Anna Perfecto Canlas
Miriam College High School

     Good morning / afternoon. I am Anna Canlas, a sixteen year-old fourth year high school student from Miriam College. Today, I come to you from the Philippines, to Japan - a land which I have so far come to know as a land of hardworking people, the newest gadgets, and of course, the rising sun.

     On an ordinary weekday, at 5:30 in the morning - I rub the sleep from my eyes and wake up to a new school day. I get dressed for school and eat my breakfast. A few minutes after six o'clock, my mother drives us to school in our car, and I get there just in time for the daily celebration of the mass in our small chapel, at around 6:45 in the morning. Afterwards, the bell rings and we have a little homeroom time to prepare for our subjects, have our flag ceremony, sing our school song, and offer our morning prayers. Official classes start at 7:50, and we have 6 subjects, with recess and lunch breaks in between. The subjects include English, Math, Christian Life, Filipino (our native language), Social Studies and Science, as well as Music, Physical Education, Technology and Home Economics, and our Citizenship Advancement Training Program. We are dismissed at three o clock in the afternoon, but on some days, we have special meetings or extension classes to further our knowledge. On Wednesdays, we have one whole hour before dismissal time to go to our respective club or organization meetings, where we get to discover and develop our different skills, talents and interests. I myself am the President of the Student Council, and when I get home, I have many duties to attend to, both for schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I sleep at around 9 pm, but on some days, as I again wake up and ride the car to school; I sleep in the car to make up for the extra time I had to stay up the night before.

     As the President of the Student Council, I have many duties such as linking or bridging the students and the teachers, as well as coming up with solutions and programs that everyone will agree upon. The Student Council is also in charge of holding the yearly celebrations, such as the Acquaintance Day to build friendship among the students; the College Day, which helps promote the values of peace and integrity that our school believes in; the Teacher's Day, where we show our appreciation for our teachers' the annual Christmas Party, which strengthens the ties of the students; the different environmental protection programs to promote peace through the integrity of creation; the various outreach programs, to help less fortunate people find contentment and comfort in their lives; and most of all, the annual High School Fair, where we have different booths and attractions for Miriam High School students as well as students from other high schools. In this way, we promote unity not only in our school, but in other communities as well. In all these programs, we help to promote the ideal of peace, which our school so dearly values.

     With this, I would like to greet all the Japanese students a very warm Mabuhay, which in the Philippines, is a greeting that evokes or brings out the life and enthusiasm in each and every person. As I come to know more about the people of this country and add to my past definition of Japan, through this joyful greeting, may we be able to bridge Japan and the Philippines, to once again strengthen our peaceful relationship. Mabuhay!

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