FEU WRP: More than What Meets the Eye

FEU Advocate
September 17, 2021 09:19

By Kristine Emerald S. Oliva and Angelic Mizpah Chaste C. Bulanhagui 

As degree programs are filled with painstaking high-unit courses, 1.5 units and straightforward requirements may make the Far Eastern University (FEU) Wellness and Recreation Program (WRP) feel insignificant, but that cannot be further from the truth. It is an opportunity to learn something new or practice and enhance one’s potential.

First introduced during the Academic Year 2018-2019, WRP was an initiative set by the University in its bid for a more holistic approach to physical education. During pre-pandemic, schedules were posted in Canvas’ WRP cards where students have to reserve a slot with the activity they are interested in— taking note of the date, time, location, and specialist of that particular session. 

Currently, the program still offers a wide range of activities that can be accessed through Zoom using the meeting identification numbers posted in the Announcement tab of the Canvas WRP card.

Dance Activities

Be it in dancing shoes or indoor slippers— swing, sway, and groove to the beat with WRP’s lessons on dance fitness, zumba, ballroom, and hip hop! 

In an interview with FEU Advocate, WRP Head Jennifer Pascua voiced that not only will the sessions help develop one’s dancing skills, but also improve their health-related and performance-related fitness. Cardiovascular endurance and body movement coordination from sustained practice can also be developed.

“Not just magpawis ka, but definitely ang endpoint noon or ang main goal is to really develop the physical aspect wherein ‘yung performance nga ninyo ... medyo nai-improve siya kasi you have to do it in a sustained manner (Not just for you to sweat, but definitely the endpoint there or the main goal is to really develop the physical aspect wherein your performances … will improve because you have to do it in a sustained manner),” Pascua added.

Conditioning and Strengthening Exercises

Perhaps boasting the most number of activities in the WRP arsenal; from full body and upper body workout, to exercises that feature chairs, flexibility training, high-intensity interval training, and tabata workout— WRP has got Tamaraws covered in their fitness journey.

That said, with the amount of readings and tasks that are probably waiting at the desk, choosing to attend any of these sessions may be just what one needs to properly stretch their limbs and ease their back pain after chipping away at the block.

While these sets of exercises help engage different muscle groups, attending the conditioning and strengthening exercises also allows students to plan their own routine that is most suited for them in meeting their wellness goals, said Pascua.

Music Sessions

Unlike the popular thought that college is a take-one path that requires the sacrifice of one’s passions, honing creative musical skills is something that the WRP supports with its lessons featuring songwriting, song composition, guitar lesson, voice lesson, and music relaxation.

Each session focuses on expanding one’s ability in the different elements of music. Aside from this, Pascua shared that basic piano lessons will be introduced come October.

Arts and Crafts

At a time when people are beginning to see the value in arts and crafts as a side hustle and source of income, one must not pass up the opportunity to learn how to cast bits and bobs into existence.

“[Ito ay] pag-recycle ng mga materials natin to come up with a new form of art or craft na pwedeng ‘pag minodify niyo pa or in-improvepwedeng maging form of business (It is the recycling of our materials to come up with a new form of art or craft that, once modified or improved can be a form of business),” Pascua explained, adding that it also serves well as a hobby used to create gifts for loved ones.

Self Defense

It may not be splitting bricks with hands or fly-kicking an opponent into the wall, but the martial art activities offered by the program will surely come in handy during unexpected situations.

With the likes of hand-to-hand combat versus attacker, taekwondo, aikido, and karatedo, learning the basics will come a long way in terms of discipline— as is the cornerstone of all martial arts— and maintaining a proper posture. Meanwhile, frequent attendance may help one build a good, solid foundation on self-defense especially with the ever-present dangers in society.

Individual Sports Activities

While a number of sporting games have been banned in the country as a risk measure against COVID-19, FEU students can still shake off the rust with sports sessions on WRP.

Among these are functional strength training and agility training for basketball and volleyball, basic grip and stance in badminton, and chess game proper. Each is designed to enhance one’s basic knowledge of respective sports in the comforts of one’s home.

WRP Amidst Distance Learning

With the abrupt swing of a global pandemic, several changes were implemented to accommodate learning adjustments in the country. One of them is distance learning wherein the student and the teacher are separated geographically while the classes take place. 

On the other hand, how can an activity that requires physical interaction be effective when the method to be used puts barriers in place and time? According to Pascua, consideration of the situation and the subsequent connectivity issues in our country is one way to adapt to distance learning as a facilitator.

Since naka-online tayo, of course I have to consider the fact na ang main problem ng Pilipinas is [internet] connection. And we would still like to continue our commitment to serve our students with this kind of opportunity for them to continue, ‘di ba, i-achieve ninyo ‘yung wellness goal ninyo (Since we’re online, of course I have to consider the fact that the main problem of the Philippines is [internet] connection. And we would still like to continue our commitment to serve our students with this kind of opportunity for them to continue, isn’t it, and achieve your wellness goals),” Pascua stated. 

Additionally, considering that this school year’s WRP is based on online engagement, the department also minimized the requirements needed to pass the course compared to what was required during face-to-face engagements. 

“I required the student a minimum of one—at least one—WRP engagement in a semester wherein ‘yung magiging form of assessment para malaman natin ‘yung attendance ninyo will be an activity output reflection paper na na-integrate ko kay FLJ (I required the student a minimum of one—at least one—WRP engagement in a semester wherein the form of assessment to ensure the attendance will be an activity output reflection paper that I integrated from FLJ),” Pascua explained on what adjustments were made by the department to adapt on distance learning.

On top of the numerous improvements that have been made, the department is still strategizing to remove the barriers between distance learning and physical education. With that, proper consideration of both parties' situations is necessary to remove the boundaries that hinder the students and facilitators from performing an effective online WRP engagement.

After all, WRP is not just a 1.5-unit course added to the student’s curriculum for recreational purposes only. More than the physicalities of it and what meets the eye, WRP is also about character building, enhancement of self-responsibility, and developing an individual’s unified character and values as a person.

(Photo by Precious Diamond Farro/FEU Advocate)