RYLA Iloilo 2017: Shaping future leaders

MORE THAN 70 Rotaractors, Interactors, and active student-leaders from different schools in Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Antique attended the first Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Iloilo 2017 at the Holy Rosary Prayer and Reflection Center in Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City, Dec. 2-3.

The event focused on skills application through team-building activities aside from talks on millennials, society and social media.

Organized by the Council of Rotaract and Interact Clubs-Iloilo Chapter along with Rotary Club Zones 1, 2, and 3, this year’s RYLA Iloilo was facilitated by the Iloilo Rotaractors and the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) Region 6.

The opening day gave the participants the chance to know each other. Three Rotary Exchange Students (Rotex) from France joined the event and shared their culture living in their country.

Rotarian and RYLA Co-chair Eva Evacis of RC-Iloilo West opened the activity proper by welcoming all the delegates. After the opening, young leaders were energized by different trust and leadership development activities which tested their skills in handling their respective groups.

Board Member Lorenz Defensor of the 3rd district of Iloilo talked on “Millennials and Society.” He emphasized the vital role of the youth towards a better society and encouraged them to do their part.

Past President (PP) Ramon Dacayo of RC-Valenzuela West inspired young Ilonggo leaders in his talk on “Millennials and Family.”

In the afternoon session of Dec 2, the four groups of delegates were tested in the Amazing RYLA Race, which challenged participants to complete certain tasks in nine stations. The activity aimed to develop their unity, cooperation, and leadership style.

District Rotaract-Interact Chairman (DRIC) Chris Sorongon of RC Bacolod and Immediate Past District Governor (IPDG) Ronnie Gabalda also shared their experiences and insights on how to become effective servant leaders and how they (leaders) should “walk the talk” in planning and implementing projects.

The evening activities included a bonfire outside the venue for the much-anticipated RYLA Got Talent. The activity also showcased the participants’ unique abilities in role playing, dancing, singing and hosting.

“It was one of the best nights ever. This RYLA Iloilo 2017 was a blast. It not only developed our leadership skills, but gave us opportunity to share our inner prowess. Of course, in this event, we got the chance to gain friends and made remarkable memories. I’m looking forward for RYLA Iloilo 2018,” said Ralp Cambay of RAC-Hercor College of Roxas City.

The second day started with a zumba dance which prepared attendees for more difficult and nerve-wracking activities. It was also a combination of talks and learning applications with PP Jigger Latoza of RC-Iloilo explaining to the participants the importance of social media and how millennials should use or deal with it.

He also provided statistics of the country’s internet status and some of the problems being encountered when using social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“The topic about social media enlightened us to be cautious in using different sites and showed a clear view of what are the right and wrong ways of clicking it,” said Samantha Grace Matias from RAC STI-Kalibo.

The last day ended with a series of group activities which tested participants’ patience, cleverness, and listening skills.

A human “RYLA” formation was also formed and documented using drone photography. They were also made to write “power words” on pieces of yellow paper which were made into paper boats. The words must the best representation of their selves.

The event ended with the “Pagbabasbas,” or prayer.

RYLA Iloilo, which is expected to become an annual activity of Rotary Clubs Zones 1, 2, and 3, was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Yakult, NIG Marketing and All Rotary Clubs in Panay.

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