written by Mrs. Jocelyn Bundalian, from San Pablo, Laguna Community
(Mother of Jessica Mae Bundalian, KAKEHASHI Alumna)
When my daughter went to an exchange abroad program under AFS, I thought that it would be quite difficult for her to adjust and to decide things on her own since she depends on me most of the time even in small things. On the other hand, I am confident that she will not have any trouble when it comes to socializing and building relationships with the people she encounters within six months.
During her stay in Japan, I realized that she can be independent and wise enough to make her own decision. Also, being placed in a big city like Tokyo, where she was able to mingle with different people. Being immersed in a diverse culture, she was able to learn and give importance to different cultural beliefs. I am surprised by how my daughter has grown and matured within just a short period of time. She was able to bring Japan to our home, adapt their lifestyle and behavior, and I am really proud of how she changes for the better. I am utterly amazed by how the exchange program impacted her and how she handled everything. I believe that a lot of things that she experienced in Japan helped her know the importance of understanding the essence of participating in several programs like being an exchange student under the Asia Kakehashi Project. I know that after this, life would never be the same not just for my daughter but also for our family.
I would like to give my utmost gratitude to everyone who is behind this project and programs. I am very thankful for the founders, funders, and supporters of the Japanese Sponsored Program. More power to the Japanese government, AFS Philippines, and to everyone who made this project possible. I am looking forward to seeing more students from the Philippines being immersed to the Japanese culture and giving back to the community with the help of the lessons and skills they gained during their exchange year.