19th Ayala Young Leaders’ Congress: Empathize, engage, empower

Editor's Note: The Ayala Young Leaders’ Congress (AYLC), a four-day summit involving workshops, lectures, outdoor activities, plenary sessions and discussions designed to hone the students’ leadership skills and potentials, brought together 81 of the most promising student leaders of colleges and universities from all over the country in this year’s staging of the event, held in Batangas on February 6-9, 2017.



The following article chronicles UB student Melchor Oliveros’ experience in the convention.



 The Congress delegates after the Initiative Wall Challenge

(Photo: Ayala Young Leaders' Congress 2017)



“Do what you have to do even if it is unpopular.”


These were the words of Vice President Leni Robredo as she welcomed us to the 19th Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC).


My journey to the AYLC was unexpected. The screening process was tough. Out of 669, only 81 students were chosen to attend. Being one of the selected participants inspired me to do my share for community development.


Being in the congress gave me the opportunity to meet leaders from various fields. Their success stories prove that anyone can make a change. It made me realize that no matter how small your actions are, they can make a difference.


The outdoor activities challenged me and my co-delegates to show how much we’ve learned from the congress. It was filled with fun, realizations and reflections that honed more our leadership skills. Moreover, we had the opportunity to be in a workshop group wherein we helped each other identify our own leadership problems. I really enjoyed that part of the program because there were so much wisdom and enlightenment.


The AYLC is really a life-changing event for me. Hearing different stories from my co-delegates, the alumni, guests, and the panel made me cry and it kept the flame of my passion for community development burning. The congress showed me that the act of empathizing helps you understand the needs of the community, which enables you to engage and see the reality behind the statistics. Empathizing and engaging will help you empower everyone so that they can do something for themselves and for the community.


Our batch adopted the name KALIBASIB, which stands for “Kalikasang Bagong Sibol.” KALIBASIB is the name of the only tamaraw ever bred in captivity which symbolizes strength and determination in overcoming challenges.  


The four-day congress may be over but the lessons will be my life-long armor in withstanding all the challenges that I will face along the way towards developing my community and eventually the country. – Melchor Oliveros



The participants during another activity

(Photo: Ayala Young Leaders' Congress 2017)



Oliveros (second from left) and his groupmates

(Photo: Ayala Young Leaders' Congress 2017)



Melchor Oliveros is a graduating student of BS Civil Engineering and BS Environmental and Sanitary Engineering of the University of Baguio.





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