This semester’s NSTP was truly an exercise in service. We were able to step out of the confines of our classrooms and lecture halls, and out into the real world. We were given the opportunity to work with passionate organizations and share their cause. This semester, our NSTP experience wasn’t simply about taking notes or logging in attendance. We were given the chance to make a difference. We were given a chance to fight for change.
We were assigned to the Tambuyog Development Center and honestly, none of us had even heard of the organization before. It was only during our orientation that we learned about their history and their objectives. They were dedicated to helping coastal communities control and manage their resources with an end goal of self-reliance in mind. They want sustainability and development for our fishing sector. Before the orientation, I had no idea about the marginalization of our country’s fisherfolk. I didn’t know about the vast marine resources that we had at our disposal, or how these resources have been depleting throughout the years. Frankly speaking, I knew nothing about the fishing sector and it was shameful considering the amounts of fish we purchase at the supermarket every week.
Tambuyog assigned to us the writing of a research paper regarding the ASEAN Integration of 2015 and its effects on the fishing industry. To be more specific, we were tasked to determine whether or not our fishing industry would be able to be compete in the international market. In the course of our research, I have learned so much about the Philippines’ industry. I’ve learned about value addition, cold-chain storage facilities, non-tariff measures, and so much more. This semester was not only successful in broadening my horizons, it was also able to instill a greater appreciation for this country’s fisherfolk and everything they’ve accomplished.
Flora Anne R. Palabrica