By admin - Posted on 09 January 2014

     In support with its students’ development, Benguet State University (BSU) through the Office of Student Affairs and Services (OSS) sent seven University students to participate in the 2nd Make a Difference (MAD) Camp themed “Conquering Leadership Challenges of the 21st Century” held at CWC Convention Hall, CamSur Watersports Complex, Pili, Camarines Sur on Dec. 6-8.
      They were JomarLesino, Bachelor of Science in Nursing student of the College of Nursing; Kevin Jake Angyab (College of Teacher Education- Bachelor in Secondary Education) and Rhe-Ann Ngayaan (CTE- Bachelor in Elementary Education). Also, from the College of Agriculture namely: Luis Calama, BS in Agriculture (BSA); Kathrene Joyce Sabilala, BSA; and Katrina Verzola, BS in Development Communication. They were accompanied by Ramon C. Fiangaan Jr., Head of the OSS- Student Organization and Activities.
      Asked of why make a difference, Fiangaan said that promoting change is important because change is essential for human’s growth and development.
      “As a participant, I gained values and acquired valuable skills which are necessary for self-development as I target to attain healthier performance in the organization I belong to and in the community as a whole”, said Angyab.
      The registration fees and travel expenses of the said students were shouldered by the BSU administration charging it to the college stf.
      The three-day leadership conference kicked off with Jayson Lo’s lecture on “Enjoy being YOUnique: Understanding You.” According to him, every one of us is unique and special because we are God’s creation, not a product of evolution.
      The said motivational speaker shared the four YOUnique characters of human, the DISC: Dominant eagle, a person who may be called the doer; Influential rooster, the talker; Steady carabao, the watcher; and the Corrective tarsier, who is the thinker.
      “Despite diversity and differences, we are to maximize our strengths, minimize our weaknesses, and aim for positive life-change”. Deviating from the golden rule, he said that the platinum rule states - do unto others as they want it to be done unto them”, ended Lo.
      “Never allow the circumstances of life to hinder you from dreaming. We need freedom to serve, not power to rule”, were the words of Mr. Tony Meloto, Chairman and Founder of GawadKalinga, who keynoted the opening ceremonies.
      According to him, education is the way out of poverty but in the first place the Philippines has no excuse to be poor. The poor can always thrive and attain their fullest potential so that together, we can all look forward to a better future for our children and the generations to come.
      “Our country’s wealth is the people; if young people like you are developed, you become an asset and not an ass of the society. There is so much about the country to fall in love with. Build your future in this land of opportunity; it’s worth investing here, and be a social entrepreneur”, challenged Meloto to the student leaders.
Meloto’s talk was followed by the lecture sessions of ABS-CBN host/actor Robi Domingo titled Embracing and Overcoming Youth Challenges; Raji Paul Tañada, EDSA People Power Project Officer (The Spirit of EDSA Now: Volunteerism and Bayanihan); and a workshop on Filipino Youth Situation: Issues and Challenges by Prof. SerafinArviolaJr, EDSA People Power Commission Consultant and Chairman of the Board, National Association of UNESCO Clubs in the Philippines.
      The first day activities concluded through a dinner with the Camarines Sur Governor Miguel ‘Migz’ Villafuerte. At the age of 24, Villafuerte, represented by his executive secretary that evening, is the youngest elected governor in the Philippine History having been elected in May 2013 elections.
      Arviola’s workshop on Conquering Leadership Challenges through COMPETENCE served as a jump start of the second day’s line of activities. He was followed by Hon. LeniRobredo, Representative of the 3rd district of Cam Sur in her topic on Conquering Leadership Challenges through COURAGE. Leni is the wife of the late Jesse Robredo.
      Hon. Sherwin Gatchalian, Representative, 1st District, Valenzuela, on the other hand, spoke on Conquering Leadership Challenges through COMMITMENT. He discussed the four P’s of why politicians enter the Congress which he enumerated as popularity, pork barrel [‘pera’], prestige and public service.
“With the right intention, fairness, and commitment in serving the people, the power given to you will not consume you”, stressed Gatchalian.
      The rest of the day was jam-packed with parallel sessions, workshops and open fora having the speakers: Cathy Garcia-Molina, Film and TV Director of ABS-CBN who discoursed on Conquering Leadership Challenges through CHARACTER; Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN broadcast journalist/reporter on The Power of Volunteerism; Commissioner Alice Pañares, Chairman, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on Youth Making a Difference for Culture and Heritage; and Ma. Rosalie Zerrudo, NCCA worker-artist on Youth Making a Difference for the Community.
      Meanwhile, the third day off shot with a team building among the participants. The election of regional officers and oath-taking took place before the lecture of Arviola on Conquering Leadership Challenges through COMPETENCE Part 2. Keynoted by Usec. Leon G. Flores III, National Youth Commission (NYC), the leadership camp was officially closed following the youth collaboration and wakeboarding at CWC.
      The activity, participated in by around 200 college and high school students nationwide, was spearheaded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Group (UNESCO) and Go! AhonPilipinas, Inc. (GAPi) in partnership with CWC, National Association of UNESCO Clubs in the Philippines, Inc., NCCA, NYC, ABS-CBN as the official media partner, and the officialdom of the province of CamSur.
      The camp was presented by GAPi, an accredited UNESCO club member, to uplift the poor and marginalized, empower the youth, and inspire the future through active involvement on societal issues and concerns. It was in cooperation with Red Cross, EDSA People Power Commission, EDSA People Power Networks, among others.
Founded in May 2010, GAPi is a private voluntary, non-stock, non-profit organization and movement formed by various community leaders, public servants, and young professionals who advocate meaningful reforms in the community.//Rhe-annNgayaan