Press Release

“A new generation of BIDAs to spearhead the effort to bring about a new Philippines”

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) invites Filipino student leaders to its annual youth camp entitled Bida: Be The Change (Bidahan) Youth Camp, which will be held on November 27-28, 2010 at the Assumption-Antipolo campus with this year’s theme, “Earth-Keeper, Ethical Leader”. 

Currently, the country is plagued with malpractices of leadership and citizenship which places narrow interests above the common good and run contrary to the values of Christianity and to the ideals of a democratic society. It is this style of leadership and citizenship that breeds and sustains the feelings of apathy and cynicism that so many of the youth feel.

“The youth as a sector is crucial for the transformation of Philippine society,” expressed Mr. Rene Salvador San Andres, Bidahan National Coordinator of CEAP. “The young are the ones who will inherit the country and therefore stand to gain, or lose, from the outcomes of present efforts.”

The “Bida: Be the Change” Youth Camp seeks to provide a venue for the Filipino youth from the different sectors around the country to come together and combat the indifference and pessimism that infects many of the youth, especially when asked to contribute to nation-building.

The youth camp aims to inspire the youth and equip them with the knowledge and confidence to lead their fellow youth towards helping and building the nation. Furthermore, it seeks to prod them to proceed to concrete action for positive change as they go back to their schools and communities of origin.

“We envision a Philippines where a new culture prevails,” says San Andres, who is also the Associate Dean for Student Affairs of the Ateneo de Manila University, “wherein citizens are engaged and responsible, and leaders are effective, empowering and ethical. We envision the youth to be the new heroes, ang mga ‘BIDA’, mga kabataang may Bagong Isip, Diwa at Asal.”

The program invites student leaders to undergo a two-day empowerment program. The youth camp aims to move the young participants to always uphold the Bidahan Core Principles, which are the following:

* Dignity of every human person
* Primacy of Truth
* Importance of exacting Accountability
* Need to build and support Democratic Institutions
* Preferential option for the Excluded and Vulnerable Sectors of society
* Stewardship as the way of proceeding

Resource speakers for the camp are Mr. Rafael C. Lopa, President and Executive Director of the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation, Mr. Lawrence Tan, CEO of the Worldwide Fund for Nature ? Philippines and Fr. Albert Alejo, S.J., Ehem! Convenor.

A Youth Night and Advocacy Fair highlight the camp with Paolo Santos, Peryodiko and other student acts performing on stage. In between performances, different development groups have been invited to encourage the new bidas to volunteer for their causes. These are the Dynamic Teen Company, HapagAsa Integrated Nutrition Program, Ka Rene Penas Fund, Missionaries of the Poor, Museo Pambata, One Core Success Center, One Tama, PinoyME Foundation, Sagip Pasig Movement, Sparks for Change, World Vision, Worldwide Fund for Nature ? Philippines and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The Bida: Be The Change (Bidahan) Youth Camp is open to all young Filipino student leaders residing in the Philippines, at least in 3rd year high school (or the equivalent) at the time of the application period. There is no year level requirement for college-level representatives. The students must have shown leadership or its potential in the Student Council, student publications, or accredited student organizations. They must also have shown openness to a leadership style that is effective, empowering and ethical.

Interested applicants may contact the CEAP-NCR Secretariat at 406-1611 local 8267. For further inquiries, you may email Mr. Rene Salvador R. San Andres, Bidahan National Coordinator, at rsanandres@ateneo.edu or call 426-6001 local 5020.

The BIDA: Be the Change Youth Camp is a project of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in collaboration with partners, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), the Ateneo School of Government, the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, the Catechetical Foundation of the Archdiocese of Manila, the ManilaArchdiocesan and Parochial Schools Association, RockEd Philippines, the Ninoy and Cory  Aquino Foundation, Knowledge Channel and Vibal Publishing, Inc.

The BIDA: Be The Change (Bidahan) Youth Camp
The Bidahan began as a 24-hour youth camp in September 2008 inspired and initiated by Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos, immediate past CEAP National President and CEAP-NCR Director. It was held at the La Salle Greenhills Gym. It was again conducted in November 2009 at the Assumption School - Antipolo. More than two thousand youth leaders from the NCR and a handful of representatives from almost all of the regions have so far participated in the two NCR Bidahans. Using interactive learning workshops, sharing sessions, talks, and music, participants were inspired to advocate the Core Principles and were encouraged to practice ethical leadership and responsible citizenship through participation in efforts to mobilize their fellow youth for the 2010 elections.

In 2009, the CEAP rallied the support of the bigger organization of private schools, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA). With the COCOPEA National Board’s endorsement, the CEAP opened Bidahan’s doors to participants from private schools outside of the Catholic education network. Furthermore, the Bidahan collaborates with advocacy groups whose principles and practices are aligned with those of the Bidahan. They contribute to the content of the Bidahan youth camps and provide avenues for action for the Bidas afterwards.

In July 2009 and February 2010 respectively, the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) and the Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-tawi Association of Private Schools (ZAMBASULTAPS) joined the effort by conducting their regional Bidahans. The heads of both associations have signified their intention to conduct it once again in School Year 2010-2011. Several other regions are expected to begin their Bidahan programs in 2010-2011.