Preface to an Experience of a Lifetime

I was just browsing the internet when I saw this important announcement from a social media site with a title “Application now open for YSEALI Fall Cohort 2017” I think by February this year. A buzzer beater, I submitted my application just a few minutes before the deadline as I was still unsure if I am reasonably qualified for the program.

It was a matter of months, of which this application I almost forgot, when I received an email from the League of Cities of the Philippines that I will undergo an interview for the YSEALI Program. After an interview, I received a confirmation email about my acceptance and participation to the program under the Legislative Process and Governance Fall Cohort 2017.

Anxious and excited, I prepared all the documents and requirements for the program and have been accomplishing my responsibilities at our local government unit as I will leave for the United States for an almost six weeks fellowship.

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We travelled from the Philippines to Washington DC over an almost 17-hour flight with multiple stop-overs. I’ve been with my fellow Filipino colleagues from different parts of the country. I am so amazed how we were able to bond easily and comfortably. For our stay at DC, we had accomplished a lot for our pre-departure tasks to our host communities. We attended the 40th Year Anniversary of the US-ASEAN Relations at the US Capitol Building Visitor Center where we were able to know our co-fellows from the ASEAN both academic and professional. We were also able to meet the Hon. Patrick A. Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC especially our host organization, the International City/County Management Association where after the celebration engaged us with an interesting overview of YSEALI and the Professional Fellowship Program.

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And here I am now, waiting for my flight to the City of Upper Arlington in Ohio to embark with my real journey as a Professional Fellow as my stay with this beautiful host community will provide me with valuable insights, information and opportunities which I could share with our local government unit when I come back home.

I am really excited on what’s going to happen the next couple of weeks and truly I am honored and thankful that I have been selected for the program.

Mabuhay Pilipinas, Mabuhay YSEALI!

PS: I am Marc Louie M. Almario, RND by the way, Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian by profession but currently working as Planning Officer I and Executive Assistant at the Municipal Government of Rizal, Laguna.

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