Xiamen Study Tour

It's been a few years since I was able to participate in this educational tour. And it still makes an impact to me until now.

In here, 2 months were spent not only studying Chinese culture, but also visiting some of its tourist spots.

This marks my first to join this tour, and also my first to travel outside the country. It was memorable as I was able to be with some of my high school classmates and schoolmates. From there, I would meet students from Chinese schools in Cebu, and also those from all over the Philippines.

On the first day of the tour, I felt some homesickness. The new surroundings must have overwhelmed me. But it was okay. I thought of this as a special two-month vacation, having nothing to worry about.

In there, you have to live the Chinese way. This would also include speaking in Mandarin. It is in contrast of my upbringing in speaking Fookien. But in spite of that, I had to work on it as the former is the national language and the latter one of its local dialects.

From the class, I studied subjects like Chinese language, calligraphy, painting, music and martial arts. The surprising thing there was that I belonged to Class 9, one of the high-level class groups. I didn't understand on why I was assigned there, considering that I didn't feel confident of my proficiency.

But I tried to learn what I could from them, and I've realized a few things. I had a certain level of comprehension in understanding the language, but it needs to be further developed for me to become fluent. So it turns out that I'm in the right class after all.

When it comes to the tour, we had been to several places. And there were remarkable ones for me.

First was the Wu Yi Shan ( 武夷山). It was a majestic wonder seeing the mountains. The forest was so amazing, and so was the river. The whole nature view of the place was so eye-catching and refreshing.

Another was the Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿). One thing that amazes me there is that there's no to few vehicles. This gives out a clean environment, and a mark that can make tourists come back to this destination.

Another one also was the Xiamen Botanical Garden (万石植物园). Its botanical zones, cultivating grounds, scenic spots and the display of their cultivated tropical, subtropical plants make up a breathtaking nature view worth visiting.

So for the whole experience, it turned out to be momentous and memorable. I could now appreciate in some way the culture it brings as part of my Chinese heritage. Though it was sad to leave on the last day of the tour, it was nice making new friends and moments there that will be cherished.

With this, I am thankful to my parents and those who in their own way made efforts for me to appreciate this part of my blood in me. Because of this, I now take pride of being a Filipino-Chinese. I carry on the persona of this kind, and I will pass this on for the next generations to come.