Building Bridges: Cultivating Friendship with JCI Joong Daegu

Ralph dela Cerna
Ralph dela Cerna
JCI Davao Member
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In an exciting display of international camaraderie and collaboration, four delegates from JCI Joong Daegu (JCI Korea) embarked on a journey to Davao City, Philippines, where they had the remarkable opportunity to meet and connect with members of JCI Davao. The long-awaited face-to-face meeting, which took place on August 10-13, 2023, marked a significant milestone in a potential partnership between these two dynamic Junior Chamber International (JCI) chapters.

JCI Davao and JCI Joong Daegu First Meeting
(L-R Standing): JCI Davao VP For Internationalism Sherwin Dumago, JCI Davao Local Skills Development Director Pierre Mondejar, JCI Davao VP For Business Opportunities Ryan Aaron Ho, JCI Korea LOM Officer Sim Min Su, 2021 JCI Joong Daegu President Yoon Jong Min, 2023 JCI Joong Daegu Vice President Park Chang Woo, 2023 JCI Lakambini Davao President Kazzy Prado, 2023 JCI Agdao Merchants President Angelo Ormilla, JCI Davao Deputy Vice President for Individual Development John Chin, JCI Member Arman Montero and JCI Davao Member Ralph dela Cerna. (L-R Sitting) 2023 JCI Joong Daegu President Lee Seung Cheol and 2023 JCI Davao President Arthur Dizon, Jr.

The seeds for this cross-cultural exchange were sown in early February 2023 when JCI Davao’s Vice President for Business Opportunities, Ryan Aaron Ho, received a digital olive branch from the Korean contingent. The JCI Joong Daegu group expressed interest in establishing connections and fostering mutual growth through an online meet and greet. Little did both parties know that this initial virtual interaction would blossom into a full-fledged in-person conference that would leave an indelible mark on all involved.

Months of constant communication, bridging time zones and languages, were not in vain as the efforts bore fruit. The dedicated exchange of ideas and shared values paved the way for the momentous visit to Davao City. Led by their esteemed 2023 LO President Lee Seung Cheol, and accompanied by 3 other delegates including 2021 LO President Yoon Jong Min, JCI Korea LOM Officer Sim Min Su, and JCI Joong Daegu Vice President Park Chang Woo, the delegates from the South Korean Jaycees set foot in Davao City with enthusiasm and open hearts. A friend of theirs by the name of TJ Park, already living in Davao City for 15 years, became their bridge and translator for the entire meet and greet.

The itinerary for their visit was curated to showcase the beauty, culture, and hospitality of Davao City. The Korean delegates had the unique opportunity to explore the city’s vibrant streets, indulge in the local cuisine, and immerse themselves in local tourist attractions. They also had the opportunity to visit the location of one of JCI Davao’s prized projects, Project Pawicamp, a joint partnership project with the Aboitiz Foundation protecting the endangered sea turtles in Davao City. 

The heartening aspect of this collaboration is not only the physical presence of the delegates but the intangible bonds that formed during this visit. The cultural exchange during the first conference held in HQ Marfori was evidence of the shared passion for community engagement, leadership development, and positive change that both organizations aim for. During the discussion, both organizations were able to introduce themselves and showcased the uniqueness of their respective local organizations. Both groups learned a lot from the exchange. As a sign of goodwill and appreciation between both organizations, an exchange of gifts was made between the 2 presidents.

In an increasingly interconnected world, such exchanges are not just meetings but bridges of understanding that traverse geographical and cultural boundaries. JCI Davao hopes this will not be the last time for this kind of conference, but rather be the first of many collaborations. 

Ha-na, dul, set… Fighting!

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