One of the highlights of the Middle Managers Class program under the PMDP is the Sensing Journey, an 11-day immersion in a fourth to fifth class municipality in the Philippines.
For MMC Batch 32 – Hinagabiban, all 45 scholars journeyed to the municipality of Pura, Tarlac to immerse themselves in the everyday life of Puranians. The immersion was kicked off by an Opening Ceremony at Charlie O. Cojuangco multipurpose arena at Pura, Tarlac last 17 November 2023. The ceremony was formally opened by Class Director Veneranda S. Geronimo who first and foremost expressed gratitude to the municipal government for hosting the immersion for MMC 32. More importantly, she thanked the foster families for opening their homes to the scholars. On behalf of Mayor Freddie Domingo and Vice Mayor John Paul Balmores, Councilor Bernabe P. Idmilao graced the occasion and expressed the municipal government’s appreciation to the DAP for choosing Pura. Dr. Roberto Conrado O. Guevara, DSD faculty, also gave a speech wherein he mentioned that the primary goal of the Sensing Journey was for the scholars to get to know their families and for the families to get to know them as well. He added that the activity asked for the scholars to learn about the livelihood and personal stories of the Puranians. The ceremony was highlighted by the a ceremonial turnover which signified the acceptance of Pura to the partnership brought about by the Academy and warm welcome to the scholars given by the community members of Barangay Poroc, Barangay Buenavista, Barangay Cadanglaan, Barangay Estipona, Barangay Matindeg, Barangay Maungib, and Barangay Balite.
One of the key activities of the scholars conducted on the second day of the immersion was the community night, a small gathering hosted by the scholars wherein they introduced themselves and were warmly welcomed by the community. Throughout the immersion, the scholars experienced various activities with their teams and families. The scholars spent several days living as a true Puranian, sharing stories with their foster families, interacting with the community, and even engaging in livelihood activities. Some scholars joined their foster families in their agricultural activities such as tending to vast rice fields, planting secondary crops, and taking care of livestock. Other scholars helped their families in preparing typical Filipino food and snacks to be sold such as biko, kakanin, and suman. On the eve of the scholars departure from Pura, a bigger gathering was held celebrating their experiences and relationships built throughout the immersion. The gathering was attended by many members of the community and even barangay officials, not just their own foster families. The gathering was a testament to the support and more importantly, acceptance of the community members of Pura to the scholars.
To formally close the immersion, a Closing Ceremony was held last 27 November 2023 which was packed with almost 300 attendees composed of the scholars, all members of the foster families from the 7 barangays, municipal government officials, and DAP team members. Vice Mayor Balmores thanked the Academy and more importantly the scholars and the families of Pura for the unforgettable experience. He added that he was confident that the experience was fruitful and definitely left a mark in both the lives of Puranians and the scholars. VP Nanette C. Caparros expressed her gratitude to Pura municipal government and its community members for an unforgettable and rewarding experience they shared with the MMC 32 scholars. The Academy awarded certificates of appreciation to the municipal government, barangay officials, and foster families for their utmost support in ensuring the Sensing Journey was meaningful.