Showing posts with label yma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yma. Show all posts

Calling all Cebu High School and College Students for a Chance of a Lifetime!

Can you please help us invite young leaders ages 12-20 years  to join the 9th Season of the Young Minds Academy?

What is Young Minds Academy?

Young Minds Academy (YMA) is a youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. – Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, which aims to develop the youth to become responsible and accountable leaders and pro-active citizens who are ready to serve the public and its interests.

This is done through experiential learning sessions, community visits, immersions, project development, and project implementation anchored on the theme Urban Development with emphasis on Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Response.


How to join?


Form a team of five (5) members under one of the following categories:
•        Generation A : 17-20 years old
•        Generation B : 12-16 years old

Accomplish the following:

Team requirements


  1. Completed team application form (YMA Application Form 01)
  2. Letter of recommendation and support from any of the following: school, barangay, office/organization, church, or whatever group the team is representing indicating their willingness and commitment to monitor the team and ensure that they abide by the rules and comply with the requirements of YMA. 
  3. A Team Accountability Partner who shall serve as a team partner, ensuring and monitoring the team’s compliance in YMA requirements.  


Individual Requirements


  1. Completed individual application form (YMA Application Form 02)
  2. Completed medical review and release of liability form (YMA Application Form 03)
  3. Certified true copy of birth certificate
  4. An essay on “What citizenship means to me” in no more than 300 words (Arial, 11, double spaced, short bond paper)
  5. A counterpart contribution of:
  •          - Public High School Students and Out-of-School Youth - Php600
  •          - State Universities/ Colleges Students- Php800
  •          - Private Schools (High School and College) Students - Php1,000

Submit completed application forms and requirements to RAFI for short listing and screening.  You may mail or submit in person at the following address:

                                    The Executive Director
                                    Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center
                                    Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.
                                    35 Lopez Jaena St. Cebu City 6000

Deadline for application is on March 7, 2015.

Get your application forms from the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, 35 Lopez Jaena St., Cebu City or download them at www.rafi.org.ph/yma-application.

For your queries, please feel free to contact us through Jenny Lea Tan at 418-7234 loc 112 or 09233550980 or email jenny.lea.tan@rafi.org.ph.


Tweet me @jayseeblabs
Follow me on Instagram @jayseeblabs
Like the Facebook page for awesome posts and photos @jayseeblabs



LIKE JayseeBlabs on Facebook to be updated on articles that will change your life!

For more awesome stuff, keep reading through Jaysee Blabs

Giving Back To The Country

The Young Minds Academy is a citizenship and leadership development program that is designed to develop young emerging leaders to become responsible citizens and accountable, pro-active leaders ready to serve the public and its interest.

YMA is an exciting opportunity by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, funded by the UnionBank of the Philippines,

jaysee pingkian jayseeblabs
Yours Truly receiving the Certificate of Completion after grueling months of training and community involvement while at the same time finishing Thesis, graduating college and working part-time at an IT firm. I encourage every young Filipino to be civic minded and help in nation-building no matter how big or how small your efforts are.

Since its inception in 2006, YMA has trained almost 700 Cebuano youth leaders under its 3Cs framework of building Competence, strengthening Character, and promoting active Citizenship. This is done through raising awareness, experiential education, community immersion and open discourse.

The YMA scholars’ outputs, insights and realizations indicated how they were inspired to become agents of change, elevating the lives of others.

In this connection, we would like to invite your 12-20 years old youth friends/ students/ members/ children/ colleagues  to join YMA Season 8.

We will be accepting applications until March 10, 2014.

How to join YMA? 


A. Form a team of five (5) members under one of the following categories: 
  • Generation A : 17-20 years old 
  • Generation B : 12-16 years old 


B. Accomplish team and individual requirements: 
Download attached documents or download at www.rafi.org.ph/yma-applications

C. Submit completed application forms and requirements to RAFI for short listing and screening.  You may mail or submit in person at the following address: 

                        The Executive Director
            Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center
            Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.
            35 Lopez Jaena St. Cebu City 6000

Deadline for application is on March 10, 2014.

For your queries, please feel free to contact us through Jenny Lea Tan at 418-7234 loc 112 or email jenny.lea.tan@rafi.org.ph.

Like us in www.facebook.com/YMAers


Relive the YMA Season 5 Journey and Learn More About How You Can Be Awesome



LIKE JayseeBlabs on Facebook for more articles that will change your life!

VISIT JayseeBlabs at www.jaysee.me 

For more awesome stuff, keep reading through Jaysee Blabs

Of Becoming Your Own Hero: A RAFI Alumni Story


Here is an inspiring story from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. tells that you could be a hero by just giving a little of your time, and that time you give someone today is the treasure they will forever be grateful for...

Helping fellow youth


Reviewing her school lessons and doing assignments were the usual routine of Joni Joy Dumasig, 19, the moment she arrives at home from school. But now, this business major student dedicates some of her time to community work.

Dumasig is one of the young scholars of Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5 who have given up some of their time for hobbies and hanging out with friends to do more rewarding work.

These scholars under the youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) committed to carry out community-based projects to address poverty and social welfare, the theme of YMA Season 5. By teams, they were assigned to four local government units and partnered with six civil society groups, which acted as their project partners and guided them in project development and implementation.

