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Student Reflections

(Through the Art Theraphy Workshop conducted by Dr. Julia Byers of Lesley University, USA, facilitated by AQ Guidance Counselors, January 18, 2007)

CAFA Students

"Of mountains, valleys, ocean, trees, land, sky"

Their artwork showed that in their world there is nothing permanent, everything will pass away; there is no safety, no real security. One is secured if he is in the hands of God. A student explained his work, thus: Ipinapakita ko dito sa larawang ito ang lahat ng naisip ko, naramdaman at nakita nung bagyo. Dahil nasa boarding house ako noon, naisip ko ang aking pamilya sa Guinobatan. Lahat ng nakita ko noon ay magulo at maraming nasalanta. At dahil na rin sa wala akong makain noon, nagutom ako ng dalawang araw dahil walang mabili sa mga tindahan. Naitanong ko noon sa sarili kung paano na ako mag-aaral, magulo na ang lahat. Sa ngayon ay nakabawi na ako dahil nakakahabol na sa mga leksyon. At unti- unti nang nagiging normal ang lahat. Iniisip ko na kung sa future mangyari ulit ang ganung sitwasyon o higit pang matindi parang wala ng ligtas sa bayang ito.

Student Assistants Enrolled in BSBA, CAS, EDUCATION

"Of nature, love of God, family"

They were all asked to create an artwork based on trust, that which has meaning. Most of their artwork focused on nature, love of God and family. The paintings they created were mostly about trees, mountains, rice fields, farms, fruits, houses and sunshine. They related that nature refreshes them, it gives them peace of mind, it is God's creation and it signifies love, family and hope. They also explained that God is the main source of strength and salvation and everyone needs and should give love especially during trying times such as this. Love should begin with God, family and then surroundings. They also shared that "Reming" gave everyone a lesson: to care for and nurture God's creations because they were given to us. They concluded that in every struggle and difficulty, we must be calm and logical in order to be able to survive and overcome the challenges..

CAS Students

"Never-ending change of time"

The students who attended the art therapy session were able to gain insights on the never-ending change of times. Through the art workshop, they were able to release one's emotional noise and psychological tension. They said that in times of adversity, people view things differently. Some have a positive outlook on how to solve problems constructively. Others deflect their decision making skills due to traumatic experiences. S t u d e n t s disclosed having positive action plans in their lives - help their parents, continue and finish their studies, and help as well as understand AQ for her predicaments. They also realized that acceptance, sense of responsibility, accountability and most importantly faith in God will truly help them heal and recover from adversity.

Facilitators' Reflections


Trust that which has meaning gives the courage to journey in the different walks of life through love, truth and service for humanity. In spite of the challenging times in AQ, our commitment to excellent education, culture and extension services never diminished, in fact, we became more determined. The office of Student Development Services continues to reach out to constructively help students heal and recover from adversarial situations. Through the efforts of the NSTP, Psychology, ORA and other programs and departments, we were able to secure the balance between the sad experiences and the need to move on.

Our debriefing programs helped a lot in putting meaning back to the lives of those destabilized by "Reming." It is a matter of talking out within the group who experienced the same predicaments. The importance of co-grouping is the screening out of one's inner values most useful during the time of crisis. It is also an avenue for a personal reflection for meaning of self, others and a higher being. Debriefing through group facilitation also enables participants to recognize other's character as well as limitations. The expressive art therapy is a new field of understanding human behavior. It is a tool in releasing one's emotional and psychological noise. It is a friendly therapeutic tool because the clients are able to show emotionality without being ridiculed. The participants freely express what is inside of them. This therapeutic exercise has also advantages and disadvantages in the field of counseling. The disadvantages could most probably be the level of expertise in handling art therapy. It is easy to facilitate but it is difficult to master a client's art dimension because it involves a series of mastery of the inner skills in understanding and interpreting results. Any counseling modality needs to be followed up and validated on how it is applicable and situation. One of the advantages is that students can make art works easily since most of them are potential artists in their own unique way of expressing themselves. Individuals have different meaningful experiences whether it is a challenge and/or accomplishment in life. Making an art work transcends one's ability to understand one's life in times of harsh conditions. It enhances the inner resource by screening out the different kinds of resiliency. Art therapy is one of the tools that help our clients understand the dimension of life struggles and a degree of "happyness." In putting pieces of work together through collaboration and cooperation, the AQ community creates a more positive energy in helping and reaching out to people in a life of truth, and of love out of gratitude.

for BSN and BA Students

The Expressive Arts Therapy Workshop provided students with a time and a place to revive and recall memories of traumatic incidents experienced during and after super typhoon "Reming." Group 3 was composed of seven (7) freshmen BSN students and two (2) BA students. Each of them explained what they meant in their artworks. The group was able to create a story about Mayon Volcano before, during, nd after "Reming." The first artwork showed how beautiful Mayon Volcano was before the typhoon. Trees were abundant, the rice fields golden, and grasses were green and fresh. The sun was painted with heavy yellow color depicting its shine and shimmer. Another artwork pictured Mayon Volcano during and after the typhoon. The group used dried leaves and small, brown branches, the mudflow was colored dark brown. However, above the sadness exuded by Mayon were bright blue clouds which, according to them, symbolize hope, healing, and future. Another group painted a Christmas tree adorned with art paper and laces. The group members said that the different colors symbolize the many unforgettable experiences of Albayanos during the typhoon. The group also explained that the star above the Christmas tree was their symbol for moving on and starting anew. The last group, however, put together cut art papers to create a maze. This maze symbolizes life. "Though there are obstacles, life goes on," they said. They mentioned that all they wish for is a brighter future ahead of them. Group 3 made a concrete action plan so that they may be of help to others. They composed a text message which they promised to send to as many friends as they can reach. The text message reads: "November 30, 2006, the day that killed some of our dreams and ended some of our loved ones' lives. The day that our future was compromised-the day when typhoon "Reming" touched our lives. Don't worry Albayanos. Just remember that God is always here and behind the clouds the sun is still shining! Bangon Albayanos!!!" This plan may be too simple but they hope to touch the lives of other victims and even those who were not affected by the typhoon.

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