Winners of Overseas Filipinos essay contest honored
MANILA – Winners of the Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos were feted during an awards ceremony February 26 at the Manila Hotel during the gala dinner of the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora held in Manila.
The essay contest with the theme “The Overseas Filipinos and their impact on the Philippines” was launched by the US Pinoys for Good Governance Marianas chapter (CNMI and Guam) Chairperson Dr. Celia Lamkin in collaboration with the Commission on Overseas and its chairperson, Secretary Imelda Nicolas.
There were 257 essay entries received by the USP4GG Ad Hoc Committee from both College and High School Categories from nine different countries: Philippines, USA, Greece, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, China, Bahrain, Qatar.
Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III sent congratulations to the winners: “Our countrymen have sacrificed much so that we can build upon the foundations they toiled for us. Let your perspectives and insights motivate our kababayans to intensify their support for our fellows in distant shores.”
The winners are the following:
Justin Keith Baquisal – First Prize of the University of the Philippines, Diliman
Dia Marmi Bazar – Second Prize of Misamis University at Misamis Occidental
Jeremy Mosquito- Third Prize of St. Mary’s University at Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya
Patrick Duane Noche – First Prize of Calayan Educational Foundation,Inc at Lucena city
Eugenie Marie Pranada – First Prize of Philippine School of Bahrain
Hazel Ivy Jeremias – Second Prize of The Lewis College at Sorsogon city
Yvonne Dayne Luis -Third Prize of Durat Al Sharq International School at Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Grand winner Justin Keith Baquisal said, “As mass out-migration has become a trend since the 1970’s, the task for today’s generation is to critically examine the phenomenon and its effects on our private lives and public issues. I think we should continue to locate the overseas Filipino community in the narrative of our nationhood. They may be geographically far from us, often becoming citizens of other states either by economic necessity or free will, but I think their experiences should vitalize rather than be relegated from talks about national development.”
Eugenie Marie Pranada said, “The topic of the essay contest is timely, challenging, and relevant. The contest provided channels from the youth around the globe to come to one destination -the hearts of the OFWs. Also, this aided the realization and the discovery of the reader on what views the author has to offer to the world. Lastly, like any other writing competitions, all the contenders let their hearts speak. That’s how we won…the experience.”
The judges of the essay contest were:
Dr. Josefina G. Tayag,DPA, retired vice-chancellor of UP Manila; Zaldy Dandan, editor of Marianas Variety, Atty.Lolita Farmer,OAM, an immigration lawyer in Australia; George Chua, President and CEO of Bayan Automative Industries Corporation and President of Philippine Industries ( FPI) ; Mithi Aquino-Thomas, an experienced instructor and trainer in the customer service industry and wife of former US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas, Jr.
Gene Alcantara, chair of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora ( ENFiD) and immigration consultant in London; Juanita Nimfa Gamez, one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the US in 2007 and CEO and president of a home care business in California; Romy Cayabyab, founder and publisher of the award-winning Internet publishing and media company in Sydney, Australia.
Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay, grand winner of USP4GG Essay Contest on West Philippine Sea and a community journalist/reporter for the Sun Star Publishing,Inc; and Dr. Celia B. Lamkin, chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee for USP4GG Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos, founding chairperson of Global Filipino Diaspora Marianas and founding member, Board Member and Secretary of Global Filipino Diaspora Council.