By Aerol B. Patena
MANILA, Dec 6 (PNA) — Enhancing camaraderie and relationships among people of various nationalities, involvement in community service, and developing leadership skills are just some of the experiences that youth delegates of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) will cherish.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Philippine Youth Ambassador of Goodwill Randy Magdaluyo stated that the cultural exchange program provided him the opportunity to bond with his fellow delegates and share common experiences and concerns.
“Although there is the issue of language barrier, what is surprising is that there are some things that words can’t express and we feel that there really is a connection among us,” Magdaluyo said.
He related that SSEAYP enhanced his leadership skills by training him how to adapt to various social situations. “SSEAYP lets you be exposed to different personalities and situations which provide you different leadership styles to adapt to a particular setting.”
Around 300 young people from Japan and ASEAN member states including 28 Filipino delegates on board the Japanese luxury cruise ship MS Nippon Maru arrived in Manila as part of a 51-day voyage which included tours to Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Singapore. Institutional visits to hospitals and facilities for the elderly and immersion in communities in each of the country were some of the activities under the program.
He related that during the ship’s voyage, he had a Vietnamese and Brunei delegate as roommates and they were able to share their culture and ideas. “It is important that you create that safe environment where they could freely share any ideas and experiences that they have”.
Delegates for the activity were selected through undergoing a series of interviews that tested their leadership and social skills, according to the Filipino National Youth Leader.
The Filipino delegates conducted a tour around communities in Metro Manila, courtesy calls with the embassies of countries they will visit and media interviews before they embark on the voyage.
The MS Nippon Maru will be docking in the country from December 6-9. Foreign delegates will be able to interact with their foster families and conduct institutional visits on the duration of the stay.
The SSEAYP is an annual cultural exchange program established since 1974 which aims to promote friendship and mutual understanding among youths of ASEAN member states and Japan, broaden their global perspective, as well as strengthen their motivations and abilities in international cooperation. (PNA)