Youth Group Visiting Japan
JENESYS: A great beginning..
It is a jungle out there. A big world with big chances. A crushing competition and a big shuffling tornado of choices and options. That's what I thought when a good friend of mine invited me to apply for the Japan East-Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths, 10 Days Visit Programme. It is a program which dispatches 100 students all over ther Philippines that aims to expound the connection and unity between Japan and other ASEAN countries. In short, I have a small chance of getting in with the competition among many students from famous schools over the nation. But still, I took my chances and it paid of more that I ever expected.
Blessing in disguise..
I could still remember that afternoon when I received a text message from my classmate who also applied on the same program as I did at the same time. He said, he received a confirmation letter that he was chosen to be one of the 100 students to represent the country on the JENESYS 10 Days Visit Programme. For several days, my heart pumps so fast as I hope a mailman will knock on our door bringing the same letter I was hoping to receive. A painful fact that weeks passes by, there was no signal of chance of getting the letter. And so, I woke my self up from the fact that I haven't been accepted on the Programme.
First week of March, while I was having a chikenpox, I received an unexpected call from the National Youth Commission (NYC), informing me that I was accepted on the JENESYS ASEAN 10+ Timor Leste Joint Programme. I was utterly caught of guard. The woman over the phone told me that the confirmation letter was returned to their office because the mailman did not find my address. I have realized after hanging up the phone that God works on the best way he could and will give you the best things on his own best and surprising way. If I did not have a chickenpox at that very moment I received that call, I wouldn't be able to picked it up because I will probably having my class in school. It was a blessing in disguise then.
The NYC send the letter to URC through the International Relations Office. And a day after, I got the most anticipated letter. That was the only time that I realizedd that I was accepted to be part of the ASEAN 10+ Timor Letse Joint Programme instead of the 10 Days Vist Programme that I applied to. The program dispatches 20 students in the Philippines and other 20 students each from the other 10 ASEAN countries which I think is a good way to go.
One of my greatest dreams is to visit other country, and it was granted through the most sweetest and meaningful circumstances in my life.
Things I've gain through my stay..
When I felt the ambiance and the cold breeze of the air, I knew I already stepped at the Land of the Rising Sun. The roads were full of colorful lights, the streets were all clean, the building was obviously designed well and the people were all in suits. It is far beyond what I expected.
The people I met from the 11 countries involved including the Philippines were all nice and friendly. It was such an honor to be with such people with good spirit through my stay in Japan. And I guess it's the best part of being one of the participants of the programme. It is the opportunity to meet and exchange cultures with the rest of the ASEAN countries. I had the privilege to interact and tell stories about my counrty. And through my stay in Japan, I have realized the importance of the English Language. Because of it, participants from different countries understood each other even of having different nationality. I did not only saw the importance of the English Language but the Filipino Language as well. There were times that I missed speaking my vernacular language. Somehow, I felt home in speaking the Filipino language I must say.
The Japanese people from my host family have the most beautiful smiles and aura. I never felt that I was a visitor in their house but a family instead. A real family. I called them Nanay and Tatay instead of Okasan and Otosan. And my sister and my brother at my host family treated me as their own siblings as well. The warmth of their smile and presence makes me feel home.
It is an abstract picturesque of a wonderful moment to see different people from different walks of life to come together as one family.
Amidst of the complexities of culture, language and belief differences, I know that we can be one if we initiate and make an effort to reach out to each other and be united. The JENESYS Programme genuinely gave way on a deeper level understanding and appreciation of many things, and here are some my learning:
1. There are still good hearted people in the world that has selfless love. - Just like the person who offered me and my friend to apply on JENESYS.
2. Japan is a very progressive country when it comes to technology. Their place is so clean and well organized and Japanese people obsevered waste manegement. - But if they could make their country as progressive and discipline as they are, it is not too impossible to make ours the same.
3. ASEAN countries have several differences when it comes to culture, religion and lifestyle but we also have lots of similarities for us to work together.
4. 10 Days is enough to call people your family and friends.
5. One of the ways we could realize and appreciate the importance of being a Filipino is when we go to other country.
6. English Language and hand gestures build bridges amidst of differences. There's always a way to reach out to others.
7. Even a second counts. - Just like how the Japanese pay importance in time as being punctual, we should also do the same to improve ourselves and our effeciency.
8. Everything makes sense when you patiently waits. - Just like me dreaming for quite some times to go to other country and it was granted on God's perfect time.
9. Take a risk, grab every opportunity that was given by God. And take a leap of faith. -Even though there was a time that its quite impossible for me to be accepted on the Programme, I still took the risk and keep my hopes held high.
10. God gives everything on his own perfect time with your own effort and time. And everything will comes naturally.
These are some of my realizations and learning in joining the program. And if I will mention all of it, it will probably took the whole day to tell you all of it. For some says that joining the program might be fun because you can travel for free, but as you've been there and experience what I and my co-student ambassadors did, you will unconsiously see and realize what I mean. It is more than a pleasure but a dedication and a lifetime learning and memories to treasure.
And I think that is why the Japan East-Asia of Exchange for Students and Youths was made, it is to build a better you to build a better world.
This article is dedicated to my Fukuoka Group: Marul, Tash, Heng, Aling, King, Ammal, Hein, Wai, Ferd, Ana, Mark, Barn, Becca, Japan, Nana, Akaya, Nuno, Pham, Ryn, Fira, Zee, Ms. Suzuki, Mr. Hiro, Ms. Hoshino, Mr. Chan, and Ms. Jane and my Host Family: Mrs. Tomoko , Mr. Taisuke, Sayaka, and Ryotaro -Always missing you all..