Essay-writing contest on overseas Filipinos attracts 250 plus entries, UP student wins top prize

More than 250 students from across eight countries shared their research findings, insights and in some cases personal experiences in the recently concluded international essay-writing contest on “The Overseas Filipinos and their Impact on the Philippines.”

filipino youth

The contest, divided into two divisions: college and high school, was sponsored by US Pinoys For Good Governance (USP4GG) in conjunction with the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora (February 25-27) in Manila. 

In the interview with USP4GG Essay Writing Ad-Hoc Committee chairperson Dr Celia Lamkin, TFA also gathered that the eight countries with students participation are Philippines, United States, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Greece. Philippine-based students are from schools in Nueva Viscaya, Benguet, Central and Western Luzon, National Capital Region, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The list of winners was released on Tuesday February 24.

UP Diliman student Justin Keith Baquisal was First Place in the College division with his winning entry, “Saviors and Spectators: Overseas Filipinos and the Politics of Continuity and Change in the Philippines.”

In the High School division, the First Place position was a tie between Patrick Duane Noche (Calayan Educational Foundation, Inc., Lucena City) for his essay, “Mockingjay”, and Eugenie Marie Pranada (Phil School of Bahrain, Bahrain) who entered an essay titled “Overseas Filipino Workers: The Scattered Stars”.

College students Dia Marmi Bazar (Misamis University, Misamis Occidental) and Jeremy Mosquito (Saint Mary’s University, Nueva Viscaya) were second and third place, respectively. Hazel Ivy Jeremias (The Lewis College, Sorsogon) and Yvone Dayne Luis (Durat Al Sharq International School, Jeddah KSA) were declared second and third place, respectively, in the High School division.


College Division: Justin Keith Baquisal, Dia Marmi Bazar, Jeremy Mosquito, Clark Arthur Robles (National University Manila), Jasper Alcalas (University of Sto Tomas), Guillian Mecate (Lyceum of the Philippines University), Jericho Concepcion (De La Salle University), Argie Sumiguin (Malayan Colleges Manila), Alfonso Manalastas (Fr Saturnina Urios University Butuan City), and Christine Joan Din (The Lewis College Sorsogon City).

High School Division: Patrick Duane Noche, Eugenie Marie Pranada, Hazel Ivy Jeremias, Yvonne Dayne Luis, Patricia Mae Dacanay (Lagro High School Caloocan City), Jeni Ruth Olarte (The Lewis College Sorsogon City), Hannah Mimbisa (Dural Al Bhara International School, Jeddah KSA), Ezekiel Gumaru (Taj International School, Riyadh KSA), Julie Ann Asuncion (Philippine School of Bahrain, Bahrain), Samantha Mae Jeanine Sacdalan (Philippine School of Bahrain, Bahrain), Rex Meynard Cervales (Capiz National High School, Roxas City), Ericka Lacsamana Pare (Philippine Emirates Private School, United Arab Emirates), and Trischa Sheen Dumanjug (Ozamiz City National High School, Misamis Occidental).

The winners will receive their awards on Thursday February 26.

Panel of Judges

The judging panel comprised of:

Dr. Josefina G Tayag DPA – retired Vice chancellor of UP Manila;

Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay – grand winner of 2013 Essay Contest on West Philippine Sea and a community reporter of Sunstar;

Romy Cayabyab – multi-award winning publisher-editor of the Filipino Australian Online News;

George Chua – CEO and President of Bayan Automotive Manufacturing, and Chairman of the Philippine Association Manufacturing Industries;

Atty Lolita Farmer OAM – immigration lawyer in Australia;

Mithi Aquino-Thomas – a Hospitality and Human Resources specialist, wife of former US Ambassador to the Philippines Mr Harry Thomas;

Nimfa Gamez – CEO and President of California USA-based hospital and health-care provider Mission-Hope Developmental Services, Inc.

Gene Alcantara – Chair of ENFID and an immigration consultant in the United Kingdom;

Zaldy Dandan – Editor of Marianas Variety newspaper on Saipan; and

Dr. Celia Lamkin MD – retired Physician, chair of USP4GG Marianas chapter CNMI and Guam and chair of Global Filipino Diaspora Marianas and chair of Ad Hoc Committee of Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos.

Impressive Turnout and Quality

The contest is the second international contest sponsored by USP4GG. The first contest on “The West Philippine Sea and Its Impact on the Philippines” was conducted in February 2013 during the Second Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora held in Makati.

“The turnout and quality of the entries are very impressive, excellent and have met the focus of the theme,” said Dr Lamkin in the interview with TFA.

Dr Lamkin also said that during the judging, her email provider’s spam-filters mistakenly blocked her bulk transmissions to the judges and she had to send her messages with attachments in small batches which delayed the judging process.

“We encountered technical problems, but I am glad we overcame those hurdles”, Dr Lamkin said adding that she would like to acknowledge the support of CFO Secretary Imelda Nicolas, Atty Ted Laguatan, Atty Loida Nicolas-Lewis and many others including those in the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Education.



The Filipino Australian
Posted by the TFA Staff
February 24, 2015