by J-Roel Semilla
Dr. Cesar T. Miguel, the first exchange professor of MSU-IIT College of Education arrives at Srinakharinwirot University (SWU) Ongkharak Campus in Ongkharak, Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand on January 14, 2018. As an Exchange Professor, he stays and teaches at the Faculty of Physical Education in SWU for more than three weeks covering the period January 15 to February 9, 2018.
With the able facilitation of Dr. Panita Khampoosa, Assistant Dean for International Affairs, Dr. Miguel accomplishes the purposes and objectives of the technical side of the Exchange Program. Moreover, he blends well with well-known SWU physical education professors such as Dr. Supranee Kwanboonchan and Dr. Usakorn Punvanich, and some national sports personalities specifically the Director General of the Thai Department of Physical Education (equivalent to a Cabinet Secretary), Dr. Panya Hanlumyuan.
He is also introduced to the Thai academic sports programs, national sports competition, Thai culture including those hot and spicy food, impressive motor ways, the temples or wat, and to the beautiful places around Bangkok, Nakhon Nayok, and Pattaya.
Dr. Miguel delivers a lecture on Philippine Sports to the class of Dr. Supranee Kwanboonchan where students respond attentively as they inquir about sports leagues in the Philippines. However, based on an initial evaluative consultation with Dr. Khampoosa on the strengths and weaknesses of the exchange partners, it is decided that his main concern is the teaching and demonstration of water safety techniques and skills on water survival and rescues considering that SWU has been strong in sports management, sports science and physical fitness but quite weak in water safety and rescue.
Thus, despite the language barrier, Dr. Miguel takes the lead in lecturing and demonstrating techniques in water survival and rescue to the Thai students in the classes of Prof. Lect. Chakrapong Thampongboworn and Dr. Usakorn Punvanich. Amidst their apprehension in dealing with an English –speaking Filipino exchange professor, the teachers and students in those classes are grateful of the opportunity they have in learning the water survival and rescue techniques since drowning incidents have recently risen in Bangkok and central Thailand.
Finally, Dr. Miguel presents an abridged version of the Module on Teaching Water Safety to Dr. Usakorn Punvanich and Prof Lect Chakrapong Thampongboworn for use in the Water Safety Course, and for possible collaborative comparative studies on water safety teaching practices and techniques of Thailand and the Philippines.
The exchange professor makes full use of his time at SWU. Upon the invitation of Dr. Kwanboonchan and the encouragement of the International Korfball Federation Asia President, Dr. Inglish Huang, he completes the Referee Level 1 Accreditation Training on Korfball which is conducted by the Taiwanese officials of International Korfball Federation Asia.
Intending to learn more about physical education in Thailand, Dr. Miguel does observations on the methods and teaching techniques in the Physical Fitness classes of Dr. Prasit Peepathum, Gymnastics classes of Dr. Usakorn Punvanich, and, in the Basic Golf Tutorial class of Dr. Satitrak Nasane in SWU. The aforementioned professors are noted for their expertise in their respective fields and in stimulating and guiding students’ skills learning as well. He also goes out of SWU to observe state-of-the-art fitness centers in Rangsit near Bangkok and is impressed with the sports and fitness facilities in and out of SWU.
On the technical side of the Exchange, Dr, Miguel now fully comprehends the importance of keeping pace with the academic development among member countries in the ASEAN. And on the social and cultural side of the Program, he emphasizes on its significance in promoting and facilitating mutual recognition of commonalities across cultures in the region.
Dr. Miguel says that it has been rewarding to discover that Thais are as friendly and hospitable as we Filipinos are, that they like us, are family-oriented, respectful of elders and authorities, and are united as a nation.
Prof. Miguel has been serving as a PE professor since 1987 in the Department of Physical Education specializing in sports management, volleyball, swimming, and water safety. He serves in various designations in the Institute over the years – as Department Chairperson, Acting Chief Security Officer, and as Acting Sports Director.
This endeavor is a product of the Academic Cooperative Agreement between Srinakharinwirot University and Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology which aims to bring goodwill and mutual benefit to both universities. Hopefully, more CED professors will follow the footsteps of Dr. Miguel and will take an active part in the Exchange Program.