Article written by Jose Marcel Yuzon Magno ΜΣΦ ’22
ROXAS, Mindoro Oriental – Once again, the Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival (QEFF) Team has been graced with an opportunity to screen a magnificent set of films from QEFF3, utilize the facilitator’s guidelines for guided discussions, and address the harrowing stigma surrounding mental health. This time, the QEFF Team braved long and winding roads, rough seas, the stygian night, and countless kilometers as they travelled all the way to the Clarendon College in Oriental Mindoro last September 8, 2018. They were met by an inspired crowd of 200 school principals, educators, and students in attendance; all eager to discuss and learn about Mental Health.
The program began with a flag ceremony and prayer led by teachers of the Clarendon College. Mrs. Flerie Tesado, the school principal, then took the stage to welcome the attendees and to emphasize the need to discuss mental health in their school. There is a lack of projects that address this, especially in the provinces, and called for action to address this gap. She enabled organizations saying that they need not be on the government level. Students and teachers alike can organize projects on their own and begin advocating in their own community.
Dr. Orlino Talens, Mu Sigma Phi 1969 and a proud native of Roxas, Mindoro, followed to provide a brief overview of the heroic background of the Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival. He highlighted the importance of self-denying service for the benefit of the community. The opening ceremonies concluded with the attendees splitting into four different groups for the breakout sessions.
Four rooms were utilized for the film screening and discussion. The films “Psychonaut” (Substance-Use Disorder), “Comfort Room” (Suicide), and “Ang Nawala, Naligaw, at Nagpakalayo” (Psychological Well-being) were viewed and discussed extensively. To no surprise, each room held fruitful conversations surrounding mental health. Participants shared many heartfelt anecdotes, outstanding opinions, and interesting inquiries that the allotted time seemed insufficient. Each attendee walked out of their respective discussion rooms bearing relieved smiles and a bright new perspective on mental health.
The plenary session led by Dr. Marvin Masalunga, Mu Sigma Phi 2014 followed. He discussed Substance-Use Disorder, Suicide, Depression, and Psychological Well-being while integrating the corresponding films discussed in the earlier film screenings. His lecture tied together the many different perspectives, opinions, and lessons that were constructed during the guided discussions.
The day concluded with words from Mrs. Flerie Tesado again emphasizing the role of teachers and school principals in impeding the rising incidence rate of mental health disorders in schools. She then directed the spotlight at the students of the Clarendon College. The students of the college were challenged to rise up in arms and pick up the advocacy; come up with their own projects and promote the cause and significance of mental health in their community. She ended her speech by opening new doors and opportunities by declaring that the QEFF Caravan can return to Mindoro and bring the films to more schools there.
The Mindoro leg of the QEFF Caravan may have come to a close, but it has only opened so much more opportunities. It is only one of the many caravans lined up for the celebration of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity’s 85th Anniversary. We look forward to the next leg!
Join us in the advocacy! If you’re interested in holding a film screening and discussion in your area as part of the QEFF Caravan, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us through https://www.facebook.com/QEfilmfest/