Through experiential and situation-based learning approaches adopted by RAFI for the program, scholars were exposed to real issues and concerns in the community.

“We had a three-day immersion in Kobe Zone 3 Barangay Canduman, Mandaue City, which was the start of our challenge. It was a test of how far we will go and how independent we are. We tried our best not to give up and finish what we have started,” Dumasig shared.

The outspoken Dumasig is the team anchor of the five-member Ahon sa Hirap Incorporated (ASHI) group assigned in Kobe Zone 3, a relocation site for displaced informal settlers from the North Reclamation and Cebu City port areas as well as fire victims of Mandaue City.

Aside from utilizing the economic potential of Kobe youth, Ahon sa Hirap Incorporated (ASHI) aims for improving character and values through conducting teambuildings and leadership trainings.

“Based on the data acquired through our focus group discussions, surveys, and transect mapping, we came up with a youth-oriented livelihood program we called NeGosYOUTH-KOBE New Goods from the Youth,” she said.

She explained that her group observed that a number of out-of-school youth in the area were either just hanging out with their friends until the day ends while some are at home sleeping or watching TV.

“Our project is looking into the social and economic aspect of each Kobe youth. It focuses on character-building and values formation, leadership and teambuilding session, and organization management workshop, which are essentials for the fundamental and holistic growth of young people,” she said.

The NeGosYOUTH-KOBE re-establishes the youth organization and provides an avenue for the youth to have an additional income that would help themselves and their families. T-shirt printing and recycled notebooks are the products that they saw as economical and easy to do.

“The moment we stepped in the community, there was resistance from the youth. We thought that it would be easy for us to convince them knowing we come from the same age group. But this was not the case. At first, it seemed that our initiatives didn’t go with the actual plans,” she recalled.

In cooperation with RAFI’s Integrated Development unit and Barangay Canduman and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials, they slowly introduced the project to some 40 youth in the barangay last year. At the time, there were only ten active youth who demonstrated dedication for the project.

The goal of the project was the heart of team. Rain or shine, she said, the members continued to conduct their meetings during Saturdays. As full-time students, it was also a challenge to balance their time, but their commitment was unwavering.

“I see this as another chapter of my life. Sometimes time became our worst enemy. There were days that even after school hours, we met to draft our plans. We have given extra effort for this project to be realized. It would be a waste of investment if we will give up,” she asserted.

The commitment of the Kobe youth on the project was the very challenge they faced, she said. During their first few meetings, the number of attendees was depreciating. Some of the youth have excuses for not joining—school, work, and babysitting, among others.

“We need to personally go to their houses and convince them. We had to spend time with each of them just to persuade them and their parents. That was the only way for us to gather them and let them understand our goals,” she pressed.

Doing a Getting to Know You (GTKY) gathered all the youth. The team realized noticed that some of the youth viewed their project as a serious venture. This realization led them to craft a venue for the youth to enjoy while earning the trust of the team.

“The GTKY was done through a sportsfest called “Uy! Duwa Ta Na!” that gathered almost all of the Kobe youth. We had basketball games that attracted the participation of those who have not shown their interest in the project. The activity was also the time wherein we formally introduced the Kobe youth organization,” she said.

Holding on to their promise of commitment to their project, they banked on the active youth-members of the organization to be trained in livelihood programs. These youth were those who actively joined their regular meetings and cooperated in planning sessions.

For Nicca Jean Pialago, a Kobe youth, the community project was not just a solution for livelihood needs but also an opportunity for the youth to be heard. This eighteen-year old out-of-school youth was chosen as the secretary of the organization.

“I admit that I once questioned the purpose of the group. After attending the series of meetings, I realized that they mean well—they were doing it not for themselves but for Kobe youth. They made us proud of our skills,” she said, pointing out that those uninterested have not yet appreciated the essence of youth empowerment.

Showing the shirts that she helped in printing, she proudly said that she only learned the method during the meetings. The production of notebooks using scrap papers is also marketable, she added.

“As one of the older girls of the group, I always remind the rest of the youth the goal of the project. We are blessed enough that we were chosen as beneficiaries of the project. This only means that the proponents saw something in us that could be developed,” she shared.

The experience of Jacqueline Martha Malazarte, a team member, also benefited her. From a shy girl, she now has the confidence to connect with other people.

“I learned to deal with people of different personalities. The get-to-know activity is a stepping stone; we were able to build friendship,” she said, adding that YMA scholars had also undergone learning sessions on character and leadership-building and research and participatory project development, among others, before their immersion.

She said that the lessons she learned from their experience are worth keeping and remembering, especially those acquired during their meetings. Together with the other members, they did “pakulo” just to get the attention of the youth.

“When I remember our experience during our immersion and the implementation itself, it does not bring negative memories. Instead, I recall on the good days when we slowly changed the attitude of the youth in the area,” she said.

“We want the Kobe youth to feel that sense of ownership on this project. We see a great amount of unused skill and talent in them. We hope that as we slowly turn-over this project to them, the project will continue and be sustained,” she added.

