MANILA - Three Filipino students beat more than 2,000 other students from all over the world in the World Bank's 2009 International Essay Competition.
The three Filipino youth - Victor Marco Emmanel Ferriols, Jernalyn Gayon, and Miguel Antonio Garcia - won with their video, photograph and essay entries to the competition, respectively, a press release from the World Bank office in Manila said Wednesday.
Ferriols, from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, won 3rd place with his video, "Losing shores, losing more"; Gayon, a student at the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga, won 3rd place for her photograph on how people can sponsor a scholar every month by collecting plastic bottles; and Garcia, from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, was a finalist in the essay category with his entry, "Stepping Up To The Challenge: The Cebuano Youth in the Climate Change Crisis."
Aside from the three, 8 other essays, videos and a photograph from Filipino students 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 shortlisted essays from the Philippines 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, the World Bank said.
Ma. Krizia Ledesma was also a finalist with her photo showing children lining up for water with their pails and buckets, as well as Jason Paul Laxamana with his video “Cool Me Up, Please!”
First place went to Sophie Bathhurst of Australia for the essay category, second place went to Cahyadi Widianto of Indonesia for his video “All of MEs” and third place went to Rudolf Bastian Tampubolon of Indonesia for his winning photograph. Cash prizes were given to the winners during the awarding last June 24.
Awareness of Pinoy youth on climate change
The World Bank statement said the Philippine entries were a valuable indication of how Filipino youth feel about climate change.
Cebu’s Garcia showed that he was not only aware of climate change’s impact on his province, he believes that organized youth can be a watchdog to corporations if they know how to measure companies’ emissions and report these to the media.
“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 armour and a concerted effort among different youth-led initiatives are key steps to strengthen the youth’s influence in society,” Garcia wrote
The Essay Competition is an annual, worldwide contest targeting youth aged between 18 to 25 years and managed by the World Bank Office in Paris.
This year’s topic was “How does climate change affect you? How do you tackle climate change through youth-led solutions?”
This year’s competition was sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the World Bank.
The sixth edition of the Essay Competition attracted 2,469 submissions from over 150 countries, with 90% of submissions coming from developing countries.
"The World Bank is focusing on the youth because in 2007, the number of people worldwide aged 12-24 reached 1.3 billion, the largest in history. Nearly half the people of the world today are under 25 years old. Nine out of ten of these young people live in developing countries. More important, the majority of the developing world's poor are children and youth," the World Bank said.