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  • Bea Arellano

#IdeasPositiveRun5: Sailing Through Challenges

As full-fledged nurses, Arienne Astrologia, Claudine Albarece, Mark Jore, Crisa Luching and Cocoy Vidal are already giving back by serving patients in a local hospital. Yet they still aim to give more.

As full-fledged nurses, Arienne Astrologia, Claudine Albarece, Mark Jore, Crisa Luching and Cocoy Vidal are already giving back by serving patients in a local hospital. Yet they still aim to give more.


Despite their busy schedules and grueling work hours, the five have come together as Team Island Rescuers for Barangay Olotayan, Roxas City in Capiz. The island community has been experiencing gaps in medical care because of the inaccessibility of healthcare facilities. The group of new nursing graduates believes that as youth members, it is a must to extend to others what they have to know. After all, if anyone knows how to take care of others, it’s these angels in white.


The team’s project, “Ambulance by the Sea”, aims to provide accessible healthcare to the members of the secluded island by means of a sea ambulance. It will not only to come well-stocked with medical supplies and equipment, it will also transport patients to the city hospital more quickly when health emergencies arise. Filling the gaps in health access is important, but the team’s main goal is an internal transformation: improvements in health-seeking behavior. They are conducting training and education sessions so that residents will know when and how to get proper medical treatment in their health centers.


Their efforts are life-changing for people like Nanay Lina, who lost a daughter because of the inaccessible healthcare in the island. “Kung meron kaming bangka na naghatid sa ospital, buhay pa sana ang aking anak,” she shares. These words tug at the hearts of the team, making them all the more resolved to help, despite the barriers.


And there have been a few. Juggling work and community visits has been hard for the nurses – too many people are depending on them, and too many lives are at stake, says Crisa. “Bawal mag-give up, bawal matigil ang project,” she adds. “We don’t want Nanay Lina to lose another child.”


Another struggle was that between them and their barangay captain, who initially blocked their initiatives due to political reasons. The group partnered with the governor instead, who not only supported their project, he also lauded their efforts and released a resolution to donate even more boats. They also enlisted the help of the Rotary Club, who will be rolling out the projects to other neighboring Capiz islands.


“Settling our problem with the barangay captain really gave us more motivation … [The goal] seemed reachable from there. Now, we’re ready to have the boat constructed shared and used in the island,” says Cocoy.


Driven by the vision of accessible healthcare for Brgy. Olotayan, Team Island Rescuers, together with their community, is slowly attaining their dream of a Sea Ambulance. Their project may have met some initial challenges, but the team is all the more determined to sail through the waves that they encounter to help their community.


Bea Arellano is a project officer for Ideas Positive, and Unilab Foundation's resident Baymax. With big dreams and even a bigger heart, she helps Ideas Positive teams turn their idea into reality. This article is part of the #IdeasPositiveRun5 series, which documents the transformation of 14 communities through innovative ideas of 14 youth teams. Follow their story as they build a healthier Philippines, one community at a time! Visit the Ideas Positive official Facebook Page.

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