Among the project partners are the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Gawad Kalinga, Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors Inc., Lihok Pilipina Foundation Inc., Mag-uugmad Foundation Inc., Cebu City, Kadasig Parents Association Inc., and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, and Cordova.

With the recently concluded sixth run of YMA, YMA Season 7 will be formally launched on Jan. 26, accepting applications for a new batch of scholars. (by Chrisley Ann Hinayas/Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.)





LIKE JayseeBlabs on Facebook for more articles that will change your life!

VISIT JayseeBlabs at www.jaysee.me 

For more awesome stuff, keep reading through Jaysee Blabs

Those Little Hands for Huge Community Development

Real life challenges and problems take place outside the four corners of the classroom.

Eighty one high school and college students who are scholars of the sixth season of the Young Minds Academy (YMA) face some of them when they embarked on a three-day immersion last month in participating local government units (LGUs) in Metro Cebu to assess the liveability and sustainability of the areas last month.

For Gail Villacorta, 17, a college student of Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U), her immersion in Cordova exposed her to the challenges of unpredictable weather and to an environment entirely different to what she is regularly used to.

“There were times that we were hours under the heat of the sun. We were also afraid to walk along the unfamiliar streets of the area. There were many things running on our minds that time. There were instances that we were hesitant to approach residents. It was really a challenge for us to deal with the weather and to adapt to a new environment,” she recalled.

The team had to stay with their host family for two nights. Villacorta said that at night it was a period of adjustment for her because she is not used to sleeping in other people’s house.

Luckily, the host family was hospitable and supported them until the last day of their immersion. 

“It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. It made me realize how far the youth could do if there is proper guidance by the elders.  We are just one of the new generations that aim to improve the state of the community,” Villacorta said.

Villacorta and the rest of the YMA 6 scholars were immersed separately by groups in the different cities and municipalities classified as highly urbanized, including Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Lapulapu City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando, Carcar City, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Danao City, and Cordova.

Their mission was to acquire data through focus group discussions, surveys, and transect mapping based on the principles—importance of research and planning, establishment of development framework, and city-region collaboration—of the Mega Cebu Project namely; 

The researchers used the indicators crafted by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), including municipal services, environment, governance, areas for strategic and regional planning, communication and information technology, economic development and employment, basic social services, and use and ownership of lands.

The Mega Cebu Project envisions a city-region for Cebu wherein cities and municipalities collaborate with each other towards urban development, sustainability, and livability, while maintaining geopolitical integrity. 

RAFI serves as the research, program, and organizational development unit of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB), which is composed of leaders from the government, the private sector, and civil society that takes the lead in the implementation of the Mega Cebu Project.

 “We are just young adults but we are part of the community. It is just right to be involved from identifying problems to planning to carrying out solutions,” Jive Monterozo, 15, a third year high school student of the University of the Philippines Cebu College. 

His immersion experience prompted him to reflect on how much could be done to address community issues, such as improper waste disposal and drainage system, if people will just cooperate and work together. 

“Experience is indeed the best teacher. I gained a wider perspective of what’s going on outside the classroom through the immersion. Before addressing social problems, we need to have a change on a how view community development and how each one of us plays a role in it,” he disclosed.

After the immersion, Villacorta, Monterozo, and the rest of the YMA 6 scholars returned to their homes and schools and prepared their reports, which they presented at the RAFI Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) during the Young Citizen’s Forum last July 28.

Dressed in professional attires, they showed that they are no longer “spectators” but “stakeholders” of the community by presenting the needs, opportunities, and threats of the barangays in the LGUs they were assigned during the immersion. From these, they drew out their recommendations. 

Majority of the reports presented to the MCDCB members, local government officials, line agency representatives, and private sector leaders showed that solid waste management, traffic congestion, and poor drainage systems were the top concerns of the LGUs.



The scholars are now coming up with a community-based project model for their assigned barangays within the framework of urban development.

“The immersion let them experience reality at the ground level. Instead of being beneficiaries, they should also be involved in the process of crafting plans for the community and make these plans happen,” EADSC Executive Director Evelyn Nacario-Castro said, stressing that the youth are not just the hope of tomorrow but partners of today. 

With proper guidance, they can play a role in community building in the forefront of urban development, she added.

“At an early age, they have immersed themselves in real situations. They have the energy and the fresh minds; no doubt they could do more for the community. It is a good start that these young leaders have the passion to be involved in community planning,” Efren B. Carreon, assistant regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 7, observed.

He said that the reports presented could serve as baseline data for Mega Cebu Project planning and for NEDA in the future. 



(Guest Post Written By Chrisley Ann Hinayas/Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.) 


For more awesome stuff, keep reading through Jaysee Blabs

Cebu youth teams present their ideas for healthier communities through Unilab Ideas Positive


Six youth teams from Cebu pitched their positive ideas for a healthy change in communities in this year’s national run of Unilab Ideas Positive-- the only social marketing congress and competition for college students in the country today. 

Cebu's Team Vanguards defending their project! The members
are actually my batchmates from the RAFI YMA leadership program!


Cebu had the most number of youth delegate teams that advanced to the program’s live screening phase—they are now up against 22 other groups from Metro Manila, North & South Luzon and Mindanao for a chance to win P100, 000 seed money for them to jumpstart their projects.

