MCL-SHS SSC Vice President conquers Asia World Model United Nations
From Student Council to International Council: Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) Senior High School Grade 12 Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) student and Supreme Student Council Vice President Jose III. “Kobi” A. Tolentino conquered the Asia World Model Nations in Seoul, South Korea last August 11-15, 2018, winning the Most Outstanding Delegate award.
Despite his young age and lack of professional experience, Grade 12 Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) student Jose III A. Tolentino brought Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) to the international stage as he entered the Asia World Model United Nations (AWMUN) last August 11-15, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea as one of the Philippines’s representatives. He gratefully went back home with the Most Outstanding Delegate award under his belt.
With spur in his heart and passion in his eyes, Jose III, who is known to most as Kobi, recalled and shared his experience in and outside AWMUN.
At first, he was hesitant in pursuing this venture because of many factors: he wasn’t familiar with its rules of procedure; it was summertime, his only chance to rest from studying; he needed support to raise funds; his preparation time for his position paper, speech, arguments, and resolutions was short; and he is just a Senior High School (SHS) student from a relatively young college that is steadily making a bigger name for itself in the Philippines.
But facing the unknown both challenged and excited Kobi, ultimately leading to his decision to push through with his application to AWMUN. Looking for sponsors for his funds gave him a great opportunity to reconnect with his friends and relatives who he hadn’t heard from in a long time, according to him.
Though he served as a Philippine delegate, the MCL Senior High School (MCL-SHS) Supreme Student Council Vice President represented Cambodia in the council during committee sessions, so he had to study about the nation’s history, policy, constitution, and law for him to be able to know its stance and create resolution regarding the topic “Counter-Terror Financing.”
The delegates from the Philippines during a photo opportunity.
“Naging challenge sa una pero na-realize ko at mas inilagay sa puso na this is our world. Ito ‘yung mundo na titirhan ng future generations, why not give them the peace and the justice that we long for? More than ‘para sa bayan,’ it’s ‘para sa pamilya,’” Kobi emphasized.
“Kailangan din nating malaman na we, as a country, must be open to help other nations. Mahirap siya dahil matagal at madaming kailangang gawin, pero ‘pag marami kang tao, kaya. Regardless of their power, age, gender, or race. ‘Yun ‘yung key to achieve a goal,” he continued, “We should humble ourselves and collaborate, and instead of saying that an idea is dumb, we should say that it can be better. Natutunan ko rin sa AWMUN na every idea is important and every person has a role.”
Being with other delegates who were either professionals in their fields, lawyers, or students taking up Master’s and PhD degrees or studying in big universities such as the National University of Singapore, Yale University, University of Malaya, and Tokyo University made Kobi a bit anxious at one point, but then he realized that MCL, through his professors, made him socially aware and opened his eyes to see that there is hope and the future is bright.
He was also able to apply MCL’s motto, Excellence and Virtue, in doing his part in the council.
“Doon ko na-realize na kayang makipagsabayan ng MCL sa mga malalaki at kilalang schools.”
Kobi with other delegates, presenting their country representations during sessions.
With hundreds of young people from all across the world gathered in one place, discussions and heated debates were truly intense – but despite their differences in nationality and in culture, they became like a family. “Masaya ‘yung friendship na nabuo namin,” he said, recalling their bonding moments outside sessions.
Thinking of his chance of surviving in AWMUN made his winning an award even more surprising. “It was a challenge for me dahil competing with those people, mahirap. Ang gagaling nila. Lagi ko lang iniisip na hindi ako nagpunta doon para makipag-compete o magka-award. Nandoon ako to find resolution and provide the peace and order that countries have been longing for.”
Kobi is set to attend the Asia Pacific Model United Nation Conference in National University of Singapore, Singapore in July next year.
The Asia World Model United Nations (AWMUN) is a Model United Nations competition held by the International Global Network (IGN), aiming to provide a platform to help young people understand the ongoing international issues and policies that the world is facing.