies the plane for landing. It is now 4:30 am Manila time and soon we will be landing. The plane lands safely and we then go through customs and immigration. Everything goes smooth. Time to gather luggage and boxes of supplies. After that we gather to wait for the bus that will take us to Baguio. Some people decide it is time for caffeine break and we go to Le Bistro for the “fix”. As soon as the bus arrives we board and are on the way.

We stop at Tarlac for lunch. The group is served lunch right away and they are serenaded by the usual guitar singers. This is a tourist attraction restaurant and has some unusual statues. This year there is the Obama statues. After lunch we continue towards Baguio and we arrive at the hospital around 3:00 pm. At the hospital we unload the 22 boxes of supplies then head to our accommodation, Ating Tahanan, the Girl Guides camp in Baguio. The volunteers all file into the two houses and drop off their stuff. After showering, we head out to the mall for supplies. On Friday night, a welcome dinner put on by Shirley Maas. Everyone gets to sleep early, trip was 25 hours and everyone is tired.

Saturday is a free day for the volunteers. Shirley and Mike head to the hospital to get things started. The rest head out to explore. Some of us went for a long hike up John Hay trail. Others went with Lolita for a hike to her family’s properties where they were pleasantly surprised by the hospitality of her family. I think the rest of us felt jealous. Later that night, Rob and Cherrein arrive and now the whole team is here. Most of the team headed out to Mario’s for dinner, while others stayed home to have a home meal.

Sunday was set up day. Arriving at the hospital around 9 am, and after a tour of the hospital, the team got started. OR anesthesia Set up by Dr. Hoskin, Dr. Cannell and Michael, OR Gen Surg set up by Bart, Allison and Babylyn, OR Gyne set up by Barb, Jennifer and Rosalyn, PACU set up Recsie and Lolita, Prescreening patients, by Dr. Berchuk, Dr. Blair, Dr. Appleby, Dr. Sadeghi, Dr. Roy, Danielle, Robert, Erica and Diana, OR Slates by Sam and Supplies by Cherrien and Shirley. It started raining on Sunday and some of the folks get caught in that on the walk back. Dinner tonight was provided by Ating Tahanan as a thank you for our patronage. Food was great and everyone seemed to be tired enough to go to sleep early.

Monday, Jan 30:

First day at the hospital. We all left by 7:00 am and most people walked to the hospital but some rode with Miechiel. Upon arrival, we had our breakfast and changed. Last minute checks before going to the flag raising ceremony. This is a weekly occurrence at the hospital. At the ceremony, Dr. Factora, the medical director of Baguio General Hospital gives a speech thanking Go Med for the number of years of cooperative efforts and Dr. Peter Blair, the mission head, also echoes those same words and encourages for more cooperation. At the end of the speeches, we all return to work. The schedule today has 9 operations scheduled, 5 in Gen Surg and 4 in Gyne. The first case in the Gen Surgery is a hernia repair on an older gentleman and it goes smoothly. In the Gyne operating room, the first case is an ovarian mass removal and this also goes smoothly. By the end of the day, 8 procedures are completed, 4 in Gen Surg and 4 in Gyne.

Evening is a night on our own and we all go to different places for dinner, or so we think. A group of 8 heads out to Jerry’s Grill and there was already a group of nurses there just completing their dinner. Dinner was great and a big thanks to Cherrien’s for ordering. By 9 pm we are all home and ready for bed for the next day.
Over the last couple of days, I have been asking some of the new people if this was their first mission, what their expectations were, where else did they go, their expectations and what made them join. There are a few people who have done other missions, in Guatemala, Ecuador, and Nigeria. There are no expectations of the mission and the reasons they joined is because they want to help and have heard great things about it from other people. Some people are returnees to Baguio and are excited to be able to help again.