Aside from the funding, the chosen teams will also be flown to Manila this June, with free hotel accommodation, meals and transportation, to attend a 3-day social marketing boot camp.

We believe in the collective power of the youth to be catalysts of positive change in our communities that is why Unilab Ideas Positive came into fruition. The growing number of entries every year prompted us to go nationwide this 2012 and we are immensely humbled by the support our Cebuano youth have given us,” shared Unilab Ideas Positive program lead Barry Barrientos. 
Cebu's Team CodeName Neon delivering their proposal!

This is one of the bayanihan practices at its finest. We want the Filipino youth to start young in having that consciousness on the health concerns around them and to work together in addressing them, which is the backbone of this program. We are looking forward to award the deserving teams and their promising ideas. This would definitely be a tough choice to make!” 

From a total of 82 entries received nationwide, 30 came from Visayas, simply proving the Cebuano youth’s creativity, passion and enthusiasm to help their communities. Team NSC, Codename Neon, Team Bang, H5O, Transit and Vanguards were the six teams that were able to present and defend their positive ideas for community change to Unilab Ideas Positive’s panel of judges.

Team NSC’s "Basura Ko, Kalusugan Ko" project aims to encourage the residents of Brgy. Alaska, Mambalin to trade their recyclable waste with basic commodities to promote proper waste management. Similarly, Team Codename Neon’s “Token-Junk Store” features a mobile junk-to-token store for Brgy. San Jose where the residents can exchange recyclable wastes for a usable metal token.

Esteemed panel of judges interrogating our proponents!

Meanwhile, two teams gave focus on access to potable and safe water sources. Team Bang’s “Catch Rain, We Can” project proposes a rainwater catchment system using ferro-cement jars at Gitbingil Island in Medellin. Wherein some seek water from the sky, Team Transit’s “ A Bicycle For Water” looks down low and seeks to address a similar need through a bicycle water-pumping system from the deep wells of St. Arnold Janssen Village in Lapu-Lapu City.

Lastly, through Team Vanguards’ “AQ/UA LAB Project: Aquaponics / Urban Agriculture – Lihok Alang sa Baranggay Project” aquaponics and urban agriculture will be introduced as an alternative source of livelihood to the people of Brgy. Agus.

See who among these teams will be chosen to join Unilab Ideas Positive’s exclusive 3-day social marketing boot camp as we announce the regional finalist groups on May 23 at www.unilabideaspositive.com. For live and frequent updates about the teams and the program, subscribe to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/Unilab.IdeasPositive or follow us on Twitter at @ideaspositive.




For more awesome stuff, keep reading through Jaysee Blabs

RAFI is now accepting applications for YMA season 6


Following the launching of the sixth season of Young Minds Academy (YMA) last Jan. 21, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) is now accepting applications for the program.

YMA is a youth leadership and citizenship development program of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of RAFI aimed at developing young people to become responsible and accountable leaders and proactive citizens ready to serve the public and its interests. 

This is done through awareness raising, experiential education, immersion, and open discourse, among others. 

It is open to young people aged 12 to 20 years old.

Because of my very wonderful 10 months, I designed a poster showcasing how awesome it is to be a YMAer.

One chance of a lifetime. Nation-building has never been this fun! Poster by Jaysee Blabs!


YMA was launched in October 2006 and already ran for five seasons, including a special summer edition held in 2009 for Region 8.

“Through this program, I have discovered what kind of leader I want to be. The change has started in me already. Now it’s my time to be a role model to others,” said 15-year old Jessica Therese Vestil, a scholar of last season’s YMA.

For Sean Timothy Salvador, 18, another YMA season 5 scholar, he said that YMA taught him to use his life as a daily opportunity to become a blessing to every person he meets and help change their lives for the better. 

To join the sixth season of YMA, interested applicants must form a team of five members under one of the following categories: Generation A (17-20 years old) and Generation B (12-16 years old).  List of team and individual requirements and application forms may be obtained from the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, or downloaded at www.rafi.org.ph.

Deadline for the submission of applications is on February 20, 2012.

YMA is sponsored by UnionBank of the Philippines.

It is one of the programs under RAFI’s Leadership & Citizenship focus area, which gathers and nurtures future leaders and influencers ready to effect change. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Education.

For more information about YMA, please call 418-7234 loc 110 and look for Mel Yan, or email mel.yan@rafi.org.ph, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.



To know more about YMA, see my YMA life notes:


http://jayseeblabs.blogspot.com/search/label/yma


For more awesome stuff, keep reading through Jaysee Blabs

RAFI’s YMA Nation-Building Scholars Offer Solutions, Promote Advocacy Against Poverty

Instead of going to malls or playing online games, a group of teens and young adults chose to spend their weekends in the community to help poor Cebuanos. They also used Facebook and other social media networks, went to schools to campaign and raised funds to promote the causes of local groups working on poverty alleviation.

These are scholars of the Young Minds Academy (YMA), a leadership and citizenship development program of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

jaysee pingkian giving the iluvfarmers social marketing report in front of evaluators
That's me reporting my part about our Social Marketing Initiative,
iluvfarmers to our panel of RAFI external evaluators.
Iluvfarmers Final Report2
Here is our iluvfarmers Accomplishment Report Presentation Slide


The scholars presented their community-based projects in the Best of Young Minds Conference last Oct. 28 at Casino Español, Cebu City.

