PanpacificU Visits China by Dr. Marie Lee Anne Castro
How do you respond to an invitation to visit China? Say, yes! Send the important papers for visa processing, wait for a week, then pack your bags!
That’s what the professors from Panpacific University did upon receiving the invitation to visit Shandong Yingcai University (SYU) in Shandong, China. The delegates were Chairman of the Board of Regents, Dr. Romeo T. Padilla and Mrs. Corazon T. Padilla; University President Dr. Rhonda T. Padilla; International Linkages Director and OIC-Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Engelbert C. Pasag; Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Cleofas M. Basaen, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Dr. Lloyd V. Orduna, Deans Dr. Candido M. Perez and Dr. Imelda C. Runas, Professor Marie Lee Anne Castro and Mr. Joseph Andaya, Assistant Director for Research and Extension.
It was not an April Fool’s Day for the professors from PanpacificU when we landed in Jinan Airport on April1, 2019 at around 11:00 in the evening. We were fetched by our students, Liu Zanli and Chen Peipei. On the way to our accommodation, we were briefed on our schedules for the next days that we’re in Shandong Yingcai University.
The first day was a conference with the officials of SYU and PanpacificU, facilitated by Deputy Dean of IEC Lin Chunling. It was held at the Conference Room 1, Office Bldg, South Campus.
SYU President Xia Jiting emphasized the need for a real world education for students. This means students should have the following: industry work experience, scientific knowledge coupled with practical ability and professionalism. In response, Chairman Romeo Padilla and President Rhonda Padilla said that such demand for real world education is being addressed by PanpacificU, providing quality education that is applicable to its students.
The highlight of the conference was the giving of Letters of Appointment to the eight (8) professors certifying that we are Distinguished Professors of Shandong Yingcai University from April 3, 2019 to April 2, 2022. This is definitely one of the best gifts presented to the professors.
After the morning conference was a sumptuous lunch, one of the many meals that showcased the Shandong cuisine. We also toasted to the successful partnership.
Lunch was followed by a tour of the North Campus. We were awed by the facilities and the courses that were offered by SYU. The industrial partnership is very evident as some professors of specific subjects are from the field. Some equipment are provided by industrial partners, too.
A half-day tour of the North Campus was not enough as it was sprawling. The apple and cherry trees in bloom added to the glorious chilly spring day.
By 5:30 pm of April 2, we had an early dinner at the Square Courtyard. The dinner was divine! How many dishes can there be? Not less than 15 different dishes.
By 6:30 pm, we were led to the Cultural Center Theatre of SYU. There we were entertained by professional singers and dancers. We may not have understood what they were singing and saying, but we were enthralled by their performances in singing, dancing and playing of their native musical instruments. Indeed, music need no interpretation; just listen with the heart.
The following day, April 3, we again had an early start as we went to the Temple of Confucius in Qufu, a good two hours travel from SYU, accompanied by Lin Chunling, Liu Zanli, Chen Peipei and King. There at the sprawling Temple, we were culturally oriented on the ways of the Chinese royalties and the tenets of Confucius. We enjoyed the many gardens of the Qufu Temple, basking in the sweet aroma of cherry blossom and apple trees. It was verdant garden, teeming with centuries-old trees.
Lunch for the second day was another magnificent meal of no less than 15 different dishes at a local restaurant in Qufu. We toasted to the partnership of PanpacificU and SYU.
The hospitality of our Chinese students/officials from SYU did not end there. There was more! We were told that our Graduate students were hosting a dinner for us. We were groaning with a full stomach and that in just a few hours we will be eating again. But, they said it was not a problem. We will surely eat a lot again.
True enough, they made us walk the length of the Daming Lake toward our destination. Daming Lake or the Lake of Great Splendor is the largest lake in Jinan City, and one of the main natural and cultural landmarks. One can find different pavilions from different dynasties, and also boasts of six traditional Chinese gardens. Walking from one gate to exit to another is no mean feat, but because of the breathtaking scenery of the serene lake and beautiful gardens, it was literally a walk in the park.
Our dinner was at a private function room of Jinsanbei Restaurant where we were served with a luxurious meal of Shandong cuisine. There were more than 30 different dishes served. We were well taken care of by our hosts. If food is the measurement, it was Chinese hospitality at its best.
The following morning, we were off to Shanghai. But before that, some of our former students in the undergraduate came to say hello. It was a brief meet up, with the promise that we shall see each other again.
In Shanghai, we toured the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is one of the top ten largest squares in the world. It is so vast that half-a-day tour is not enough to bask in its history. We exited to the Forbidden City, which served as the homes of emperors and their households, as well as it is the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government.
On April 5, we set out to Badaling to see the Great Wall. It was a magnificent display of Chinese engineering. The Badaling wall is the most popular section as it is the best-preserved and most complete section. The stairs are not steep and are equipped with handrails. It also has a cable car for those who wish to reach the walls easier and faster. The Badaling Wall was teeming with tourists, local and international.
Our last night in Beijing was capped by a sumptuous Japanese dinner hosted by Mr. Li Tianyu and Mr. Hu Jinlan.
The China trip is an unforgettable journey. It is an unexpected blessing for the delegates from PanpacificU. We were treated so well that we hope we can reciprocate it later by giving our Graduate School students the best education we can provide.