Tuesday, Jan 31:

Most people decide to walk to the hospital. The weather is not as muggy as yesterday. Operations start at 8. Rounds are made by doctors and some of the patients from yesterday will get to go home the next day, a few are staying an extra day. Today’s schedule is for 5 Gen Surg and 4 Gyne. The first procedure in each room proves more difficult than first anticipated and this puts the schedule behind. The Gyne room encounters a second tough case. Today we complete 4 Gen Surg and 3 Gyne cases. It starts raining again in the late afternoon. It is now 5:15 pm on Tuesday, most of the team is gone except for the PACU and a couple of the surgeons, Robert, Dianne and myself. We will be leaving shortly. Tonight we have a supper provided by the Pinlac family, great food again. We also have a quick team meeting to evaluate where we are at and if there are things that we need to adjust. Everyone seems to be happy with the progress and some suggestions are noted. We also discuss dinner plans for next week. Looks like next week we are fully booked for dinner Monday through Thursday between the different events we have to attend. And today we received some letters of thank you from the patients. Here are some examples:

“Greetings, I am so blessed to be one of your patient. I am so thankful for the almighty God for giving us a medical team like you, may God always guide you and show you blessings, please continue helping others for your servers to be the children of God who he se d sends to give comfort to the sick.”

“Sir/Ma’m, I thank you very much for the free surgical and all the services you did for me. I hope this won’t be the end of your mission. You’re such a blessing for me. Again a million thanks and may God bless you all and your family.”

“I would like to thank you all for help you’ve given to us. We cannot afford to pay such procedure in a private or government hospital. May the lord give you the blessings and rewards you deserve for having a kind heart.”

“I would like to extend my warmest gratitude for sharing us your blessings, love and talent through serving us for free. Your service is a big help for me and my family. May you help more people who are in need and may you receive more blessings from our almighty God. God bless you and your family, may you live your life full of happiness and love. Thank you so much.”

“To the doctor, nurses, anesthetist and volunteer. I would like to share my gratitude for sharing your patience and thank you for the opportunity for coming to Baguio for helping us because I, me myself belong to a poor family and we cannot afford the medication and the bill in the hospital. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. Psalm 46:1. Thank you and Mabuhay”

“Dear beloved volunteers, thanks for everything. I’m very much thankful because of this mission, I go on operation, so thank you very very much. I have not enough money for operation, so I’m very grateful. God bless you all, many people needs your help. Thanks very much. We never forget you through the years.”

“On behalf of Mr. T_____ and his wife we would like to thank all the Canadian doctors and their staff for a very successful mission you’ve done. We will not forget this day for the rest of our lives. Thank you very much for your kindness to urban people who can’t afford to pay for operation. More Power.”

Great start to the mission!

Internet continues to be a challenge here, but will try to post whenever I can.

Wednesday, Feb 1:

Great start to the day. It is the Flower Festival parade; very colorful costumes and the young students are all out at 7 am fully dressed in fantastic and colorful costumes and make up on. A lot of dedication on their part and they have been practicing obviously for a while. If you try and take a picture of one, you get 10 more running in to be in the picture. Today, we walk again and it is great to be able to go through the parade and take pictures.
After arriving at the hospital, the doctors start their rounds. Today, I join the doctors in the Gyne ward to take pictures. The ladies there are all smiles, despite the pain, and grateful to the doctors. One of the cases from yesterday included a removal of a large ovarian mass. The mass was so large that it had to be drained first before removing. The total drainage was 9 liters of liquid and it likely weighed in excess of 13 Kg. The lady seems to be doing fine and is apparently happy with her “flatter” tummy.

Today we have a surprise. Dexter, the young boy who was burned badly last year and who some of the people from last year’s group donated money to his surgery, heard that our mission was here and they wanted to stop and thank the people responsible. Along with his mom and his two younger brothers, he stopped by and I managed to get some pictures with some of the folks. He is much healthier; walking around and even rides a bicycle now. It’s unfortunate the people that made this happen were not here to see him. Dexter is now undergoing therapy to help him.

Today we completed 4 Gen Surg and 4 Gyne. In addition, Dr. Blair gave a lecture to the resident doctors about Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery, which was attend by about 20 residents.

