The ASEAN school tour is one of the many ways to raise awareness of what the ASEAN community means in the lives of our children.
What future can our children look forward to? Of course, there is the future of the Philippines and then there is the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), our community, our future. The ASEAN is at the heart of Asia and feels so close to home.
As part of my work in the ASEAN 2017 awareness campaign, I get to cover ASEAN School tours. So far , I have covered Iloilo , Mandaue and Cebu City. I really enjoy being with the school children. Everywhere I go, the children are so eager to learn more about ASEAN. There is so much energy as they raise their flag and sing “The Asean way”. The kids sing the ASEAN anthem after the National Anthem. It is a beautiful song.
Raise our flag high, sky high
Embrace the pride in our heart
ASEAN we are bonded as one
Look-in out-ward to the world.
For peace, our goal from the very start
And prosperity to last.
We dare to dream we care to share.
Together for ASEAN
we dare to dream,
We care to share,
For it’s the way of ASEAN
The ASEAN Way is the official anthem of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It has a poignant tone to it especially if sung by the children. Listen to the video below that I took at the Mandaue City Central School.
The ASEAN Anthem is an expression of ASEAN unity. It also strengthens the sense of ASEAN identity and belonging among the peoples of the region so singing it brings a sense of community.
Let me share what happens at a school tour.
In every school tour, you will catch the children raise their flags with glee. I ask the kids if they knew the 10 countries by heart . Oh yes, they do.
There is Kuya Karl to the kids. He is the energetic host of the ASEAN fun games where he teaches the kids how to say “Thank You” in 10 different languages of the ASEAN member states and other fun trivia.
It is a joy to watch the kids follow Kuya Karl as he pronounces some of the tongue twisting “Thank yous”. I am learning too.
Tell me , do you know how to say ‘Thank you” in Vietnamese? Well, I learned it is Cam on[kárm ern] or saying “thank you” in Burmese?
Its “kyaayyjuutainpartaal”. Can you even pronounce that? You can ask Kuya Karl to help you with that. After these school tours, I will master all the “thank yous” with the right accent.
You can see the kids are never bored. All ears are focused on the engaging ways to learn about Asean.
Ana (not her real name) takes down notes from the lessons she picked up from the trivia game.
The children mastered their geography by identifying the countries on the map. They also learned the three pillars of the ASEAN Community comprised of three pillars: the Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-Cultural Community and the ASEAN 2017 theme (Partnering for Change, Engaging the World) in this multiple choice game.
The school tour is also one way for the children to feel this dream of an ASEAN community.
“Together for ASEAN
we dare to dream,
We care to share,
For it’s the way of ASEAN”.
YES, they said it well: “This is our future”.
READ: The Philippines as ASEAN Chair: Six thematic priorities
Participating schools at the school tour in Cebu City Sports complex were: Apas National High School, City Central Elementary and High School, Mabolo Elementary and High School, Zapatera Elementary, Don Vicente Rama Elementary and High School, Abellana National High School, Asian College of Technology, Cebu Normal University, Cebu Institute of Technology-University, University of Cebu, University of San Carlos and University of Southern Philippines Foundation.