For project week, I went to an island called Siargao in the Philippines to do activity and service. We stayed there for from June 4th to 8th and in this post, I will reflect on the amazing experience I had throughout the week.
- How did your experience in Project Week increase your awareness or knowledge of the social and economic issues of the area you visited?
Siargao was a tourism-dependent island with high inequality levels. Outside the surfing area and tourism road, the island did not have sufficient infrastructure. Perhaps, the inequality level was expressed by the lack of proper public healthcare. The economic gap was magnificent between Singapore and Siargao despite both being a small island is tropical southeast Asian region. Surprisingly, most of the people spoke English well enough to communicate with us.
- Did participating in the activity provoke any emotions in you or the participants, and how were these emotions dealt with? (LO4: show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.)
Our main activity was surfing and it challenged our perseverance. I was quite fast in learning the techniques because I used to play around with skateboards. However, some others were struggling and facing difficulties. Some seemed t be very disappointed or discouraged, but overall, I think we were all able to manage to demonstrate our perseverance and that is what pushed us through.
Additionally when we went to a cave pool, there were more trecking than imagined. Some paths were challenging and scary, however by encouraging and comforting each other, we were all able to successfully reach the cave without any major injuries.
- Did you question your own behaviour or that of your peers?
I think throughout the week, we learned how important it is to compromise because we had to stick together no matter what for the whole week. We compromised to decide on the itinerary or even to decide on the place to eat. But overall, effective communication led to the success of our project week as we were all able to enjoy the week by compromising.
- Did you question the ethics of your project week? (LO7: recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions)
No, because we made sure we were not disrespecting the local community and environment. Also, our service was advocating for the protection of ocean environment. We helped them by brainstorming for their fundraising event and it was important for us to take ethics into consideration to decide what they can do or not. Hence, I think our group was able to effectively take ethics into consideration and helped protect the environment.
- Did participating in the activity/service question or conflict in any way with the cultural/social/religious guidelines in which they were held? What sort of environmental consideration did you take into account?
In our service, we helped them organise a fundraiser and create some advertisement for their fundraising event. Although we thought that creating a poster online is the best, they told us the ‘island style’ of creating an advertisement poster. We used a wooden board and white paint to create a poster. I realised that this was one of the ways to illustrate environmental consideration by recycling natural resources that otherwise would be wasted. –> LO6: demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
- How did you demonstrate collaboration? (LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively.)
Every second of the week, I would not have been able to have such a fruitful experience without collaboration. Even from the planning stage, collaboration was crucial in making the project possible. I think assigning roles to decide who does what was essential in making our project successful. We always discussed the plans for the day together when our itinerary was messed up because of the tide. Hence, collaboration was a key component throughout our project.
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