Written by: Ianna Andrelle Gutierrez (DLSZ 2023)
Singapore is known to be a melting pot of many nationalities, religions, and races, yet they are still able to unite as a country and live as one people. This can only be experienced first hand. I, Ianna Andrelle Gutierrez (DLSZ 2023) along with 16 other students namely Samantha Andrea Ocampo (DLSZ 2024), Francesca Juliana Cruz (DLSZ 2025), William Ronald Samonte (DLSZ 2026), Isabela Bustamante (DLSZ 2024), Juliana Santos (DLSZ 2024), Lauren Jasmin Hannako Sison Padua (DLSZ 2024), Cedji Davin Nave Matulin (DLSZ 2025), Maxine Priscilla Julienne Ilagan (DLSZ 2023), Catherine Emilia Lauren Samonte (DLSZ 2022), Ma. Carmela Santamaria Gonzales (DLSZ 2020), Chelsea Ayangco (DLSZ 2019), Louise Francesca Vijandre (DLSZ 2019), Gianna Erika Lotilla (DLSZ 2019), Hyunji Aaliah Park (DLSZ 2019), Matthew Vincent Canete (DLSZ 2019) and Steven Leroy Bulaong (DLSZ 2019) and adult leaders; Ms. Clarissa Teves, the GS SRCC adviser, Mr. Benjamin Sazon Jr. and Ms. Marianne Nathalie Gosgolan, our Social Action Ministers were honored to be invited to join a leadership program with St. Patrick School Singapore. This was called the Lasallian Leadership Empowerment and Development Series 3 (LLEAD3). During our four-day trip, we went to many places and engaged with a lot of people that helped us understand Singapore’s unique culture.
The next day, we attended St. Patrick’s morning assembly where fellow student leaders Sam Ocampo, Charlie Samonte, and Gia Lotilla took to the stage and shared their leadership experiences in their own school organizations in Zobel.
Shortly after, we were split up into groups and observed different classes. Some sat in Math and Computer classes, while others participated in a cooking class.
Then, some St. Patrick School students joined us as we went to a home for the aged. A large percentage of Singapore’s resident population is elderly (aged >65 years) and they have developed many programs for seniors. We were able to assist the elderly with their morning activities, played some ‘old’ games like Bingo, and new games, too. To show our appreciation for their time, we performed a short song and dance for them. I was not allowed to take pictures here, but I know I will remember that happy morning for a long time.
We then went back on our bus and took a tour around Arab Street, Little India, and China Town. From the colorful buildings to the unique aromas, we were truly able to encounter Singapore’s diversity as well as its one-of-a-kind culture.
After a long day, we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner and headed to Gardens by the Bay to watch the light show.
After eating breakfast at the Marine Terrace Market the next day, we headed to Universal Studios, one of my most favorite places to visit in Singapore. We were all very excited to get on the rides and have lots of fun. After going to Universal Studios, we went to Vivo City, the largest mall in Singapore, to do some last minute shopping.
We went back to the school for the farewell dinner with the students. We had such an enjoyable time singing and dancing with them.
On April 19th, we traveled safely back to the Philippines.
We are all very thankful for our moderators, parents, and the entire DLSZ for having given us a chance to be part of this amazing experience. We learned to step outside our comfort zones and to try new things. For some students, it was their first time in Singapore and their first international student leadership training. It was very fascinating to see that everyone was able to cooperate with each other despite their differences. It made us realize how important it is to celebrate our similarities while appreciating what makes us different.