>RAFI YMA Season 5 scholars singing their graduation song, Journey and Millenium Development Goals Philippine Theme Song, Tayo Tayo Rin.
YMA Season 5 scholars singing their graduation song, Journey and Millenium Development Goals Philippine Theme Song, Tayo Tayo Rin.


An awards and graduation ceremony followed the conference to culminate the eight-month YMA program.


Jaysee Pingkian's team, TEAM CPMPC with RAFI President, Mr. Roberto Bobby Aboitiz who gave a talk about inculcating the Bugsay (Paddle) Principle in our way of living and in our projects.
My team, TEAM CPMPC with RAFI President, Mr. Roberto Aboitiz who gave a talk about inculcating the Bugsay (Paddle) Principle in our way of living and in our projects.

Championing Real Heroes Online

The highest incidence of poverty occurs in the rural areas and we believe that the very people who are feeding us, the farmers who work tirelessly to provide us with food, don't have to remain poor. 

We, Team CPMPC of Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5, has been tasked to do a wide range of Social Marketing efforts for a poverty alleviation program of the Municipality of Consolacion. We are campaigning to support Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan, a project which aims to train farmers about modern fruit and vegetable production. 

Basically, farmer beneficiaries from all over go the farm demo site to be trained through the education capabilities of Harbest Agribusiness Inc. The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan project currently receives mobilization funding from SM Foundation Inc. for the project operating costs which includes training and transportation allowance.

We aimed for great social impact and awareness by tapping on the social media applications that most people are using today. Our elaborate Social Marketing Plan revolves around a lot of network connections, ad campaigns being disseminated through the new media and raise all forms of support possible since our farmer beneficiaries will need farming tools, supplies, fertilizers, seeds and seedlings to be used in their respective farms.


jaysee pingkian jayseeblabs planting
My love for planting started with our humble home in the province where my parents are avid fans of gardening.


Consolacion Cebu Philippines.  You will only appreciate what our hero farmers are doing once you really get in under the sun, work long hours, work hungry and thirsty and work without complaining.
You will only appreciate what our hero farmers are doing once you really get in under the sun, work long hours, work hungry and thirsty and work without complaining.



Our mission is to 10,000 pesos or signatures of commitment and 1,000 Facebook Page supporters, and create a social impact and raise awareness and sympathy to our farmer heroes.

Thus, we branded the campaign as "iluvfarmers" to unify the values and realize our visions. The logo design, art direction of the campaigns, messages, and brand promise have been consistent as an entity on and offline.

This beautiful farm site where I'm volunteering on is actually located in Brgy. Danglag, Consolacion, Cebu where farmer beneficiaries of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Program are being trained advanced farming techniques. Yep, I learned this new term called mulching where crop beds are actually covered in plastic.
This beautiful farm site where I'm volunteering on is actually located in Brgy. Danglag, Consolacion, Cebu where farmer beneficiaries of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Program are being trained advanced farming techniques. Yep, I learned this new term called mulching where crop beds are actually covered in plastic.


iluvfarmers Facebook Page (facebook.com/iluvfarmers)

After three weeks (Sept 19-October 16, 2011), we had a 137 of Facebook post ‘likes’ meaning people liked the content we present, gained 981 Facebook supporters, 47.75 average Facebook Post Feedback Score per week meaning people actually not only cared enough to read but also liked, shared and commented on photos and statuses we make, 97% increase in Facebook page activity on the third week compared to the third.


iluvfarmers Blog
(iluvfarmers.blogspot.com)




Also, around 57 people ‘liked’ the iluvfarmers Blog Posts, 218 have read the blog, Facebook supporters more than tripled with 395% increase in number, Facebook supporters read the posts at least 19 times.


iluvfarmers Twitter Page (twitter.com/iluvfarmers)


We also had a 187% increase of status updates in Twitter, Twitter followers replied 135 times, 78% increase in Twitter followers, promoted 21 times by our followers in Twitter and gained the support of personalities online like Jessica Concha and Marc Solis, Janette Toral, Anna Oposa, Bettina del Rosario on Twitter. The Campaign was featured on 19 websites and even made it to the country’s premier blogging institution, CebuBloggers.com.

Team CPMPC on the move.

We also have asked the endorsement from prominent Cebuano youth personalities and ordinary citizens to become the face of iluvfarmers in a series of ad campaigns that went abuzz online.

Also we have gathered around 1,261 signatures of commitment from the students in different colleges and universities and have pooled together Php 3,225.00 in donations.

If you want to donate or volunteer, call the Consolacion Municipal Agriculture’s Office at this number 
+63 (032) 564-3391 and look for Ms. Evangeline Puao!


For more awesome stuff, keep reading through http://jayseeblabs.blogspot.com

My Amazing YMA Season 5 Experience in a nutshell

Before I got into Young Minds Academy (YMA), I was the type of person who doesn't even care about my community. I always thought that the concern I have for my country was enough and that all the hardships of growing up poor should suffice to my passivity at present.

But when I was introduced to the program by an alumnus, I felt so deeply touched by the fact that I can actually do much for others without the need of being in power.

