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The 2023 Bicolano Young Leaders Congress goes to Camarines Norte

By Mary Philline Rodriguez

The Bicolano Young Leaders Congress (BYLC), the biggest Regional Youth Leaders Congress, is a formation congress of outstanding and accomplished Bicolano Young Leaders from 6 provinces of the Bicol Peninsula. BYLC provides a platform for young leaders to amplify their voices and magnify their impacts that will redefine their advocacies addressing local issues and challenges as anchored to civic engagement, environmental issues and resource management, education, social enterprise, and economic empowerment for their respective communities.

Since February, over hundred of diverse youth change makers ranging from 18 to 35 years of age have applied for the 2nd Bicolano Young Leaders Congress. The applicants came from 46 different municipalities within the Bicol provinces. With the most significant number of applicants at 32.4%, came from Camarines Sur, followed by Albay at 29.6%, Camarines Norte at 13.9%, Sorsogon at 13%, Catanduanes with 3%, and Masbate with only 2.8% of total applicants. The youth further represents sectors like In-School Youth, SK officials, Out-of-School Youth, Child Youth, and Working Youth. In-School Youth comprise the largest proportion of applicants, with 47.2% of the five sectors, while Child-Youth has the smallest proportion, with only 1.9% of the total applicants. It is also noteworthy that the majority of candidates have earned at least a bachelor's degree, while some have earned master's or doctoral degrees, diplomas or are currently enrolled in secondary education, also either with or without formal education. Bicolano Youth are welcome to apply in BYLC, regardless of the their educational attainment, as long as they have the will to serve and lead.

This shows the difference in the awareness of leadership opportunities based on geographical area and educational level. The congress aims to increase awareness about leadership development, creating equal chances for grassroots and established youth leaders. It strives to bridge gaps, envisioning youths in rural areas to answer the call for action, providing skills development and training for the selected delegates to be empowered in amplifying their voices and expanding their cause to reach more communities especially the marginalized and least developed areas.

Moreover, an announcement was made last June 6, 2023, naming the top 60 applicants out ofa total of 108 applicants who have impressive applications whok will move forward to the expert panel interview. During the interview, the Bicolano Young Leaders will have the opportunity to share their experiences in leadership and how they will journey toward creating impact.

We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone whoapplied to this year's cohort. We may not have been able to accept all of you at this time, but we appreciate the time and attention that one puts into their application. We admire and respect your stories immensely, and we urge you to never stop making a positive change, and to never stop challenging the status quo. We look forward to seeing your names next year and trying again. The Province of Camarines Norte will host this year's 2nd Bicolano Young Leaders Congress with the theme: Journeying towards Creating Impacts spearheaded by Bicolano Young Leaders Initiatives (BYLI) and Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)- Bicol Hub, in partnership with JCI Daet Kabihug and the 2022 Most Outstanding Youth Organization of Camarines Norte, the Millennials Philippines Camarines Norte Chapter.


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