As this is one of the few “free” nights for dinner, everyone does their own thing. Some of the nurses head to visit the market, some of the doctors decide to cook at home and some others head to the mall for dinner. Some nurses join some of the local doctors for Sushi and “karoaking”, and they all seemed to enjoy it. We return to Ating Tahanan, and off to bed early again.

Thursday, Feb 2:

Travel to the hospital is quicker today as there are no more parades. This morning Dr. Hoskin delivers a lecture about Paravertebral blocks to the local Anesthesia residents. As with the lecture that Dr. Blair gave earlier, this is part of Go-Med’s mandate, i.e. education for the local doctors and nurses. Thursday is a challenging day for both operating rooms. In the Gen Surg room, a challenging Thyroid, and in Gyne a challenging Hysterectomy.

The day gets more challenging as the next Gyne patient has a huge pelvic mass that is attached to the liver and it requires the joint effort of the Gyne and Gen Surg doctors. The patient is a 22 year old female and the doctors work hard to ensure her well-being. The procedure takes a long time and this affects the schedule for both rooms, but the most important thing is the safety of the patient. A successful procedure and the staff are happy with the outcome. Today we complete 3 gen surg and 3 Gyne procedures. The doctors complete their rounds for the day to check and discharge previous patients and examine new patients.

Friday, Feb 3:

The schedule for Friday is very light, 3 procedures in total, all in Gen Surg. This is partly due to the patients not being available. This is unfortunate but we can only do our best. The hospital is calling back the patients and we will have to see what is coming up next week. We also receive more thank you letters today and here are some samples:

“To Go Med Doctors and Staff, We the family of Fidel C____ would like to give our deepest thank you for giving him a free operation on his hernia. We are glad God made use of you, the doctors, to bring His goodness into this World. We hope you can help more people in need especially in the third world countries. May God bless all of you and we will pray for your safety as you travel to any place that you will cater medical mission. Once again, thank you! Thank you also to the BGH doctors and staff.”

“To Go Med, I would like to express my very big thank you to all of you Sir and Ma’am for your kind help to us, without your help we will not be able to avail this medication and operation. Again Sir, Ma’am, thank you so much. May the good Lord bless and guide you always in all your mission.”

“To the Go Med team, a Blessed day to all. You are the few persons in the world through a distant mile come along to extend your help to us needy people. May we do not know each other but through the power of “His Name”, a great miracle happens to me. When I discover my health problem, I came to think where will I get money to use for my operation while my family is depending on me, but it’s a great blessing from the Lord that you offer us free medical mission, so without any doubt I go for it. I cannot express how to say my way of gratitude to all of you. But God is great. He will bless you more for doing good things. May God give you more wisdom and bless your miracle hands to operate more people. May you come back again for some people like me.”

“I want to thank the wonderful doctors and staff of Go Med for my successful operation, you are doing a wonderful job helping and healing people. You have changed my life for the better, I wish Go Med the best and continued success, thank you so much GO Med team.”

“A very BIG THANK’s for helping us, for the operation of my Cholelectheasis. It’s a very big pleasure for us for helping the poor people here in the Philippines, thank you very much. May you continue helping us your blessings, you have a good heart.”

“To all staff of the GO Med mission, thank you very much to operate my son Joeyfer B________. Thank you for the service you have rendered us. May you continue to help and share your good deeds.”

“Go Med team, there are so many words I want to say, but the words, thank you very much sum it all. A quote from William Feather “ Something that has always puzzled me all my life is why, when I am in special need of help, the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom I have no claim.”

“I’m Elizabeth N_____ with my husband Manolito. We deeply thank you all for the help. We won’t forget this till our death. We hope you can help more people like us. More power and God bless.”

