Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Taguig Youthcon 2020 goes online
Taguig spearheads digital convention in new normal scenario
COVID-19 did not stop the Taguig City Youthcon for 2020, with Taguig City and the SK Federation gathering youth leaders in events held completely online between August 24 and 29.
“Over the pandemic, we’ve pushed ourselves to explore possibilities in the new normal scenario. This annual convention going to the virtual world is us pushing the envelope once more, for the welfare of a sector that has always been dear to Taguig,” said Mayor Lino Cayetano.
The inaugural Youthcon in 2019 gathered some 1,500 Taguigeños aged 15-30, but COVID-19 restricts large gatherings at this time.
“Last year’s Youthcon was a success we were determined to continue even when most cancelled or did not celebrate the youth week,” said SK Federation chair Beng Maximo. “In this trailblazing event, Taguig organized a massive digital youth convention. It is an expressions of the city’s inclusive governance – a leadership that listens to, cares for and trains young people.”
The lineup marks the nationwide Linggo ng Kabataan, whose theme this year is “Youth Engagement for Global Action.”
Just as last year’s convention, the 2020 edition featured a powerhouse of leaders, celebrities and influencers discussing various issues.
Taguig SK leaders launched on August 24 the “Infodemic” campaign, which raised media literacy in response to the proliferation of mis- and disinformation during the pandemic.
Team Ebs duo Angel Yap and Flow G led the Vlogging 101 webinar on August 25. The next day, athlete Rachel Daquis discussed fitness and confidence. Lazada’s Petrus Carbonell followed with a discussion on e-commerce.
Sen. Pia Cayetano, Senate Chair Committee on Sustainable Development, led the “Futures Thinking for Future Leaders” discussion on August 27. Earlier in the day, Mind Museum resident scientists Mikee Estorga at Pecier Decierdo discussed climate change. Following them, Solenn Heussaff and husband Nico Bolzico discussed relationships.
August 28, Rocco Nacino at Melissa Gohing zeroed in on relationship goals and fitness; while Bianca King tackled responsible citizenship.
On the last day, Bubbles Paraiso met young people for self-care tips.
Taguig 2nd Dist. Rep. Lani Cayetano also showed her support for Taguigeño Youth during the Taguig Youthcon 2020 by paying CICLs or Children In Conflict with the Law a visit at Bahay Pag-Asa, a city-funded shelter established in 2015. This provides formation and education to children in conflict with the law.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, on the other hand, shared a light moment with SK leaders as he talked about starting as a young leader in Taguig and discussing leadership values.
In one of the highlights of this year’s Youthcon, students thought up ingenious solutions to “new normal” issues with Youth Hackathon held on August 26-28, 2020.
Hackathons gather people for a limited time to collaborate and come up with solutions to specific problems, that can range from information technology to development projects. In Taguig’s iteration, teams from different Department of Education schools discussed solutions to concerns in education, mental health, environment and sustainability, and transportation.
“The city wanted to engage future leaders by inviting them to deal with present problems,” said Maximo. “We provided young people a space for meaningful citizenship.”
“Older people often say that the young ones are idealistic, as if it’s a bad thing. In fact, many of our successful programs have been initiated or led by young people. This hackathon harnesses their bright ideas and hopes to amplify them for the greater good,” said Mayor Lino.
Winners of the tilt will receive an initial funding for their projects and mentorship from the Taguig local government’s resident experts.
The Youthcon also hosted “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Tournament” on August 26-29, inspired by the success of e-sports at the 30th South East Asian Games hosted by the Philippines last year.
“Mobile games have been a pastime, even a livelihood, for many young people during the community quarantine,” explained Mayor Lino. “Who knows if some of the participants in our tournament could move from representing their barangays to representing the country.”
Gamification was a recurring theme of the Youthcon. Adding to the raffles and giveaways, organizers also placed contests, including daily Facebook Live Games which introduced city agendas like agriculture, mobility, tourism and COVID-19 awareness through virtual games.
In addition to the learnings, each participant also received a P100 load allowance to cover part of their expenses for attending Youthcon 2020.
“It was no wonder why we were able to organize hundreds of young people in this novel event: the content is relevant, exciting and truly inspiring,” said Maximo. “We are truly grateful to the city for focusing on the youth sector and helping us push through with this activity despite COVID-19.”
“Investing in the youth is investing in the future, which is why we should continue to develop and empower the youth of the city,” noted Mayor Lino. “Let this be evidence that Taguig sincerely believes in young people, and that we are ready to train them and give them opportunities for growth whether or not a pandemic exists. Our commitment is timeless and resilient.”