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    How, masks donned, the Parco family left Manila for a Beijing ‘sci-fi’ adventure


    22 Sep, 2020

    10 : 00

    • When the Parco children – Thomas (Y12), Vera (Y12), Nicolas (Y7) and Mia (Y2) – finally arrived in Beijing after a four-month lockdown in Manila, they were thrilled. An offer to Gerry (Gerardo) to join the AIIB team in Beijing and a nod from his wife Sandy, a retired dentist, set the family’s China journey in motion.

      While there was an option for their four children to stay back in their home country, the Philippines, the parents saw this as an opportunity for the entire family to experience something new, much to everyone’s excitement.

      It’s a clear consensus that this year has been unprecedented in its range of experiences, with the family describing their journey to Beijing as a scene from a sci-fi movie. “Coming here was an adventure,” said Gerry. This included wearing masks and hazmat suits while following strict airport guidelines. The Parcos consider themselves lucky compared to their countrymen who have had to endure prolonged lockdowns.

      For the eldest daughter Vera, it was refreshing to have the freedom to move freely and enjoy small pleasures such as going to the mall and walking around the city. For Thomas, cycling around the city on a rented bike has been a unique experience. Nicolas, on the other hand, enjoys his time at home.

      Sandy, who is a novice stay-at-home-mum after years of formal work, is equally excited about this new chapter in her life and is slowly establishing a routine that works for her while the children are at school. When it comes to why the family chose YCIS Beijing, she says that the ‘intimacy’ the school offers, given its smaller size, played a major part in the decision. “I didn't want the kids to be overwhelmed,” she explains.  So, having smaller classes where students can easily engage with their teachers and classmates made the decision a lot easier. The school’s character building programme also played a substantial role in the final choice for the Parco family, which sought more than just academic excellence.

      When the children first found out about the move to the new school, their attitude was ambivalent. All that changed with the move.

      Now that the family has been in Beijing for two months, the children’s campus life is very active, with the eldest taking part in various school activities like the CAS project to usher primary students to their classrooms. Mia enjoys the arts, and we are looking forward to her taking part in school productions during the year.

      Although the move was amidst unusual circumstances, Sandy will be pleased to see the children thriving in their new environment.