JaFUN in the Philippines

by Yanna Arcilla, Grade 11

The author with her host sister

For the past five years, St Joseph School in Tsu City, Japan has been sending students to Woodrose to participate in an exchange program. This year, eleven Japanese students and two chaperone-teachers arrived on August 11, 2017 for a ten-day stay in the Philippines. We warmly welcomed them by hosting an intimate party where they also had the opportunity to meet their host families.

During their stay, the Japanese students participated in different class lectures and activities and went on cultural trips. They toured Taal Heritage Town in Batangas, visited the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours, saw the ancestral home of Marcela Agoncillo, went to a public market, tried on traditional Filipiniana costumes in Villa Tortuga, and had a boodle-fight style lunch. Since their visit coincided with the Linggo ng Wika celebration of the Grade School Department, they were able to witness Filipino dance performances, sabayang pagbigkas, and balagtasan. They definitely got a rich taste of Philippine culture and history!

The Woodrose Student Council accompanied them to an outreach activity at St. Hannival Multi-Level School in Paranaque where they played games, shared gifts, and enjoyed a meal together with 65 school children.

Strong bonds were also formed between the Japanese students and their host families. They shared fun times going to the beach, watching plays, and exploring Philippine cities. Ten days may seem long at first, but as the saying goes: ‘time flies when you’re having fun.’ Before anyone knew it, there was only one day left.

The Japanese held a thank you-farewell party which included a performance of several Japanese songs and a demonstration on how to wear the Yukata. At the end, many tears were shed as each Japanese student—as well as their teachers—shared short, personal messages to express their gratitude to our school, students, and teachers. After they boarded their bus to leave, they didn’t stop waving until they were out of sight.

 

St. Joseph students in their typical school uniform

The St. Joseph students (wearing the Woodrose PE shrit) and teachers on their field trip

The St. Joseph students got dressed in traditional Filipino clothing

At the thanksgiving and farewell dinner

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Address: 
PAREF Woodrose School
Acacia Avenue Extension, Ayala Alabang
1780 Muntinlupa City MM
Philippines

Phone:
(+632)850-6380 to 83; (+632)850-0169; (+632)807-3257

Arrange a campus tour from Monday to Friday,
between 8AM and 3PM.

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