Bienvenidos! Ciudad de Zamboanga. (Welcome to Zamboanga City!)
Buenas noches contigo! Que tal? Esta bien!
(Good evening to you! How are you? Stay good.)
I learned these few simple Chavacano (a native dialect) words while I was in Zamboanga City. The place was formerly known as the City of flowers but recently claimed to be the Asia’s Latin City. The existence of the dialect itself, which is derived from the Spanish Language speaks for its reason. *I really love the language. I’m amazed the very time I heard someone speaking the said language. Without a doubt, it is unique.*
I was one of the delegates from SAMAHAN student council (acting Outgoing Ambassador) of Ateneo de Davao University in the recently concluded 26th Buklod Atenista last October 27-30, 2009. I remembered Rob Roque, one of Ateneo de Manila’s delegates to the summit said that the feeling that can best encapsulate what has transpired in our four days of stay and experiences in Zamboanga is “GRATITUDE”.
I strongly agree! Indeed, it’s a feeling of an overwhelming gratefulness.
GRACIAS (Thank you) for having the opportunity to see and explore the vastness of culture and history of the City. I really had a great time during the tour and was astonished to see how certain historical places like the Fort Pillar were preserved throughout the years. There were a lot of bonita (chavacano for beautiful) and bracing places to visit such as Paseo del Mar, Plaza Pershing, Yakan Village, Sta. Cruz Island and many more. Special thanks to Señora Christina Cañones and Señor Zen Johan for the inputs during the said tour and to Mayor Lobregat who was very nice and warm to all of us.
GRACIAS Ateneo de Zamboanga-El Consejo Atenista (ADZU student council) for your warm welcome. You did a great job in hosting this year’s Buklod Atenista. To the executive committee, you deserved a tap on your backs. Be rest assured that all your efforts were appreciated and a million thanks for accommodating us very well.
GRACIAS to the new learning experiences I have gained in this year’s BUKLOD Atenista. The review of Jesuit Leadership done by Father Antonio Moreno, ADZU President reminded me of what kind of leaders we need today. Leaders who are flexible, creative, learned, dialogical, heroic and engaged in the world. We need leaders who also practice magis and cura personalis. Undeniably, problems in our society are brought about by weak, if not absence of leadership or moral governance. Again, I was challenged to check my capabilities as a leader and grow better in this time of leadership crisis. On the other hand, the Discussion on Local Issues presented before us by the Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement Office representative of ADZU was an eye-opener to the other viewpoint of the pressing situations in the city. It was like a bang on my head saying “Hey! Look at the kind of world other people are living with”, which is depressing in nature and alarming at the same time. Again, the call for action and change is thrown on me. What can I do? What should I do now?
Hearing as well the different programs and activities being done by the different Ateneo schools inspires me in improving the system we have in Davao and apply some of it in school. Once more, a challenge was imposed upon me on what upgrading can be done in the school. Aside from that, the chance to do an outreach program to some natives in the nearby island and a political education in one barangay of the city were also memories to be treasured. These experiences are truly enriching and fulfilling at the same time. Again thanks to the speakers and to all the people of Zamboanga!
GRACIAS for the FRIENDSHIP. I had so much FUN working with great people from the different Ateneo schools in the Philippines(Cagayan, Manila, Naga and Zamboanga) . I pray that all our efforts will soon create a big impact in our society as we lead a big leap in creating change and progress. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and stories. It was nice meeting you all. (Edz, Becky, Aileen, Kurt, Pepi, Gio Tingson, Gio Alejo, Ton, Phil, Mar, JP, Tyrone, Gov. Kenny, Jay, Arnold, Justine, Al, Gerard, EJ, Neil, Christine, Carlo, Chris, Kevin, Kael, Noel, Romcy, Dean, Rob and the rest).
GRACIAS Señora Elaine, Señora Eloize and Señora Jubail (fellow delegates) for the bonding moments together. GIRL POWER! I enjoyed your company a lot and I look forward on knowing you all better and doing more projects/activities with you. I will not forget our favorite chavacano words such as “Si, calla boca, maskin cosa, gracias”.. LOL
(Thank you very much! Take care!)
**In a nutshell, Buklod Atenista is an umbrella organization of all student councils from the five Ateneos in the country. It was established on year 1982. The main purpose was to provide an avenue for sharing ideas about student concerns, address pertinent problems of the member councils and have a common plan/vision among Ateneo Universities. (Taken on the overview page of the 26th Buklod Atenista compilation notebook)Well, it was my first time to be part of BUKLOD and to be in ZAMBOANGA! :)