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MCL alumnus to represent the Philippines in SSEAYP

Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) B.S. Accountancy graduate Mark Earl Angelo "Gelo" Antonio, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is set to join as one of the Philippines' representatives in the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) this October to December 2017.

“We, the Filipino youth, will be the hope of the future because we are the future.”

Bold and assured. This is what one of the Philippine representatives in the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP), which will happen from October to December 2017, believes as he agrees with Dr. Jose Rizal when he said “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.”

He is Mark Earl Angelo “Gelo” P. Antonio, Certfied Public Accountant (CPA), a proud alumnus of Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL), full-time Senior Associate at SGV & Co., and part-time instructor.

Together with 26 other youth ambassadors and one (1) national leader, Gelo will be travelling across six (6) countries to immerse in the communities and to look at the problems and opportunities of and for the youth, then localize them.

Discovering SSEAYP through the National Youth Commission (NYC), in which he is an active volunteer, was an opportunity for him to serve. He took it and went through interview and training.

When asked how the process was, Gelo admitted that it was challenging, thinking that he belongs to Region 4A, which is a powerhouse and produces great alumni. However, communicating with other participants is not a problem since MCL trained him to be a good speaker.

A former MCL Supreme Student Council president, his heart for the youth grew when he wanted to become the head of student council in elementary, although his actual involvement with the community started when he was in high school as he became the municipal administrator of the municipality (now a city) of San Pedro and drafted policies.

“By that time, I got curious with how the government works. I was really inclined with politics before, but I realized there’s more to serving the Filipino youth. We can go beyond politics and be leaders in our own ways. Doon siguro nag-start ‘yung passion ko to be of service to other people and for me it gives life a meaning.”

Gelo said that being part of SSEAYP is very humbling knowing that he didn’t see himself standing for the country three (3) years after he graduated.

“I feel really honored to represent the Philippines. Nakaka-excite sya pero nakakakaba kasi everything that I will do is a reflection of our country.”

After the program, he looks forward to a very different Gelo, “someone with a wider perspective.” He even promised that the Filipino youth will also gain something from SSEAYP.

“Years from now we could be filling up different government positions. If we will not train the youth that we are today, who else will? Change takes time but that is what we are young for. We still have years to come, so if we want change to happen we start it in us kasi bata pa tayo,” Gelo concluded, adding up to his statement above.

Organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan and governments of Southeast Asian countries, SSEAYP is an annual cultural exchange program between ASEAN member countries and Japan that aims to promote friendship and mutual understanding among them and their local youth. It also aims to broaden the youth’s perspective of the world and to strengthen their spirit of international cooperation and skills for international collaboration.

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