Monday, May 20, 2013

Disaster Risk Mitigation in the Community : A Quest for Japan

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Last March 12 and 13, Japan Foundation Manila held a seminar for Disaster Risk Mitigation in the Community at Ateneo de Manila University. This seminar wasn’t an ordinary one; in fact this seminar was very special to aspiring Japanese language learners who are dreaming of visiting Japan. About a number of 20 students from different schools all over the Philippines joined the said event.

The seminar was held for two days, the students were allowed to stay in the PASS Dormitory for the night, all expenses (food, transportation, dormitory) were sponsored by Japan Foundation. The first day of the seminar was full of lectures and fun activities held by two guest speakers. One of the speakers was Dr. Hiroko Nagai, director of Japanese Studies Program in Ateneo de Manila University. The other speaker was Mr. Hirokazu Nagata, president of Plus Arts, a non-profit organization in Japan. The lectures and workshop held by the two speakers were surely informational.

By the end of the first day of the seminar, the mechanics of the contest were announced. The students were grouped into seven, each group was asked to make a presentation about the disaster risk mitigation in the community. Three groups will be chosen and will be given a token by the end of the two-day seminar. In addition, during the presentation each student will be judged according to their skills in speaking and interacting with others by the selecting committee. Four lucky students will be chosen by the committee, and those three students will have the chance of visiting Japan by September. 

Each group was given the whole night to prepare. They shared ideas, used their imagination and creativity just to make a very wonderful presentation that will please all the judges. In fact some students had a few hours of sleep because they really worked hard over the night for their presentations.

The second day of the seminar was allotted for the presentations. Some groups danced, while the others sung. Some were confident but some were shy. Nevertheless, all the groups presented well. They all did their best. But among those seven groups, three groups stood out, they were the Disaster Overcome by Teens Association which came in the third place, the Farewell Atlantis Group, the second place and the Megane group who won the first place. The three groups received their tokens and items from Japan Foundation.

The two-day seminar really went well, new bonds among students were made, and lessons were also learned. Even though some students didn’t shine among the rest during their presentation, what matters is that they have enjoyed their time with the Japanese people and their new friends.

Almost two months have passed and finally the wait is over! The four lucky students were announced. They are Bill Lance A. Ombao from Pasig City Science High School, Queenie M. Dordas from Muntinlupa Science High School, Catharine Joyce Brillantes from Marikina Science High School and Kate F. Parilla from Buanoy National High School.

The said students will be joining the JS Forum in Japan on September this year. I wish them a good luck in representing our country!


*contributed by Clowee Anne Licsi

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