World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific (WYAAP) celebrated its 10th anniversary last October 16, 2015 during the second night of its Emerging Leaders Conference (ELC) held at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila, Philippines.
Aside from the ELC delegates, the event was also attended by WYAAP’s 1st Regional Director, Ms. Erika Tatad, her parents and WYA Board Members, Former Senator Francisco Tatad, and his wife, Fernandita “Fenny” Tatad; WYA friend Atty. Jo Imbong; and WYAAP National Committee Member Donna de Jesus.
Marikina Dance Guild opened the program with a lineup of traditional Filipino dances. Some of the ELC delegates were given the opportunity to join the dancers in front and learn the Tinikling, a popular Filipino dance requiring the use of bamboo poles.
The University of Asia and the Pacific Chorale also sung a repertoire of songs from various regions in the country. After which, they closed their performance with a Happy Birthday song for WYAAP.
The highlight of the night, however, was the awarding of the 1st WYAAP Freedom for Excellence Award to Ms. Erika Tatad.
In a video interview about the history of the WYAAP office, Ms. Tatad shared the different experiences, challenges, and joys in bringing World Youth Alliance to the Asia Pacific region.
“It was clear to me that it had to be done,” she shared. “Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
As a final note, she advised young people to “Go for it. People will tell you you’re crazy, but if you stick to [your dream], it’s going to work out.”