Bart W. Édes opens the championship dinner of the Philippine Inter-collegiate Debating Championship

Bart Edes Photo

Isang maalab at maligayang pagbati sa inyong lahat! Ikinalulugod namin kayong makasama ngayong gabi.

Welcome to the Championship Dinner of the Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debating Championship!

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” So said Mahatma Ghandi, the face of India’s struggle for self-rule in British colonial times. Employing well-chosen words – and nonviolent civil disobedience – Ghandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Ghandhi was a debater who challenged injustice and the status quo.

Debate provides significant benefits for individuals and for societies. It teaches the principles of tolerance, nonviolence, and respect for different points of view. In doing so, it can help close the gap between minority and majority cultures, and other groups divided by animosities of one kind or another.

Debate demands critical thinking, effective communication, and independent research and teamwork. It teaches skills that serve students well in school, and later in the workplace. Debate also enables people to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens of democratic societies.

As you have certainly recognized, students who debate are better able to critically examine the statements of their leaders, and to make carefully formed judgments about crucial public policy issues.

While Ghandi is most closely associated with his native India, he first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights. Many years later, another champion of social justice in South Africa, the Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, once stated: “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.”

And improving your argument is something that you all have been doing in the period leading up to this Championship.

The Asian Development Bank is thrilled to be hosting this event, and delighted to welcome the 60 participating debate teams and 300 debaters.

I would like to thank the University of the Philippines Debate Society for organizing another exciting edition of this annual event, and to recognize the president of the UP Debate club, Weston Lee.

This Championship provides a dynamic forum within which Filipino youth can explore and analyze various issues relevant on a national and global scale.

If you have not already done so, please serve yourself a plate of food, and get a seat for the main event – the final debate between the Blue Eagles of Ateneo de Manila University, and the Fighting Maroons of UP-Diliman. I am eager to see which side aligns more closely with the old English proverb: “Use soft words and hard arguments.”

I wish both sides the best of luck. And for everyone: Mabuhay kayong lahat at magandang gabi muli.

For more details on the social media buzz created by the event, follow us on Twitter and search #PIDCxADB.


Countdown: 2 weeks!


DearYouth for Instagram


Social media savvy and would like to use your skills for social good? You have 2 weeks to submit your entry for the chance to be part of the 2nd Asian Youth Forum’s Social Media Team!

Check out this link to view the complete competition rules.


Hello, hello, lovely ones! How are you?

The past few weeks have been quite busy in preparation for a number of events that are all oh-so-exciting us to no end. Just thought we’d check in to share with you one of activities that we’ll be having:

Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debating Championship
07 April 2014, ADB Headquarters

To join virtually, just follow us on Twitter (@ADBYouth) and the hashtag #PIDC2014. We’ll be livetweeting throughout so stay tuned!

Well, that’s it for now. A longer post to share what exactly we’ve been up to — soon!

Celebrating Women’s Month


Photo credit:

To mark the beginning of our celebration for Women’s Month this March, here are a few must-read articles:

Water is a Woman’s Business in Indonesia’s Aceh and Nias

In the Indonesian provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra, women are the main collectors, users and managers of water. They are also primarily responsible for the health and hygiene of household members. In the public sphere of decision making about water supply and sanitation, however, women have limited voice. Why? Because in this cultural context, traditionally the public sphere of decision-making and leadership is “men’s business” while the private sphere of home and family is “women’s business”.


(Click on the link to read the rest of the article)

Two Thai Women and a Passion for Organic Food

For some, food preparation is their profession, while for others it is their passion. For Khun Mantana Leksomboon and Khun Supatra Chadbunchachai, who live in Thailand’s Kalasin and Khon Kaen provinces, the production of organic vegetables started as an interest that soon blossomed into a real passion. A passion for life.


(Click on the link to read the rest of the article)

Tomorrow’s Women Water Leaders in Lao PDR

Phahatphane Manivanh is one of 26 female students awarded a scholarship to do a 4-year undergraduate degree in environment science. Her 25 other peers are studying civil and environment engineering at the National University of Lao and the Vocational Institution of Technology in Vientiane.


(Click on the link to read the rest of the article)

Just a happy little reminder from us to you —

26 days to go before the deadline of #DearYouth Video Blog Competition! Don’t forget to send in your entries in time! 🙂


JOIN: #DearYouth Video Blog Competition


Hey, YOUth! We want you to be part of the 2nd Asian Youth Forum’s Social Media Team!

The 2-day forum will be attended by youth participants from across regions where there will be capacity-building, explorations of solutions, and networking in pursuit of green growth, governance, environment, education, and employment.

Interested? Simply join the #DearYouth: Innovation Without Borders Video Blog Competition. Here’s how:

1. Create a 2-minute video that encourages the youth to use social media in innovating solutions that address urgent social issues in Asia and the Pacific. Share your personal and organizational experiences!
2. Upload your entries to YouTube, Vimeo, or Dropbox.
3. Fill up the registration form where you will be asked to send us the link to your entry as well as other important information.
4. Deadline for submission of entries is 01 April 2014 (23:59 +8GMT)
5. Check for more details.

The 3 chosen winners also get the chance to share their message as part of the welcome address for the participants of the 2nd Asian Youth Forum.

We look forward to receiving your entries!

Join the 1st #YouthMatter Twitter Dialogues


Join the 1st #YouthMatter Twitter Dialogues

Because Fridays are fun days (ok, so are all other days, really), we’re overjoyed to invite you to our 1st ever ‪#‎YouthMatter‬ Twitter Dialogues!

Let’s take over Twitterverse next Wednesday, 05 February at 10:00 to 11:00am Manila time, with a discussion on The Role of Youth and Civil Society in Post Typhoon Haiyan Efforts.

We’ll be chatting with youth leader, Filipina TV host, and writer Bianca Gonzalez, who has tirelessly devoted much of herself to helping out her country in more ways than we can count.

To join, just follow @ADBYouth and @iamsuperbianca on Twitter. Alternatively, you can also subscribe to the hashtag #YouthMatter. Now all we need to do is manage our excitement for a few more days.

Chat with you all next week?