Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7265

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Cultural Diplomacy Through Panagbenga
Category: 8. Arts and Culture

School: Saint Louis Laboratory High School
    Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines

4 students, ages 14-16 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 16, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2011

Classes and Teachers: Vincent Tabor, Florida Martin, Cates, Lorraine, Daphny, Mark

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our group is composed of four third year high school students. We decided to team up because we believe we can work well with each other. We are also classmates, and good friends with each other. Cates, 16, possesses good leadership skills which she used to guide us throughout the project and get everything organized, in order. Daphny, 15, is the creative member and the main idealist behind the design of the whole website and the flow of its contents. David, 16, is always the main focus of attention during conducting the interviews needed for the project. Lorraine, 14, is the member who is skilled with computers and handled all the technical work with the documentation. Throughout the duration of the project, we shared the work together. During interviews, we would always switch places to give others a chance. In the creation of the website, everyone took turns in putting their ideas and their own documentations and we all communicated online in managing the site. We allotted time for us to be together as a group since we have many projects that we also need to pass. We had time in creating the website as a group too, so it was a complete success. It was very tiring since we acquired a lot of effort in gathering information but it was also fun because it brought us closer to each other. Our coaches, Maam Martin and Sir Delos Reyes were the ones who guided us in our Project Narrative and in the creation of the actual website, for the whole duration of the project since we needed a lot of advice, at first.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project is intended to promote diplomacy through a festival known as 'Panagbenga' or simply called Baguio Flower Festival. Baguio City, commonly known as The Summer Capital of the Philippines, is known not only for its famous local attractions and tourist spots, but also because of its rich culture and vast contributions to art. Baguios culture and arts can be best exemplified and seen through a famous festival held in Baguio which is commonly known as Panagbenga or Flower Festival held on February every year. It was created as a tribute and as a blessing for the city's abundance of flowers. This festival has helped the present generation nowadays in rediscovering our old cultures and traditions and has helped us appreciate Baguios beauty more. Even non-Baguio residents come to know and see the beauty Baguio has to offer because of the cultural value that Baguios Panagbenga showcases. Our project seeks to show how culture can play a big part in diplomacy and how it helps the generation today. We chose Baguio City as our target area because of our interest at Baguio, and at the same time, this was our place of residence. Baguio is such an interesting place because this was once a simple chartered city that came to be this highly urbanized city that everybody is looking forward to go and see. We believe that when the culture that Baguio exemplifies have played an important part in peoples lives today and have been appreciated, it can help it, in general make a big difference to the cultural diplomacy today and rise up in the future to be one of the places that can harness understanding, respect and a better relationship, not only within our country the Philippines, but with the world as well.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The toughest challenges we had to face were our availability and time in researching together as a group. We dont have the time to be together as a group and as one, to complete our project. It was very hard to allot time for our project due to other project requirements in our other subjects. Since it was already the 4th grading in our school, we are expected to pass all of our requirements before the school year ends. Our hands were always full on the weekends, and all that we can do is talk to each other and cooperate through the web through file sharing, chatting etc. We also had to face technical difficulties in creating and designing the website. The website was uncooperative sometimes and we had a hard time fixing it, but with a little perseverance and patience, it finally worked. All we have to do is put up the information we have been researching.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

'Exemplifying Culture through Panagbenga for a Sustainable Tourism Development and Equality'

Through the different aspects of Baguios Culture shown in the Panagbenga Festival, we can let others see what we have to show and let them have a better understanding regarding our culture, and to also show our cultures equality with rest of Philippines regional cultures from other places. As a tribute and as a tourist attraction, Panagbenga brings more than just showing and treasuring our old culture and traditions.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

