We all met at a meeting point in Manila to take a first class bus (which meant wifi onboard) to our camp site Ating Tahanan in Baguio.
The bus ride was about six hours going through the city and beautiful landscapes. Most of us slept most of the ride as we were all jet lagged. When we arrived at the campsite we were divided into rooms and then joined together for dinner. After the dinner we had an activity, we all received a piece of paper with personal information on it. The information was taken from our participant information paper which we had filled out a few months before the camp. We then had to find the right person to match our paper and when everyone was found we had to introduce our person to the group.
In the second activity we all got a post it with the name of a famous person on our back. We were only allowed to ask yes or no questions to each other to figure out who we were. After we found that out we just chilled, got connected to the WiFi and unpacked our luggage before going to bed.
We have three rooms for the participants, one for our six guys, one for ten girls and one for the remaining seven girls.
Tone (20) from Denmark
We had activities about our PO (partner organisations) to get a better understanding of who we are working with. We found out that we are going to be “adopted” by indigenous people when we go to Kapangan. There we have to be a part of the family and help them with their daily work for a day.
Later, after hearing about Kapangan we had an activity about beer gone missing from the Tuck Shop (our camp shop).
We had to interview the staff in groups to find out what happened to the beer. Afterwards we had to show the rest of the camp how we found out that the beer was in the fridge all along. Some groups made role plays and others made videos.
In the evening we just hung out in the dining hall, talking to each other and chilling. Some of us played games until 1 am.
Tone (20) from Denmark
After lunch the delegates were divided into 4 groups for a walking excursion into the city. Each group stopped for photo shoots at Panagbenga Park, Alpha Phi Omega Park, Narda's Handicrafts, SM Mall, Casa Vallejo (historical site), Baguio Cathedral (another historical site) before proceeding to the market for shopping. Some groups went to Burnham Park before proceeding to "Oh My Gulay" Restaurant for dinner. The younger set proceeded to a sing-along resto-bar and the rest went back to camp.
This truly was a long, long day but everyone had a wonderful time!
Irene Meneses (70) from the Philippines
DECEMBER 31, 2015
It is always exciting to celebrate your birthday in a foreign environment. But especially when you are around people from 14 different nations. In this case we were in a bar that was slightly overwhelmed with such an international crowd. We sang, we danced and had a lot of fun.
The next morning started with the theme based activities of Masya from Indonesia, followed by Pear’s and Jenny’s activity about Thailand. Our little excursion to Indonesia confronted us with the disastrous outbreaks of volcanoes and the way people in Indonesia deal with the aftermath. The Thai activity focused on immense flooding and the danger connected with living near the water.
Afterwards, it was time for our theme based activity. Since Germany is not affected as badly by natural disasters as other countries, we intended to lift the subject to a more political and diplomatic level. The activity simulated the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, which just took place in Paris in December 2015. At the convention, 196 nations signed a contract about strategies to counteract the consequences of climate change. With our amazing participants, it became apparent how difficult it is to find a solution concerning the climate change on the macro level. Two participants represented a particular nation with certain interests that partly stood in conflict with the interests of other present nations. We intended to demonstrate the extreme effort required by the diplomats to make this convention a success and how different interests stand in the way of cooperation.
After being finished with our activity, another two were waiting for us and all participants. John presented how Great Britain was affected by several natural disasters, despite the fact that the country is usually considered as relatively safe. This activity underlined the difficulties in the decision making process of developed countries like Great Britain.
The last activity of this day was the one of Japan. After a presentation about the catastrophic events in 2011, including an earthquake, the tsunamis and its horrible consequences for the Japanese people, we played an educational game to teach us about evacuation plans. The simulation demonstrated clearly how to make decision under pressure and what measures to take in case of a disaster like an earthquake.
After a full day of activities, simulations and learning, we gathered to celebrate into the new year of 2016. The Staff had prepared a wonderful dinner and decorated the Multi Purpose Hall. We all wore masks and played funny games. Again a night of dancing, singing and enjoying ourselves. The dancing Queen of the night was definitely Irene. What a special feeling to celebrate New Year's with people that you only know for some days, but feel like real friends already. It was definitely a wonderful and unforgettable birthday with lovely wishes in numerous languages.
Katharina (25) and Anabel (25) from Germany
The day started at 00:00 with the watching of the local fireworks display with great pleasure by all, ooh’s and ahh’s being in plentiful supply. The night was still young so the participants continued to enjoy each others company till they were exhausted and went to bed.
