Sunday, November 10, 2013

Butuan IV: Work and the City

We came to Butuan to (cough) work - to, uh, generate observations and derive conclusions on the local health system based on visits to two hospitals. "We learned a lot and became better doctors" is what I would essentially write in a reflection paper. "Management means vacation" is what I would tell the curious. 

Since one of our blockmates' dad is a god of the Philippine Coast Guard, and since we arrived in Mindanao in the thick of the meaningless Zamboanga crisis, we were personally escorted by members of the Coast Guard from the airport to the city. 

We had lunch at this place across the City Hall. It afforded J some alone time. Late Saturday afternoon, the Catholics heard mass at the church beside Urios University.

Monday, we did field work at the Butuan City Medical Center, a fine example of a disconnect between name and reality because the hospital is hardly located "in the city." I like its triangular facade and the fact that it's surrounded by green on all sides, plus mountains in the distance.

Across the road is the quiet provincial life. Sari-sari stores stand side by side with small-time pharmacies and residences. The contrast - a bustling hospital living in this farm-like area - is picturesque.

The road to the Butuan City Medical Center:

Late Monday afternoon, the block discovered the best way to kill the time while waiting for our ride. Plus, some of the Manila girls wanted pictures with the sunset.

For a moment, it was 1943 outside Warsaw, and our jeepney was almost ransacked by Grammar Nazis. 

The next day, we went to Manuel J. Santos Hospital, which is owned by T's family. The afternoon was more interesting, though: We visited birthing clinics!

These are zoomed-in iPhone views on the road to one of the clinics:

A crazy truck, tricycle rides, and city streets.

This is Pinkadoo, the landmark for where we stayed (which shall be the topic of the next Butuan post).

On our last day, we had lunch at Aling Cora's. If you're from Manila, you'd be quite impressed with the cooking. But nothing beats Iloilo seafood, of course. 

A last glimpse of the city on a quiet Thursday afternoon, outside a pasalubong shop, three, four hours before our flight back to the Metro.

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NEXT: Butuan V: The House

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