The Visit

July 12, 2013 | 11:30 P.M. | Imus, Cavite, Philippines

I visited the GK site today! 🙂 Met with GK SIGA youth: Artchelle, Marinel, and the one and only Mark. Discussed our plans for the dance program, showcase, and really got to know Mark. That kid is going to make a name for himself one day. He can’t not.

When we arrived at the site– me on my– so many kids! Everyone was playing outside and as soon as we pulled in, all the kids were so curious to see who would be coming out of the burgundy van. As soon as I got out, the kids gathered and gazed like I was a celebrity. No one was in the hall at first but shortly, in came Artchelle, Marinel, and Mark (<– shyly). I took out some paper and pens and we began our meeting with my family included (hehe). I explained my goals and objectives for the program, showcase, and them as individuals. I was going to teach dance– but not just that. I explained that I wanted this program to be a collaborative and interactive effort: that we weren't just going to learn some dance steps– we're going to be doing a lot of thinking too. We're going to think of ways we can use dance to be productive members of society (as per request of Tito Mandy). We're going to work together to put on a showcase that not only gives us a space to express ourselves creatively– showcasing what participants have learned by the end of the program (and other creative talents like singing, poetry, and drawing/painting)– but also raise money for their future programs and interests. I was surprised to find out that their group (SIGA) only met once a month and only to discuss whether they could attend outside events. I was also surprised to know that the site supervisors only visited once a month or so as well. Not going into organizational concerns right now– but all I can say is that this knowledge makes me even more motivated to work with the youth. It seems this is the first ever youth-collaborative program that has step foot on site and this will be the first ever youth-organized event to showcase their own abilities and their own talents. I have a lot of faith in these youth and hope they will share the same faith in me. I'll really need the older youth to set the example for the younger ones– just as the older generation of the dance community back home set the stage for me. I have no doubt that this will be a rewarding experience for not only me but for all the youth participants. There's a lot of heart in these youth. There's a genuine eager beaverness to learn– to know. They are all so willing and open to what I have to offer and I am so ready to give what I can– learning what I can in the process. I know it will be a shared responsibility between myself and the youth; if we all hold each other accountable and support one another through the end– no doubt we will bear great fruit. 🙂

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