Ilocos Norte's 3rd SSEAYP representative: "Leadership is not only about being the voice"

Aug 29, 2019 ...

After series of screenings, interviews, and trainings, the Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) has chosen its representatives. The third from Ilocos Norte, he is set to sail on October.

Mr. Radz B. Bismonte III, who currently works as Media Incentives Desk (MID) Officer of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte – Communications and Media Office (PGIN – CMO), is one of the 27 delegates from various parts of the country who will promote friendship and mutual understanding; and further strengthen the spirit of international cooperation and collaboration among the youth of the ten South East Asian countries and Japan.

The 46th Philippine contingent, also known as Batch Sakabyas, will be visiting Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia until mid-December this year.

Alongside coordinating with film and TV production companies, Bismonte is also an active advocate for environmental protection and preservation. He is a member of the Movement Against Plastic Pollution (MAPP), a group of Ilocano eco-warriors that aims to raise awareness on the impact of plastic pollution. The group also promotes zero-waste lifestyle.

With their continuous commitment to being agents of change, they have successfully launched "Project Bolo", which seeks to minimize the province's usage of plastics while generating alternative livelihood for farming communities through production of bamboo straws; supplying restaurants, hotels, and business establishments in Ilocos Norte. As a result, MAPP was awarded as Most Outstanding Ilocano for 2019 by the Ilocos Times.

Bismonte recalled his leadership experience, saying, "When I was in high school, leadership for me was just being the voice of those who could not speak. As I grew older, I have learned that leadership is not only about being the voice of a certain group, but more importantly, it's about leading them to build better communities together towards inclusive development."

He also mentioned that as part of his leadership experience, the PGIN, particularly the CMO, has helped him grow and develop his personal and professional skills.

"Working at the CMO developed the necessary senses for me to always serve excellently – eyes which can clearly see the need of others; ears which can listen to people's plea; and a heart which can feel the community's problem with utmost love and sincerity," he expressed.

Bismonte was inspired to participate in SSEAYP because of the scenarios he had witnessed in one of his organization's coastal clean-up activities.

"During one of our clean-ups in one of the coastal areas in Ilocos Norte, I was saddened upon seeing a school of fish surrounded by piles of trash. At that moment, I realized that the current situation of our bodies of water and the environment in general, is getting worse. With this, I was inspired to join in SSEAYP with the hope of creating a better place for them."

"I've always seen the ambassadorship more of a responsibility than anything else. I am not only representing myself, but the whole province and the region. After my SSEAYP journey, I hope that I could further develop my love and passion for film, public relations, and protection of the environment. Ilocos Norte is my home and it will always be on top of my priority list," he concluded.

Bismonte, together with Ivy Carasi of Ilocos Sur, will represent Region I in the Philippine contingent. 

by Stewart Ocampo



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