Breakfast was delicious as usual with sausage and scrambled egg being the dish of the day. Our first activity of the day was an energizer to invigorate and focus attention on the 1st presentation of the day which was organized by the Philippine participant Irene. She presented an overview of disaster management issues related to volcanic eruptions which was well received in true CISV fashion. The activity also had a practical element where a task was given to groups to solve based on what they felt, from the information given, would be the 1st steps in developing a response for a country or region of their choice to a volcanic active area. After 25 minutes the group representatives were invited to to talk through their responses to the whole group, these responses being warmly received.
After a good lunch the second presentation involved the American participant Laura who introduced us to the disaster situation in the USA where ‘Hurricane Sandy’ caused so much damage on route from the Caribbean region up the east coast of America. The focus was on the review of five different early warning issues given out by the event of a Hurricane. For instance, one group analysed the fact that fifty percent of victims who died were sixty-five years of age or older. They died because they could not be contacted to warn them of the impending hurricane. The solution involved, a cheap electronic device which could be given to the vulnerable people group which buzzed and flashed in their homes. There was an extra feature connecting them to a “neighbour buddy” who could check that they had received the information. Each group had the opportunity to inform the whole IPP of their task and solution which was well-received.
With a short break the Dutch participants had the opportunity to reveal their natural disaster situation which involves flood defences, which they are so dependent on to keep their country dry. Once the way the flood system was understood a catastrophe system was set by the Dutch team; participants had to then role-play the development of a flood warning situation. Groups of participants took the role of key personnel who would have to react to requests from town mayors who wanted livestock and people evacuating from vulnerable areas. The logistics of evacuating people were developed in a full provincial area meeting where competing interests of evacuating people and livestock by area were played out. Later solutions were analysed to see how they would mirror real life.
The final presentation of the day was delivered by the Mongolian participant, Doljo who has an interest in a natural disaster situation which involved the progressive lack of natural grazing for animals brought about by the inconsistent rainfall at key times of the year intensified by global warming. Teams representing the key people who could influence an outcome were identified and allowed to put forward plans to remedy the situation. By role play and discussion, a thorough understanding of what can be achieved was developed and put forward for approval by Doljo and Naraa, one of the staff team, who is also from Mongolia.
A well-deserved rest and a superb dinner was enjoyed by all before the final session was started. This was a full “camp meeting” where analysis of the first few days were outlined and open to comments by the participants. On completion a review of the next few days was highlighted with opportunities for participants to get involved in directing further action namely the liaising with the partner organization around key information requirements.
Finally, the camp director, Mariana, thanked everyone for their efforts during the day and closed the meeting, leaving participants to either organize their own presentation or enjoy the remainder of the evening.
John (66) from Great Britain
The day began with presentations done by Eva and Linda from Sweden & Tone and Marc from Denmark at the Escoda Hall. After lunch, there were 3 presentations from Vito (Egypt), Valentina (Colombia), and Heath (Australia).
Eva and Linda presented first with filming about the Sami people lifestyle and their concerns how to preserve their culture, way of living etc. Approximately 10 MLN sami people live in northern Sweden who breed reindeer and the main producing product is meat and reindeer leather products. Climate change is the main impact on their lifestyle as it is getting warmer in the area the reindeer live, which is supposed to be cold enough for breeding.
The Swedish activity was based on negations between forester and the indigenous people whether they need to lease the land or the land owned by forester should be paid by the government to use for certain years. Finally, the forester agreed to give 5% of their land for use for sami people and the government pays the leasing fee to the forester & in addition, a land which is reserved as a protected area. The activity ended with a short film about the Sami people.
The theme based activity from Denmark was quite different from what we have experienced so far. After a short presentation we were split into groups and had to create and perform a fundraising song.
In the afternoon it was Vitos turn to introduce the climate change issues that Egypt has to deal with. The activity included a simulation where we were divided into five groups with particular roles. The task was to build a shelter in order to get needed protection for everyone. Every 5 to 10 minutes Vito came to the shelter and tried to wreck the shelters by pretending to be a natural disaster such as storm or heavy rain.