I was given the chance to be an architect of change as we try to understand how projects are developed to alleviate the communities we are tasked to serve.  

RAFI collaborates with 10 groups for youth development

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) inked a partnership agreement with six civil society organizations and four local government units for the project development phase of the Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5, RAFI’s youth leadership and citizenship development program.


The agreement was signed together with the YMA scholars last Aug. 2 at the Bryant George Hall of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of RAFI.

Read on to know 7 Facebook Pages Worth Liking...

Scholars Upscale Social Marketing To Promote Hero Farmers

Can you imagine life without farmers? A team of scholars from the Young Minds Academy (YMA) Season 5 leadership program can’t. They harnessed the power of marketing strategies mostly through the new media to promote a farmer empowerment project in Consolacion, Cebu. Because of the on-going training that the farmers are undergoing, they will soon yield better and abundant harvests in their respective farms all over Cebu.


The online community has been abuzz with the iluvfarmers farmers campaign that champions hero farmers in Cebu
The online community has been abuzz with the iluvfarmers farmers
campaign that champions hero farmers in Cebu.

Immersion Diaries of Jaysee in Consolacion

As part of our last quarter for the YMA program, we are in the data gathering stages for our project development. Destiny had it that my team, Gen A Team 4 Team CPMPC, will be immersed for a few days in Brgy. Pulpogan, Consolacion, Cebu.

It was a bright sunny Saturday of July 9, 2011 when we first stepped on our own for a YMA module. Scared, doubts and frustrations clouded our minds but the fact that we are going to stay there until July 11 means we have to straighten up and look focused head on. I was sort of dying by that time because I had just worked 16 hours straight to make up for my absence on Monday.



I feel blessed that the Brgy. Captain and his people still managed to accommodate us despite the limited time that they were informed on and the purpose of our being there had not been that clear to them but as YMA scholars we made the initiative to reach out to the people and do our job and just do it well.

jaysee pingkian lorbe catadman and babykit nunez


My first impression of the community is that it looks very typical to anything we’ve seen.




Stores line up every corner, the basketball courts being used all day, snot-nosed children playing, houses mushrooming up the blocks and the signature Filipino hospitality and smiles that eventually warm up once they could feel you eventually will belong.

My Kool Adventure Camp Experience

Being a scholar of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)'s Young Minds Academy Program, I took part in a one-of-a- kind character building leadership training seminar dubbed as Kool Adventure Camp (KAC) which was conducted at the Boys Scout Camp in Lahug, Cebu City on the great day of March 27, 2011.

There was so much to learn about the Kool Adventure Camp and most of it was about discovering ourselves and our peers. "Handa na ba kayo?" I will not be narrating the specific activities that we've had so that you will be spared to relish the experience itself.







I was able to impart to everyone how I envision myself to be through my camp name, “Tubod” which symbolizes how I want to be a reminder that God should be the living water in each of our hearts.




I was also able to experience how it feels to be out of our comfort zone but not too far to be at panic. With no time to be comfortable and full, we lived a lifestyle that was far from what most of us grew up in.

Cordova Youth Mapping, Albert Schweitzer Foundation, FORGE Rescue Project | YMA Thematic Sessions Part 4

The fourth and the last day of the YMA Thematic Sessions (Day One, Day Two, Day Three) made us trek to our respective barangay assignments in Cordova and split ourselves further as to who will do the focus group discussion (FGD) in the barangay hall, the transect walk who will plot assets of the community and the survey who will ask residents. 

The purpose of all this mapping activities is to determine what their assets are, what the threats to these assets are and what opportunities they can seem to benefit from in the near future. This is also done in preparation for our ultimate community immersion in the coming weeks. 



Busay, Boodle Fight, SOS Village, Cordova Resort | Cebu Community Visits | YMA Thematic Session Day 3

Community Visit I (Day One and Day Two) gave us the heads up about the adverse effects of poverty in the rural parts of Cebu and how the community succeeds in addressing them. Community Visit II module which happened last June 11- 12, 2011 transported us to the beautiful uplands where poverty is of the highest level but surprisingly is not that felt because of how simple they live their mundane existence.





After a long trip from the city, we reached the scenic mountain barangay of Busay which became a perfect backdrop to the great talks thereafter. First stop was in Crossroads, a retreat farm which helps youth cope up with different crisis in their life or if they are about to make a big decision. They also grow local produce naturally which they are trying to advocate among upland vegetable farmers since they are so dependent on pesticides which is slowly poisoning the urban people who consume them. The retreat farm is being managed by the Work of the Lord Who Cares Foundation who also nurtures youth who are sexually abused and who were exposed to prostitution due to scarcity in life.



Canduman, Tisa, Brgy. Luz and Inayawan | Best and Worst Cebu Community Visits | YMA Thematic Session Day 2

Read Day One here: YMA Thematic Session Day 1

RAFI community remodeling for the urban poor site in Canduman gave us a very positive vibe that change could really happen in the most marvelous of ways when people actually start to care for their community without thinking of getting something from it. How RAFI taught them to unite, impose discipline and engage in life enriching activities such as livelihood programs perfected to the infrastructures they were implementing.
Sir Tats of RAFI gave us stories as to how hard it was to organize
the urban poor in the area and how they eventually became responsible
people by taking care of their newly constructed roads, community facilities
and participating in the livelihood and character building programs
of RAFI.

