"Smile and silence," these are the two words that Dr. Alicia L. Lustica emphasized in her message to the 34 senior high school students of Camp 7 National High School in Barangay Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu as they culminate their 30-day work immersion. The culminating program attended in by BCWERC staff, students, and teachers was held at the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) Training Hall at Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu on February 19, 2018.

BCWERC Head, Dr. Lustica, appreciated and expressed delight to the school for choosing BCWERC to cater to the students learning experience. She motivated and inspired students to be pleasant, kind, and respectful of other's rights. Dr. Lustica highlighted a very important learning adage during her speech that is, “The quality of your life and your future depends on the effort you put today.” The whole experience during the student’s work immersion according to Dr. Lustica will be a revelation for self-improvement aside from the opportunities of obtaining a deeper understanding on the importance of research, development and extension (RDE) on environment and natural resources (ENR).

BCWERC technical staff who served as their mentors and lecturers during the immersion provided positive comments to the students. They commended the students for their attentiveness, eagerness, and interest to learn during lectures and immersion activities. They were also able to execute specific instructions during their field practicum. Accordingly, the students showed great enthusiasm that also inspired lecturers to give it their all.

In response, the students also expressed their gratitude towards the BCWERC staff for providing them with proper training, enhancement, and relevant learning experiences. Statements from one of the students revealed deep gratitude to the BCWERC team who provided them guidance and imparted valuable knowledge which they hope to put to good use. Further, the student said that BCWERC personnel were kind enough in trying to guide them towards the right path as they work toward their career goals. All together, they believed their immersion helped them fold a new version of family, friendship and community.

Students wrapped up the activity with a lively sing and dance presentation. A closing statement from one of the students concluded the culmination program. The meaningful remark expressed, ‘It is not the end, but another beginning of our journey,’ truly inspired and encouraged students continue life’s adventures. Dearlet G., BCWERC