- Alfred Dicto
My Nostalgia of Unilab Ideas Positive
It was April last year, just over a year ago when we were declared the Grand Champion of the first nationwide run of Unilab Ideas Positive (UIP). Overwhelmed with joy, I wasn’t able to utter a word. I just bowed my head, covered my face with my hands as tears started to fall.
It was April last year, just over a year ago when we were declared the Grand Champion of the first nationwide run of Unilab Ideas Positive (UIP). Overwhelmed with joy, I wasn’t able to utter a word. I just bowed my head, covered my face with my hands as tears started to fall. Coming out of my state of shock, I heard loud cries from my other teammates. We hugged each other tightly. It was so dramatic, just like FAMAS! I was very happy not only because we bagged the first prize and won P50,000, trophies and medals, but most of all, I was happy for the community --the real winner of this real-life competition.
It all started with a bright idea to solve a complex problem of a very complex community, and in the process of doing it, it seemed like we all on a long roller coaster ride with tremendous turns and falls. At the onset, our objective was to eradicate the alarming number of diarrheal cases among children in Sitio Pang-pang, Dumangas, Iloilo. During the actual implementation though, we realized that t it wasn’t going to be that easy. We needed to take steps to modify their livelihood process as well as influence aspects of their lives and the community’s culture to achieve our goal. After several changes to our original project design and six months of project implementation, we concluded the project with truly positive outcomes, the most significant of which was the eradication of diarrheal cases (from 75 cases to zero). To ensure the sustainability of the project, we organized a core group of well-trained and dynamic leaders from the community to look after the program even after we had left.
Unilab Ideas Positive was not the first social effort I participated in, but up to date it’s still the best. It is a one of a kind competition wherein it’s not just about helping people by providing their needs, but it’s all about helping them to help themselves to solve a certain problem in their community and making it a sustainable endeavor. I felt very lucky to be given the chance to touch the lives of others. When I was confronted with situations where I need to prioritize, I chose the community over school because I believed that I learned enough from school, but I’m still ignorant about the “how’s” of life--things that I could only learn by being with the community. In the end, I still won in both aspects. I graduated Cum Laude and received the two most prestigious awards a nursing student could, and our team won first place as the National Grand Champion of Unilab Ideas Positive Run 3.
Unilab Ideas Positive transforms not just communities, but also the youth of this generation to become more socially aware and responsible individuals towards a better, healthier Philippines. As our team tag line goes, “A life lived not for others, is a life lived incompletely.” I believe that my UIP experience has made my life complete.
Driven by this intense nostalgic feeling, I can’t help but long for that wonderful experience. Because of this, I decided to join the Unilab Ideas Positive team of Unilab Foundation as a Project Assistant. Now, I’m no longer a participant, but it’s my turn to help the youth in making their ideas happen.
Alfred is now employed at Unilab Foundation as a Project Assistant of Ideas Positive. He is helping the team with the recruitment and operations for its upcoming 5th Run of the program, as well as in seeking partnerships with organizations with the same health causes.