Just to give an example of the costs of the procedures in Baguio:

Thyroid costs 31,000 Peso ($750), Chole costs 31,000 Peso ($750), Hysterectomy 30,000 Peso ($730) and Hernia 21,000 Peso ($510). These costs are all inclusive of the procedure, the stay in the hospital and the medication. All these amounts are not possibly feasible by the people in the Philippines where the average income of the people that we operate on is between 3000 and 3500 Pesos per month. And at that they are struggling to survive.

At the end of the day we head home for another dinner honoring the Medical staff from Baguio General Hospital. After eating and some speeches, the dancing and singing starts and Danielle and Alli manage to get a Conga line formed where everyone joins in. Great friendly atmosphere.

Good news, the lady that was operated on yesterday by the 4 doctors is in great spirits and seems very happy. It had been a great way to start the day. A lighter work schedule, only 3 hernia operations as there was a mix up with the patients being admitted to the hospital. This means that some of us will have to be back Sunday night for the doctors to assess the patients and draw up a schedule. Thankfully, everything today wnet smooth and we were finished by lunch time. Some will head to the mall, some to the market and others heading back home as we await our ride to Happy Ripples for the weekend off.

Total for the week: 32 procedures, 18 in Gen Surg and 14 in Gyne.

Some images that I have tried to upload. They are an addition to the 2011 mission. If the link does not work, I will have to try something different next week. Internet is still flakey here.

Saturday and Sunday, Feb 4 & 5:

I found out that the picture link is not working, and I have given up on the internet here. It is certainly not reliable and I apologize to anyone out there about the pictures, but I will be still trying when I get another chance.

The weekend was spent relaxing at the beach and it was apparent that the team needed some down time after a hectic first week. Activities there included swimming, karoaking, and dancing. And of course the obligatory, EATING, Rice and Fish being the main ingredients. On Saturday night we celebrated the birthday of one of our volunteer nurses from the Philippines, Mark with a cake and a great dinner prepared for us by Shirley (Mike said he helped a lot too!). Basic dance lessons were provided by yours truly, included the Rumba, Cha Cha, Tango, Waltz and for the brave ones Viennese Waltz. Saturday night was a short night as everyone was tired and we headed off to bed early. On Sunday, a group of us had to return earlier to make rounds and to determine the next group of patients to be operated on.

We get out of the hospital around 7 pm and head for dinner and home. Early night again as everyone settles in to start another week. Our slates are full for Monday.

Monday, Feb 6:

On Monday we start the day with the Flag Ceremonies and the usual patient rounds. Monday is a full slate of 4 Gyne and 5 Gen Surg procedures. The day goes well and there are more patients coming in. By the end of the day, all 9 procedures were completed and we were able to get out by 5:00 pm. Tonight, Jane Sali is providing the team with the Pasta dinner and we also have a birthday for one of our US based volunteers. Babylyn is 27 today and we all get to celebrate with her and her mom. Food was great as usual and many thanks to Jane and Richard for their hospitality again. Most of us head back home, but some of the more adventurous people head out to a dance club and they are back relatively early.

Today we also get a number of letters from the patients. The letters are typed exactly as given and these are some examples:

“To all volunteers Canadian mission, thank you for caring me as one of your patients. I’m happy and thanks God because you give me the opportunity to be one of your patients. I pray to your strength for all a successful operation now and in the future. Thank you very much Mabuhay Kayo.”

“Dear Go Med team, you are the answer to my prayers. Around Nov 2011, I noticed that my abdomen is very large and hard. By early December, a friend of mine brought me to ultrasound clinic. The result showed a large Myoma. I was advised not to take it lightly, so my husband and I decided that I should go through an operation. We found out that the operation is quite costly. Financially our family is not ready and the church where my husband is a pastor is going through a transition. But as we prayed we on believing that God is a big God and more than able. Early Jan 2012 another family friend told us about you coming. We registered and today here I am relieved and thankful because I am blessed through you. I believe your loving hearts and skillful hands are extension of God’s love. On behalf of my family, thank you very much Go Med.”

“Dear Canadian doctors. Thank you very very much to helping me and operating on my ovarian cyst and taking care of me. God Bless.”

