The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) collaborated with the Supreme Student Government (SSG) in re-launching the Alternative Class Program on 18 October 2019.
It was the first time that OSA and the student government co-organized the ACP, after the Formation Council reviewed the structure and guidelines of implementation of the formation program that began in the early 2000.
As early as summer this year, the OSA had started crafting templates for planning of ACP, and devised strategies to improve the line-up of offerings, promotion, registration, and student attendance.
The OSA conducted a survey of preferred topics or activities among students. The said survey revealed preference for interactive and hands-on activities. In finalizing the line-up of the offerings, the organizers considered the students’ common interests, and their formative value.
Over-all, students were presented 39 topics/activities to choose from in lieu of their regular classes for the day. This number of offerings is the highest in the history of ACP.
Twenty (20) of these activities were contributed by departments (2), offices/centers (6), student organizations (7), and SSG (5).
Departing from the traditional line-up of ACP offerings, majority or 21 of this year’s activities were workshops, in response to the results of the survey. Among them were theater acting, song-writing and music-jamming, sculpture-making, coffee-painting, rappelling, basic self-defense, yoga, and learning Japanese and Korean languages, and the pre-colonial Tagalog writing system Baybayin.
Small groups of students were also sent off-campus for community exposures within Camarines Sur. Two of them visited indigenous tribes at La Anunsacion and Sta. Teresita, in Iriga City. Two other sets had conversation with the farming communities at Sitio Banasi, in Bula, and Badang ni Ignacio at Barangay San Joaquin, in San Fernando.
Another cluster travelled as far as Minalabac to check the status of coral reefs there through swimming and snorkeling, while two separate groups photography sessions at Pacol and Centro, respectively, in Naga City.
The organizers chose the theme, Banwaanon: Summon the hero within. Banwaanon is a loose Bikol translation of the word “hero”, and inspired by popular protagonists in cinematic universes, as well as young heroes in Philippine history and modern time. The theme also took inspiration from Jesuit and Ateneo heroes, like the conversion story of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the martyrdom of Br. Richard Fernando, S.J.
The recently concluded ACP thus encouraged students to acquire a deeper understanding of one’s sense of banwaanon as it relates to knowledge and personal interests and talents. More importantly, the ACP urged them to seek ways or opportunities by which the gained or enhanced knowledge/skills can be further advanced and used for the benefit of the immediate organizations/community or larger society.
This objective is in line with the over-all goal of ACP as a concrete appropriation of the Ignatian Formation Program, which is to instill in the students a desire to learn independently and creatively, in and outside the classroom setting.
All-time high attendance turnout
The latest ACP gathered a total of 2,585 participants and volunteers, or 87.24% of the college student population (72.98 % if including on-the-job trainees, interns, and practicum students). This percentage of student reach/coverage is the highest so far in the records of ACP.
Considered as one of the highlights of the ACP, the talk of human rights advocate Atty. Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno at the Gymnasium attracted more than 300 audiences. He shared on the topic, Woke: The Youth as Agents of Social Justice.
Adding to the arts-related offerings of ACP, the Center for Culture and the Arts sponsored a lecture on filmmaking, featuring Raymond Red, one of the pioneers of modern Philippine alternative cinema.
Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano, former congressman and Secretary of Agrarian Reform, also joined the roster of this year’s ACP. Invited by SSG, he discussed the status of the local farmers and how development and recent policies like the Rice Tarrification Act have affected them.
The talk presented by the Philosophy Department, on the other hand, featured General Eduardo Oban, former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Gen. Oban discussed the impact of the country’s alliances with the Unites States, Japan and Australia.
The other topics that gathered a good number of students were: Ako na lang ulit: At iba pang tawad kapag mahal, a Talk-Conversation on the Philosophy of Forgiveness, with ADNU Philosophy faculty Adrian Remodo as speaker; Art of Naturopathy: Gearing towards Natural Healing, with Dr. Rene Bautista (College of Business and Accountancy-sponsored); Si Bea-Gerald-Julia: Political Distraction through Entertainment, with academic and writer Joselito De Los Reyes; and the College Guidance Center-organized topics such as Gender Sensitivity Session: #BAWALBASTOS!, and Gimata: Understanding Mental Health and Promoting Mental Wellness.
The OSA-SSG helmed ACP received generally positive comments from the participants. The Core Team will further evaluate the program and recommend ways to improving the next installments of the program.