art camp by the mediterranean sea (part 2)

11:02 PM

A Spanish-Japanese boy who was just slightly a bit taller than me stood next to Sr. Belen in the middle of the room. I wonder how we would carry on when he, our facilitator, could barely look at us. He vacillated between looking at the door or the floor. But apparently, he didn’t need to talk much since we’ll be having our noses buried into paper and will doodle away the afternoon.

sr. belen and our facilitator discussed before starting.  
He asked us to think of our relationship with the Almighty. Where do you place your security and confidence? How is God your support and strength? And think of the symbol that depicts our answers.

alexa got down to business.
I went for the simple and drew a heart. It’s simple, straightforward, and doesn’t entail tricky drawing techniques that I clearly lack. After figuring out our own symbols, we broke into small groups and were asked to put together all of our doodles into one gigantic cartolina.

all four ladies proudly posed with their work of art.

my groupmates eagerly worked on our project.
While everyone were doodling and painting (and not just on the cartolinas), Padre Justo met an accident. He was joking around with us, dancing actually, when he suddenly slipped and fell to the floor. For several seconds, he was just there lying clearly in pain. He stood up clutching at his arm while speaking in Spanish. Within the next minutes, Eduardo and his wife Angeles, whisked him off to the hospital in Murcia. Everyone was shocked. And the graffiti poster projects were forgotten.

Padre Justo happily posed with me just a few minutes before the accident.

That evening, we attended mass at the local church with the rest of the community.

After our morning praise, Eduardo asked us to take photos that represent what relationships and friendships mean to us. We all had carte blanche and need not stick to the expected. In fact, he wanted us to let our queer flags fly free.

friendships are refreshing.

friendships are healing.

friends stick with us through thick and thin.
Thus after spending a good thirty minutes at the beach, I took off and went around town. I got a few weird stares and had a couple interrogate me as to what I was doing. I just took a shot of empty porch chairs and inquired if I could take a shot of their dogs. Apparently, there were a couple of burglaries within the last few days and they were a bit suspicious that I might be one of the thieves. Geez. Really? Honestly?! I said I was a tourist and just wanted a couple of photos.

we just had to take this photo while putting together our very short video on friendship.

Just after beach time, we were surprised to see the facilitators all dressed up in black with matching dark shades. They barred us from rinsing off the salt water or sand or dropping off our things in our rooms.

Sr. Belen played the role of the fate and handed out new identities. She handed to me a card that read that I was still a Filipina and was really poor. Apparently, I was still a member of the third world. We were ushered into the mess hall but not before we were frisked. (Much like what they do at SM supermalls and airports.)

every single one was frisked.
grabbed from cathy diaz's fb page
The mess hall was divided into three corners – the first world, second world, and the third world. The first world table was well appointed and came with a good –looking waiter in the form of Eduardo. The second world table was covered with a cloth, and not much of anything really. The third world corner was just a mess of overturned chairs and litter.

here's the third world and its citizens.
grabbed from cathy diaz's fb page
Each of us entered with a look of surprise and confusion. When the realization set in, that look would either change to one of elation or disappointment. About three people ate as a first-world citizen. Four people were seated at the second world table. While the rest of us – say about 17 of us, were crammed into our own chaotic corner.

It was lunchtime and everyone was hungry and thirsty. But no one was doing a damn thing about it. True to form, I started demanding for water. At the top of lungs, I screamed for water. I got whacked for doing so. Some joined me in my effort while the rest did nothing, too scared, I think, to do anything. When I became too loud for their ears, the guards hauled me out of the room. That left the rest of the third world citizens to do something about the world order.

Eventually, the exercise ended. We put the mess hall back in order and were served our real lunch. At the lunch table, I learned that nothing significant happened after I was hauled away. Neither the first world nor the second world citizens shared their food with the “poor and hungry.” Nor did the people from the third world tidy up their corner or demand that they be given food. They did share, though, amongst themselves their allocation of the world’s food - a potato and a glass of water.

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