AIM graduate students examine rural Philippines
MANILA, Philippines - The AIM Zuellig School of Development Management (ZSDM) launched a photo exhibit at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) on May 29, Friday.
The exhibit, entitled “Uncharted: MDM 2015 Goes Off the Beaten Track,” showcased the experiences of the Master in Development Management (MDM) class of 2015 during their Rapid Area Assessment (RAA) immersion in nine different provinces in the Philippines.
The AIM MDM Program is an 11-month practitioner-oriented graduate degree program designed to prepare and train development executives from across 46 countries within and beyond Asia.
According to AIM ZSDM Head Juan Miguel Luz, the program is meant to allow the students to assess the provinces “with fresh eyes” and to discern “the development challenges that are pertinent to that area.”
The students immersed themselves in the communities of their assigned provinces under a span of 5 to 7 days, and were asked to present the “development opportunities, threats and potential” they had observed.
Tanzina Nur Jinia from Bangladesh spoke about her group’s assessment of Adams, Ilocos Norte, explaining that Adams is still a 5th class municipality. According to her, this can be attributed to its “poor infrastructure and geographical limitations coming in conflict with ancestral complaints.”
Maidy Enteria Lim explained how Sagada, Mountain Province, could benefit from sustainable management of their tourism capacity and an agreed balance among “cultural preservation, commercial progress and environmental protection.”
Jinita Bishwakarma from Nepal spoke of the mango industry in Guimaras, Central Visayas. She said that despite the mango’s success in the international market, “the mango industry has not really made a difference in the lives of the people.”
Carmen Castelo’s group assessed Carcar, Cebu — the chicharon or pork crackling capital of the Philippines. They observed that most street vendors rely on the chicharon industry — many of them still having to send their children to school.
Hamsa Sundar from India explained how her group observed that food and water supply in Anda, Bohol “is constrained by its geography and topography.” She said that development in the area has to be balanced with preservation and conservation, in order “to sustain the natural beauty of the place.”
Durga Thapa from Nepal assessed Dauin, Negros Oriental, which, he said, is “striving to become a tourism hub.” Thapa explained that despite its natural beauty, Dauin is still “in need of formal introduction to basic necessities and amenities.”
The audience was able to vote for the 3 best photos at the exhibit. A photo depicting 3 elderly citizens of Banaue, Ifugao won third place; a photo showcasing a woman in a body of water won second place, and a photo of a man presenting a fish on a local beach in Rapu-rapu, Albay won first place.
The photo awarded Dean’s Choice, chosen by AIM Dean Jikyeong Kang, was that of a young boy fishing in Adams, Ilocos Norte.
Luz mentioned that it was the first international evening for the AIM MDM Program, as several dignitaries were present at the event, including the ambassador of India and representatives from the consulate of Albania, the embassy of Lao PDR, the embassy of Timor-Leste, the embassy of Myanmar, the embassy of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank. Tingting Cojuangco, aunt of President Benigno Aquino III, also attended the event. - Rappler.com
Alexandra Bichara is a Rappler intern.