Friday, August 12, 2011

12th International Youth Day Summit: Highlights and Downlows!

Busy B on IYD 2011

Now on its 12th year, Philippines celebrated the International Youth Day through a Youth and Educators Summit for the Millennium Development Goals spearheaded by no less than the United Nation Youth Association of the Philippines under the banner of the United Nation Association of the Philippines. Held for the very first time out of the Metro Manila setting, the venue for this year is at the City of Love - Iloilo City. Another first for this activity is the fact that it is one of the most attended International Youth Day celebrations in the Philippines so far and that includes us as part of the history.

Here are some events/things that i considered highlights of the summit:

1.  As already mentioned, it is the first IYD gathering that is held outside Manila! A first time for many years.

2. The delegates who came are doubled from the expected number of attendees. From an expected 350 participants the total reached to more than 800!

3. The partner institution Central Philippines University was all out in supporting the event. A big BRAVO for them! Hands down most especially to the CPU President Dr. Teodoro Robles and the rest of the student body who worked hard for a successful IYD summit.

4. This year's Outstanding Youth Leaders Awardee are all inspiring: Mark Roy Macanlalay (Pangasinan) and Jo Jan Paul Penol (Iloilo) for Public and Government Service, Brenfred Romero (Northern Samar) and Kristopher John Rivera (Cagayan de Oro) for Community Service, Neil Sandoval (Manila) and Alein Navares (Cebu) for Education and Danilo Roqayan (Zambales) and Jovic Maurice Lee (Albay) for Environment.
OYLA 2011 with Rep. Arenas of Pangasinan

5. International delegates either came in two or in groups like that from Japan, Bangaladesh, Cambodia, Oman and Indonesia.

6.The National Youth Commission is also a partner for IYD 2011. Represented by Undersecretary Leon Flores III, he introduced NYC to those who have not heard about the office.

7. Photo-op with the CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida at the Hotel Lobby.

Kuya Efren at the hotel lobby

8. A chance to visit the Central University of the Philippines and admired their huge reception hall! Wishing that one of our universities here in General Santos City would have one like that.

Central Philippine University

9. National Forum on Volunteerism at CPU was graced by Atty. Alex Lacson (12 Little Things you can do for your country) and Mr. Antonio Meloto (Gawad Kalinga) - both are volunteers themselves who are being looked upon by the younger generation as a living inspiration.

Forum on Volunteering with Atty. Alex Lacson & Tito Tony Meloto

10. Mindanao is on the spotlight during the United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines election of officers. The National President and other officers are usually Mindanaoan. Thus Mindanao as the next venue of the IYD Summit is a clearer possibility. General Santos maybe? Why not!

Down Lows:

1. Because of the number of delegates, the organizers had a hard time accommodating everyone fast and efficient! Some even waited until nine o'clock in the evening to get their room assignments, waiting for almost 10 - 12 hours! PATIENCE attack!

2. The organizers were not prepared for the out pour of delegates thus their kits, receipts, meal stub and others are not sufficient.

3. Everyone is a LEADER. Putting intelligent people and leaders of their respective organization in one group will cause mayhem. Nobody wants to be the follower. Everyone wants to decide. The outcome - NOTHING! ZERO! MESS! That are the things that they should improve. Considering that this is the 12th time they conducted the IYD Summit, they should have learned from their previous mistakes.

4. The supposedly highlight ECO-TOUR at Guimaras Island turned out to be a nightmare for everyone. The weather was not suitable for a Guimaras tour that day (moral lesson: check Weather Update before bringing a group of 600 to an island tour). The coordinators were not well coordinated. The tour itself was not well planned (moral lesson: if you plan of bringing your delegates to an island tour or tourist spot tour, try it yourself first so you would know the time duration, the capacity of the place you will be visiting, the orientation you need to conduct and others). Remember that it should be SAFETY over FUN!

5. Because of the disorganized and traumatic Guimaras tour, the delegates missed the talk of Efran Penaflorida at the Central Philippines University. FAIL!

Happy International Youth Day!
Go out and VOLUNTEER towards the realization of the MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS on 2015!

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