“Dear Canadian Doctors, First of all I just want to say Hi, Hello Have a good day. I am the patient you operated on 31st of January. I was very thankful that you came here to have that mission, I don’t know how to express these feelings that I am fine again. I belong to those poor Filipino who cannot afford an operation, so I’m very lucky to be one of your patients.”

“Sir/Madaam. I think these will be my unforgettable moment of my life coz I will be given another chance to live healthy again. I’m very thankful to you doctors most especially to God, thank you so much. May the Lord protect and guide you in everything and everywhere you go. God bless and more power to God. Thank you so much.”

“To all volunteers Canadian Medical Mission, I would like congratulation of this project of Go-Med specially the Canadian doctors such a great success surgery. Filipino’s can say the Canadian are kind, approachable and smiling care of patients. Let’s communicate our two country giving love and helping to everyone. I didn’t forget this my operation free surgery and medicine. Forever in my life remembering at this moment operation. Thank U so much and many more thank you for everything.”

“I want to express my gratitude to all the members and staffs of the Go Med Mission, especially the foreign doctors/surgeons who conducted the free operation. I am thankful because I was included in the Go Med mission who undergone free operations. To all the Go Med mission members and staffs, thank you very much. Good luck on your fields . God bless you all.”

“To all the GO Med Mission, Thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to avail of your free medical mission. I am very lucky because I’m one of those patient given this chance. I will always pray to God that he will give you and guide you in your mission, and all good things you do to other patients. I am very happy to have you here. May God bless you.”

“To all valued Canadian’s, Firs of all I would like to thank o all of you to helping me. I hope there are more people to help and more power. God bless and always. Again thank you very much to all of you.”

“TO GO Med Volunteers, I am very thankful for your help. Because my operation is free and it is success. It so happened that the time of my needs you were here to help me. I will never forget your kind and patience. I am so lucky enough to be one of your patients. I hope and pray that Go Med Volunteers and Doctors will always be fine and have good health always so that they can help more people who needs help like me. May God Bless you all and more power. I am operated – Ovarian Cyst.”

“To all Canadian Mission Staff, thank you very much for the operation. May God bless you all. Continue helping people like us. Many Thanks.”

A good start to the week. Today, we have a full slate in Gen and Gyne, with 5 and 4 procedures respectively.

Wednesday, Feb 8 posting – news of the earthquake

Just wanted to assure everyone back in Canada and the US that we are all OK. The quake is at a place called Negros which is approximatly 500 km away from where we are. There has been no effect on us here and I wanted to assure everyone, we are all safe and sound.

Wednesday, Feb 8:

We had a total of 9 cases, 5 in gen surg and 4 in Gyne. The Gyne cases took longer than expected and one of the cases had to go back because of bleeding, which made their day in that room very long. However, everything went well for the patient, but made for an extremely long day. The team members in the supplies rooms have started packing and cataloging the remaining supplies. Anything that will expire in the next few months is being donated to the Baguio hospital by Go-Med to use in their upcoming operations. Anything that we can use on future missions is being stored for a later time. There is a hub of activity everywhere. In addition, Dr. Blair gives a second presentation to the resident doctors. Bart also gives a talk on laparoscopic surgery to the resident nurses. Both presentations are well attended and well received. More patients are being admitted or arriving but unfortunately there is not enough time to do procedures on everyone. The doctors make their final rounds to determine the slates for Friday. There are 5 Gen Surg cases and 2 Gyne that the doctors will do on Thursday.

Tonight we are treated to a fabulous dinner by the 7 doctors at John Hay Manor. Prior to the dinner, we are treated by Shirley’s brother Rubin at his suite at the manor and we are all very appreciative of this. Thank you Rubin from all the members of our team. Everyone attends, except for Bart who has been suffering from a flu/virus for several days and despite of that condition, he did make it to give his speech earlier in the day. Because of the delay in the Gyne room, we were able to delay the dinner to 8 pm to allow the remainder of the team in the Gyne room and PACU to join. The dinner was great and on behalf of all the members of the team, I wish to thank Dr. Blair, Dr. Hoskin, Dr. Roy, Dr. Cannell, Dr. Sadeghi, Dr. Appleby and Dr. Berchuk for their generosity which is not lost on the team members. Most of us return to Ating Tahanan but some of the “younger crowd” decides to explore their dancing moves. Glad they were able to enjoy themselves and return for the last day of the mission.

