Med Students Serve as the "Powerhouse" of Marginalized Filipinos in this Time of Crisis

Karen Jane Ng

Posted at June 17, 2020


The whole world is busy combatting the coronavirus pandemic, and so are the social and economic crises it brings. And while some are fortunate to keep their jobs at home and go on with eating three meals a day amidst it, the impact hits different for other underpriveleged families, apparently. No matter how much news of assistance coming we hear about, truth be told, there's still a lot not receiving the attention directly.

This frustrating fact is what drives students of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery to lend their hands thus giving birth to a good cause, The Mitochondria Project. "Seeing the seemingly insufficient action directed towards both in health and economics has brought great frustration to us. We simply wanted to act, to do something aside from watching the news," one of the project heads Paula Santos told

Inspired by what we scientifically refer to as "powerhouse of the cell," this effort is geared towards raising funds and also serving "power" to the marginalized population, primarily those struggling to meet their daily needs after losing their income sources from this trying time.

The initial goal is to reach Php50,000 in order to provide for at least 100 families, but Paula gratefully shared the news that in just a span of three days since launch on June 12th, they were able to cap 107% of the said amount!

As a result, the Mitochondria Team are now in the position to drop by Manila and distribute educational pamphlets (in Filipino layman's terms) on June 27th as well as distribute relief goods including 3kg of rice, canned sardines, meat loaf, corned beef and fresh produce from local farmers, and sanitation kits. Their original plan to hold health session will be postponed to avoid implication of "mass gathering."

Paula also gives credit to the rest of the members Kastel Ramo, Kim Sia, Joanna Paula Tan, Bea Salonga, Gio Reyes, Simonee Sandoval, Thomas Reyes, Cloie Rabinetas, Elain Arenas, Kendrick Aracan, Abe Ruiz, Alecza Savella, Karmina Santos, Raphael Rivera, Selwyn Santiago, Anya Super, Glian Raymundo, Camille Sanchez, Mia Santiago, and Joanna Chan who were invaluable in making this initiative possible.

So far, these Thomasians have teamed up with a student from UST Fine Arts and Design and from St. Luke's Medical Center College of Medicine. Together, they may yet to find a cure against the virus, but they have surely proven that there's something our future doctors can do.

There's no way that they're just standing by any longer to see the world in a better place. They rather move now, and, at least slowly, make a difference. You can join them in becoming a "powerhouse" to the Filipino people! Check out how below:

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