On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 the students of Grade 10 – Kalayaan of Father Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech had the opportunity to meet and speak with their fellow high-school students from various schools in the Philippines through a video conference organized by Face-to-Faith, an international organization which aims to promote peace and foster cooperation among the people of different nations, particularly the youth in whose hands the future of the world rests.
A core group of 15 students sat in the middle of Audiovisual Room 1 while the rest of the class observed the conduct of the conference. The other participating schools were the Center for Positive futures in San Mateo, Rizal, Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan) High School, and De La Salle Lipa. One other school, Ateneo de Zamboanga High School, was not able to join because their classes had been called off due to inclement weather.
Among the topics discussed by the youth were:
- What are the qualities, characteristics and values that define and identify a Filipino?
- What are the possible influences to the formation of the characteristics of a Filipino? What factors help shape the Filipino identity?
- How do the students and their communities live out or celebrate this “Filipino-ness”?
- Reflection. Students talked about what they learned, something that surprised them, or something they wanted to know more about.
The ERDAnians felt glad and fortunate to have had the chance to undergo such an enriching experience. Kyla Fernandez, for instance, said that she learned many lessons which she can apply in her life. She realized that even if she and her fellow Filipinos come from different backgrounds and circumstances in life, they are cared for by God, the loving Father. She also saw the importance of having a friendly conversation instead of a debate or argument with her peers from other schools in other parts of the country.
Likewise, Leslie Loraine Veraque said that she gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the good characteristics of Filipinos such as being hospitable, responsible, and Christ-centered. She is also very happy to have learned much from the responses of the participants from the other schools.
Moreover, Courtney Gwen de la Cruz said that even if at first she was nervous and scared, she later felt at ease and glad because she saw how accepting and open the participants were, which in turn taught her to listen more to others and respect their views.
Miss Jesselyn “Gigi” T. Buendia, Basic Christian Living teacher and Campus Ministry Coordinator of FPTI – ERDA Tech, is the Face-to-Faith point person of the school and works hand in hand with Mr. Erwin Montojo, Face-to-Faith Country Coordinator based in Xavier School San Juan and a former volunteer teacher in ERDA Tech.