Military coup attempts in the Philippines may have had Manila in an uproar recently, but Cebu stayed relatively quiet.
Quiet enough so that members of Kaua’i’s Rotary club medical mission were unaffected by the political turmoil.
“Well, we did have to change direction one afternoon,” says mission coordinator D.Q. Jackson. “On traveling from the hospital to our hotel, we ran into a large crowd of demonstrators waving red flags denouncing the president. Filipinos always seem to do these things with style,” he said.
“They’re always peaceful and, in fact, some of the demonstrators appeared to be having a really good time. Nevertheless, being prudent, we turned down a side street.”
Cebu Daily News reporter Ricky Poca commented in a column on the Kaua’i mission, saying, “As Manila continues to be battered by military-coup attempts and political instability, here in Cebu we’re still busy trying to earn a decent living. Our main concern in Cebu is to fight our No. 1 nemesis, poverty.
“In the last few days, the Rotary Club of Cebu Port Center was very busy, together with the Rotarians from Po’ipu Beach, Hawai’i, and the Evslin Family Foundation, in distributing medical equipment to Vicente Sotto Hospital and the Verallo District Hospital in Bogo,” he wrote.
“While some sectors of our society in our country are so busy trying to unseat the president, there are those who have busied themselves in providing great opportunity to save precious lives. Important lifesaving devices were donated to these government hospitals through the invaluable help of the Evslin Foundation, represented by Dr. Bill Evslin and wife Micki, and the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach in Kaua’i, Hawai’i, led by Past District Governor Claude Thompson, Past President D.Q. Jackson, President Elect Leila Fuller, President Nominee Nancy Kanna, and Rotarian Tom Gross,” Poca continued.
“This was the third medical mission to Cebu that was a partnership of Rotary and the Evslin Family Foundation,” said Jackson.
“Delivering medicine and medical equipment for the use of indigent patients is always the goal, but this mission focused on medical education. To assist us in that area, we were very lucky to have Kaua’i cardiologist Dr. Eugene Shafton volunteer for the mission,” Jackson said.
“Supporting Dr. Shafton’s teaching efforts was his wife, emergency nurse Carol Shafton.”
Eugene Shafton was invited by leaders of the Heart Association of the Philippines to lecture to 30 doctors on the topic of heart failure, Jackson said in a press release.
He made similar presentations to the interns and residents of Vicente Sotto Memorial Hospital in Cebu, and made daily rounds with them as they treated their patients, Jackson continued.
“This was my first time on a medical mission,” says Shafton, “and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised to see how hard they worked with so few resources.
“And I was very pleasantly surprised to see how well they received me,” Shafton continued. “Their system of educating interns and residents is different from ours, and I was pleased to respond to their requests. At their invitation, I’ll be returning in November, along with several other Kaua’i doctors, to help Cebu’s indigent patients.”