We had our first immersion subject at school, THED5: Social Justice and Lay Apostolate. Immersion, is something that a group of people would face themselves in a certain situation where would result to a realization. Each of the groups were asked to pick an institution where we could find some social issues and have our immersion there, for our realizations.
And our group chose MYRC, or the Manila Youth Reception Center as our institution for immersion. It is an institution that act as a temporary detention center for minors who have disobeyed the law. Change was one of the main reasons why. We believe that change is significant for these institutions and through our five meetings with the people inside there, we were able to realize that some people continue to live positively even though they are faced in many aspects of problem and stress. These people were not bad, as everyone was telling.
At the end of our immersion experience, we were asked to write a thesis and our own realization paper, and the title of my realization was “CHANGE”. Here’s how it goes:
Being exposed to this kind of situation brings many things, both positive and negative sides. The positive is that you’ll really get to learn a lot of things and one of which is your realization of how life could be different from one another’s perspectives.
In this immersion experience, I will never forget how I felt when I saw the people inside Manila Youth Reception Center when I first stepped into the location. I thought fear was going to be my first feeling due to some stereotyping that I heard from others that those people were bad, those people were killers or thieves and many more negative comments.
But never did I felt fear. What I felt is pity, not for the people inside that institution, but more on those who have tremendously judged them without knowing first what situation are they currently into. I felt that those people who have judged them, who have criticized them and who make others believe that there’s no hope for these people are the ones who didn’t have hope.
Through the activities that we have implemented, we were able to capture the attention, the emotion and understanding of the thirteen women that we were assigned to. We have created this relationship with them that we have treasured. As others might say it, it was a successful immersion experience for us for not only did we learn on how to live in simplicity, we were also able to realize how lucky we are, that being faced in this kind of experience opens an opportunity for maturity. And we have become more matured as ever through this immersion experience.
“Be the change that you want to see in this world”. This famous line from Mahatma Gandhi would be my final quotation for my whole immersion experience. Change should be implemented not only for people inside this institution but as well as ore even more on those who are outside. If you want to see change, then be the first one to do it. This immersion will forever be remembered, treasured and be the source of inspiration as it changed each and every part of our lives.