24 July 2009

3 Pinoy Studes Wins WB Essay Tilt

Green Movement by Jernalyn Gayon
Three Filipino students have bested some 2,000 entries from 150 countries in the recently-concluded World Bank 2009 International Essay Competition, with this year's topic focusing on "How does climate change affect you? How do you tackle climate change through youth-led solutions?"

Victor Marco Emmanuel Ferriols from the University of the Philippines-Visayas won third place in the video essay category with his piece, "Losing shores, losing more," while Jernalyn Gayon from the Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City won third place in the photograph category.

On the other hand, Miguel Antonio Garcia, a student of the University of San Carlos, Cebu City was chosen as a finalist in the essay writing category with his entry, "Stepping Up To The Challenge: The Cebuano Youth in the Climate Change Crisis." His essay made an impact on fellow participants making him one of the most aware about the issue on climate change.

In his essay, Garcia said, "the youth can serve as an effective force in encouraging people to redo their lifestyles and prod stakeholders to make a concrete plan of action. A well-thought framework, strong research armor and a concerted effort among different youth-led initiatives are key steps to strengthen the youth's influence in society."

Other Philippine entries, which included eight other essays, a video and a photograph were among the best submitted to the World Bank, making the Philippines the country with the most number of top entries, along with Indonesia.

The other essays that were shortlisted were written by Denise Margaret Matias, Maria Angela Abad, Paul John Gesta, Reah Gonzales, Jan Michael Jose, Vincenzo Molejon, David Michael San Juan and Luthfi Raditya Soekartawi, an Indonesian living in the Philippines.

Ma. Krizia Ledesma was also a finalist with her photograph showing children lining up for water with their pails and buckets, as well as Jason Paul Laxamana with his video "Cool Me Up, Please!"

The International Essay Competition, which was launched last January is an annual, worldwide contest targeting youth aged 18-25 and managed by the World Bank Office in Paris. This year's competition was sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance and World Bank.

The World Bank has been largely focusing on young people since the youth segment's population aged 12-24 reached 1.3 billion worldwide, the largest in history.

"Youths are key agents of change, but too often the nature and impact of their projects are not recognized or documented sufficiently, and youth face difficulties being heard and engaging more directly in civic life," a World Bank document on the essay competition said.