TEAM XAVIER ATENEO. Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan Senior High School students Reine Julia Madriaga, Lance Nathaniel Elot, and Earl Joy Lopina represented the school and Cagayan de Oro City in an exchange program in Norfolk, Virginia. Supplied photo.

By Nicole Rose Baculio

Three students from Xavier Ateneo Senior High School have completed the two-week exchange program between Cagayan de Oro City and its sister city, Norfolk in Virginia, USA.

The program, held from July 1 to 15, was aimed at deepening cultural awareness, cultivating intercultural understanding, enhancing intercultural skills, and participating in global solidarity.

The following students had the chance to represent CDO in Norfolk and to learn the latter’s culture: Lance Nathaniel B Elot (G11-Gordon), Earl Joy B Lopina (G12-Castellani), and Reine Julia S Madriaga (ABM graduate).

The delegates had opportunities to learn the history of Norfolk through visiting monuments, museums, parks, and sites, including their naval base, Botanical Park, and “Mermaid Factory.” The students also met with officials of NSCA. In return, they showed the Filipino culture through videos and power point presentations that they made.

“It became an avenue for us to showcase the Kagay-anon culture and the Filipino traditions, in general,” Lopina said.

“We were able to have audiences from Rosemont Academy – School of International Studies where we presented a Higaonon dance called “Dugso,” played the Filipino game “takyan,” and taught them the ancient writing system Baybayin,” she added.

According to the XUSHS participants, the exposure has made them more understanding of others, to be culturally sensitive, while showcasing the Filipino culture in Norfolk, Virginia.∎

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