Ateneo Cultural Laboratory 2016 tries the “sweet taste of sugar” in Silay-Bacolod

April 19, 2016

It will be a summer of fun, food and learning for the students as a collaboration between the Departments of Sociology & Anthropology and History, Fine Arts Program and the Institute of Philippine Culture bring back the launch of the Ateneo Cultural Laboratory (ACL) 2016 Silay-Bacolod: The Sweet Taste of Sugar.

ACL started in 2009 and is a 6-unit summer course on the study, conservation and promotion of the Philippine culture. Here, the students go to local towns and have an immersion study. They focus on the town’s history and heritage, health and food practices, arts, crafts and performances, games, rituals and festivals.

It promotes love of country through scholarship of campus learning and heritage for local development.

Students raise their answer sheets during the quiz bee

ACL’s Director and Sociology & Anthropology professor Dr. Fernando Zialcita says that ACL is an effective way of teaching social science concepts and methods because the students do field work.

“The output can be used to address current developmental needs,” he says. “So the students can immediately see the connection of their research.”

Dr. Stephanie Coo of the History department also adds that ACL is a way for the students to try new things that they haven’t tried in Manila.

“I think you will really enjoy it,” she says. “Every year is a different province and we have a lot to offer. I think what you’d really be interested in is the cultural experience of the Negros from the inside.”

One of the projects for ACL 2016

Dr. Coo shares that some of the sights the students will go to are the sugar cane haciendas, old mansions of prominent families and local restaurants like the Bacolod sushi place.

Dr. Ricardo Abad, chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, encourages the students to have fun during their immersion and hopes that they learn a lot.

“Welcome to the Paris of Negros, to the exciting sights, sounds and feel you will experience in this expedition,” Dr. Abad says. “I guarantee you that this expedition is as magnifique as the way I experienced it.”

A student shares a testimonial of her experience during the ACL 2015 in Palawan

The theme for this year, the taste of sugar, focuses on how the sugar cane industry produced the wealthy culture of the Negrense.

Some of the projects of ACL 2016 will be the creation of the exhibit “Balay Negrense” on famous people from Silay, interpretation and familiarization of local Silay and Bacolod cuisine, and a tour to the 5 grand mansions in Silay.

The ACL program will start on June 6, 2016.