Former SPED Highschool student and now Singaporean government scholar Joahanna Acharon recently toured South Africa with a select group of performers from the Anglo-Chinese Junior College where she is currently pursuing her studies.

Joahanna, Mayor's daughter

Joahanna Acharon interviewing the winner of last Christmas’ “Light-Up-Your-Tricycle” Contest, during her stint as host of the PASKO-SA-GENSAN 2007 TV Special while in town for a vacation from her scholarship grant in Singapore’s Anglo-Chinese Junior College.

Joahanna or Honey, as she is called by her family and friends is a member of the ACSian Theater, an award-winner repertory arm of her school made up of past and present students of the College. She has been a student there since 2004 where she has been enjoying a scholarship grant awarded to her when was still a 3rd year student at the SPED-Gensan, after hurdling the intense qualifying process conducted by Singapore’s Education Ministry.

As a new student in the school, she set her sights on joining a performing arts group and eventually applied for and was accepted by the ACSian Theater, a constant winner in the Singapore Youth Festival. There, she was able to hone her skills not only in dramatics but in the other aspects of theater production as well.

As a company, ACSian Theatre also involves itself in many local and overseas community projects. They have continuously partnered with associations such as the Down’s Syndrome Association and the Singapore Red Cross Society. They also have outreach programmes with countries such as South Africa.

For ACSian’s performance tour to South Africa in March 2008, Joahanna, because of her exceptional record in their various performances since joining the group (whether performing or as a member of the crew) was chosen as member of the touring ensemble. The only Filipino in the group, this was no mean feat considering that there were also other aspiring actors who would have wanted to be in the tour group.

The performance tour in South Africa with her theater peers took Joahanna to various schools in Johannesburg and Soweto. There, they stayed at host and base school, Jeppe Girls’ High School. From there, they made the rounds of Parktown Girls High and Kingston Secondary. They also performed a command piece at the Singapore Mission in Pretoria, for the Singapore High Commisioner (a sort of like an Ambassador) and invited guests. Part of their trip included visits to a game reserve, the Apartheid Museum and Nelson Mandela‘s home in Soweto.

In a text message, Joahanna expressed to me how “honored I was with the distinction of being the only Filipina in the group and for being chosen to be part of the select group of performers in their South African tour.”

This remarkable accomplishment of Joahanna, who is the second daughter of Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. is another example of how “generals” (as citizens of this Tuna Capital call themselves) whether here or abroad, excel themselves in various fields, fitting perfectly to her father’s declaration of the year 2008 as the “YEAR OF EXCELLENCE” for General Santos City.