The 11th National Youth Parliament is a biennial gathering of 200 young people across the country for crafting of Bills and/or Resolutions that would serve as guide in policy making and to be endorsed on the House of Representatives and Senate in service for the priority interest of the Filipino Youth.
Two years ago, I was accepted as a delegate for the 10th National Youth Parliament. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pursue it because of conflicting responsibilities and schedules that was out of my control.
It was heartbreaking to give up such opportunity. I was 20 back then. But I got over it and I promised to join the next NYP. Thanks for Commissioner Kit Cruz for sending me powerful words of motivation that if I made it back then, I’m going to make it on the next NYP. So I did.
I waited for two years and I apply again. I got in.
The 11th NYP was held in Sarabia Manor, Iloilo City, Western Visayas last June 1-4, 2016. I was in Education Committee. I have met friends from diverse background and with overwhelming personality. I mean it in a good way. It was a lot of fun having to know people whose eyebrows are more fleek than mine. Not that my eyebrows are on fleek. Haha.
But before I get too melodramatic about my new-found friends, I’m going to share first the things you might need to know when you want to apply for the next NYP. The application was the usual, you provide all the papers as required by the National Youth Commission and wait for their invitation email if you are one of the successful delegates. They’re going to post it on social media too. Better check NYC’s official site and/or NYC’s official Facebook page for more opportunities.
Alright, Day 1. I was with my co-delegate Thel Gellogue. We’re from the same region but she’s in Environment Committee. We arrived at the venue around 9 in the morning. Good thing we were fetched by the NYC staff at the New Iloilo Jetty Port. Thank you!
The Registration was smooth. The National Organizing Committee was working very well and they’re all prepared. It was only the first day, first hour even, I already received a number of freebies from NYC and USAid. Yay! Registration was followed by the reading of expectations, getting to know you and the presentation of house rules.
Fast forward to opening ceremony, I was tasked to lead the prayer together with my brother from the Muslim community, Al Jumamil. The speakers were very inspiring and for the record, I listened very well. The opening program gave justice to our expectations and the spontaneity lit up the mood of everybody. It was never a bore.
NYP11 delegates with former Commissioner DingDong Dantes
After dinner, we meet with our respective Committees and elect our officers. My Committee elected me as Secretary and was able to ascend as the Vice Chairperson. Jeremiah Grafia was the Chairman and Mahajeden Cosain was then the Secretary General. Later that night, it was the Meeting de Avance of the NYP11 aspiring national officers. I have listened to their speeches and all of them were awesome on their own. I commend you guys!
The next day, we started our deliberations and crafted our Bills. It was the toughest day since we all have to consolidate and press out our ideas and our diverse opinions in order to acquire the best output we could have. Good thing we have finished our Bills. In the afternoon, there was an automated election for the NYP11 national officers. The winning candidates were then announced in the evening.
For Day 3, we were obliged to wake up before 6AM since the day is scheduled for the raising of the Philippine Flag at Santa Barbara, Oath taking of the NYP11 National Officers and the Final Plenary Session at the Casa Real, IloIlo City. All of us were in our Filipinia attires and it’s just a delight in the eyes.
After the raising of the biggest Philippine Flag I have seen so far, I was very attentive to the speech that Senator Bam Aquino gave. I have always admired this man and I am so overwhelmed to hear such words of passion in service for the Filipino youth. The NYP11 National Officers took their oath and then there was a young visually impaired beautiful girl who sung such a wonderful song for the Philippines, and guess what, I cried. It dig deep, man. The feeling when you are so touched and you have all those drive inside you to start making the difference, lead, serve and inspire the youth, but then you know you can’t do it all at once because reality tells you it is done one step at a time, so you just have to sit there, feel everything and cry your heart out.
After the visit in the historic soon to be City of Santa Barbara, we went directly to Casa Real for the Plenary Session. Me and my friend Al lead the prayer again. I say, the members of the Parliament in positions of responsibility had a hard time, I mean we all did had a hard time, but we passed through it.
After all the interpellations and brainstorming, the NYP11 passed 10 Bills with one Resolution to push through the Sanggunian ng Kabataan Elections in October this year. I couldn’t be more proud. We did our best and I guess I can now say ‘We had represented our respective Regions well.’
Come the last day, everyone is hyped. You can see it in our eyes and our smiling faces. We are acquainted and befriends with one another to the point that we were very sad since today was our last day. We took our oath for the National Youth Parliament Alumni Association Inc. and have heard and moved by inspiring messages from the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the National Youth Commission, Dir. Nielex Tupas and one of the youngest Mayor in the country, Mayor Christian Sorongon. We were also entertained by the special performance of Miss Melchora, Himig Handog winner and the Dinagyang Festival Champion.
The highlight of today was the turnover of the NYP11 passed Bills and Resolution. We were walking on the aisle, holding the symbolic ribbon and we can’t stop ourselves from crying our hearts out. It was just an enormous arrow on our hearts. I even saw Comm. JP Peñol tear out. After that touching moment, most of the NYP11 Parliamentarians enjoyed and danced our happiness. It was really fun. We then had a City tour around Iloilo.
Yes, this is the saddest part. The 4-day gathering of young leaders across the country, the 11th National Youth Parliament had ended and we are now bound back to our hometowns and to opposite places. We don’t know if we’re going to see each other again but one thing is sure, the drive, passion, eagerness and selflessness towards our advocacies, the Filipino youth, the country, will always be there. That will bind us no matter where we go and no matter where we came.
Indeed, the NYP11 was a treasure. I will truly cherish the things I gained on this event. The opportunity to stand and represent the Filipino Youth, the chance to be part of something big for my country and the joy in knowing and gaining wonderful friends.
Shoutout to the Committee on Education, Xavvy Lobos, Janssen Juntilla, Rodmar Neo Eda, Nikka Peligro, Marwel Mukara, Bryan Luardo, Prednison Morales, Ted Villanueva, Jamil Adiong, Trisha Ortega, Xian Lozares, Clars Lituania, Estrelle Montilla, Winston Despi, Glydel Mandane, Jerum Macabodbod, Mahajeden Cosain, Sheina Onrubia, Che Adlawan, Jairo Osorio, Brylle Abad, Eleazar Danila, Josh Serilo, Makki Espinosa and the others and also to our facilitator Silvano Camillo and Philip Medalla. #SquadGoals
Thank you guys for trusting me and for being such a wonderful team. Thank you and Congratulations to us all. Because of you, I can still manage to laugh hard at midnight even though my whole body screams ‘Sleep!’. I admire your brilliance and your unending energy. I really really had a great time.
Congratulations too for the Committee on Environment, Committee o Health, Committee on Youth Participation and Committee on Employment for job well done. A tap on the back for each of you.
Also, I would like to thank the National Youth Commission for making this event possible. You guys did a job well done. You always do actually. Haa! From Commissioner Lex Tupas, Commissioner JP Peñol, Commissioner Earl Saavedra, Commissioner Perci Cendaña, all members of the National Organizing Committee, the NYP11 Facilitators and Volunteers, Honorable Speakers and Guests. My heartfelt gratitude. You have changed, touched, empowered, and inspired so many young people through the years. I am one of them. I tell you, we appreciate your efforts and we are proud of you.
Now, that was it. Heck! It was fun.