CISV Philippines @ 60: Worldview in the new normal
CISV Philippines is celebrating its 60 years as a national association. And what better way to commemorate this historic event in the new normal than thru a “Digital Scrap Book” entitled “NA @ 60”.
The project was conceptualized by this fast-thinking, energetic, eloquent, and action agad, holder of two master degrees (Master of Science in Family Life and Child Development and Master of Science in Education). She is the current president of the CISV Baguio chapter.
Meet Anne Marie Dimalanta. Her project is a digital collection of memories of 60 CSIVers in 60 years with 60 words… more or less. There are about 60 plus member organizations in 60 plus countries and 200 cities.
CISV answers to the call of the new normal with this digital scrapbook –a new way of online communications and commemoration for members and friends during the pandemic. Yes. It’s a celebration of cross cultural friendship, peace, love and understanding interweaving many cultures starting with children.
Anne Marie, a Baguio girl turned New Yorker, belongs to the Dimalanta clan – old timers of Baguio. She returned to her beloved Baguio after living abroad for 20 years to answer the call of her passion, to serve the children.
Baguio old-time residents would remember that the Dimalantas owned the famous grocery at the market long before the big malls were built. Johnnie, the father, was a noted civic leader.
According to a write up of Angel Villaralvo, he was conferred Papal knighthood by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Anne Marie’s mother, Irene Maronilla-Dimalanta, is a pediatrician. The children are all distinguished and respected professionals, businessmen and doctors starting with: Francis Xavier Daniel, who is a developmental pediatrician; Edmund Gregory and Mita Angela are both businessmen; and Anne Marie, is an educator, writer, computer teacher, organizer and fund raiser of her favorite organizations.
Anne Marie is also feisty and multi-faceted, aside from being hardworking and definitely dreams big for the children.
What is CISV? It stands for Children’s International Summer Villages. It was founded in 1950 after the war by Dr. Doris Twitchell Allen, a noted psychologist with the aim to educate and inspire action for a more just and peaceful world.
Through the years different programs were developed. But it started with the village. In the village, four 11-year-old kids – two boys and two girls– are sent from each country accompanied by an adult leader to join a village in a foreign country composed of 10 to 12 countries.
The village camp is manned by a capable team of staff from the host country and supported by junior counsellors and other volunteers. The 28 day-village goes thru a retinue of activities designed to develop appreciation of different cultures, global interaction, leadership skills, independence, cross cultural friendships, trade, open mindedness, broader perspectives and changing mindsets to be engaged in world views.
One’s knowledge of self-esteem and environs goes thru a metamorphosis hence coming out a changed individual at the end of the program. The child becomes confident, responsible, organized and more caring. As Anne Marie says, “What he needs to learn for many years, he learns in 28 days.”
The 1st delegation from the Philippines left for Camp Hilltop, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. in 1962. The action paved the way for other chapters to be established in the national level. There are at present five CISV chapters in the national level namely Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Manila, and Quezon City.
The CISV national presidents over the years were Linda Lopez (1962 – 1978), Robert Montelibano (1978- 1996), Pilar Villanueva (1997), Jose Maria Jong Abaya + (2007), Francis Dimalanta (2010), John Gayoso (2013), Maarin “Maggs” Cabato (2016) and Tess Yang ( 2019 – 2022).
And for the CISV Baguio chapter, the presidents were Moss Cating, Mark Go, Pete Siapno (1997-2000), Gladys Vergara (2000- 2010), Bing Bangaoet (2010 – 2020) and Anne Marie Dimalanta (2020 – present).
Other programs developed were: Interchange for 12 to 15 year old; Youth Meeting for 12 to 19 year old; Step Up for 14 to 15 year old; Seminar Camp for 16 to 17 year old; and alternative programs, mosaic and virtual family exchange and the International People’s Project – bringing outreach service to the community.
Just like many entities and organizations that were rendered immobile by the pandemic lock downs, the CISV national board meeting is slated to get together this November 2022 after two years.
Time to draw future plans, review past projects and assess present ones. It will probably usher in new leadership and new world views to keep up with the changing times of the new normal. Virtual is in.
Programs will start again and children will be able to sing again the CISV song, “Here in this village you may see, children living happily, different race and different land, here we come to understand, one another’s point of view, learning through the things we do, how alike am I to you.”
And sing the Omfiara cheer, “Bomfiara, bomfiara, bomfiara, bomfiara,…I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills, I love the flowers, I love the daffodils, I live to love, I love to live for all these beautiful things..”
They can again give hugs and love notes, taste other food and dance in the circles of unity again. Life is great in a CISV camp.
The “magic” of CISV is uniting children of different cultures and forging life-long friendships hoping to bring peace and greater understanding among nations. Continue with your good work Anne Marie.
Let your love for the children manifest in better projects for the community, and just like your foundation, “A Child’s D.R.E.A.M” bless the children with knowledge and spread their wings. Your “Digital Scrap book” will surely rekindle more memories.
Yes, indeed, 60 is the symbol of harmony and I wish the same for CISV Baguio and national chapters.
I would like to end this article with a quote Carlos Anton, one of Anne Marie’s favorites, “ What an 11-year-old would not want to venture out into the world, meet other kids from different countries and basically have a month long sleep over in a different country.
It opened my eyes to this world’s diverse culture. CISV will always be remembered as one of the happiest times in my life, a gift I truly cherish from my parents.” (Photos by Anne Marie Dimalanta).