Monday, May 1, 2017

First Time in Dumaguete: Workshop to Finalize and Layout the 68 Alternative Learning System (ALS) Basic Literacy Materials (BLLM) Contextualized into 10 Major Languages

     Last April 24 to 28, 2017, I went to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental to attend the Workshop to Finalize and Layout the 68 Alternative Learning System (ALS) Basic Literacy Materials (BLLM) Contextualized into 10 Major Languages. This was managed by the Bureau of Learning Resources of the Department of Education. This workshop intended to finalize the contextualized (translated and evaluated both in language and content to suit the immediate environment of the learners) modules for production.

     The trip to Dumaguete from our place in Iloilo City was an hour-ride via fast craft to Bacolod City, then about 6 to 7-hour bus ride to Dumaguete. It was my first time to set foot on Negros Island. If in other place one can see vast lands of rice farms, expectedly, I saw a lot of sugar cane plantations given that Negros is the sugar capital of the Philippines.

     We arrived at Dumaguete at around 3:00 pm and immediately we were welcomed with work, as in piles of work. The sixty-eight modules were literally modules each with at least 30 to more than a hundred pages, all needed to be evaluated and finalized. During the first hour, some of us were quite hyped and enthusiastic about the work to be done. When it finally sunk in, we realized that it was no joke.

     For the past days, the job was divided between the editors and the layout artists, the brains and the hands. Unfortunately, I was assigned as layout artist and I must say the task was gruesome. It was a total torment to my hands and especially my eyes. Working from 8:00 am in the morning until we leave the venue at 7:00 pm, it was very tiring. And to be totally honest, I quite loathed it because I felt that the task was a bit depreciating for me given that I could have contributed more than just applying their comments and typos in front of the laptop. I felt that the editors were the architects, while we are the construction workers. Nonetheless, whatever the job is, either big or small, what we did is all for Filipino ALS learners.  

     We got the chance to look around Dumaguete at night since our pension house was a few blocks away from the venue. We went to their famous Boulevard, passed by Siliman University, tasted their delicious silvanas and sans rival and visited St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.

     Overall, the experience was okay though I stated above that we did a lot of work. Anyway, we went there not for a vacation but to respond to the exigency of service dedicated for the Filipino learners. Hopefully, I will get a chance to go back to Dumaguete for a vacation to deeply explore what it has to offer.

 PS: This seminar has taken its toll to my eyes. I now wear eyeglasses because I have astigmatism.

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