Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My 7-Day Trip To Kabankalan: Day 2

First of all, sorry for the delay in posting this. It turned out a bit longer than I expected, that's why... anyway, here we go~
I brought enough outfits for her to have a different one every single day, of course.

We had breakfast pretty early at around 7:00 AM at Zaycoland’s in-house restaurant. It was pretty standard hotel fare – although personally, I prefer the breakfast combos at fast food restaurants like Jollibee and Mcdonald’s. The Chorizo (a local type of sausage characterized by crunchy bits of meat on the outside with a texture pretty similar to a hash brown) with egg and rice was pretty filling, to say the least. CPSU’s transport vehicle came to pick us and the other trainers around for the trip (the majority of them were from my mother’s University with the exception of two and most of them were my former teachers in college.) to CPSU.

Getting Started

The ride was pretty uneventful and we arrived at CPSU at about 8:45. There was a short opening program wherein the different classes and their trainers were assigned to separate rooms within the campus. We got the Multimedia classroom inside of the 1st floor of the Arts and Sciences building, which was just about 3.5 blocks away from the main hall (Mt. Balio Hall was the name, I think). It seems that lunch and dinner would be served at that place. The 1st day of training would only be until 5:00 PM but the rest of the days would follow the 8:00AM-6:30PM schedule. This is because the training seminars were supposed to last for 17 days but they had to be compressed into 6 days for this particular event due to time constraints from the teaching staff to be trained as well as the trainers. Pretty sure there’s some underhanded politics going on somewhere over here as well, but let’s not talk about that.

Purposive Communication Proper

When we arrived inside the multimedia classroom, the “students” had already gathered around. The faculty member who guided us inside showed me how to set up the TV monitor for multimedia presentations and we were good to go. My mother took the liberty of reintroducing me to the purposive communication class as her son and resource person because the CHED representative who mentioned my presence in her speech seemed to have the wrong idea.

Also, the first thing that everyone learned is that "Purposive" as the same stress as "purpose," which is in the first syllable of the word. After all, my mother repeated it several times with her trademark exaggerated pronunciation. Of course, rather than making her look strict and unforgiving, I'm pretty sure it had the opposite effect and served to endear her to her new students rather quickly. My mother has an infectiously warm personality that seems to hypnotically attract the kindness of others to her -- and she's not even aware of it. I think a part of it is because even if she says otherwise and tries to put up a tough facade, she does genuinely care about everyone she meets -- and this authenticity is something that she just cannot hide.

Anyway, this was the first day so the activities were quite light. Everyone would be asked to introduce themselves and then there would be a short oral recitation activity where all the students would have to answer three questions:
(FYI, I constructed all of these questions.)

-What is your career path?
-What are your political views?
-What is your stand on atheism?

From this point on, I’ll be using single initials/codes instead of names to protect the privacy of the seminar-goers.
After the introductions were over, I learned that most of them were actually in their 30s to 40s, so actually around the same age-range as me (I’m 34) and the youngest attendee, J, was 27.

Everyone had some very interesting answers and of course, the Philippines being a mostly Catholic/Christian country, most of them didn’t look to kindly upon Atheism.  With that said, everyone was quite excited when they learned that there would be a short intro to blogging and that I’d be giving a lecture on debate (the debate lecture wasn’t actually part of the original plan but something that my mother shoehorned in  on this very day.) 

Three people’s answers struck me as memorable. First of all, there was J who actually gave some pretty competent answers, but whose point was lost in the trembling of his voice and his fingers – a clear sign of stage fright. Something which I sometimes have myself.  Secondly, there was G’s political stance, which I thought was pretty bold since she clearly didn’t like Duterte even though about three other people before her had admitted that they were solid Duterte supporters who believe in the change… that is scamming, I kid. Finally, there was C’s response which struck me as really unique and had me thinking, “oh, this person is a writer.” (I was right.)

