Philippines-Fujian youth exchange program fosters good memories

By Francois Nacua |December 14,2018 - 11:10 PM

The delegates had tea time and a lecture at Wuyi Star, a tea company in Wuyishan, Fujian, China.

A MAGNIFICENT tropical scenery plus warm and friendly people were among the things that Xu Congrui, a youth exchange delegate from Fujian University of Technology in
China, looked forward to in coming to the Philippines.

But little did he know about the details of the long-term relationship between China and the Philippines.

“After I came here, I realized that our countries have a much longer friendship than what I learned of before. The cultural-mix of the Filipinos like their food, way of living and festivals are evidence,” said Xu.

Xia Jing, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine student, shared some of her
significant experiences in the Philippines where she got to
try some fruits in the country like durian, mangosteen and
the famous mango.

“The Philippines is really a beautiful country with so much sunshine and delicious fruits!” she exclaimed.

Xu and Xia were among the 28 youth exchange delegates from Fujian Province in the
People’s Republic of China who toured around the cities of Manila, Davao and Cebu for a week to experience and to know more about the Philippines and its people, as well as to learn China and Philippines relations, similarities and history. They then flew to China for another week of learning and first-hand experience of Chinese culture and practices.
Xu said he was jubilant meeting the Filipino delegates as some of them have become his close friends.

“We had endless talks from families to affairs and life, from science to religion and philosophy,” he added.

The Filipino and Chinese delegates had a lot of time to bond; from the bus, train and plane rides; to eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together, endless walks, awe-inspiring climb to the mountain top and the fascinating bamboo rafting on a nine curves stream during the 15-day trip.

Aia Apostol, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation president of Badian town in Cebu and one of the youth exchange program delegates, said that despite the language barrier they still understood each other and became friends.

The exchange program between the two countries concluded in the City of Fuzhou in Fujian, China signifying the bilateral relations, not only in economy and trade, but also to seal people-to-people exchanges.

“Those memories will be carved on my mind, and I hope we can meet again. I think the exchange program is a great way to shorten our distance and to start a lasting friendship,” Xia said after the 14-day exchange program.

The first Philippines-China Youth Friendly Exchange Program was initiated by the Fujian Foreign Affairs Office in China and co-sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, Chinese Consulates General in Cebu and Davao and Friends of the Philippines Foundation.

The program encouraged the delegates to make it a starting point to work, learn and grow together to become bridges of a stronger bond between the two countries

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