Transcription by Dennis Jambalos and Lorraine Dela Cruz
How were you able to cope with the load of 2nd year Med as well as being Co-president of THP last year?
“Actually, I had no intentions, prior to that, of being THP Co-president kasi I’ve been with THP for a long time and then I thought of someone else to be Co-president. But, the circumstances kinda asked for it. THP was struggling for a bit in the years before our term. So, me and Reena decided na we run for president and then, when we did, our goal was really to make THP very independent, make it sustainable. So, during our year, we really strived to make THP simpler and more focused on its mission and vision. I think that really translated well if you judge it by what the current year is doing. They really expounded on it and strengthened on the basics of THP, iyong the true essence of THP. At the same time, what’s more important is iyong leaders. The leaders that THP has now is, I have to say, one of the best I’ve seen since our beginnings.”
What was your favorite THP moment?
“Noong early years, ang usual visit places namin, tatlo: Bahay Aruga, Ward 9 and Ward 11 sa PGH, at tsaka iyong Cancer Institute. We usually have kids eh. So I guess, the most memorable part was when I first met Jobert. Jobert’s my BA kid. He’s my Bahay Aruga kid. I remember the first time I met Jobert. I think that was during around October or November 2015. Then, we made halloween-themed arts and crafts. I think we made pumpkins. I remember Jobert kasi sa BA, it’s really like a house and siya iyong very makulit na kid. Sobrang makulit siya. As in, parang wala siyang sakit. He had leukemia, by the way. Pero iyong other BA kids, makulit naman talaga sila. Pero, siya iyong pinakamakulit kasi we were like sitting on the floor tapos he kept jumping behind my back and trying to grab my neck and everything. He was very clingy. Ever since then, every time we have visits, we always partner up and we did activities together. Additionally, when I was in third year, we had a kids day out, we went to the Mind Museum sa BGC, kasama si Jobert dun and he was with his mom. That was one of our experiences, we were very close. Then, when I was a fourth year in Bio, I got busy, hindi na ako nakakavisit so I wasn’t really seeing him that much until yung Hope Express last year, I saw him again, Jobert was there, I was so happy, he was with his mom again and his mom was sweet, his mom remembers me. I talked to his mom and I asked how Jobert was. She said that he’s now in school although he’s a little bit older than his classmates kasi nga nagstop siya nung he’s undergoing treatment pero he’s been in remission for the longest time. When I saw him I was very glad kasi Jobert is one of the best examples of a survivor in the sense of cancer. He’s been in remission, he battled through it when he was younger, he went through that cycle, yung chemo niya and eventually he succeeded over his disease. Right now he’s still the same bubbly kid pero ngayon medyo awkward na siya. He’s still playful and he still talks, I have his number, I haven’t texted him though. Actually, I never knew what type of cancer he had until I saw him last year nung sa Hope Express. I never really bothered actually, I never really got the chance so dun ko na lang nalaman na nagka-leukemia pala siya. That was my most memorable moment — the first time I met Jobert.”