Two students from Mindanao’s conflict-affected area win first JICA video blog contest
Two students from Mindanao’s conflict-affected area win first JICA video blog contest
Students from Mindanao State University win the contest with their entry about witnessing the effect of the armed conflict in Marawi in 2017 and their wish for peace and solidarity in the city

This is a press release from Japan International Cooperation Agency

The Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) first video blog contest for young people in the Philippines attracted students from different universities and young professionals sharing their views on the value of JICA and the Philippine relations in their lives. Filipino video bloggers who joined the contest raised issues on transport infrastructure, disaster management, agriculture, and peace and development.

Students from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology – Shannefamel Almazan, 20, and Prince Loyd Besorio, 20 won the contest with their entry on their experience from the Marawi conflict, and the Japanese government’s support in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City and surrounding areas.

Their video blog talked about witnessing the effect of the armed conflict in Marawi City in 2017 and their wish for peace and solidarity in Marawi. The video blog said the assistance from Japan is an answer to a young person’s “senbazaru” (Japanese belief of granting someone’s wish). “The projects of JICA made me realize that people you don’t even know are willing to help. As a Filipino, the rehabilitation help from other countries is a call for us to unite and strengthen the spirit of bayanihan (collective help) and our role as peace makers in our country,” said Almazan in the video blog.

JICA Philippines Chief Representative WADA Yoshio said the video blog contest was “an opportunity to listen to the voices of young people on international cooperation and for nations to collaborate together in solving common problems.”

JICA is currently supporting a Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao that includes the construction and rehabilitation of the Marawi City Ring Road among others as support to the region’s economic development and peace building. Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur Province in Mindanao, was once a trading hub until armed conflict razed the city in 2017.

For winning the video blog contest, Almazan and Besorio, earned a trip to Japan this year where they will have the chance to visit the JICA Headquarters in Tokyo, experience Japan’s culture, and visit places of interest like the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

The contest is supported by All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. (ANA), Business Mirror, BusinessWorld SparkUp, Japan Foundation, and Japan National Tourism Organization.

“All the entries from young Filipino video bloggers were very inspiring and offered a fresh perspective on the bilateral relations of our countries. JICA looks forward to giving young people more platforms to share their ideas and experiences,” added Wada.

Aside from the video blog contest, JICA has been supporting human resource development in the Philippines training young Filipino professionals from government and promoting people-to-people exchange with the dispatch of young Japanese professionals to support Philippine development.

Video blog entries from the JICA Philippines video blog contest may be viewed here. –

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), which handles technical cooperation, ODA loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. JICA is the world’s largest bilateral aid agency with its volume of cooperation amounting to about USD 14.08 billion for JFY 2018 and a world-wide network of about 100 overseas offices including the Philippines.

For more information on JICA and JICA Philippines’ activities, please log on to and Follow their Facebook page for more updates.

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