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Calabanga town hosts 1st Bicolano Young Leaders Congress

By Christian Reganit

Out of 101 applicants, 40 selected outstanding young leaders and advocates from the six provinces of Bicol Region joined the 1st Bicolano Young Leaders Congress (BYLC) held at Mikeliz Integrated Farm, Calabanga, Camarines Sur, last December 16–18, 2022.

The three-day activity theme, “Leading Beyond, Finding Our Greater Purpose,” was anchored in providing leadership development opportunities through immersive activities and learning sessions facilitated by young leaders and professionals coming from diverse backgrounds and across the Bicol Peninsula, headed by Mr. James Nathaniel Refugio, the Congress Director of BYLC.

Delegates from Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon acquired different leadership skills and lessons from various speakers in leading themselves, leading with others, leading for their community, and leading for society.

The congress is organized by three collaborating organizations: YSEALI-Bicol Hub, JCI Nagueña and AYLA-BU, supported by the US Embassy of the Philippines, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), Arizona State University, and co-sponsored by the Municipality of Calabanga.

Calabanga Mayor Eugene Norman B. Severo imparted his message which highlights on the significance of youth in nation-building and the importance of BYLC in translating the project proposals into tangible actions.

“It’s great to see young leaders coming together to build a strong connection, and I’m [really] looking forward to the result of the proposals in this Congress,” he added.

One of the delegates and a Calabanga native, Ms. Catherine Claire Bernal, emphasized that she was able to learn different leadership lessons and techniques that she can use for herself.

“BYLC improved my mind-set about what leadership truly is,” Bernal said in an interview. She added that it is important to build a network with people who resonate with your advocacy to accomplish things successfully.

Participants in the last day of the event came up with the batch name “Arab-Adab,” which means blazing fire.

Camarines Norte will be the host province for the 2023 BYLC in August 2023, which will be facilitated by the selected alumni from Batch Arab-Adab, the pioneer batch of the Bicolano Young Leaders Congress.


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