A Virtual Exchange By: Jhirlymarie Lloyd F. Tio, Grade 10

In my memory, Japanese culture has always played such an important role. As a child, I would watch anime with my sisters or on the television. My father bought us a Nintendo DS, and we would play Japanese games on it too. I remember sitting in Japanese restaurants and loving the food very much. Whenever my parents would go travelling to other countries, they would always buy me clothes from a Japanese Clothing store called “Uniqlo”. My school supplies and pajamas always had Sanrio characters on them. My classmates would play with Pokémon cards, Beyblades, and Bakugan toys. Needless to say, I was already surrounded by so many things that came from Japan!

I have been to Japan before. I went there with my family. I always had an expectation because I watched a lot of anime. When we were in Japan, everyone was so different than in the Philippines. Everyone was very polite and minded their own business. They had a lot of trains instead of cars. Their convenience stores did not just sell chips; they sold full meals! The people were very respectful and very courteous to one another. The trains were always on time, and before the trains would arrive, there would already neat lines formed by the commuters without anyone telling them to do so.

Japan was just as beautiful as I imagined it to be. Until now, I am always wanting to learn more about Japanese culture. When the pandemic began, I thought that it was so sad that I couldn’t travel anymore. I thought that the only Japanese immersion I would get was by watching anime and watching Japan vlogs. I was proven wrong when the school announced that we would be meeting other Japanese students!

Even if the Japanese Cultural Exchanges are done virtually, I learn a lot from the students we’ve met with. I learned a lot about the Japanese foods. I used to only know of a few famous ones, but then I learned more about the food they like to eat during New Years’ Day, Christmas, Birthdays, and Weddings!

In the second session, me and my classmates were able to share to them our advocacies for “Anti-Teenage Pregnancy”, and they showed us how they are also lending a hand to hospitals during the pandemic. The students in the class would make PPE attire and donate it to the hospitals.

During our sessions, we also end up talking about anime, which I really enjoy! It’s nice to meet other people my age, but in a different country!Me and my classmates love watching anime. When we talk with each other about it, it always makes us excited, so when we are able to talk about it with Japanese students, we are even more excited!

I was able to make a friend. We message each other through emails! It is amazing how technology brings two people from different cultures together. I always look forward to meeting students from the Japanese exchanges.

Childlink Daycare Program

No Caretaker for your Child? No problem! The Childlink Daycare program is reopening in Cebu!

Nowadays, parents and families are increasingly growing dependent on having dual incomes – this means both father and mother have to work jobs to earn for the family and the home. While it’s great to see the gap in male and female responsibilities grow smaller, this kind of set up may also prove to be difficult for raising children. Numerous studies show that work-life conflicts are most felt when there are children. It doesn’t help either that, according to many parents come to our school, that it’s becoming harder and harder to find “trustworthy” caretakers (also known as kasambahay or yaya, in our vernacular). Other parents are also simply unwilling to leave their young child with a stranger in their house every day; sadly, not every couple is able to find a relative willing to take care of their toddler/s eight hours a day, five days a week, while they’re working!

If this setup sounds familiar to you or if you are experiencing this yourself, then you might want to consider enrolling your child in our Childlink Daycare program. The Childlink daycare program will be reopening in Cebu and will cater to children aged 1.5 years to 6 years old and will be operating from Monday to Friday from 8:00AM to 4:00PM.

This program was specifically developed for busy parents to have a safe and nurturing place to leave their children while they work. Childlink has, for many years, been recognized as a quality and trusted early childhood education provider; we are equipped with qualified personnel, clean and airconditioned facilities, and a fun, positive school culture. As far as safety goes, we have security guards posted at our entrance 24/7 and all our rooms have CCTV cameras installed so parents need not worry too much.

If you’re interested, our enrollment is now open! For any inquiries about the Daycare program, feel free to contact us.



As schools continue to expand Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities, theater programs are proving beneficial in fostering soft skills and enhancing academics.

At Bayfield High School in Colorado, the after-school theater program is a collaborative affair. Teachers get involved, parents chip in for costumes, and students commit to working, after the final bell, on its two shows a year.

The program’s director, Sarah Ripley — who also teaches Special Education at Bayfield Middle School — has 41 students participating this year in the school’s production of “Matilda” — a huge leap from the original 12 signups she got previously, mostly by persuading them during lunch periods, she said.

And that increased enthusiasm is rewarded. Everyone who signs up gets a role in the school’s production — whether it’s as a chorus member or a set designer — and Ripley’s watched the transformation students have undergone over the past two years.

“They walk away with a newfound confidence, presentation skills, vocal skills, and they find relationships that last for life,” Ripley told Education Dive. “They walk with their head higher.”

Some of what students walk away with is not just academic abilities, but also a new understanding of themselves. In just two years, Ripley has seen students at Bayfield High School, who were recruited to help with the school’s first play, grow into confident, young adults. And in doing so, they’ve helped steer the program and bring younger peers into the wings — or onstage.

“The original 12 are now leaders,” Ripley told Education Dive. “It’s cool to see the evolution of a shy kid as they become a senior member leading 40 other kids. It’s an incredible experience, too, for me.”


Julie Cohen Theobald, executive director of the International Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) believes that, without a doubt, theater equips students with skills that are easily transferable to a future outside the classroom. She notes that theater itself — even just the construct of putting on a play and having other people depend on your participation — pushes students to handle details like deadlines that can’t be missed and hold themselves accountable.

“There is also a focus on creativity and risk-taking,” Theobald told Education Dive. “It’s such an important skill for 21st-century students to have — to be able to jump in and take risks.”

Rejection, while not enjoyable, is almost inevitable for anyone pursuing a career in theater. But as students learn to handle rejection, they also uncover a sense of resilience, determination and a desire to challenge themselves to continue to stick with it until they achieve their goals.

Theobald agreed that employers, herself included, often look for the four C’s: Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity, all of which are also needed to successfully put on a play.

“Collaboration and creativity are some of the most important things I look for when I interview people for jobs,” she said.


Even in an era when Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs are being lauded and encouraged among students, theater programs are still championed by many districts and schools.

Students who participate in theater can gain a number of soft skills — communication, listening skills and self-confidence, to name just a few — which can’t be easily measured by standardized tests and yet play crucial roles in how graduates may fare when they enter the workforce. Most students who participate in are in middle and high school, as just 4% of elementary schools have theater programs, Theobald told Education Dive.

Whether it’s through a required or elective program offered during the school day, an after-school club like that at Bayfield High School, or through an English class where students act out scenes as they read a play aloud, those who have exposure to theater arts can elevate not only their academic performance, but also their social-emotional skills.

This is key for when students eventually leave school and start a future career in any field, as skills developed in the theater, such as teamwork and self-reflection, are among those employers are seeking in prospective applicants. And, according to a 2018 job outlook survey, while these skills are desirable in potential employees, only about 42% of employers rated recent college graduates as competent in work ethic and professionalism.