Ateneo Team Wins 2nd place at Students PR Grand Prix for BAHANDA Campaign

February 03, 2016
Photo courtesy of Reena Gomez

“Team Arc,” a group of eight students from the Ateneo de Manila University, garnered second place in the nationwide Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) Students Grand Prix Competition held last January 31 at the ICITE Auditorium in Eastwood City, Quezon City.
The students won for their proposed disaster preparedness PR plan entitled “BAHANDA,” a play on the words “baha” and “handa,” which they presented before a panel of expert PR practitioners and government officials involved in disaster management. 
The members of Team Arc were Raphy del Callar (3 BS ME), Chinny Daez (4 AB IS), Gio Evidente (4 BS MIS), Reena Gomez (4 BS ComTec), Ella Manalaysay (4 AB Com), Liezel Medrano (4 AB IS), Audrey Mooney (2 AB MEC), and Evee Raypon (3 AB IS). Serving as advisers to Team Arc were Bernie Bagaman and Dr. Sev Sarmenta, Communication Department Chair of Ateneo.
The student-teams were tasked to present PR plans to help the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) effectively communicate disaster preparedness and readiness programs to the public in order to minimize casualties during super typhoons.
The Ateneo team’s three-phase BAHANDA campaign aimed to bolster disaster preparedness measures, highlight a preventive rather than reactive stance, and empower the youth and communities through fun activities. 
The plan adopted a community-based approach, proposing customized disaster preparedness measures which involved the holding of BAHANDA summits, three-week conferences facilitated by the NDRRMC in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government counterparts in each region.  In these summits, delegates from different sectors would join together to talk about the current status of their region’s disaster preparedness and explore ways of improving this on a grassroots level.

Photo courtesy of Ella Manalaysay

Another proposed activity was the creation of a viral video inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge in which a prankster would splash water on an unsuspecting person and say: “Maaaring tumama ang sakuna sa di inaasahang panahon.  Kalimutan ang bahala na. Maging BAHANDA ka.”
Other PR activities and collaterals included: a “BAHANDA Na Ba Kayo” music festival, a Facebook page, early alarm systems, customized tarpaulins and community posters, and BAHANDA raincoats, stickers, and disaster kits with bags, umbrellas, whistles and flashlights.
First and third place went to two student teams from the University of the Philippines-Manila. 
Other finalists in the competition were teams from De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Silliman University and Assumption College.

Photos courtesy of Ella Manalaysay and Reena Gomez