Full Name: Alvine Bautista
College/University: De La Salle University Manila
Course: AB-International Studies Major in Japanese Studies, 3rd year
Prior Japanese Experience/Lesson: Studied Japanese Language for almost 2 years before JENESYS. Joined a seminar back in August 2016 in held by Doshisha University.
Organization/s: Is a member and an officer of three organization back in first year.
“As a Japanese studies major, going to Japan is a dream come true for all of us. Especially if it is an all-expense paid for a week. During the time our professor posted about the JENESYS program, I wasn’t still sure if I wanted to join the program because it would mean that I’d take a week off from school and probably miss a lot of schoolwork/lessons and discussions. But as I was about to take it for granted, my girlfriend persuaded me to join the program as it would be an opportunity lost. During our Japanese Language class, our professor gave out an application form of some sort and we all wrote our names. The next day, I was surprised that I was accepted as an aspiring delegate of the program. I got accepted as well and my friends were eager when they knew about me being accepted into the program. At first I was kind of indifferent about the trip, but as soon as I got there, everything changed. I remembered why I was in the Japanese studies program, why I’m studying the Japanese language, and why I’m so fascinated, and interested about the country.
During the first day, everyone was still awkward and shy about their new companions in the trip. As we all have our own group in the name of our different universities. All of us had our own groupmates. But as soon as the first day started, everyone gets closer and closer to each other, forming different groups and building relationships. Moreover, I learned more about the history of Japan. We also got to visit so many places that one would think of when we talk about Japan. Shibuya, Odaiba, Ikebukuro and some of the delegates went to Akihabara. And of course, one of the memories that I would not forget about the trip is that of the Homestay part of the whole program. As someone that is close to my parents and family, having a family that accepted us in Japan is really a memory to remember. Before the day that we are to go to our homestay family, I was still unsure and anxious as to what family might accept me. But even as that night where we got to the home of our family. I already felt accepted.. The Imoto family was so accommodating that even I forgot that I was in a foreign country and thought that I was inside my own house back in the Philippines. I tried a lot of things during the homestay, I tried my bowling for the first time and got a strike at the first time as well. I got to try dipping my body inside an onsen/hot spring. And of course, I got to try living inside a Japanese family..
Now, I would be able to say that I am so thankful for the chance that was given to me by the JENESYS program, as I got to learn so many things about the country that I admire, that I got to meet so many amazing people during that one week that I stayed in Japan. That those people I meet would stay in my mind and heart for the rest of my life. As well as, the chance that I was given, by the God Almighty.” – Alvine
“My Homestay family, the best memory that I got for the trip. During this time, I got to talk about so many things with my homestay family. History of the Okayama prefecture, our interests, teaching, and many other stuff that is really memorable for me. I got to try bowling for the first time, as well as visit Japan’s largest dagashiya or candy store, as well as visit an onsen and try it for the first time. All of this I will remember for a long time, but what for me, sealed the deal was during the farewell party. Even though not all of the Imoto family came to say goodbye to us, the thing that I would remember and treasure the most is the scrapbook that they gave us. Inside the scrapbook was pictures of us during our homestay. I was really touched and was crying. It was only a day that we stayed in the Imoto household, but for me, it felt like I was already one of their family.”