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Press Release

February 4, 2020

Two students from Mindanao's conflict-affected area win first JICA video blog contest

The Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) first video blog contest for young people in the Philippines attracted students from different universities and young professionals sharing their views on the value of JICA and the Philippine relations in their lives. Filipino video bloggers who joined the contest raised issues on transport infrastructure, disaster management, agriculture, and peace and development.

Students from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology – Shannefamel Almazan, 20, and Prince Loyd Besorio, 20 won the contest with their entry on their experience from the Marawi conflict, and the Japanese government's support in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City and surrounding areas.


Their video blog talked about witnessing the effect of the armed conflict in Marawi City in 2017 and their wish for peace and solidarity in Marawi. The video blog said the assistance from Japan is an answer to a young person's "senbazaru" (Japanese belief of granting someone's wish). "The projects of JICA made me realize that people you don't even know are willing to help. As a Filipino, the rehabilitation help from other countries is a call for us to unite and strengthen the spirit of bayanihan (collective help) and our role as peace makers in our country," said Almazan in the video blog.

JICA Philippines Chief Representative WADA Yoshio said the video blog contest was "an opportunity to listen to the voices of young people on international cooperation and for nations to collaborate together in solving common problems."

JICA is currently supporting a Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao that includes the construction and rehabilitation of the Marawi City Ring Road among others as support to the region's economic development and peace building. Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur Province in Mindanao, was once a trading hub until armed conflict razed the city in 2017.

For winning the video blog contest, Almazan and Besorio, earned a trip to Japan this year where they will have the chance to visit the JICA Headquarters in Tokyo, experience Japan's culture, and visit places of interest like the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

The contest is supported by All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. (ANA), Business Mirror, BusinessWorld SparkUp, Japan Foundation, and Japan National Tourism Organization.

"All the entries from young Filipino video bloggers were very inspiring and offered a fresh perspective on the bilateral relations of our countries. JICA looks forward to giving young people more platforms to share their ideas and experiences," added Wada.

Aside from the video blog contest, JICA has been supporting human resource development in the Philippines training young Filipino professionals from government and promoting people-to-people exchange with the dispatch of young Japanese professionals to support Philippine development.

Top 12 Video Blog Entries

Shannefamel P. Almazan and Prince Loyd C. Besorio, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology

(In no particular order)

Jazel Antiporda and Nicole Chua, Ateneo de Manila University

Joaquin Enrico Benitez Dumayas and Jose Ma. Fransisco Nunez Cui, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

Angel Jhos Mallari Supan and Allen Hendrix Camaya Supan, Pampanga State Agricultural University

Bunny L. Masong and Justin Gabriel V. Angeles, Cavite State University – CCAT Campus

Annabel T. Garcia and Hannah Lei N. Gabutan, Central Mindanao University

Rhaffe R. Dayday and Kizzie Mae Gonato, STI College – General Santos

Zachary D. Sysantos, Ateneo de Manila University and Hannah Marie G. Miralles, Catholic Filipino Academy Homeschool

Fritzi Joy C. Mandin and Ray Anthony Vacalares, Opol Community College

Senaira M. Bagaram and Lara Mae R. Baculio, Opol Community College

11. A Reason to Smile (external link)

Alein Mischa M. de Guzman, SSD Architects and Christian Neil D. Diuco, Blankspace Architecture

Abegail B. de Asis, TOYO Construction Co., Ltd.


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