Smashed PH: Students across the Philippines get a dramatic lesson on the risks of underage drinking

Students from across the Philippines got a hard-hitting lesson on the risks associated with underage drinking as part of an award-winning international program, Smashed, that has reached over 1 million young people in 30 countries.

Smashed is a global alcohol education and attitudinal change program being delivered in the Philippines by the PETA-Plus Program, an adjunct business expansion unit of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Originally developed by Collingwood Learning in the UK, and supported by Diageo, Smashed was created in collaboration with young people and combines drama with interactive workshops to help them understand the facts, causes, and consequences of underage drinking. The Philippine project started in September 2022 and was delivered online. 

The primary target for the Philippine implementation is Filipino teenagers, and the program is geared toward “harnessing critical thinking through informed choices”. With this, the curricular design and implementation are both supported by a strong fundamental teacher’s guide. Smashed Philippines has worked with consultants from the Department of Education in creating a curriculum map where Smashed may be integrated as Grades 5-12  have an existing alcohol education component in their curriculum. 

What preludes to the virtual program is an online interactive film component that narrates a story of the plight of three individuals on their misuse of alcohol at a very young age. This is followed by facilitated sessions with MAPEH and Values Education teachers to ensure the continuity of holistic learning. Furthermore, there were also sessions for respective student government officers and advisors, so they can adapt and implement Smashed in their own schools and communities. As Smashed Philippines has been working with PETA-Plus, the expertise in arts and theater education of its educators and facilitators is shared generously through varied activities and programs such as a songwriting workshop, competitions, and teachers’ creative modules.

While it started in cities in the National Capital Region, such as Manila, Quezon City, and Pasig City, Smashed PH has been collaborating with the Department of Education - Youth Formation Division in the hopes of expanding into more collaborative initiatives with other cities across the country. The initial rollout was able to reach 120 schools or approximately 18,000 students and 675 educators. The program ran successfully as its impact report showed that 93% of young people who participated confirmed attitudinal change.

To sustain its efforts in alcohol education using an arts-based approach, Smashed Philippines is launching its second year of programming. For education and capacity building, the Smashed team will be hopping from school to school, to conduct the website workshops face-to-face for NCR schools and online for areas outside NCR.  This will be followed by a webinar series on alcohol education for teachers and young people which will happen in September, December 2022, and February 2023.  Four partner schools will also participate in a live theater-in-education performance of Smashed - Prevention of Underage Drinking.

Smashed Philippines will implement online website sessions, assemblies, alignment meetings for coordinators, and a year-end evaluation to strengthen partnerships with existing networks, and engage with more institutions. Online promos and mini-games will be launched on its digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. An online essay-writing and video-making competition for young people will be launched from March to April 2023. Through these activities, Smashed aims to emphasize the importance of young people’s participation in making positive choices and empowered decisions. 

All in all, Smashed Philippines continues its mission to be at the forefront of alcohol education in the country through positivity, empowerment, and improvement.  It proves to be a potent and useful way to enhance existing curricula across local schools in an interactively creative way. 

Edward Santos

EDnything is a lifestyle and entertainment blog featuring great deals and happenings in the Philippines. It also features food reviews, gadgets, showbiz, movies and theater plays, and more!

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