Thursday, Feb 9:

Thursday, we start the day as usual with doctors making their rounds. Our schedule today is for 5 gen surg and 2 Gyne. The day is filled again with the packing activities and the noise level is much higher than previous days. Everyone is chipping in and Shirley is directing traffic as usual. Our volunteer nurses, Camille, Gerine and Ruby are in the main supplies room packing up, while Shirley, Recsie and Diana are doing the other supplies room. Rob Hoskin delivers a talk to the Baguio Anesthesiology “Department on Advances in Post-Operative Pain Management.” The volunteers are submitting their evaluation forms and hours logged, but some are slower returning them.

We also received some more letters of thank you from the patients:

“The best thing that ever happen to my life would be receiving a wonderful gift. A gift that made the impossible possible. I thanked God for bringing doctors like you to help us, especially me who was in desperate need. My family wants also to deliver their thankfulness to you doctors and to say that they are proud that you’ve come. Even though it has leave us scars and pains, it won’t matter anymore. As long as it made us more comfortable than ever. Hoping you will come back to help us once again and also to see the same faces that helped us a lot. God bless and may you all have a safe trip.”

“To Canadian doctors, I’m decided to write you a small letter to express my deep gratitude for your superior care excellent service and especially for your good heart of giving me a free operation. I hope with this simple letter you can appreciate that I am very thankful for what you did for me. I will never forget you for giving me your time and excellent service without anything in return once again. Thank you so much for your time, expertise and good heart. May God always bless you for having a good heart.”

“First thanks to God coz he use his blessings to Go Med Mission to help and extend the life of peoples here in the world. Second, more powers and blessings for GO Med mission Canadian team coz they use their full strength to help and extend our life (we patients) here in Baguio City. Thank you very much and God bless to you all.”

“Dear Sir, Thank you so much for these free operation. From now on, I will no longer be in pain. I am very much happy and contended. God Bless to you all.”

Total procedures performed for the week, 33 of which 18 are Gen Surg and 15 are Gyne.

Total for the two weeks: 65 procedures (36 in General Surgery and 29 in Gynecology).

This will be the last post until I return to Canada.

Mission Summary


Jan 25 to Feb 11, 2012


Baguio General Hospital & Medical Center (BGHMC)

Baguio City, Phillippines


Philippine Airlines (PAL) – Depart: Vancouver, BC

GO-MED Team Members:

ABAD, Rosalyn R.N. – OR
APPLEBY, Dr. James General Surgeon
ASPURIA, Babylyn R.N. – OR
AZUCINAS, Cherrein Administrative Support
BERCHUK, Miriam Anesthetist
BEAUCHAMP, Dr. Aude Gyne-Surgeon
BLAIR, Dr. Norman Peter Team Leader/General Surgeon
CANNELL, Dr. David Anesthetist
CHOW, Jennifer R.N. – OR
DELVES, Danielle R.N. – PACU
HAIDUK, Lolita R.N. – PACU
HOSKIN, Dr. Robert Anesthetist – Lead
KUHAR, Allison R.N. – OR
MAAS, Miechiel Logistics/Photography
MAAS, Shirley R.N. Planner/Coordinator
PINLAC, Robert Interpreter/Admit.
ROY, Dr. ROBERT Gyne-Surgeon
SADEGHI, Dr. Susan Gyne-Surgeon
SAROPHIM, Samir Admin. Support/Photography
TAYLOR, Barbara R.N. – OR
VILLANUEVA, Diana R.N. Admitting


