|YouLead participants took a pose with Ms. Yanika Seratubias, speaker from PIGLAS, Palawan during the orientation.|
Eleven Overseas Filipino youth from Philippine School Doha (PSD) and International Philippine School in Shanghai (IPSS) joined the Youth Leaders in the Diaspora (YouLeaD) Experience held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last May 13-15, 2015.
This event, spearheaded by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), focuses on the rich history and natural wonders of Palawan and its transformation into being hubs of industries and progress as a result of migration and development. Participants are expected to learn and inculcate the core values of Filipino youth leaders such as deep appreciation of Filipino identity, good governance and leadership skills, sense of volunteerism and social responsibility and active role in diaspora development.
With the theme “YouLeaD5.0 : #IbaAko”, the event served as an avenue to encourage the overseas Youth Leaders in engaging in philanthropic initiatives in the country and become the future of Philippine Diaspora.
The participants went to the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. They also visited Palawan Rescue and Wildlife Centre, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, and experienced the mangrove paddle boating and firefly watching. The participants also enjoyed the island hopping on the third day.
|The Underground River experience of YouLeaD participants together with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) team.|
As the highlight of this year’s YouLeaD event, the participants visited one indigenous community in Brgy. Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan called “Tagbanua”.They tirelessly trekked the mountainous part of Puerto Princesa for more than an hour in order to give the books to elementary students of Cabayugan Elementary School-Extension.
|The participants walked for almost an hour to donate the books to Tagbanua children of
Brgy. Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
During the book donation, the YouLeaD participants were welcomed warmly by Tribal Leader, Mr. Rodolfo F. Rodrigo, School Adviser Ms. Sosima Rodrigo, parents, and students. They were very grateful to the participants and to the CFO for choosing them as the beneficiary of the book donation given by the C&E Publishing Foundation.
In the plenary session the next day, Mr. Ellric Joseph T. Maglangit, a YouLeaD participant from IPSS shared his experience about the YouLeaD event and said: “I fell to the delusion that Philippines was full of criminals. But today, my youth leaders from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas taught me the wonders of the Philippines and it is truly more fun in the Philippines. In Shanghai, China, I was raised with the gifts of life. I do not know how lucky I am until yesterday, we went to a poor barangay up to the mountains, and we walked for 30 minutes going to the school just to give books. And even in the road, you will see some carabao feces. It was also very rocky and muddy. Their only means of transportation is carabao. They also told me that each student would walk that way every morning just to go to school. And now I only know how lucky I am to be right where I am.”
The three-day activity was a memorable and meaningful experience because the participants were able to learn their culture and heritage and at the same time go back to the country and be an instrument of change and development.