Monday, March 27, 2006

PETS, Day 2

Day 2, March 19

The day is mainly for team-building exercises. The district hired again the services of Convergent consulting, headed by Buneeh (pronounced "ba-nee"), a dynamic and cheerful lady, as chief training leader. PEs went to Tribal camp wearing their respective team color shirts.

The first team-building exercise was for people (from different color teams) to group themselves according to a song title that they will have to swing out and sing at the same. 5 minutes for each group to plan, then showing each group's wares. My group then will sing and dance Hagibis' song, "Katawan". Since I was the one who more or less memorized a big portion of the song, I was instantly made the group dance-leader (hehehe). To the tune of "mahilig kami sa magaganda, katawan lang aming nakikita, lalo na yong kaakit-akit pa", I gyrated like a frustrated macho dancer, ouch! Well, at least I made my co-groupmates happy :-)

Second exercise was for everyone to write a one-word adjective (English or Filipino) on a piece of paper to describe that person; the paper is clipped at the back of each one of us. Well, we were 60+ then and only 3 minutes to do the job. On average, one person will get about 15-25 adjectives and descriptions from the same number of persons who wrote on the paper on his/her back. Buneeh asked for volunteers who will share which of the words and impressions written about you that strikes you most. I was among the early volunteers, I said, "they say i'm a 'sex maniac'!" Of course this sent a riotous laughter among many of them, hehehe. And of course, I was joking, because I was happy with what many of them wrote about me -- "nice, jolly, ok, happy, extrovert,..." Buneeh followed the sharing later with a discussion about "first impression", and how to change it if the impression is not reflective of your real character.

Third and "main event" exercise was the "Amazing race". This time, we'll be working as a team under our shirts' color. Seven (7) activities and obstacles to hurdle and finish to get 1 flag in each activity, to be finished in 60 minutes or less. The yellow team was the fastest, finishing everything in 45 minutes; our red team followed after 2 minutes, the green and all-male, all-enjoyable guys followed us after about 4 minutes, and so on. It was one of the most enjoyable team exercises I've ever participated in my life!

After the late morning break, there were discussions and assessments for each team, what were the factors that helped the team achieve its goals, the factors that destructed and weakened them, lessons learned, etc.

Last exercise before lunch was a relay with a live catfish ("hito") instead of batton, that each runner will pick up from a container, run to a post and back, return the fish, and tag the next runner. This time, our team was first, hoorraayyyy!!!

Lunch time was capped by a very inspiration speech by PRID Paing Hechanova as our luncheon speaker. He talked about vocational training and the importance of ensuring honesty and dignity in the practice of our profession and vocation. Again, I another bright mind speaking in front of us, sharing bits and paragraphs of wisdom that should guide us how to conduct our lives, our work, our households and our community.

Before we broke up to go back to the lecture hall, Buneeh went to the front again to give the last exercise for the day -- a charade contest, a forgettable one as our team got zero point, argghh!!

The last activity was a planning session, with our respective assistant governors for our clusters sitting with us to plan activities and member retention and recruitment programs.

So, what have I learned and observed in the past 2 days of PETS?
The lessons are very clear to me, as follows:

(1) I noticed and observed not a single instance of bragging or "payabangan" among us PEs, and among district officials. Instead, almost everyone was blurting out (or attempting to blurt out)lots of funny and humoruous stories, one-liners and jokes! This is Rotary, one happy family!

(2) Lots of brainy and service-oriented leaders, especially among PDGs and PRIDs, as well as current and in-coming AGs.

(3) Finally, Rotary is indeed an organization of volunteers, of people who come for a common purpose of helping themselves and their communities, not an organization based on coercion and multiple-level bureaucracies, like governments in many parts of the world. And this is one thing that I will tell my prospective recruits from among my friends.

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