Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7298

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Water Lily Project
Category: 3. Trade/International Economics

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

4 students, ages 14-15 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 14, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2011

Classes and Teachers: Florida Martin, Vincent Tabor, Anjanette, Guirlene, Maria, Deanna

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our group is composed of four members. We decided to team up because we are close friends and we believe that we will be able to finish this without any conflict. Each one of us has our own abilities that will greatly contribute in making this project. We researched about the Water Lily Project because the media showed us that “Great people don’t always come from great things. Great people create great things.” Water lilies are one of the causes of massive floods, especially in rural areas. What most of us don’t know is that this trash can be made into a beautiful and durable product. We believe that this project may help improve and strengthen our relationship with other countries.

Anjanette A., 14, is smart and responsible. She is a member of the Louisian Club, the school’s newspaper club; here, she will show her skills in writing.

Guirlene B., 14, is an intelligent student who believes that with creative minds, countries will prosper.

Angelica R., 15, is a talented writer and a perfectionist; we are assured that our project won’t go wrong.

Deanna T., 15, is good in communicating and socializing. It was a really big advantage during the interview.

The works were divided randomly. A particular work was given to a member if she can do it accurately and she has available time to do so. We don’t really have permanent tasks we must perform all throughout.

2. Summary of Our Project

The group aims to show the perseverance inherent in the Filipino people. We keep positive attitude through the hardships we encounter. We have the spirit to carry on no matter what happens. We still manage to bring out a smile after everything we have experienced. Together, Filipinos were able to overcome the challenges that our country had faced by finding solutions that is inexpensive and indigenous. This brings us to “The Water Lily Project”. How could this so – called trash turn into a profitable thing?

These past years, Filipinos had encountered many calamities, specifically typhoons. These destructions tested our strength and perseverance as one nation. Nevertheless, the Filipinos found ways to rise once again from the havoc caused by the disasters of nature. We work as one to come up with innovative ideas that could both help improve the livelihood of the people and at the same time eradicate the so – called trash.

In the Philippines, water lilies are one of the major factors of massive floods due to the clogging of our waterways and river systems. It doesn’t only disrupt its normal flow but it also prevents people from doing productive activities like fishing and boating.

Filipinos found ways to solve this problem. A very good example is the utilization of water lilies as the primary raw material in making indigenous products. This is done by using water lily stalks as fibers for different products such as bags, baskets, decorations and other similar items. It will definitely contribute to the Philippine Industry: The Water Lily Project.

Sharing our site may act as a bridge for better international relations. The Philippines has been considered one of the top countries hit by natural disasters last 2011, our economy was vastly affected. Through projects like this, we hope that the Philippines will stand still with the help of the international community.

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

Everything was going well, preparations have been made. We weren’t sure if Guirlene would be able to come along, her parents didn’t give her permission at first. Unfortunately, when her parents already allowed her, Deanna suddenly seemed unavailable on the same weekend of our trip. It will be a huge inconvenience if we will postpone everything that was carefully planned. Luckily, at the end, she was permitted to come with us. However, the expenses are another cause for great concern among the members. This trip costs a lot; we had to divide the gas expenses and everything else. Our group stayed at VM HomeStay in Laoag, Ilocos Norte which is almost two hours away from Caoayan, Ilocos Sur where the Interview is to be held. We woke up late due to the long hour trip we had the night before and the Interview was supposed to be conducted at exactly nine o’clock in the morning. Making things worse, we got lost along the way so we arrived there at eleven o’clock. Thankfully, the interviewees were patient enough to wait for us and they welcomed us graciously even though they were running late in an important party they were invited in. We wisely made use of the short time given to us to get all those valuable informations. We may have encountered a few hurdles like those but we had made it through. We need all four members to make the interview successful. Despite the limited time given to us, we managed to accomplish the task we were supposed to finish.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“It’s not what the government can do to the people; it’s what the people can do to the government.” – Unknown Author Filipinos are known for their bayanihan (meaning communal unity or cooperation). We must help our homeland because it is ours and ours alone, and it is all we have. We shouldn’t just sit back and watch the government help us, but rather help ourselves since we’re the ones who benefit from it. Our project will surely help promote Philippine water lily handicraft industry.

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

This experience taught us to expand our views for the Philippine Business. We learned to deal with others better and practice our communication skills. Since our project was conducted in a rural area in Ilocos Sur; our group had the chance to experience and obtain more knowledge on the way of living of the Ilocanos. When we went there, we worked as one and ‘represented’ our school in this project. They were most glad that other people are showing interest in their endeavor. We can help spread the word about this project and advertise it so that people around the world may be able to appreciate it. We are already in the age of information superhighway; it is easier to use the internet resources to spread awareness about our project's goal. It is practical to do this because with just one click, a lot of people can get the news in an instance. With our limited financial resources we cannot afford to go around the world. However, the world may be able to land in the market of Philippine creativity through this website.

Project Elements

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

Our group will mainly rely on the firsthand informations we have gathered during our oral interview. Of course we’ll use the Internet too, to expand our knowledge about The Water Lily Project and to do the Website itself. We also used digital cameras to capture photos we’ll need. We actually got the idea from the Television where there are News regarding the water lily project spreading nationwide and even internationally.

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

Our community is full of creativity and it helps our economy to flourish. We can act as speakers just by simply sharing the efforts of the people who gave a hand in sharing innovations. This project is a good way to share it. By creating a site that can speak for the great minds involved in The Water Lily Project. Every time a person goes to our site, we have already promoted a part of the Philippines. We, the 4 students of the group, had already made the first step of speaking for our fellow Filipinos. We’ll spread the word to our friends and everybody else via Internet or orally. Caoayeños, people from Caoayan Ilocos Sur, will surely check our website since this project is much related to their community. Some town officials knew about it too, so they’ll most probably visit this site. It would be great if we’ll be able to promote a small organization in a rural area, they are the ones who help the Philippine economy unknowingly. We have contacted the people we’ll need; everything was prepared for our research.

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

This project will help promote the water lily handicrafts business here in the Philippines. It will also help in lessening the cause of massive floods. We also aim to promote The Water Lily Project from small barangays like Nansuagao, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. People will be more aware of it.

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

Our group visited the nearest possible place that makes these Water Lily products: Nansuagao, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. It is a five-hour drive from Baguio City, our hometown. Few good people helped us in our project. People like Ms. Maybelle Santos, Ms. Anita Arcilla, Ms. Estrella Gaviola and Ms. Celestina Anicas. Ms. Santos and Ms. Arcilla organized everything for us. They visited the place a week before the actual trip to make sure that a Water Lily Project does exist in this place. Ms. Anita Arcilla, accompanied the group in this out-of-town trip with the permission of our respective parents. Our group met random people who helped us along the way. Ms. Santos provided her house to shelter us in our stay in Ilocos and she helped us contact the people we’ll be meeting with, with the help of her friends. She was a former municipal officer at the Department of Interior and Local Government in Ilocos Sur. We owe a big thanks to Ms. Estrella Gaviola and Ms. Celestina Anicas, officers of the Nansuagao Multi-purpose Cooperative which is responsible for the Water Lily Project, for entertaining our questions. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the wonderful people of Ilocos Sur.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7298)

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