On our second day, the RAFI community remodeling for the urban poor site in Canduman gave us a very positive vibe that change could really happen in the most marvelous of ways when people actually start to care for their community without thinking of getting something from it. How RAFI taught them to unite, impose discipline and engage in life enriching activities such as livelihood programs perfected to the infrastructures they were implementing. We also got the chance to hear the testimonials of the people living in the site and how their lives has changed for good.


Our YMA Class Adviser, Sir Mel Yan, then gave this water problem that has plagued our province for quite some time now and it deals with salt water intrusion and I didn’t know there was such a thing so it was very informative in a lot of ways.
Since the 70's University of San Carlos' Water Resources Center
and MCWD has been monitoring the salt water intrusion and how the rising
number of water pumps and people's lifestyle has led to the crisis.


Lorega, Mambaling, Missionaries of the Poor | Best and Worst Cebu Community Visits | YMA Thematic Session Day 1

The Thematic Sessions were one of the greatest experiences we had. We were exposed to a lot of societies and gained valuable insights along the way and Cebu City communities became our classroom once again as Young Minds Academy teaches us more about community organizing, realities that face our unfortunate brothers and sisters, and amazing projects that alleviate living conditions and mindset along the way. 

Our first Thematic Session happened last June 4-5, 2011 and it only proved that no sun too excruciating, no mountain too high, no place too horrid, no barangay too dangerous for the scholars of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) to learn more and immerse as we become the future leaders of the country in our own ways.

Poverty as the UN defines it is a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.


We started with Ms. Montenegro’s situationer. She is from Department of 
Economics at the University of San Carlos where I learned that most of 
the impoverished people live in the rural areas because I grew up 
thinking that the slums were the worst.
We started with Ms. Montenegro’s situationer. She is from Department of Economics at the University of San Carlos where I learned that most of the impoverished people live in the rural areas because I grew up thinking that the slums were the worst. Our country defines poverty as people who can’t seem to earn Php 974 to meet his or her monthly food needs. She also presented graphs from the UN which tackles about poverty threshold which concludes that people need at least Php 1,403 to stay out of poverty. But what was the most interesting thing she shared was the fact that the world has around 6.1 billion people. The richest which only comprised 20% of the total population has the biggest chunk of the world’s income which is 74%. Locally, Malabuyoc has the highest poverty incidence in Cebu.

Living on a dime for a day | YMA Social Discovery Walk

Yours truly has been undergoing a lot of experiential training all over Cebu and attending sessions in the Plenary Hall of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) as part of my scholarship program under the Young Minds Academy (YMA). It is a one-of-a-kind leadership training program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI). And what better way to teach us about nation-building and community development than through actually letting us go through impoverished living.

That is why RAFI went all and beyond to organize a new module that encompassed a wide venue and this time it’s not in a controlled environment such as a university, amphitheater, campsite or a resort as we used to but in the city of Cebu itself. Around 90 fellow scholars all toting our netbags as our only possession for the urban backpacking, we trekked the city in search for clue cards, tasks and a whole lotta exploration, the Dora way.

Held last 2nd – 3rd of May 2011, we all had given poverty a new meaning as we embark on our YMA Social Discovery Walk, a first in the YMA program.This is in accordance to our batch's theme which is Poverty, a part of the Millenium Development Goals.

Divided into new groups, it was refreshing to know a lot about Cebu and the lives of how most of our unfortunate brothers and sisters live on a daily basis. It was large-scale and pretty risky considering we have high school fellows with us who are not that exposed to the harsh parts of our city. We had to work through tasks so we will have something to eat at the end of the day and walk miles from one point to another under the scorching sun of the noon and the chilling rains of the afternoon. They were trying to take us out of our comfort zones but not too far that we would go to our panic zones which we have learned since our Kool Adventure Camp days.

For every stop, we had to organize ourselves as to who will be the leader, the sweepers who ensures no one gets behind, the navigators who knows the way to the next stop, the documenters who keeps the clue cards and score sheets.

We would also like to thank our guide and our team’s mother, Ate Pillow of RAFI, and our police officers who escorted us all throughout. To everyone at RAFI and Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence (ALEx) especially to our class adviser, Sir Mel and headmaster Ms. Evelyn, to the PNP, SWAT, ERUF, the program partners, thank you for letting us see the problems we are trying to solve through a new lens. We have gained a deeper perspective that would somehow shine through as we go through our community project proposal and implementation in the later quarters of our program.


We all began with a situationer at the Plenary Hall. A film showing of The Worst Place to be a Bus Driver gave us more or less what it is to live in a shack in the middle of an highly urbanized city of Manila. It was my first time to know that BBC UK actually had a documentary of our country exporting a posh London bus driver to endure how to multi-task as a driver and conductor in a jeepney for a week.



What Leadership Should Be All About | S-Leadership: The Potter’s Way Part 1

This is the first part of series regarding S-Leadership: The Potter’s Way Seminar.

