Bridging the Great Divide: Ateneo Celadon General Assembly 2018

Written by Hazel Lam. Edited by Denise Joaquin, Matthew Yuching.

Photo Header by Bruce Ong

The notion of The Great Wall is nothing new to anyone. Instead of referring to the monument laid all throughout China’s borders, most often people talk of the metaphorical invisible wall of the Chinese between themselves and every other race, culture, and tradition different from their own. But what if we had the chance to break that stereotype? To be able to open up the imaginary borders among ourselves? To freely invite anyone into our own circles? All this is exactly what Celadon is working towards.

Celadon held its first two general assemblies last September 10, 2018 and September 12, 2018 at the MVP Roofdeck. The theme this year took inspiration from renowned TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, adopted from the thought of all seven departments coming together to form Celadon, mainly the unity that binds them to give their best effort and exert their passions for the organization to thrive. This concept also pushes the thrust of Celadon this year: “Breaking Walls, Bridging Cultures”, similar to the Avatar, aspiring for peace and harmony within the four nations, the idea is to break the stereotype that Celadon is an exclusively Chinese organization, to show that anyone of any culture or nationality with an interest in Chinese culture and the people is open to be a part of the family.

Group It’s A-Paa! poses with sponsored goods during the department roaming. Photo by Archie Onglim.

Ateneo Celadon President Katreena Chang warmly welcomed members new and old to Celadon, introducing the organization itself and expressing enthusiasm over the year ahead. After that a brief presentation was made by AFiCS Main Representative, Joshe Tiu, with regards to the Association of Filipino-Chinese Students (AFiCS), the main organization including different universities such as UPCSA (UPD), Cerulean (UPM), Scarlet Central (UST), and Englicom (DLSU).

All the members were divided into 10 groups that had to work together with the main task of finding the avatar, to do that the participants all had to travel in groups to booths scattered throughout the roofdeck. The departments within the organization took on the roles of the four nations, the Water Tribes, the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom, and the Air Nomads, coming up with tasks related to projects under that specific department.

Under the Water Tribes is the External Affairs (waterbending) which deals with the event proper, planning, and mechanics within Celadon. They presented two projects, , REACH a series of  area engagements promoting sustainable livelihood or educating children in partner communities and the Binondo Amazing Race. There’s also the Finance Department (swamp-bending) who talked about their projects, Santa’s Attic Bazaar and the Rose Sale along with showcasing different designs of the year-long selling of CLDN Merchandise.

For the Fire Nation there’s the Cultural Affairs (fire-bending). Accompanied by a video of their 2017 Celadon Chinese New Year Food Festival as part of their promotion of the Chinese New Year Fair and their recently started MandoPop Festival, they presented the Mid-Autumn Festival, better known as the Dice Game and the Teacher’s Appreciation Night. Then there’s the Human Relations Committee (lightning-bending) who oriented the members on their role as the ones overseeing the project managers and core teams as well as introducing their leadership programs.

A group listens to the Cultural Affairs Department give their presentation. Photo by Bruce Ong.

In the Earth Kingdom are the Corporate Relations (earth-bending). The committee introduced their projects, especially their upcoming “First Impressions” Marketing Seminar to enhance the skills and capabilities for marketing that requires getting sponsors and maintaining the branding of Celadon. Besides that, there’s the Elements Mobkard, Celadon’s new digital privilege card. The Communications Team (metal-bending) promoted the department’s role of creating the image of the organization through posters, design, and promotions.

And lastly the Air Nomads consisting of the Documentations & Publications (air-bending) acquainted the members of their role of documentations, the ones behind the scenes that mainly archives Celadon’s events. They also have their main flagship project, the yearly publication of Celadon’s Elements Magazine that is aiming to transition to an online publication this year.

The roof deck was filled with the competitive spirits of the members to win each task and their facilitators weren’t behind with shouts of encouragement. Each of them was enraptured by the volunteers at each booth, eager to show interest in joining the departments they represented. As the night ended, everyone may have been run-down and exhausted yet all around there would be content smiles and ecstatic conversation floating alluding to anticipation for the year ahead. The assembly might’ve ended, but so many possibilities await the new Celadoneans for the year.

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