Ma. Abby Genevieve Penaflorida (Grade 6 - Loyola), was chosen as one of the six students who will represent the Philippines as Junior Ambassadors in the 26th Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) in Fukuoka, Japan from July 10 to 24, 2014.
Abby’s feat is unprecedented as she is the first student from outside Metro Manila and Luzon to be chosen as Philippine Junior Ambassador in the last 26 years. She joins five others from San Beda College and Miriam College. The Philippine delegation will join 230 other Junior Ambassadors and 40 Peace Youth Ambassadors from over 40 countries worldwide. All expenses for the trip, including airfare, food and accommodations, shall be provided by the APCC.
The APCC was founded in 1989 in celebration of the 100th founding anniversary of Fukuoka in Japan. APCC is currently known as the biggest international event for children not only in Japan, but the world, and is conducted under the cooperation of local and international citizens, government and business institutes. APCC aims to develop children to become “Global Citizens” who will shape the world in the 21st century by gathering them together in Fukuoka to gain mutual understanding of different cultures and traditions through home stay and cultural exchange.
The Junior Ambassadors underwent rigid screening and training programs. They were chosen based on qualifying tests, consisting of scholastic records, co-curricular achievements, written essay and panel interview. Upon selection, they have to undergo a 3-month intensive weekend training program in Japanese language and culture, Philippine history, boot camp, homestay, and cultural presentation.
Abby’s well-rounded training as a leader, speaker and writer enabled her to qualify for the competitive slot. The judges took note of her numerous awards in the city, provincial, regional and national levels.
A consistent outstanding honor student, Abby is the President of the Ateneo Blue Scouts Junior Student Council. She is also a three-time winner in the Ilo-PRISAA (double silver in English declamation and Champion in Filipino declamation). She was also adjudged Champion in Filipino Declamation in the Iloilo Integrated Schools Meet.
Abby won as Regional Champion, Best News Presentor in the Western Visayas Schools Press Conference and represented the Region in the 2014 National Schools Press Conference that won 2 bronze medals for Best in Broadcasting and Best in Technical. She won 2nd place in the PETA-Lampara National Storytelling Competition at the 34th Manila International Book Fair.
Abby was also a gold medalist in editorial writing, Panulaton Regional Writing Competition and won several other citations in news and feature writing in the Golden Pen Awards.