Press Release
July 23, 2009

Villar Commends Filipino Youth Winners
and Finalists in the World Bank's International Essay Competition

Nacionalista Party President Senator Manny Villar lauds the three Filipino students--Victor Emmanuel Ferriols, Miguel Antonio Garcia and Jernalyn Gayon--who won and bested 2,000 participants from 150 countries in the recently concluded 2009 International Essay Competition of the World Bank (WB).

"I would like to personally commend the Filipino youngsters who made it to the winners' circle of the WB-organized essay competition and bringing honor to the country. Your achievements are truly a testament to the Filipino talent and may these serve as an inspiration to the Filipino youth," said Villar. The Philippines has the most number of top entries in the competition.

According to Villar, "The winning essays, photos and videos of the Filipino winners in this competition prove that the Filipino youth are aware of social concerns and environmental issues such as climate change, which was the focus of this year's competition. They will do well as future 'green entrepreneurs' as the organizers cited."

Ferriols from the University of the Philippines-Visayas was third place in the 'Best Videos' category for his video 'Losing shores, losing more'. Jason Paul Laxamana is one of the finalists in this category.

For the '20 Best Essays' category, Garcia from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City was chosen as a finalist for his entry, "Stepping Up To The Challenge: The Cebuano Youth in the Climate Change Crisis." Denise Margaret Matias was among the 'best 20' as well. The other short-listed essays were written by Maria Angela Abad, Paul John Gesta, Reah Gonzales, Jan Michael Jose, Vincenzo Molejon, David Michael San Juan, and Indonesian Luthfi Raditya Soekartawi, who is living in the Philippines.

Gayon from the Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City won third place for her photograph on how people can sponsor a scholar every month by collecting plastic bottles. Ma. Krizia Ledesma was one of the finalists for the same category for her photograph of children lining up for water in a community.

Villar noted that majority of the winners are from outside of Metro Manila. "Our students in the South are just as socio-politically aware. This is a good sign that everywhere in the Philippines, the youth are really involved."

The Essay Competition is held annually and this year's topic was "How does climate change affect you? How do you tackle climate change through youth-led solutions?" It is WB-organized in partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

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