After this activity, Valentina from Colombia divided us into five groups and we had to find several hidden pieces of paper and solve a riddle. There were three papers with different clues and directions on how to fold papers into something, but we had no idea what it was supposed to be. Basically, the goal of this activity was to show us people will be creative and will find a way, even without regulations in order to reduce the risk of disasters. So, the activity dealt with problem solving without having the support from the government.
The last activity of the day dealt with the trouble of bush fires that Australia faces every year and its impact to society. After Heath's introduction we split into groups and were challenged by the difficulty of preparing for risk management related to bush fires at the community level.
At night we had a camp meeting to talk about what we had been doing for the past six days. We got many take-aways on each theme based activity and realized that we have learned a lot about different disaster situations in other countries.
Masya (19) from Indonesia and Doljo (41) from Mongolia
After three full days of theme based activities, we were ready to approach the actucal topic of our project. Since we had to shoot a video about the local communities and the effect of climate change ontheir way of life, the first workshop day started with film making in theory and practice.
On the first day, we had a lecture about technicalities in film making from the film makers, Abbie and Malaya for almost the whole day.
When you visit the community of Kapangan, collect the information and find the person to focus and look for the resources which will help to make the film. You will also meet the family and listen to their talking. You should make a goal together within your team and clarify that everybody in your team understand what to do.
1st day at Kapangan---you need to make a conversation and build the relationship.
2nd day at Kapangan---start shooting a little and let them talk, treat them as friends at the same time.
After the lecture, we welcome Kidlat Tahimik and listen to his story about his film. He told us that 1 or 2 glimpse is good enough to make your own film. Just be honest with your subject. We enjoyed his film and his speech. After the dinner we discussed about the shooting practice for tomorrow in each group.
Midori (56) from Japan and Jurijen (24) from The Netherlands
We started the day with our assignment from Malaya and Abbie: find someone on the campsite and film them while they perform an action, making a video in 10 shots. No editing allowed. This resulted in two hours of commotion, in which different groups went around the campsite finding people to follow and inevitably ending up in each others shots.
It also lead to what is undoubtedly the most important cinematic achievement of 2016 (so far). Allow me to introduce you to the ‘fire, fire’ video:
Needless to say, ‘fire, fire’ has turned into an inside joke for the ages.
When we were done filming, we received professional feedback from Malaya and Abbie, with Kidlat Tahimik weighing in here and there. The overall conclusion? Creative work, with some room for improvement on the technical front. Because the power had stopped working, Kidlat then lead us in a short meditation outside, followed by a discussion about indigenous knowledge and sustainable living. He taught us three key phrases to keep in mind while making our videos during this IPP:
When the power came back on we were able to watch a few excerpts of Kidlat’s films Why is Yellow Middle of the Rainbow (1994) and Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (2015).
One aspect of our IPP has been that we’ve spent each day working hard and focusing on serious issues. So at night we decided to get to learn a bit more about each other through some games. After all, enforced fun is the best kind of fun! Among the things we found out: four of us have parents who attended a Village, the definition of a ‘moment’ is way too vague, and people will only own up to falling asleep during an activity if you take a picture and post it on Facebook.
Ella (23) from The Netherlands
On the morning of January 5, some of us slightly sunburned from siesta tanning the day before, we had an orientation from Mayette and Alice of the Shontoug Foundation. John, Vale, Linda, and Masya shared about CISV to the Shontoug Foundation to give them a better idea of our perspective and purpose, and in turn we learned about the Kapangan region and what to expect on our upcoming visit.
Next, we participated in activities presented by Paolo of the Philippines’ Center for Disaster Preparedness, including watching videos showing disasters in the context of marginalized populations and building disaster resistant houses in groups according to wealth. The activities were eye opening as we learned how the Philippines prevents and responds to disasters, preparing us for Kapangan the next day.
After dinner, we were lucky to host some guests who gave a presentation about the way of life, dress, and dance of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. We learned about regional differences in culture and got to try several different dances with the performers. After all the orientations and activities, we went to bed early to be well-rested for our first day with the Kapangan community!
Laura (19) from the USA
For our first day in Kapangan, we woke up at the wonderful hour of six thirty in the morning. We had breakfast, and got on the jeepneys, and headed to Kapangan. We were divided into two groups—one group went to the village of Datakan and the other went to the village of Dagao.
