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Mga Kwentong Tsubibo spins again: A Film Screening for a Cause

Did you know that a group of medical students then (now, our frontliners) created a full-length film during their first year of medical school in 2015? Now, on it’s fifth year anniversary, ACSIS-AMSA, together with Sanggawad, is bringing you the first-ever online film screening of “Mga Kwentong Tsubibo”,  a film written, directed, and produced by the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) Batch 2019.  This special screening is also a fundraising effort for the relief of the community in Brgy. Balinad, Daraga, Albay which was greatly affected by the recent typhoons. 

Snapshots of when the team was making the film (bottom left), shooting it (top left) and recording the original score (top right) and when we won Service Project of the Year Award of APMC in 2017 (bottom right).

The film director, Dr. LA Rellora, looks back at his experience in medical school and bringing to mind a reflection now that he is a Doctor to the Barrio in Looc, Occidental Mindoro:

“The characters we created five years ago as medical students have become more real now during this pandemic, in the faces of the patients I see in our small island community. They are one in how they struggle with the ever present social determinants of health such as financial and social status, education and literacy, and geographic context, as portrayed in the film.”

And here they are now… a picture in Dr. Rellora’s community of assignment as DTTB (left) and Dr. Jani as first year IM resident in NKTI (right)

“Mga Kwentong Tsubibo” delves into realism and takes a spin on the different underlying factors that plague the health system in our country.  The film follows the story of 8 individuals who have come faced with their own struggles and how they come into grips of reality and how to deal with it. As medical students, it has always been ingrained in us that health is multifactorial. Indeed, the problems of this country have a character akin to the titular “tsubibo” that is Filipino for “carousel”: 

“Whenever I feel suffocated with the high demand of being an Internal Medicine resident, I would go back to “Mga Kwentong Tsubibo” and be reminded of the passion and vision I had five years ago when we were making the film. As I go back to the film, I am also frequently disturbed by this question, “How can we stop the carousel from turning?“”


– Dr. Janina Hernandez, Writer and Assistant Director, currently a first year Internal Medicine resident in National Kidney and Transplant Institute


The film also won the Service Project of the Year Award of the 50th Annual Convention of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges Foundation (APMC) in 2017. In this special online screening, it will run from November 28, 2020 to December 4, 2020 and will be screened on YouTube through a private link. The film viewing will cost only Php60 and the proceeds will be used to fund the health needs for a community in Albay after being affected by the recent typhoons. You may register through this link: https://bit.ly/2HFN02q and their trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5Q2xaaspHg.

Batch picture of ASMPH 2019 when they first screened the film at Henry Lee Irwin Theater.

“Mga Kwentong Tsubibo tackles the very important concept of the social determinants of health. Now as a first year Internal Medicine resident in a government hospital, the realities of acknowledging and helping in addressing these issues has been more real. In a year struck by the COVID-19 pandemic along with other calamities which struck economies and health of the people, the added perspective beyond the clinical scenario makes my care for the patient more holistic and my focus is more on trying to dig deeper into the stories of each patient and how their lives affect their health. It is my hope with Mga Kwentong Tsubibo that each member of society, doctor or not, realizes how important the social structure is in ensuring that people are healthy and lives are saved.”


–  Dr. Jemar Mapili, Class Valedictorian, currently a first year internal medicine resident in PGH



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