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By Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

Dr. Aries Roda Romallosa and 8 CPU students attended the Sakura Science Exchange Online Program.

Centralians participated in the Sakura Science Exchange Online Program last January 31 and February 1-3, 2022 via Zoom.

The Sakura Science Exchange Program is planned and designed by J. F. Oberlin University located in Tokyo with funding support coming from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
Originally set for an actual visit to Japan early this year but was converted to online mode due to Omicron concerns, the program focuses on the understanding of the key factors and methods of Regional Revitalization that Japan is promoting, which is ahead of other countries in the world in terms of the declining birthrate and aging population.

The CPU team was composed of Dr. Aries Roda Romallosa (Chairperson of CARES – Dept. of Agricultural Engineering and Environmental) and 8 students coming from the College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Sciences (CARES), College of Hospitality Management and College of Business Administration, namely:

1. Ma. Nelte Catunao (BS in Agriculture)
2. Jirah Mae Cataluña (BS in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering)
3. Riolyn Lao (BS in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering)
4. Donna Marie Lachica (BS in Environmental Management)
5. Lutes Tacardon (BS in Environmental Management)
6. Tatiana Dacallo (BS in Hospitality Management)
7. Michelle Jey Cortez (BSBA Marketing Management)
8. Jose Dumalag Jr. (BSBA Marketing Management)

During the online exchange program, the mechanism of Regional Revitalization and case studies were highlighted by the invited resource persons and the participants were toured virtually of sites which showcased good examples of “utilization of local tourism resources (utilization of internal resources)” and “attraction of human resources (utilization of external resources)” specifically the cases of Nanki-Shirahama and Awaji Island. Teams of mixed students from Central Philippine University, National University of Malaysia and J. F. Oberlin University were then formed to apply their learnings by making comparative studies of the regional revitalization strategies described by the individual members and they presented their integrated plan as a team on the final day of the program.

When Centralian students were asked of what they have gained during the 4-day exchange program, they mentioned that they were able to gain various business approaches of different companies towards regional revitalization, viewpoints in examining business to both local and global spheres, and they learned first-hand the current situation of Japan in terms of its industry, tourism, transportation and daily life. Most importantly, they appreciated the break-out discussion where each one of them were able to share their ideas related to the topics assigned to them. They also gained new international friends which they hope, one day they could all meet in person.

The Sakura Science Exchange Program was made possible after the exchange of communications and coordination between J. F. Oberlin University and CPU through its Office of International Relations and Cooperation headed by Prof. Leilani Fatimah Ledesma Trompeta.


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