As a scholar of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.’s Young Minds Academy, my team and I underwent a great seminar dubbed as “S Leadership: The Potter’s Way.” The moment I first heard it during the announcement of our list of activities, I was curious to my nails as to how would pottery play a big role in all of this. And so we all gathered at the Bryant George Hall of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center to meet who could be one of the best motivational speakers in the country.

Meet Ms. Selene Yu, a small lady with the biggest insights to date. Trust me. The two day seminar that we had last March 19 to 20 under her didn’t have any dead air and every line that she spoke is very quotable and what was interesting was that she never got tired talking and kept amused all day. Her excellence in communication skills also added to the upscale our experience as well. 

Her professional achievements are just as high as how she had grown on her personal life. She is the President of Scandinavian Motor Group, the distributor of Volvo. She is also the Executive Director of Covenant Car Company, the distributor of Chevrolet. Yep, she likes cars that much. Anyway, she graduated in St. Scholastica’s College as President of their Student Council and Editor in Chief of PAX. She had masters in University Pennsylvania and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Ms. Selene Yu (in orange) with my YMA team members.
From left to right: Me, Irish Nuñez, Lorbe Catadman,
Babykit Nuñez and Rhecel Solon
She was throwing candies at us to keep us awake and alert and at the same time to deliver her message to always keep an eye on the ball, to be focused on the lessons she will be imparting. Then she asked us, if we are a Christian nation then why do we end up as the most corrupt in Asia. We should not overlook the fact that we have a leadership and values crisis. Politicians are not walking their talk, don’t live their faith, the people themselves have the defect and the church keeps throwing the ball and no one cares to catch them. She also shared that corruption means you have a broken heart, as what Fr. Melo of Dilaab Foundation tells her. But you have to understand that it is not the institution but the root cause of all of this starts with the two letters. ME. This is how the leadership training seminar is going to lead us.

Then she introduced the concept of a paradigm shift where an opportunity arises from every crisis letting people change the way they perceive things.

She also reminds us that “God has a plan for you. Nothing is an accident.”

“I believe in command leadership,” she says which is why she resigned to a previous company who suffered losses from the Asian financial crisis following the footsteps of the Korean President who apologized on TV and the Japanese prime minister who resigned at that time. Then at the peak of her depression, she looked in the mirror and asked “Why Me?” as she have never been that bad. But instead of bashing on Him, she asked “What Now?”

Going back to why she named this seminar S-Leadership: The Potter’s Way she imparts that “We are the clay.” (Isaiah 64:8)

Then she gave all of us clay to form it into an object that would represent us. Then we have learned the qualities of a potter and this relationship could be compared our relationship with Him.

A video depicting the long and intricate process of pottery making was shown thereafter and how the same principles are used to make us great Godly leaders. All I knew about the process was the shaping part on the wheel so watching her mentor was very insightful in every way.

10 Stages of Pottery Making:

  1. Mixing
  2. Wedging you of pride
  3. Centering you in Jesus
  4. Raising you to your maximum potential
  5. Shaping you with personality, skills, talents and experiences
  6. Trimming you of undesirable attitudes and traits
  7. Drying you to be holy, persevering and willing to serve
  8. Bisque firing you to transform your character
  9. Glazing you with spiritual gifts
  10. Final firing you for strength and eternal beauty
Up next, we had games and group presentations as well. We even learned so much about ourselves that we haven't before through the DISC test. And she shared a quote from Manny Pacquiao which changed my life forever. Know the reason why this is named S-Leadership and what we did with balloons. Stay tuned.

Jaysee makes it to the YMA with a great team



Yours truly, Jaysee Blabs, along with four other smart and genuinely good students officially signed up for leadership training program. We made it in Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)’s Young Minds Academy last February 12, 2011. 

My mother was even there at the Covenant Signing and Orientation at the Eduardo Aboitiz Studies Center as the team’s partner. We inked our covenant to signify our willingness to graduate from the 8-month YMA Program which includes various activities like adventure camps and expeditions, learning visits and youth exchanges, capability building, immersion, research and concept development, and conferences. 




Mr. Bobby Aboitiz, the president of RAFI gave a very inspiring speech of how we should all paddle towards the same goal. YMA Alumni also gave insightful testimonials on their bittersweet experiences. Sir Bobby's daughter and representatives from our program partners, Unionbank of the Philippines and City Savings Bank were also there to grace the momentous event. Right after, the orientation was given to the 90 scholars representing 18 teams by Mr. Mel Yan, the program's class adviser. Certification of Admission were given in the end before we all grace the dinner.

The Road to YMA


After consistent encouragement from Vernon Go, time came for me to join but getting in was the roughest road to take as I was faced with a lot of challenges starting with forming my team. It was hard because most of those I have considered have not reached the age limit that the program had set. Generation A is only limited to 17 to 20 years old. We even have to defend the idea of joining YMA to our parents.

We also had a lot of problems complying with the requirements for application which was exhausting and we also had to endure the three week screening process which includes the Personality and IQ Test, Individual and Team Essay Writing, Team Dynamics and the Final Panel Interview with YMA Alumni and RAFI stakeholders. Everything we went through was totally worth considering the amount of resources that the foundation will spend for our modules.

Share This

LIKE THIS POST!