Sometime last week, a friend of mine asked me to go with him to RITM to get his supply of ARVs (Antiretroviral Drugs). I was always curious to what the beautiful fuss is about this place, so I said yes even if I still has shift the next evening. He picked me up near work and we drove several kilometers South of Manila. After a sharp turn in Filinvest Alabang, I saw a convent like building atop a small hill. I asked my friend if that was the place, he said yes. I was excited to see what the convent like building is like. We drove past a small gate with painted letters that says RITM at one side of the it. We parked near the gate and waited a while in his car because we arrived a bit early. After a few minutes of chit-chat, we decided to go to the hospital to get his medicines. He then gave me a tour of the hospital.
I was very surprised to see how clean and calm this hospital is! As in it is very clean! Patients are few, must be because the hospital's location is somewhat hidden and very inconvenient for most people to go to because there are no jeepneys or tricycles going there except for a shuttle that comes and goes every few minutes. The hospital has wide open spaces and spacious outdoor walkways. It has a lot of greenery, a lot of trimmed grass and lush trees surrounding the site. Being there was like I was in a retreat house.
Both of us have gone hungry after the brief tour and because both of us haven't eaten yet after our shifts, we went to the pantry. It was so clean! Yes it was so clean and orderly. Afterwards we went to their lounge where the patients hangout, chit-chat, sleep, or do whatever socializing. Then we went to the clinic, I saw Shola who was a friend of Angel. We had a very short and small chat, afterwards me and my friend went on our way back to the lounge.
When we got back to the lounge, there were some NGO personnel and were distributing food and drinks. They were about to discuss condom use. So on and on and on... The discussion was fun and there were two girls in the room with us who were very shy to speak up and even shocked about the topic. Eventually the girls gave in and chatted along with us during the discussion.
RITM was neat, clean, calm, serene, and surrounded by greens. I love the place! I would love to transfer there! One major issue is, it's far. It's located at the edge of Metro Manila down South and I live at the edge of Metro Manila up North. Going there for checkups or just to get medicines will be such a time consuming travel. So if ever, I may have to file for a leave whenever I need to go there.
I am still thinking if I am going to transfer or not. San Lazaro Hospital's location in the middle of Manila is very convenient for me, plus the people there has been nice to me since day 1. However, RITM's environment, as well as its light and friendly atmosphere is something that makes me want to transfer. I'm still weighting my options.