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Grade 12 HUMSS student bags 2nd place in national essay writing competition

February 11,2020

Grade 12 HUMSS student Angelica Maxine Mendoza placed 2nd out of 452 entries in the Don Angel C. Palanca Peace Awards’ 2019 Essay Writing Competition last November 6 for penning “The New Incredibles,” an essay promoting the youth’s voice at a global stage.

Similar to its partner organization, the Don Carlos Palanca Awards, the Don Angel C. Palanca Peace Program Foundation holds one of the longest-running literary competitions in the Philippines and is considered as the gold standard in writing excellence. 

This year’s competition celebrated the theme, “2019: Year of the Youth and the Role of Millenials in Building a Peaceful, Sustainable, and Dignified Future.” A total of 452 entries, all of which were written by either high school or college students, were submitted.

For her essay, Mendoza wrote about Emma Gonzalez—the face of the #NeverAgain campaign—and her strength to have turned something as devastating as a school shooting into a worldwide movement. 

Mendoza also cited Shibby De Guzman, a Scholastican and a student activist, for inspiring her throughout the competition. 

“We talked about her accomplishments over the phone and about her thoughts as a student activist herself,” Mendoza said. “She’s so young and has done so much to be a voice for the people.” 

Senior high school English teachers Mr. Kevin Hernandez and Ms. Maria Angela Mina helped Mendoza by giving her feedback on her writing. 

On the day of the awarding ceremony, Mendoza was accompanied by Mrs. Yasmin Fides Nuguid, the Academic Coordinator, at Madison 101 Hotel, Quezon City along with the other two finalists.

“I’m incredibly humbled by my success. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my friends, my family, and my teachers,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza added that the competition had also made her come to terms with a few things about the youth. “I believe in youth empowerment. It’s time we had a voice at the table.”

“We need opportunities to share our perspectives in safe and supportive ways,” Mendoza said. “We have to grow to our full potential as we step into the leadership roles of tomorrow.”

By Amanda Palmera