“Good Trip” Shows Road to Good Governance

Oct 5th 2012

Good Trip is the title of the booklet as well as the video documentary recently produced by CFA as part of its program on good governance. CFA worked hand-in-hand with Ehem!, an NGO headed by Fr. Bert Alejo, SJ., who is based in Ateneo de Davao, to produce the materials. Ehem, according to its website, “aims at bringing people to a renewed sensitivity to the evil of corruption and its prevalence in ordinary life. It seeks ultimately to make them more intensely aware of their own vulnerability to corruption, their own uncritiqued, often unwitting practice of corruption in daily life.”

During the preparatory meetings with Fr. Alejo, CFA’s creative team decided to capitalize on a method that Fr. Alejo uses when he talks about corruption to live audiences – a jeepney analogy. The jeepney is easily recognizable; it is part of most people’s everyday life. A jeepney trip may be likened to society’s journey. In Church language, it may even be called a “Paschal journey” (i.e., a wandering in the desert before reaching the Promised Land).

For the anti-corruption booklet, the approach CFA took was to use the comics format, which, based on its long experience with comics-magazines for schools, have always been popular with the young. The 50-page booklet “Good Trip: A Journey to Integrity and Corruption Intolerance” contains 13 comics stories and a final discussion guide for the video documentary. Each of the stories focuses on a particular anti-corruption message. For example, the story “If a Child Learns Honesty…” illustrates the message that “Children live what they learn.” The high regard for integrity and corruption-intolerance begins at home — with what children learn from their parents and siblings. In another story, “Honor Code,” the message is that schools can promote corruption-intolerance by promulgating an Honor Code among their students.

Each story ends with a guide for further study, or for group discussion. The guides make use of Understanding by Design methods. UbD, which has been endorsed by the Department of Education, is a tool for educational planning focused on “teaching for understanding”. The same tool is used by CFA’s other magazines such as Gospel Komiks, Gospel K Magazine, Gospel Now and Pambata.

The “Good Trip” video uses a mixed documentary format, which includes some dramatized segments and focus group discussions led by Fr Bert Alejo. There are ten short chapters showing situations and conversations that take place inside the jeepney, mostly among the passengers. Each chapter is on a theme, such as “Common Good versus Personal Gain” and “Social Indifference”. After each dramatized situation, Fr Alejo leads a focus group discussion with two or three community leaders, to analyze the issues and values highlighted in the episode.

The productions are part of a larger project called “Engaging the Filipino Youth in the Campaign for Good Governance,” which is supported by Misereor, a Church organization based in Germany. The main purpose of the project is to engage young students in a discussion and realization of their role in coming up with alternatives to bring about good governance and engaged citizenship.

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