Written by Nathaniel Capistrano
Illustration by Cedric David Cortez
Published 18 November 2021
The Ateneo Biological Organization (BOx) has partnered with Masungi Georeserve to raise awareness and support for forest rangers and the conservation of protected natural areas in our environment, during the BOx Recruitment Week (RecWeek) 2021: Forest and Nature Reserve on September 6–18, 2021.
Unlike last year’s RecWeek, an information campaign accompanied by merchandise sale was also held by BOx this year in benefit of the forest rangers of the Masungi Georeserve, a protected conservation area in the southern parts of Sierra Madre in Rizal.
For all life
In messages previously released through social media, the management of Masungi Georeserve emphasized that ‘biodiversity conservation in the Philippines faces a staggering 80% funding gap,’ and that the pandemic further worsened the impact to local conservation efforts primarily led by forest rangers in the area.
Following the aftermath of the typhoons and the pandemic, the Department of Training and Development launched the JukeBOx event to all BOx members last January 26 and 28.
The project served as an introductory platform for aspiring members of VoiceBOx, the organization’s official musical group. The two-day event also aimed to hone the participants’ skills and interest in singing and music.
As the first singing workshop, the organizers hope for the participants to pursue their passion in singing. “We gave them the push that they need through the use of guest speakers. […] Through our own eyes, we saw great engagement,” Project Head Xavier Fabia said.
Vice President of the Department of Training and Development Larry Acuna said that the workshop aimed for the participants to learn, promote camaraderie, and serve as an outlet to destress. “Looking back, I think only two of the objectives were only achieved. Camaraderie, hindi ko alam kung paano. […] There were collaborative activities, but individualistic [in terms of the procedure],” he mentioned.
The event had four speakers that tackled voice styles, voice techniques, and songwriting. In an interview with Helix, speaker Erika Rafael mentioned working towards providing tools for the participants to use in singing and performances. “I focused on what I could do to make my audience interested. […] I wanted to bring [confidence] to the event and just encourage people to perform,” she added.
Executed in an online setting, the organizers had a tech-support team that prepared for intermittent connectivity that may be experienced by both the speakers and participants.
“The second day [participants] was significantly lesser than the first day,” Acuna said, “Audience rapport is a barrier, [yet] there are some people who were participative, so the workshop was going smooth[ly].”
Fabia said that the event was still at its experimental stage that gave the organizers an experience to learn from. “We want to optimize it better for the future leaders. I think this is a great success as it received great engagement from the audience,” he added.
Overall, the online voice-workshop became feasible as a “support system” especially to members who share the same interest in singing, according to Acuna. “At least we got to grasp some members who are interested to learn about singing,” he emphasized.
In line with engaging more VoiceBOx aspirants and members, the organizers plan to hold the event next school year before the semester starts.