on missing Kanazawa

It’s been more than half a year. Still the memories are made fresher by every captured moment glued on a photo album. They jumped out of the piece of paper and enliven in my mind making me smile and sigh at the same time. If ever I get the chance, I would go back again and relive the memories.

in front of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Arts

Japan is such a wonderful place. But my memories of Kanazawa, a humble capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture in the Chubu region, will always be remembered. Kanazawa had been close to my heart since then that I cried when we are to leave for Tokyo on our last day of homestay.

leaving Kanazawa for Tokyo

Macha flavored chocolates awaits for me every time I go home from school or from an AFS activity. Watching the seagulls frolicking on Asano River over my bedroom window is such a joy to the heart. And who can forget those little kids I see that look like an anime character every time I wake up on a freezing morning as they head to school. The enchanting Kenrokuen Garden made majestic the Maeda Castle on the background. The gaiety that surrounds the silent walls of Higashi Geisha District, the pageantry of the Noh Theater and the modernity of the Museum of Contemporary Arts.

How do you like your food serve with gold? Yes, Kanazawa supplies 99% of Japan’s gold leaf demand. You can even eat them straight. Japanese believe it’s good for the body.

Kanazawa is a home where tradition and modernity is combined. Populated with such wonderful people and great food, I would always love to go back and live there if I can.

my host family at a Gold Leaf house

More than that, I am missing my host family, my Otoosan and Okaasan and my brother whom I used to exchange ideas with and share my learning and the culture that I brought right on their doorsteps. And my AFS Family with whom I have spent these memories with, it will always be a joy to see each other again.

JENESYS Batch 4 Country Mix


AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines

Dear Friend of AFS,

AFS Intercultural Programs is the oldest and largest volunteer-driven organization for high school intercultural exchanges worldwide. “AFS provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding [and lifetime bonds] needed to create a more just and peaceful world.”
Each year, 13,000 participants go on an AFS exchange program supported by 44,00 number of volunteers, staff, families and schools in the AFS Global Network. Since 1956, AFS Philippines has sent over 1,500 Filipino students abroad and in turn over 750 foreign students have come to the Philippines – to live with a host family and study in a host school for a year on AFS exchange programs.

AFS is searching for qualified candidates – students & teachers – to travel, live and study abroad on the AFS intercultural exchange programs and learning opportunities (see programs list). AFS Philippines National Staff will be visiting key cities nearest you to conduct interviews and selection with local chapter volunteers of interested applicants (see qualifications list and schedule).

We hope to have your support to allow our AFS volunteers share about these once-in-a-lifetime life-changing opportunities for your school’s students and teachers. (The DepED MC to follow.)
For more details and application forms, kindly get in touch with AFS Philippines at 02-5842002 or email info.philippines@afs.org ATTN: Sending Program; or get in touch with the local chapter contact person (see chapter directory). With our mutual collaboration, we are both taking concrete steps ‘Connecting Lives, Sharing Cultures!’

Very truly yours,

Acting National Director


AFS Programs:
Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (K-L YES) to the USA
(previously Partners for Learning Youth Exchange & Study Program)
-One year full scholarship for 27-40 students per year
-Eligibility: Open to 2nd or 3rd year high school students that meet J-1 visa regulations; especially Muslim students and students with physical disabilities (blind/sight-impaired, deaf/hearing-impaired, crutches/wheelchair-user)

Year Program (YP) to 55 AFS Partner Countries in AFS Global Network
-1 year participating program for 30-50 participants per year
-Eligibility: Open to high school students 14 & up on time of application (also open to 18+ Community Service or University students)

Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths Program (JENESYS) to JAPAN
-Two weeks short program full scholarship for 61 participants (56 students & 5 educator/ chaperones) for 2011 (last year of implementation)
-Eligibility: Open to high school students ages 15 & up, as well as high school teachers

Other AFS intercultural exchange opportunities:
Evonik (STEAG State Power, Inc.) Year Program for 1 high school student
Leighton Year Program for 1 high school student
Guerra Peace Scholarship Grant Year Program to USA for 1 high school student
AFS PHI Mabuhay Scholarship Grant Year Program for 2 high school students
AFS International Diversity Scholarship Grant
AFS Asia Pacific Initiative (AAI) Scholarship Grant

Basic qualifications and requirements for AFS program applicants:
– Must present the original & photocopy of Form 137 or transcript of records for school year 2010-11
– Must present latest original & photocopy school ID
– Must be meet eligibility and age requirements of AFS program applied for
– Must bring pre-application form with passport ID (please request forms from AFS Philippines or printed submitted application from https://www.afsglobal.org/AFSGlobal/onlineapplication)
– Must be open to new experiences and opportunities for learning to be an Ambassador of Goodwill
– Must be willing to travel, study & live abroad for the duration of the AFS program applied for
– Must be interviewed by trained AFS volunteer raters on screening & selection panels on scheduled dates and attend the whole day event from 8AM-6PM (see below for interview schedule)
– Must comply with and complete all pre-program, on-program, post-program documentation and responsibilities of the AFS program applied for
– Preferably, have a valid passport
– Must pay the one-time non-refundable Pre-application/Interview fee of P500.00 (except K-L YES)

AFS PHI Nationwide Selection Camp Dates and Venues:
April12 Naga City
April14 General Santos City
April14 Legaspi City
April18 Cagayan De Oro City
April19 Marawi City
April27 Davao City
May4 Taguig City, Metro Manila
May5 Cavite City
May6 NCR, Pasig City, AFS Office
May9 Cebu City
May11 Bacolod City
May11 Tacloban City
May12 Iloilo City
May12 Zamboanga City
May19 Subic Bay, Olongapo City
May22 Cotabato City
June10 Baguio City (To be announced)
June16 Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
June 23 Cotabato City/Zamboanga City/Jolo
Tuguegarao City (To be announced)
Santiago City, Isabela (To be announced)
Batangas City (To be announced)

This will be a whole day event from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Interested applicants must be dedicate the whole day for selection process, because several activities (orientations, panel interview, group activity/discussions/ presentation) will be covered at different times during the day. Lunch or snacks are not covered by the fee.

For more detailed information about the AFS Nationwide Selection Camps, interested applicants may contact AFS Philippines 02-5842002 and/or email info.philippines@afs.org ATTN: SENDING PROGRAM or VOLUNTEER & CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM; or contact the nearest AFS local chapter contact person/s below:

If your city is listed the Selection Camp schedule but does not have a local contact person please contact AFS Philippines.