- Politics and Social Issues
How Far Will You Go to Help A Stranger?
Can you imagine yourself carrying someone to the hospital? Perhaps your mom in need or a really cute stranger requiring medical assistance can prompt you to go out of your way. But how far will you go?
The Mangyans who reside in a remote mountain community in Mindoro, Philippines carry their patients to the nearest medical center. Well, you might think that that’s just nice of them. But how would you react if you knew that they carried strangers on a makeshift stretcher using a native hammock and bamboo pole. Some people I’ve talked to said that it was so “Neanderthal” to use such tools. That’s what you get from asking someone oblivious of the fact that in spite of the medical advancements and innovations in the medical industry, many parts of the world still don’t get the necessary equipment.
The true challenge
But that’s not half of the problem the Mangyans have to contend with. Apart from the fact that they have to carry the patient, they have to cross more than 10 rivers and weave through several mountain passes. A one-way trip will take at least 3 hours if nothing goes wrong. A mere brief rain shower can set them back a few more hours and make the terrain less hospitable.
On a good day, the land is already challenging even for able-bodied people. Now include a patient dangling on a makeshift stretcher as you weave through the mountain, rugged paths and rivers. Challenging can be truly an understatement.
Upon reaching the foot of the mountain, the ordeal is not yet over. Getting to this point is just another point where prayers, hopes and faith are tested. The ambulance on feet and the patient hope that there is a dump truck (or any vehicle for that matter) will pass by. Otherwise, another 4 hours of walking is needed to reach the nearest town.
Obviously getting a free ride is a blessing they hope for. But when they do get one, this is by no means the end of their trials. After all the trouble there were times when they arrived at the town’s medical center without a doctor or a qualified medical employee to help them. Yup, that’s a bummer. They are left with no choice but to go back home and return another day.
It's in Filipino but the video will speak for itself.
Can you do this without complaining?
The Mangyans of Mindoro, hoists strangers on their shoulders and trudge down mountains and cross rivers without a single contemptuous word or a disdainful look in their faces. Moreover, they selflessly face this challenge without asking for a single cent from the patient or his family.
As unfortunate as it is, many remote villages in the Philippines (and around the world) still lack the basic medical care facilities. More than that, basic infrastructures like roads, buildings, communication and electricity still is a wish among many people. However, dismal the situation maybe, the tenacity and unwavering spirit of the Filipinos continue to fuel their every step. It’s just humbling to see how a stranger can go out of his way to help someone.
How far are you willing to go to help a stranger?