Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our Malaysian Buddies

(c) Liezl Bonoan

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Pasig City Science High School welcomed the Malaysian visitors from Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Syed Putra last November 11, 2013 (Monday) for a five-days student exchange program.

The students of III-Kelvin, the class where I am from, was there to personally welcome these visitors.

"Ohayou gozaimasu," meaning 'good morning' in nihongo was the expression we said when we first met them. We also waved our flaglets (Malaysian, Philippines, and Japan flag). They were all friendly and greeted us back.

The students from III-Joule were the one who toured the Malaysian students in our school. While our class prepared our gifts and dance presentation for the Culture Exchange Program.

Our first day with them, November 12, 2013, we were given the chance to interview the Malaysian students. We had a very funny and interesting conversation with them during the interview. After that, we changed into our national costume and proceeded to the YDC or Youth Development Center.

(c) Liezl Bonoan
The picture above is a collage made by my classmate, Liezl Bonoan, for our first day with them. Most of us grew to be close with our Malaysian buddies and I enjoy talking to them. Although, it was kind of weird when they speak in their native language and I think that they felt the same way whenever we speak tagalog.

The third day, November 13, 2013, Wednesday, was our second day with them. Sachiko Kuwano-sensei, from Japan Foundation Manila, was there to watch and help for the activities that we will be having. We had lessons about the 'banana' and we made posters of our restaurant. We were very comfortable with the Malaysians and one of them even wrote the tagalog words, "loka-loka ka" and other tagalog words that he heard.

We also taught the Malaysian some tagalog words like "Mahal kita" meaning I love you, "Salamat" or thank you, "Magandang Umaga" which means good morning, and some even taught their buddies to say, "Ang ganda mo" meaning you're pretty.

(c) Kim Manuel
After our tour with the Malaysians at the Rainforest Park or Rave, we went back to YDC. And that was when almost everyone wanted to take pictures with their friends since we only have one day left to spend with them. At first, we were given orders not to touch the Malaysians because they might feel offended but it's somehow funny that some of them even initiated the hug during our last day with them.

We made a power point presentation for them during their last day and we also dedicated a song to the Malaysians. We took lots of pictures and hugged our Malaysian friends. Some of us even cried while saying their goodbyes.

We promised to keep in touch with our new-found friends and we also gave gifts as a remembrance. We'll really miss them and it's sad that they have to leave so soon.

They stayed in the Philippines for 5 days, and we're thankful that we were given the chance to be with them for 3 days. When we were with them, we don't feel uncomfortable and there was no awkward moments. We laugh, smile, and talk to each other like we were all the same. Same country, same age, same nationality, and same religion. 

It just proves that in friendship, age, gender, physical appearance and nationality doesn't matter. Once you find a person whom you feel comfortable with, you learn to see past your differences.
In the end, all that matters is how happy you felt when you were with that person.

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