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Saturday, 8 October 2011

An Awesome Nine Day Experience

As promised, I will write about my AMSEP UMS 2011 for Indonesia and Philippines experience once I have the time. Now that I have the time, I'm going to do it in multiple entries. So I would like to begin my KK chronicles with an entry about how amazing the people of AMSEP are.

Before anything else, let me tell you guys something about AMSEP. AMSEP stands for Asian Medical Students Exchange Program, which is one of the many projects of the Asian Medical Students Association or AMSA. The AMSEP provides an opportunity to medical students from different countries to find out more about the educational methods and teaching styles of another country, aside from learning about the country's culture and tradition.

Luckily, I was given the opportunity to participate in this program, hosted by Universiti Malaysia Sabah. At first I was hesitant to join because I'm scared to miss out on the exams. But since I'm that anal retentive (Lol), I checked the schedule and we're all good. And the rest is history.

Long post ahead. You can skip reading and just look at the photos. :P

10 Indonesians. 6 Filipinos. Many Malaysians (sorry I lost count). Who would've known that we'd all hit it off so well? 

My co-delegates from the Philippines are Mel, Ithran and Tutti. And our co-delegates from Indonesia are Annie, Michelle, Andrian, Eka, Mozes, Fikry, Yusuf, Yufi, Okto and Dewangga. I didn't include Ice and Christian in the previous list because even if they're also my co-delegates, I see them everyday at school. Hrhr.

At first everyone was really shy and quiet. But as the days passed by, everyone's loosening up to the point that we're bullying each other (in a good way). Lol. You should hear Mel, Mozes, Yusuf and Eka make fun of each other. I even had a taste of their bullying.
 Mozes: Hey, Cinderella, where are your glass slippers?
Me: I left it in the Philippines. (Noticing Mozes and Eka's mischievous smiles) Why are you guys bullying me?
Eka: Because Mel's not here. *both guys laugh*
You'd be surprised by the end of this program, almost everyone had a nickname. My personal favorites are Melephant (Mel), Ekapotamus (Eka) and Jungle Girl (Ice). Whenever they mention it, I never fail to laugh. I had my own nickname but it came around late. I think it was Eka who baptized me with the nickname Cinderella because he thinks that the terno I wore during the Closing Ceremony is like Cinderella's gown (and that is worthy of another entry).

Aside from the endless laughter, I learned a lot of things about all things Indonesian from my co-delegates. Some of them (Dewangga, Fikry, Okto, Yusuf and Yufi) are Muslims so I was amazed at how diligent they are in praying. I also learned from Michelle that Indonesian horror movies are bad, with the exception of Kalung Jelangkung, which Eka touted as the "one of the best horror films of all time". I learned about Indonesian currency and its many zeros, "kepala (head), pundak (shoulders), lutut (knees), kaki (toes)", and a bird's eye view of Jakarta from Andrian just to name a few.

On the other hand, I'm also glad to have known my Filipino co-delegates Tutti, Mel and Ithran. We come from different schools but it didn't matter while we're there. I'll never forget the kasturi juice experience and the cariƱosa with the Bahay Kubo music. They brought the most of the fun factor because we brought in only half of ours since we're studying for an exam when we get back. :P

Let's not forget about our Malaysian hosts. I appreciate them taking time out from their postings and vacation just to take us around. Because of the little trips we had, I got to appreciate the rich culture and unique traditions of Sabahans. My dad has been to Kota Kinabalu before and he said that it is really nice. He's right. Although I've been to Malaysia before (in Johor Bahru), nothing beats my experience in Sabah, the Land Below the Wind. I got to see for myself that Kota Kinabalu really is a nice place with lots of things to do, lots of places to see and lots of nice people to be friends with. I can safely say that Malaysia is truly Asia.

For the people who were with us, you are all wonderful. JP and his Ping Pong Ball Song, Wing Hoh, Kay Mint, Kuya Pok, Obed, Jeremy, Zizan, Zhi Foo, Chun Liang, KK, Kim, TTS, Yap, Ker Cyin, Arjun, Santhiya, Kumu, Risvini, Soo, Rodtney, Eddie, Yu Siong and his sandcastles, Elvy, Edith, Monash, Goh, Sharlinna, Rose, Swee Chern Neo, Wai Leong the Djokovic fan, Karleen, Bao Ling and Wei Bin. If I missed out anyone's name, sorry for that but you're still one of the reasons why this experience rocks. :)

Like what I said in the AMSEP UMS 2011 Facebook group, "I will definitely miss Malaysia and the friends I made here. Terima kasih AMSEP-UMS organizers and committee members for making our stay a memorable and pleasurable one. This experience is something that I can look back to with a smile."

I'm truly grateful to everyone who made this trip possible. Lest we forget, I'd also like to give another special shoutout to Boss Greco for doing such a great job in organizing and orienting us and attending to our concerns. Mabuhay ka! OK, I just sounded like Boy Abunda. Lol.

I think one of the successful parts of this program is that all of us successfully crossed the boundaries to achieve unity among diversity. Each one of us give a high regard and show respect to each country's traditions, customs and culture. The bond that we've made is the solid proof that even if we are living in different countries and speak different languages, it is possible that Filipinos, Malaysians and Indonesians can be friends.


Daphne said...

Bonggels naman! Mukhang super enjoy! :)

KC said...

Yes Daph, super enjoy talaga. Kaso typical Pinoy ako, mas masaya ako pag nasa mall. Haha!