Convergence for Project Paglaum in Iligan City

August 31, 2017

A joint resolve to help Marawi City evacuees brought forty (40) participants and four organizations to the Crystal Inn in Iligan City for a three-day training workshop for Hope Bearers of Project Paglaum on 16-18 August 2017.

Department of Health Regional Office No. 10 led by Assistant Regional Director Adriano P. Suba-an, Couples for Christ—Iligan City led by Atty. Franklin Quijano, Ateneo Bulatao Center led by Coach Tomas Alejo S. Batalla and the Career Executive Service Board led by Executive Director Ma. Anthonette C. Velasco -Allones made this training-workshop a reality.

Muslims, Christians, volunteers, students, retired government employees and health workers gathered together to bring light and hope to their fellow countrymen, many of whom suffered trauma due to the violent siege of Marawi City by Maute Group, a local terrorist group affiliated with ISIS.

Various training interventions were employed such as video presentation on the do’s and dont’s of a PFA provider, role playing on how to introduce one's self and the practice of the PFA and workshops on how to communicate effectively, including how to listen to the stories of survivors in an emphatic way and according to the person’s cultural context.

Their training began with Healing the Healers session, a guided self-healing process which taught them how to resolve personal hurts, to free their spirit, to recover their strengths and heal themselves from their past traumatic experiences.

"I now understand myself better. I understand that I cannot give what I don’t have and lastly I could not help others if I haven’t understood myself yet,” uttered an employee of Amai Pakpak Medical Center after his one-on-one healing session.

Free from personal restrictions, they were then trained to effectively provide Psychological First Aid (PFA). They were told that as hope-bearers, they should be psychologically prepared before giving PFA to hopeless survivors.

“We do not know what kind of survivors we will meet. We should set aside your profession first, when doing PFA”, Coach Tom Batalla advised. He further reminded them that a good listener is one who reacts to what he/she heard.

They were also introduced to a healing session by playing with assorted children's toys. By playing,the participants reminisced their childhood days and temporarily forgot their problems that they were carrying for a long time.

“Playing acts as a bridge between conscious awareness and emotional experiences”, explained Ms. Peachy Fernando, one of the facilitators.

The training event ended with presentations of different Action Plans from three (3) groups which can be used when emergency calls.

Project Paglaum is now on its 15th session. It aims to capacitate Career Executive Service officers, other government and community leaders with skills and competencies in providing psychosocial support to survivors of calamities and disasters.

Named after the Visayan and Bicolano word “Paglaum” which means hope, the program aims to rekindle hope and help rebuild the lives of survivors of natural calamities and even man-made disasters.