Julio V. Ventanilla, Jr.
ICT Competency Standards Development
National Computer Institute
National Computer Center
Department of Science and Technology
Training: DP Division Manager (Aug 26, 1999 - Nov. 13, 1999)
It was my first time to go out of my country Philippines to attend Data Processing for Managers (DP Manager), a JICA training in Okinawa, Japan, from August to November 1999. Mixed emotions filled my being - anxious, excited, and ecstatic. My mind was so preoccupied with so many things - what preparations should be done, how to live alone away from my loved ones, who to meet, what to expect, what to eat, how will I cope with the training, how will I act in front of people of different nationality whom I do not know and will be meeting for the first time, how will I communicate with them, and what gifts I should bring along when I get home.
The training experience was so fruitful, educational and informative. The resource persons were effective in their transfer of knowledge as most of them were gurus in their field of expertise. I have so much to learn from that training.
Aside from the training, those extra-curricular activities were enthusiastically full of colors. My Ikebana (flower arrangement) creation was exemplary beautiful, displayed magnificently at the shokudo. The tea ceremony harmonized the culture of the spirit of silence and peace. I won a box of noodles in the Kite Flying contest where I designed my kite with the colors of the Philippine flag. I learned to work in an animal farm owned by a Japanese family when I availed of the Home Stay Visit program. The hosts were so kind and generous attending to our needs during our stay in their house. Their daughter, a young girl named Nonoka, taught me how to ride a horse. Every day was spent so meaningfully.
Okinawa was such a wonderful place to stay. The people were lovely. I felt like I didn’t leave the Philippines.
I returned to Japan in November 2010, more than a decade after my first visit, this time in Yokohama, to attend a training again. The feeling was still the same - anxious, excited, and ecstatic – but more confident than before.