Medical Mission 2013

This year Lingkod Timog traveled to the island of Palawan, Philippines, where we joined General Juancho Sabban
of Western Command. As always, General Sabban provided logistic and security support for our mission.
Planning and direction was provided by Irene Sabban, his wife and a nurse.

Instead of driving south from Puerto Princessa, as we did last year, we drove north. Each day our carefully
organized trip had major changes due to unforeseen developments on the ground, but we completed all 3 days of
the mission. The first stop was Barangay Bato,Taytay. The second day we went to Tiniguiban, El Nido, and the
third day we traveled to Poblacion, Coron.

Because Coron is yet another island, our group split up and went either by military transport or
Sikorsky S76
helicopter. The helicopter ride lasted about 45 minutes and provided an incredible view of the Palawan
archipelago. The helicopter landed gently on a spit of land right in downtown Coron, just a short walk from the
hotel, where we met with local government officials, police and military personnel.

Overall, we saw >3,000 Palawenos, most from outlying areas who came into town to be seen at our makeshift
clinic. At each site, our facilities were primitive, just tables and chairs set up in community centers. The most
common complaints were cough, runny noses, and urinary tract infections. Other problems included skin rash,
elevated blood pressure and glucose, and eye problems. More unusual problems also occurred, such as a
teenager girl with a hysterical gait disorder. Dental extractions and minor surgical procedures were also
performed. Many boys cooperated unimaginably well with circumcisions. Unfortunately, fresh water was in short
supply and it was very difficult to stay clean. Hand sanitizer came in very handy.

Here's an illustrated account of our mission from Tiago Villanueva, MD, published in "
Positively Filipino" magazine,
June 5, 2013.

Lingkod Timog is a low-budget, non profit organization, consisting only of volunteers. The cost/person treated was
$2.70. Contributions are always welcome and may be made by contacting


February 26, 2013                           February 27, 2013                      February 28, 2013
Barangay Bato, Taytay                    Tiniguiban, El Nido                      Poblacion, Coron

Medical 681                                     549                                              1089
Surgical 90                                      50                                                 55
Dental 194                                      146                                               284

Total 965                                        745                                               1428