ALIM, the extension arm of the Creative Writing Program, realized its plan to give another Arts for Healing session to the drug surrenderees in Barangay Pasil last Saturday, March 3, 2018. This time the activity was on Writing Shorty Story for Healing which was held at the same venue of the past two Alim activities, the Don Bosco Youth Training Center.
In the scheme of the ALIM program, Writing Story for Healing is the second activity to be given to the target clients, the Pasil surrenderees who are also members of the Narcotics Anonymous. Fourteen out of the thirty-five target participants came. Yolanda, NA’s coordinator, informed Alim that some NA members went to the beach while the rest went to work.
Nine Alim members: six faculty from CCAD namely, Jason Baguia, Belinda Espiritu, Jocelyn Pinzon, Lilia Tio, Palmy Tudtud, Januar Yap; and three guidance specialists of UP Cebu – Annabelle Maglasang, Annie Aboga, and Cip Olita – conducted the session with Prof. Lilia Tio and Palmy Tudtud serving as Resource Persons. They translated two stories from HEROESINRECOVERY.com into Cebuano and read expressively these stories to the participants. This was followed by the distribution and simple explanation of 3 Basic steps in the writing of a story where some cues were provided. The participants were then divided into groups of two, and the Alim members distributed themselves to the nine small groups created to serve as facilitator and guide in the writing of the participants’ stories.
An hour later and after taking their snacks which Alim provided, they went back to the plenary group and were invited to read their story voluntarily, sans pressure. Several participants eagerly read and shared their personal stories. It was observed that in the process of sharing, they even abandoned their notebooks and proceeded to share their story orally.
The session closed with a post-activity evaluation by the drug surrenderees who expressed their gratefulness to the UP faculty and guidance counselors who came to be with them for the afternoon. One wrote the following on the comments section: “Salamat sa paghatag ug tabang. Daghan ko ug nakat-unan”. (Thank you for giving us help. I learned much”.) Another wrote: “Nagpasalamat ko sa Ginoo gusto ko nga lig-on ang akong kinabuhi”. (“I thank God, and I want that my life is steadfast”.) Another expressed what he learned in the following manner: “Sa akong ika sulti ngg aduna ko’y nakat-onan sama sa pagsuwat ug nindot nga pagpaminaw ug nakapabuhagay sa gibati bahin sa akong pagkaadik”. (I can say that there are things I learned like writing and listening well and expressing what I felt about having been a drug addict”.) Another wrote about his desire that the UP Alim activities go on in this way: “Mom!! Sa inyong mga activity gusto ko nga magsigi kini para magkita ta pirmi ug daghang salamat. God bless us!!!” (Mom!! Regarding your activities, I want these to continue so we will see each other always and thank you very much. God bless us!!!”)
Palmy Tudtud gave the inspirational closing remarks.
After the activity, the Alim members had a debriefing of their experiences and personal insights from their close encounter with the drug surrenderees in small groups. As a whole, the Alim members shared on what they observed, felt, and learned from the whole experience, saying that they were enriched and healed as well.
– Written by Prof. Lilia T. Tio and Prof. Belinda F. Espiritu
March 7, 2018

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