At first, we thought that this was just another school requirement we have to submit for the sake of our grades, but as time passed by, we realized what we can do and change in the problems we have in our current diplomacy and affairs. We have realized one part of the problem our society is encountering nowadays. Even as young as juniors in our high school, we want to make , even a small change and let our whole community know the importance and relevance of our project to themselves. As much as we want it to be recognized by our community, we also want it to reach the whole globe. And because of the Internet, we can now do it and influence everyone, not only in our respective community, but to others as well. And who knows? It might just influence everyone internationally, globally. This project is a way for us to allow awaken and see what issues is already covering our place, yet we are still unaware of it. We loved the fact that the Baguio treasures it rich diversity of culture and arts.We have made this website, because we knew that almost all people in our generation today are attached in using the Internet. We can reach out to them better through the website and at the same time, inform them on what is happening today. Through this, they can be aware, and in the future they will be able to face the problems straight on, and eventually help little by little in solving this one problem. This project has also helped us form a closer relationship with each other, allowing us to be more responsible students. We become aware of our role as citizens of Baguio City and we become aware of our tasks. We learn what we need to do and contribute to help. Our amazement in Baguios culture and arts increased through the duration of our project as well.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

Our main information source for our project was the Web. It was one place we can all run to at times because it was extremely hard to find information in our schools library. We couldnt find a perfectly accurate information, and different books state different information. We also took a tour around our own place: Baguio City. Using just one simple camera/ video camera, we took pictures of all places that are showcases of cultural value in Baguio City and we also took small clips and pictures of the events that took place in the festival. And of course, we needed a computer with internet access to create and set up the website. But of course, we had individual computers at our home, so we usually used them at our own houses and communicated with each other through the web in order to accomplish our project. We also needed to be updates of the news about the festival, so we had to be updated through newspapers. We also obtained information through oral interviews with the people involved in the festival.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

We will act as ambassadors of our project by emphasizing on the cultural value of Baguio City in our own community. We believe that people are very aware of our culture. We believe that they treasure it and appreciate it yet they still do not see the importance that it brings in todays diplomacy and affairs that is why we want to emphasize what Baguios culture can really do as a part in todays promotion of diplomacy. We planned on interviewing natives of Baguio City on how much Baguio has progressed when it comes to cultural development. We planned on personally asking the residents and let them realizing what importance Baguios culture brings. We have also planned on speaking personally to some officials making Baguio City as it is now. We want to showcase in our website the voices of the people of Baguio today, because we believe that if it reaches the ears of Baguios high officials, they can recognize the value that its worth and eventually, realize one missing piece in todays diplomacy.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our aim in our project is to help people realize the importance of arts and culture to them and the community. Maybe to them, it is just one small thing that we need not to be worried about. But we believe once they browse our website and read whats inside, they will see the voices of Baguio Citys residents and make them believe what is considered just a simple and small thing. We hope to let them know what it does to help in our community and not some just an attraction to see. We hope to touch the minds and hearts of the citizens in our community and realize what their role is and make them aware of what culture and arts they have. Culture and arts play an important role in international affairs and diplomacy: it fosters mutual understanding and creates a relationship with the members of the society and at the same time, shows unity among the diversity of people. It can make a big difference to the society and flashes to them a realization that culture still plays an important part. Maybe people have not found opportunities yet so take a look on our simple website since it was just recently done, but we hope that as time will pass by, it will be viewed by many.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Because we were still high school students, we needed a lot of advice coming from our teachers and parents about researching and expanding our topic in the website. For the website, we didnt really need help at all because all of us were experienced in creating websites and we used a straight webhosting service in making the website. We also consider the people we have interviewed as helpers and volunteers because without them, our project would not be complete. The statements they delivered served as relevant information we needed for the website. 6) Did the News Media Know About Your Project? For the time being, our project has not been recognized yet since it was recently done, but we hope that it will get attention so we could show people our true aim in making this project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Culture and Arts are not something to disregard in todays diplomacy. It is one main reason why Baguio raised up to one of the most prominent cities today. We found out that it is appreciated, yet not recognized as a part in promoting todays diplomacy.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7265)

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