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CMLI: Just Another Learning Experience

December 7,2015

Coming back to Baguio was nostalgic. The faint smell of pine trees, the deep green moss and the calm breeze just brought me straight back to the memories I had back in 2011 when I represented the school in an activity hosted by the Children’s Museum and Library, Inc. (CMLI). This year, I was given the opportunity once again to go back to Baguio and represent the school together with 13 other gifted delegates. We competed in various events, all held in Teachers’ Camp. The convention held from November 4 to 8, included talks and workshops that aimed to empower the youth as the future leaders of our country.

Day 1: The Beginning

On the early morning of November 4, after a week of preparation for the competitions, the delegates, myself included, left for the City of Pines. Everyone was both nervous and excited for most of us were first – timers at the convention. Two vans filled with Grade 10 and Grade 9 pupils crossed the expressway and arrived at the venue around 11:30 in the morning of the same day. After the registration, and having ourselves in the dorms, most of the delegates started preparing for the eliminations of their respective competitions, among which was the Competitions for Excellence such as Extemporaneous Speaking in English and Filipino and Marketing Speech. Meanwhile, the Competitions for Entertainment that had their eliminations on that day as well consisted of the Radio Drama, Talent Variety Show, Hip Hop Dancing, Quartet Singing and the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) Solo Singing.

With every step I took towards the venue on that day, I felt and heard my heart pounding. Extemporaneous Speaking is one of the things that I enjoy doing, especially because I am able to speak in my own language, more so when I am able to do that while representing the school. Truly, at that time, it was something I felt very honored to do.

Hours later, when all the eliminations were through, an assembly took place in the Session Hall. It was called the OnA or the Orientation and Acquaintances wherein delegates were able to build a network of people from the different schools in the country.  Ice breakers and a few games, even a brand new dance craze were introduced to give the delegates an opportunity to socialize with the other participants. Consequently, there also were the Opening Ceremonies that featured keynote speakers who gave their insights on the theme of this years convention, “The CMLI and the Filipino Youth: Trailblazing a Filipino Identity in a Global Society”.

Day 2: Workshops and CDs

The next day came and so did the results of elimination rounds held the previous day. Unfortunately, there were some of us who did not make it to the finals of the competition. I, for one, felt bad when I found out that I was not able to qualify for the upper rounds, but then I realized that there really are times in our lives that we stumble and fall. However, we must always remember that such instances are opportunities for us to learn to stand up and walk again. Thus, although I thought that maybe CMLI 2015 was not meant for me, I took my defeat as a challenge to improve myself as a speaker.

The day, though, did not end there; the convention provided workshops wherein we were able to enrich our skills in the area of our choice. Among the workshops were Hip Hop (Basic and Advanced), Theatre, Photography, Cartooning, Creative Writing, Singing and many more. It was also in these workshops that we were able to meet new friends.  Later that day, we broke into Commissions where we had discussions that centered on the theme of the convention. The Commissions consisted of team building activities that allowed delegates to broaden their minds and expand their knowledge to become an empowered member of the youth. 

And so it goes…

Our third day was no different but on the fourth day – our last day, the organizers combined the Commissions and called them Blocks. Each Block consisted of three to four commissions, and together they had to create a presentation of their choice that will show all the insights they have gained and the lessons they have learned from this year’s convention. The presentation, entitled LitMus or Literary Musical, was staged later that day at the Session Hall.

After the LitMus came the Closing Ceremonies. The next batch of officers of the organization were conferred to commence their term, and the awardees of each competition and workshop were given recognition.  Some of these awardees are our own delegates  and they were Maxine De Castro for  Basic Hip Hop Workshop, Margarita Bautista for Creative Writing, Dana Marie Mendoza for essay writing in Filipino (champion), Nadine Bayot for the Dong-A doodle (2nd Runner Up), and yours truly for theatre workshop.

After the convention was formally put to a close, the delegates celebrated their victory and the success of the convention at the disco socials where everyone danced and enjoyed their final night. As this year’s CMLI ended, I was able to bring home not only the famous ube jam from Good Shepherd but also insights and learnings, the discovery of new people and a mind that is a living witness to the empowerment of the youth.  Truly, it was an honor to represent the school and lead the delegation. I am proud to say that this year’s Annual Convention of The Children’s Museum and Library Incorporated is something that I will never forget. 

By Nicole Masagca, 10-Stewardship