25-Jan: Wednesday

19:00 – Team assembly at PAL counter in Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

PLEASE NOTE: If you have to work a day shift that day, you still can, but please arrive at the airport for check-in no later than 20:00

23:00 – Board airplane

23:40 – Departure from Vancouver International Airport

26-Jan: Thursday

Cross international dateline: observe in-flight time and date change

27-Jan: Friday

04:30-05:00 – Arrive at Ninoy Aquino Airport, Manila

06:30-07:30 – Board bus at airport for Baguio City

10:30-11:30 – Brunch at restaurant along the way

16:30 – Arrive in Baguio City & check in to our Hotel – Ating Tahanan

18:30 – Welcome dinner at Ating Tahanan

28-Jan: Saturday

This is your day to do whatever you choose: rest /shop / acclimatize / scope out the neighbourhood / or (for eager beavers) hang out at the hospital and begin to set-up.

29-Jan: Sunday

08:00-09:00 – Breakfast (bread, coffee, tea DIY breakfast)

09:00-09:15 – Transport to Baguio General Hospital & Medical Center (BGHMC) (10-15 min.)

09:30-10:00 – Formalities & Tour of Hospital

10:00-16:00 – Set-up OR, PACU & Admitting

10:30-12:00 – Screen & Interview patients

12:00-13:00 – Lunch provided by hospital & locals on the Hospital premises

13:00-16:00 – Screen & interview patients

17:00-19:00 – Dinner & team meeting – location T.B.A.

30-Jan: Monday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

16:00-17:00 – Screen & schedule more patients

19:00 – Dinner & team meeting – location T.B.A.

31-Jan: Tuesday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

16:00-17:00 – Screen & schedule more patients

19:00 – Dinner & team meeting – location T.B.A.

1-Feb: Wednesday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

13:00-14:00 – Dr. Blair – Surgery lecture & teaching conference

13:00-14:00 – Dr. Hoskin – Anesthesia lecture & teaching conference

19:00 – Dinner & team meeting – location T.B.A.

2-Feb: Thursday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

16:00-19:00 – Free Time or shopping for first half team

19:00 – GO-MED dinner in honour of volunteers and Hospital staff – location T.B.A.

3-Feb: Friday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-15:00 – Surgeries/at 3-4 PM screen patients for Monday

17:00 – Bus trip to resort

18:30 – Dinner at the resort

4-Feb: Saturday

07:00-09:00 – Breakfast at resort

12:00-13:30 – Lunch at resort

18:00-19:30 – Dinner at resort

5-Feb: Sunday

07:00-09:00 – Breakfast at resort

12:00-13:30 – Lunch at resort

16:00-18:00 – Bus trip to Baguio

6-Feb: Monday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

16:00-17:00 – Screen & schedule more patients

19:00 – Dinner

7-Feb: Tuesday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

16:00-17:00 – Screen & schedule more patients

19:00 – Dinner

8-Feb: Wednesday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-16:00 – Surgeries

16:00-17:00 – Free Time or Shopping for 2nd half team

19:00 – Dinner

9-Feb: Thursday

07:00-07:15 – Transport to hospital

07:15-08:00 – Breakfast

07:30-08:00 – Surgical rounds (post surgery patients)

08:00-13:00 – Surgeries

12:00-14:00 – Lunch

13:00-15:00 – Surgical rounds/packing equipment, etc.

18:00-20:30 – Recognition Awards by Dr.Factora

10-Feb: Friday

07:00-08:00 – Breakfast on your own

08:30-09:30 – Surgical rounds

Free Time for shopping, sight seeing, city tour or what have you….

11-Feb: Saturday

05:30 – 06:00 – Board Private Van Rental (5 persons per van) bound for Manila Airport.

13:00 – Check-In at Pal (Philippine Airlines) Counter for return flight to Vancouver.

(Some volunteers have a 15:50 departure time and need to be at the airport at 13:00.)


Total for the two weeks: 65 procedures (36 in General Surgery and 29 in Gynecology).

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