Also, to my surprise, they were quite interested to know what kind of stories I wrote since my mother introduced me as a “writer.” It’s pretty amazing because these people are holders of Masters Degrees and PhDs and back at home in Iloilo, people who have achieved levels of education at this level (especially acquaintances of my mother) would hardly even take a quick glance at any of my stories… my heart swelled with pride – although I would have to wait until day 2 of the seminar to show them some of my VNs. The lecture on debate followed by an actual Oxford-Oregon type debate would take place in the afternoon. In my head,  I was already thinking about how I’d be able to compress an entire one-semester course into a single afternoon – well, I’m lordcloudx. I'll make it work!

We went back to Mt. Balio Hall for lunch at 12 and then resumed the seminar at 1:00 PM. After a short lecture from my mother that covered the basics of communication, it was time for another activity – group roleplaying. We prepared some scenarios beforehand, so after splitting everyone into three groups, we gave them some time to prepare.

While all the groups had their own unique takes on the scenarios, the funniest one was from the third group where a granddaughter from the provinces takes her grandmother to a high-end mall in Manila for the first-time. One group member portrayed multiple roles from the mall security guard to the clerks and shopkeepers of the various shops the pair visited. It was a hilarious blunder of errors from both the grandmother and granddaughter who had no idea how things worked inside a shopping mall.

This was the first day, so the class was dismissed after this activity, as it was just about 5:30 PM. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits because I would surmise they were expecting a more rigid curriculum and never expected their teacher (my mother) to be so animated nor that the seminar would actually be a kinda fun learning experience. Naturally, they would still needed to be graded based on their performance, but at least there’s not as much pressure when you actually find the class interesting.

Walking back to Mt. Balio hall, we discovered that dinner was being served there. The food was ok, really. I’m not that picky about food – except I absolutely cannot stand seafood… and if you’re going to play the semantics game, I’ll make it clear: I can’t stand seafood and that includes fish.

Odds and Ends

Anywayz, on the drive back to Zaycoland in Kabankalan City proper, we asked the driver to stop by CityMall first. I needed to buy an extension cord so I could work seamlessly from the lobby with my laptop later that night. I saw stationery shop called “Expressions” inside the mall and I was happy to find out that they were selling some really nice paintbrushes for only 70 PHP for one set of five. Naturally, I bought one. I also bought a small snack from a local fast food chain called Jollibee. We had dinner pretty early at around 6:30 and the hotel restaurant closed at 8:00 PM. This struck me as a bit odd since most hotel restaurants that I know of usually close at 11:00 PM at the earliest and some of them operate for 24-hours to accommodate the guests.

After CityMall, Zaycoland was just a short 5-10 minute drive away. Kabankalan City is pretty small, so there were no taxi services in operation at all. Tricycles/Pedicabs (basically a motorcycle with an attachment at the side to accommodate anywhere between 4-5 people or even 12 If you really push it) are the main form of public transport in this city. Not that we needed any public transport since the CPSU’s service vehicle (an 8-10 seater L300 Van) drove us around everywhere.

The first day of the seminar was a bit exhausting, but my mother and I still had some revisions to do for tomorrow’s schedule and of course, I still had my own online work to do. I turned in at around 11:40 PM. We’d need to have an earlier start at around 5:00 AM the next day. The problem is that the hotel didn’t serve breakfast until 7:00 AM. The woman behind the lobby made a compromise and said they’d serve us a continental breakfast. (Several large slices of bread, some jam and butter, and one big banana) Naturally, I was none too enthused at the prospect, but I’m not even an official part of this trip, so I wasn’t about to complain. Besides, my stomach seems to go into emergency mode whenever I travel. I find I have much less of an appetite and not as much of a need to eat.
I finished this painting sometime after dinner. Sakura Koi watercolors again. Didn’t have time to break out my Kuretake Gansai Tambi paints just yet.
This ends my day 2 entry. See you soon for day 3 this is lordcloudx out.

Pic is a bit grainy. I'll have to take another one next time. Hata did notice this one on twitter though.

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