In this photo, i was sitting next to a Michigan Senator during one of the conference where i served chairperson during the Michigan Youth Leadership Forum while discussing disability acts at Michigan's capitol Lansing. (I was the only foreign national present)
"It was like a secret that everybody knew"
Just after a year, I was chosen among 40 of the most promising young high school students who came from various parts of the country ranging from as far North as Sagada and as far south as Tawi-Tawi. We comprised the first-ever batch of the AFS-YES Program, a partnership between the world’s largest volunteer based exchange program founded over 90 years ago (AFS) and the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which spearhead the Youth Exchange Study (YES) program founded just after the tragic events of 911 in the U.S, it is a program that believes that we can prevent such attacks by reaching to the grassroots level and promoting understanding between Americans and countries with significant Muslim population including the Philippines. During my year, I carried the flag of the nation during various talks to promote our culture maybe beyond what the internet and the media can share. A true Filipino, a 17 yr old who talks about what it’s like to be a Filipino. In return, I got the chance to live the American way of life because I have stayed with an American Family for a year, eating their food, speaking the language—dreaming in English, watching football as vigorously as they did, celebrating Thanksgiving and a Christmas with Snow falling in my head.
I am an underdog at tulad nila...hindi ako magpapatalo.
just a picture at work.
(after posting this post's url to Howie Severino's blog, i got this response from him)
Marlon, what an inspiring life story. If our docu made you recall and share it, it was worth all the effort. Mabuhay ka!