Quantcast
Latest Stories

Power of 9 awes, inspires young global shapers

By

MANILA, Philippines—There’s the unlikely town mayor: a tanned, svelte 24-year-old, who left her job at luxury brand Chanel to serve her hometown. And then, the outspoken 23-year-old marine protection advocate, now preparing the speech of a lifetime she will deliver before heads of state, royalty, business leaders and other people of power and influence.

They round up the power party of nine, the first batch of young Filipinos selected to join the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Young Global Shapers.

Launched only last year, the YGS is envisioned to jump-start a community of young people working together to pursue change initiatives in their home countries and represent the youth voice in the WEF, the Geneva-based nonprofit committed to improving the world.

The WEF is best known for its annual meeting in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos which brings together some of the world’s top business and political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

Exceptional people

Designed to gather exceptional people aged 20 to 30, YGS is the younger sibling of WEF’s Young Global Leaders (YGL) program, which brings together “exceptional young leaders” 30 to 40 years old “who share a commitment to shaping the global future.”

“If you think mayor, you’ll never think of me, right? But I think it’s good [because] it’s more important to change the norm to really inspire people,” said Young Global Shaper Maria Carmela Alvarez, the mayor of San Vicente, a town in northwestern Palawan.

“You don’t have to be a certain type or what’s expected,” said the Boston-educated mayor, noting how people invariably looked past her when told the San Vicente mayor had arrived.

Beyond their age

Indeed, this year’s crop of Philippine YGS represents what young Filipinos are doing now, far beyond their age.

Alvarez aims to introduce sustainable projects in her scenic town of 30,000 that is “huge in land” but is poor in income.

Anna Rosario Oposa, a University of the Philippines graduate, established the “Save Philippine Seas” movement to protect the country’s marine biodiversity.

Adopting a school system in Latin America, Eleanor Rosa Pinugu found a way to provide quality kindergarten-to-12th grade education to poor children in Taguig City even before the Department of Education initiated its own basic education reforms.

Ponce Ernest Samaniego, 21, jump-started a social enterprise “to serve those who serve,” providing business expertise to nonprofits.

Apart from taking hospital calls, Dr. Bryan Albert Lim is a program consultant at the Asian Institute of Management and also established a festival for films themed on health issues.

Law student Mildred Ople, 25, organizes the youth in her native Hagonoy, Bulacan, to pursue local development projects, particularly boosting farm yield through new agricultural technology.

Alexandra Eduque, 21, has been working with Habitat for Humanity for seven years now and founded its youth council.  Television host Bianca Gonzalez takes time off from show business to work for child welfare.

And 30-year-old Jay Jaboneta was moved to help when he learned of Zamboanga City schoolchildren who had to swim to go to school. Through social media, he raised funds to provide boats for the children’s daily river crossing.

Show the world

Of the select group, only Oposa, Pinugu and Alvarez will be flying to Davos, Switzerland, next week to join the global forum.

“We can show how we can stand as a developing country, where we have so many inspiring young leaders,” said Alvarez.

“Very often you can say that Filipinos, when they go work abroad, they stay there because of better pay. But you have young people like myself who come back. And I think that says something, about who we are and what we can do for our country,” she said.

Oposa has been invited to speak at the opening plenary, a “most honorable role” and rare opportunity for a young global shaper.

Oposa has yet to write her speech but she already knows what kind of message she would like to bring across to her high-level audience.

“My driving point would be that the decisions that they make there will affect what we’re gonna see in the future, the condition that we’re gonna be in. So there’s an intergenerational responsibility,” Oposa said.

The YGS Manila hub is expected to meet regularly and pursue, as one, development programs in the country.

Connecting abroad

Broadcast journalist Karen Davila, a 2010 WEF Young Global Leader, served as a founding curator for this year’s YGS.

“I felt inspired for I feel this will give opportunity to talented Filipinos to connect abroad. They’ll have a global platform and that helps our country,” she said.

“I really want WEF to appreciate, and feel Manila, Philippines, now. I want WEF to see that we have very talented people that can contribute on a global scale, that can be heard and that they can take it back to the Philippines,” Davila said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Anna Rosario Oposa , broadcast journalist Karen Davila , Eleanor Rosa Pinugu , Mayor Maria Carmela Alvarez , Ponce Ernest Santiago , San Vicente town in northwestern Palawan , Save Philippine Seas , World Economic Forum (WEF) , Young Global Shapers

  • Anonymous

    I agree with comments of Karen Davila. Thank you

  • Ron ForReal

    This as all about auditioning to be a high-class hose slave of the elite. Filipinos should really get out of that business.

  • Anonymous

    Laudable achievement by the scions of the elite. YSG is a platform for the rich. I’m singling out Alvarez. Im sure shes from the political Alvarez clan of Palawan. Cant even find anything on the net about her first class municipality much less exceptional governance. Shes been elected almost two years and shes still aiming to intoduce sustainable projects (meaning, wala pang nagawa). I think she was chosen just because she was elected, not because of what she has done. Leaving Chanel is not a sacrifice. Being elected to congress in the future and the pork barrel is the bigger prize as well as perpetuating the Alvarez clan’s dynasty in the province. 

    She can prove me wrong though and I’ll eat crow when the day comes she proves shes not what I think she is. Nevertheless, by representing the Philippines in the WEF, the nine leaders, you have my gratitude.

  • Anonymous

    @aspirin:twitter & @ron ForReal hypocrite cannibals of the nation! all you did is to criticize the achievement and honest to goodness deeds of others. haven’t you ever stop and ponder and asked yourselves “have i done something for the betterment of my own country?” or “have i ever plan something to help?” all i can describe you is a lazy hypocrite cannibal losers! all you see in your life is the bad side and negative of others rather than being positive and appreciate the goodness of others and be helpful for the cause. BE HAPPY, BE FAITHFUL, BE BUDOY! YOU HYPOCRITE!



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace