My mind was floating on air throughout the entire ceremony. I was in an excruciatingly unpleasant situation in the midst of people I barely knew and seemed to be enjoying the moment while I was wishing I was home or somewhere else. Every part of me was resisting everything that is happening. Even my physical body was merely going through the motions. My discomfort was exacerbated by the difficulty of blending in with these bunch of lowland and city dwellers. I have to admit, their presence intimidated me to a certain degree. You see, I was used to be with people in the countryside, the common tao. Due to my line of work, I mingle with the rural folks almost every day. And I know from my personal experience that people from the mountains are almost always discriminated against.
This somehow summarized my first day at Development Academy of the Philippines. That was September of last year. Everything around me was just a blur, from the orientation in the morning to the formal ceremony in the evening. All the encouragements from the previous batch, were bouncing off my ears. But I don’t have a choice, I was sent here by my boss. So, despite all these mixture of fear, doubt and uncertainties, I did not go home. Perhaps, the foreign study mission got in the way.
Yes, there is going to be a foreign travel as part of the requirement in the course. It was a motivating factor but as we moved forward into the program, the subjects became more interesting and challenging. This was eventually the compelling factor for me to stay.
The DAP experience had been one of the best so far in my entire academic life. The learnings and new knowledge were a given but meeting people from all agencies of the government gave me the best lessons. The sharing of actual experiences not only from my classmates but also from the professors, reframe the lens of my perspective in government service and or course, in life. I eventually got accepted into their circles. But of course I did not expect total assimilation.
The funny thing about my going to Tagaytay is that I took the classes lightly. I thought it’s like a walk in the park. So I brought two pocket books that I intend to read for the first two weeks of the residential training. Little did I know that the classes are intensive and rigorous and that I have to stay awake almost every night to make assignments and other requirements. As a consequence, I never got to read any other book during the 6-month duration of the program.
This was a Senior Executive Class under the Public Managers Development Program (PMDP). The program was a total package of lessons that is intended to transform the learner to be a difference maker in his/her sector. It is a scholarship program by the government and you don’t have to pay anything. During our graduation just recently, at least I can say that this was an investment by the government on people with potential and not just an expense. I may not have that potential but if I have to this all over again, I will be more excited, more expectant and more passionate to learn. From now on, I have to keep reminding myself, that there are other lessons to learn besides the law. Thank you PMDP for that reminder.