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Rizalian Commemorates the International Day of Peace, clinches 2nd place through spoken poetry

By Aryl Fatima Tunay

“I was blessed with the curse that I have the power to change the world with just two words: Have peace.”

These were the words of Ahmed Medhat Saat Ramadan of José Rizal University as he, along with the other contestants, commemorated peace during YEES Phil. UNESCO Club’s Spoken Poetry Contest in celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2021, via Zoom conference.

With the theme “A Decade for Peace,” the mentioned UNESCO organization brought out the best in the students from various schools and organizations to showcase their talents through the creation and performance of poetic pieces that celebrated global peace and highlighted its importance in today’s time.

In his inspirational speech, Dr. Serafin Arviola Jr., the Founding Chairman of the National Coordinating Body of the UNESCO Clubs in the Philippines, put emphasis on the importance of the preamble to the constitution of UNESCO, which states that “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

Dr. Arviola also highlighted the significance of empowering the youth to promote peace by voting wisely in the 2022 national elections, remarking that 2022 is a make-or-break situation for the Philippines in terms of various aspects.

Afterward, the contest proper commenced as the mechanics for judging, as well as the panel of judges, were introduced. Among the panel were Dr. Rio Santiago, Prof. Ma. Regina Cruz, and Dr. Jennifer Fernandez; with all of them in the frontlines of peace promotion, as evidenced by the numerous events and awards that they have garnered in relation to peace and harmony.

Then, the skills of the contestants were finally exhibited as their spoken poetry performances were played, which moved the judges and the audience alike.

With an average of 94%, Juan Carlos Soriano of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific bagged the championship with his soulful piece titled “No, I am Peace” in which he accentuated the uselessness of knowledge when not used to promote and put peace forward in discussions, and the importance of unity, forgiveness, and wisdom, in attaining peace.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Ramadan’s heartwarming performance titled “I am Blinded by the Truth,” which put emphasis on participating in the call for international peace, as well as how peace is within each individual, attained an average of 90% and helped crown Ramadan with second place.

Lastly, third place was awarded to Airies Key Garcia of Calasiao Comprehensive National High School for her solemn piece which highlighted the issues that pose a problem to attaining peace and the importance of solving them as soon as possible.

In an interview with the Senior High School Council, Ramadan expressed his love for writing and participating in the spoken poetry contest. He mentioned, “Writing is always something that comforts me. I am able to express unspeakable thoughts through it. Being capable of putting it into a voice is something more extraordinary.”

Truly, despite challenges, Rizalians like Ahmed Ramadan do not falter in showcasing their talents in various aspects like writing and performing poetic pieces that uphold important values such as peace and harmony.

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