Within our groups, we were then divided into host families, and spent the rest of our days with them. Each group did different activities according to what their host families wanted them to do. After having lunch with our families, we went off to work. Some of us tried harvesting rice, some of us pounded the rice, some of us planted crops or pounded coffee, while others, tired from the long, arduous journey across mountains and plains, took naps. <3
I think that overall, everyone enjoyed themselves quite a bit. They people, although shy at times, were extremely welcoming, and it seemed as if they really wanted us there. We were all extremely impressed with how the people in the village lived their lives.
After hanging out with families for some time, we all met up at the meeting point at four thirty, and went back to the camp site. Since everyone was so tired, we decided to postpone our mid-camp evaluation and debriefing for tomorrow.
Pear (20) and Jenny (18) from Thailand
The weary IPPer’s dragged themselves out of bed after a long day at Kapangan to get excited and motivated to jump straight into sharing our experiences and mid-camp evaluations!
After we finished breakfast we all broke into our groups and discussed our experiences and started brainstorming our ideas for our videos we would create, our workshops we might run and the interesting things that occurred. Each group then shared with the whole group so we all heard the different ideas and directions groups saw their movies heading in.
For mid-camp evaluations the staff had prepared five different stations for the participants to complete. The first station had us reflect on our expectations for the IPP and how they have progressed or not. The second station had participants map their feelings they have felt up to this point in the camp on a graph of frowns and smiles. The third was a station to evaluate ourselves and our progress in attaining the IPP individual goals. The fourth was assessing the staff and their ability to help us make our IPP experience a smooth and awesome one. The last station was evaluating the other aspects of camp in the form of a pizza where we added our ingredient closer to the center of the pizza if we were happy with it or further out if not.
After we completed our evaluations we had an opportunity to work with our groups on our project so naturally many people went to the mall and bought some delicious brain food before coming back to work super hard to prepare for the next day's work.
After dinner the camp was educated on the science behind ‘Climate Change’ through a video presented by Eva where everyone had some eye opening facts and ideas put to them leaving them with a sense of need for change.
The night finished a little more chilled with the movie ‘Inside Out’ in the Man Cave.
Heath (27) Australia
Originally we planned to go to Kapangan but we changed the schedule. We didn't go to Kapangan but we planned for the workshop and edited the video. In the morning, we got together by 2 different Barangay groups and shared the experiences on the previous day to start planning for the workshop we will be conducting on January 12th.
After that people were spread to different working groups and worked for the video as well as the workshop. On group is planning to do a presentation and fun activity related to climate change. This group has participants from 10 different countries. So they are planning to introduce the climate change and energy resources situations of each country. The other group will be having a fun flash card activity to learn a bit about each country, followed by 2 Climate Change related activities. The will also have kids activity in between as well.
Today's lunch was green beans and fried beef, pork and bananas, and soup. After siesta we continued our work. Some people were struggling editing the video. With the help of beautiful sunshine and occasional breaks, the work has been continued.
We had a social activity in Escoda Hall before dinner. Tita Genie facilitated the activity called "Suits". The winner was Linda! After that Katharina introduced us a very funny game. We put our chins on a table. Each one of us became a fruit. Then we have to say the name of your fruit and someone else's without showing teeth. We became so hungry because we laughed a lot.
Today's dinner was fried beef and vegetables. And dessert was mango. Marina loves mango sooooo much so she ate even three pieces. The Philippines mango is the No. 1 delicious mango in Marina's opinion. After dinner the work was still continued.
Last but not least, special guests came over to the camp. They are incoming and outgoing Chapter Presidents of the Quezon City Chapter Bobit and Zak, as well as Chapter Secretary Tita Leslie. They have been checking the photos on our Facebook and Whats App so they were so happy to finally see us confirming we are enjoying the camp.
A lot of people were quit tired so they went to bed early. But some people stayed up late. Then in the middle of the night a pizza was delivered from Zak and his team! Ella jumped off from the bed by seeing a picture of us eating on Whats App. It was sooo good.
Thank you so much! It was a long but good day.
Marina (23) and Yuriboh from Japan
Lovely morning, most of us are excited and nervous at the same time, because today we are going to screen the documentaries that we have done. After we had our breakfast we wore the IPP t-shirt to have a group photo taken outside the Escoda. It was really fun!
Afterwards each group went back to the dining hall to finalize the movies. At 8 PM we started the show by screening the five movies and we had Mr. Kidlat Tahimik, the well known director, watch and criticize our movies and he gave us very insightful feedback.
Ahmad (26) from Egypt
Today we had a long awaited ”turn-off-your-brain” day.
