The Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) was the biggest and most unforgettable event during my internship with WYA Asia Pacific.
In order for the ELC to be successful, we had to prepare a lot for it every day. Each of us was assigned a task, and mine was to procure and prepare the materials that will be needed for the conference. We even went to Divisoria to buy some of these materials and it was a very different experience for me.
During the ELC, we had some very notable speakers and their lectures really impressed me. During the discussion on migration, my eyes were opened to a lot of issues migrants faced; issues that I had never really thought about until that time. I was also very inspired by the speech Ms. Ana Arce, a Deaf advocate and champion, gave to close the first day of the conference. One of the things she said that really struck me was, “We should not focus on what we cannot do, but what we can do.”
I was also very pleased that one of the speakers was from the Japanese Embassy here in the Philippines. Mr. Hiroyuki Uchida, Minister for Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Japan in the Philippines shared about our country’s initiatives to empower women and the family in Japan. I felt very lucky to have listened to him and even talked to him in person.
But the ELC was not only full of lectures. During the second day, we had a “Solidarity Night” wherein we were able to showcase our national attires and really get to learn about each country’s cultures. We even had different presentations and it was amazing to see how much talent each of us has.
ELC was the first international conference I ever attended in my life and I realized that this opportunity is really was really helpful for me and my future. Through this conference, I learned about so many things I had not previously known or thought of. It also helped me become interested to know about other issues in order to be more aware of what is happening around me.
If I have the chance to join the ELC again, I will definitely take the opportunity!