I found what I needed in IAFT!

After four months of being here, it still feels surreal that I am studying Acting at the International
Academy of Film and Television in Cebu. I can’t believe that I am already in the middle of my second
term at IAFT. Just before writing this, I was in class with our brilliant acting mentor, Alex Murphy. My
favourite part of today was the new improvisation exercise we tried. I used to be scared of improv, but
my training at IAFT has helped me let go of inhibitions, be willing to learn from mistakes, and have fun
no matter what.

Life at IAFT is great! It’s challenging and enjoyable. I’m glad I chose to jump in. I began my first
term in February 2016, just a couple of weeks after leaving my job as a medical technologist. I worked
for four years, and it was on that fourth year when I finally decided to do what I’ve been dreaming about
for much longer. I had already taken a few workshops, but I wanted more comprehensive acting training.
I couldn’t afford to study abroad yet. I wished for a place in my home country where I could build a strong
acting foundation. I was hungry for the right tools, techniques, and teachers. When I discovered that IAFT
had a campus in Cebu, I was hopeful. Now that I’m here, I am not only hopeful, I am sure. I chose
correctly when I picked IAFT. I found what I was looking for.

The admissions staff make it easier to adjust to life here. I had to fly to Cebu from Manila. It would
be my first time in Cebu, and I did not know anyone. However, the student advisors took extra care to
make sure I had a place to stay. It was a much smoother transition than I thought it would be. I am very
thankful for it.

I like that there are students and mentors from all over the world. Sharing cultures and ideas
makes people more broad-minded and unprejudiced. I also like that the school is small enough for
everyone to get to know one another. We hang out with students from different levels and programs. We
talk to all the mentors, even those whom we wouldn’t normally have classes with. Somehow, we all find
opportunities to work together. Animation and Filmmaking students get to become actors sometimes.
Acting students get to experience not only work in front of the camera, but also behind the scenes. I think
that this dynamic is very important because we learn to understand and respect each other’s roles. We
learn by doing and by being open.


It’s not all work either. There is a nice student lounge for us to hang out in, and food places nearby
that we could visit or call for take-out.

I love that I can be myself. I’m surrounded by people who enjoy a
good laugh, but who are also insightful about serious things.

I love life at IAFT! I learn something new every day. I like pushing myself, and I appreciate it when
my mentors and classmates push me to be better, too. Every class, every shoot, every person, and every
experience has something to teach you. The key is to be humble, generous, and open. I’ve been here a
term and a half, and I’m enjoying every moment of it. Coming to IAFT is truly one of the best decisions I
have ever made.

Affy Varona
20 June 2016