We celebrated this special occasion by going to Tan Awan village a so-called ”garden in the sky”. And so it was. A huge garden with lots of paths going up and down hill with beautiful viewpoints and lots of artwork all around the place.
Afterwards we went to Easter Weavings. It is a place where they manufacture and sell weaved goods. They make all kinds of things from shoes to shirts to wallets. After spending 30-45 minutes there it was time to move on. (Spoiler alert for families back home. Some gifts were bought here). At this point we split up. Some of us went to the city. I can’t tell you much about the city because I went to heaven aka. Baguio country club. At the country club we had massages and while waiting for our turn we hung out in the Jacuzzi. Best decision ever!
After the country club some of us went back home for dinner and some of us went out for dinner.
But about one thing I’m sure. All of us had an amazing day.
Marc (20) from Denmark
January 12, 2016
Today was a special day and the day we all have been working towards - our last day in Datakan and Dagao village and time for movie premieres and sharing sessions with our friends in the community.
We arrived at Datakan around 10.30 and with us we brought gifts for the daycare center and lunch for us and the families. We met up with the families at the community's gathering place where they had set up a tent roof for shade and prepared a snack for us, containing rice balls, fruit and cassava.
After the snack we started with some speed dating. We talked about what we like to do in our free time, family, fears, what we think about our government etc. When we got to know each other a bit better we moved on to the next activity - another version of amoeba. The different levels were walking, cycling, motorcycle, jeepney and truck. The activity ended when almost everyone followed Anne Marie and her truck-train. Afterwards Elsbeth talked about development being a good thing but also that it can be problematic and that the indigenous peoples don't contribute to the pollution since they do a lot of walking.
Then we put the projector up and we started the sharing session with a short movie explaining the climate change followed with some presentations from our countries and challenges we face. After that it was movie time and it seems they were well received. After we were done it was time for lunch and a little siesta.
In the afternoon the families put on their cultural costumes and invited us to dance with them. Everyone had a good time and there was a lot of laughter. As we already know we have some really good dancers in our group ;)
Before leaving we spent some time sharing experiences of the exchange we have had and it seemed we all were happy to have had this opportunity to meet.
In Dagao, the IPPers held a similar celebration with the community that we have been working with. In the morning we were greeted with coffee and rice cakes, and then had the chance to present on our countries with a photo flashcard activity. We felt that everyone was very engaged in this activity and enjoyed asking questions and learning about the many places we are from! After, we showed our videos which were well received! Then, we broke for a potluck lunch of different meats, vegetables, and rice. We enjoyed socializing with the many community members and playing with the kids.
In the afternoon, we ran an activity about the human causes of climate change, such as transportation, industrial processing, and deforestation. The discussion-based activity involved groups acting as a farm to collectively make decisions that would have an outside impact on the environment. We were all impressed by the innovation and thoughtfulness of the responses we heard, reflecting the positive attitudes we had seen throughout the week.
After our presentations, it was the community's turn to share with us. We heard songs and dances from different age and gender groups. One highlight was a youth electronic band that performed a few songs for us! After seeing some traditional dances, we were invited to join in and had a great closing celebration dancing and drinking rice wine with the people of Dagao. At the end of the day, we truly felt like we had been included in their community and shared a part of ourselves with them.
Back at Ating Tahanan and after dinner Tone held some social activities and we all learned how flexible Vito is and how much Heath loves rabbits and how much Jurjen hates them. Fun night!
Linda (31) from Sweden and Laura (19) from USA
More information still to come!
All our bags are packed, we're ready to go. Physically we're ready, mentally I'm not so sure. Unfortunately our IPP has come to an end and it is time to say goodbye.
After breakfast we say goodbye to our lovely staff Mariana, Tita Myrna and Anne Marie. Tita Genie and Naraa accompanied us on the jeepneys to the bus station. After saying goodbye to Tita Irene at the bus station, we got some food for the long trip ahead. Who cares it's only 10 am, pizza is great any time of day.
Again most of us slept on the bus all the way to Manila (6 hours). After saying goodbye to the Japanese and John at the first stop, we arrived at the Pasay bus station. Here everyone went their separate ways. Some of us went straight to the airport to catch a flight home, others went to a hostel or home-stay to spend some more time in the Philippines.
Thank you for this amazing experience, fantastic memories and even better friendships!
Elsbeth (33) from the Netherlands