OIR hosts Welcome Socials and Dinner for Ateneo International Students
July 05, 2013
To showcase one of the colorful facets of Philippine culture, the Office of International Relations hosted the fiesta (festival)-inspired Welcome Socials and Dinner for Ateneo International Students last 5 July 2013. Entitled Fiesta sa Ateneo (Festival at the Ateneo), the international exchange students experienced being part of a typical Filipino fiesta filled with Filipino dishes, music, dances and games.
This year, Ateneo welcomed students from Brunei Darussalam (University of Brunei Darussalam), China (Sun Yat-sen University), Japan (Doshisha University, Kansai Gaidai University and Seisen University), Singapore (National University of Singapore), South Korea (Pai Chai University and University of Incheon), Thailand (Payap University), France (ESC Dijon – Burgundy School of Business, Euromed Management, Institut Catholique de Etudes Superieures, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes and Université Catholique de Lille), Germany (Hoschule Mittweida – University of Applied Sciences), Norway (Norwegian University of Life and Sciences), Spain (Universidad Pontificia Comillas), Australia (La Trobe University and University of Newcastle) and from the United States of America (Canisius College). Also taking part in the festivity were students from Peking University (China), Soka University (Japan) and the Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship – Dual Campus Program of the Ateneo and the University for Peace (Costa Rica), supported by The Nippon Foundation.
The night was formally opened by newly appointed Acting Director of the Office of International Relations, Ms. Ma. Corazon Baytion. After graciously welcoming the students, Ms. Baytion invited them to the dinner table filled with various Filipino dishes, including the famous balut (developing duck egg), which was wiped clean off the basket. Of course, there would be no Filipino fiesta without the more famous, all-time favorite lechon (roasted whole pig), which never fails to be the highlight of a Filipino buffet table. Also served, not on the dinner table but on a very colorful two-wheeled cart, was the Pinoy sorbetes. It is the local version of the sorbet, but the use of coconut milk distinguishes it from the latter. The night was made even more festive by the Ateneo Musicians’ Pool who serenaded the students over dinner.
An addition to the festivity was the series of folk dance numbers performed by the Simeona F. Chanyungco Lahing Kayumanggi Mananayaw ng Marikina (SFCLKM). The students were all eyes on the stage as the group performed their opening number, Pandanggo sa Ilaw (Fandanggo with light). The lights of the candles added to the luster of the afternoon as the dancers gracefully swayed the candle-lit glasses back and forth, round and round, and on top of their heads. The group also performed the Maglalatik Dance, a dance characterized by beating halved empty coconut shell, and Sayaw sa Bangko (Dance on a bench). On their last number, SFCLKM surprised the students by teaching them how to dance the official Philippine national dance, Tinikling.
To make the Fiesta experience complete, OIR prepared different fiesta games for the students. The students enthusiastically played with one another as they grabbed goodies from the Pabitin, a game wherein goods are tied to a crisscrossed bamboo sticks pulled up and down. They also got the chance to play Pukpok Palayok (Hit the Pot), and race with other students in Kadang-Kadang, a game played by walking on halved coconut shells tied on both ends of a long rope.
The international students also had their share in making the night truly festive. The students rendered country performances such as song and dance numbers, video presentations, cultural demonstrations and interactive language sharing.
With all the cultural exchanges happening at the Ateneo arising from its highly diverse local and international population, every day is Fiesta sa Ateneo!
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