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Binalbagan students to represent PH in ASEAN tilt

CONTRIBUTED BY ALYSSA MARIE POJAS

Four senior high school students at Binalbagan Catholic College qualified as one of the teams to represent the Philippines in the regional level of the ASEAN Future Sustainable Leaders (AFSL) competition on Oct. 24.

Team Puhon, composed of Ranni Rey Guadalupe, Vhilma Raye Gran, John Cabrejas Jr., and Caesar Abkilan III, is set to compete along with other ASEAN countries after securing the third spot in the Philippine elimination of the said competition.

“Being able to join in this historic competition and being a finalist in the Philippine elimination is already one thing, but being able to be one of the teams to represent the Philippines is what actually motivated us to keep going despite all the challenges that we faced as a group,” said Cabrejas.

The AFSL is a virtual competition launched by the International University of Malaya-Wales in collaboration with the ASEAN Accounting Education Workgroup, for the youth to showcase their leadership, teamwork, and creativity by solving cases related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The team qualified in the second part of the national elimination of the case competition with their video entry on the SDG 10 of the UN, highlighting the role of the youth in promoting justice to reduce inequalities.

“We were able to explain our arguments well during the panel interview despite being under pressure due to technical difficulties,” Cabrejas said, also adding that the team’s thorough preparation contributed to the smooth flow of their ideas during the competition.

Agustin Baquereza Jr., the team’s coach, said that the team worked hard on the piece collaboratively to produce an almost perfect structure adherent to the standards set by the organizers.

“I believe that the thorough review of the relevance of the information included, its coherence, and cohesion factors, brought the piece to its expected outcome,” Baquereza added.

“We look forward to a platform that offers cultural diversity to be reflected in their thoughts to be processed along with their behaviors and unique cultural values. We further look forward to Team Puhon to develop a friendly and productive connection with other contestants so that they can establish a memorable, excellent, and inspiring mark in this ASEAN competition and in the future competitions on this level,” said Baquereza.

Two teams from the University of Baguio Science High School placed first and second, while De La Salle University – Dasmariñas and Yobhel Christian Academy placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

The top three teams are set to represent the country at the regional level of the AFSL on December 1 to 4.*


Alyssa Marie Pojas is a college editor and community journalist from Hinigaran. She also volunteers as a community journalist for Fyt Media, an independent online national media platform.

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