SAN MARCELINO, Zambales – A senior student of Ramon Magsaysay Technological University – San Marcelino Campus has made another significant mark in the university’s history as he won 3rd place in the first ever National Essay Writing Contest sponsored by the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) announced last January 19, 2011 in its official website, pra.gov.ph.
Danilo V. Rogayan Jr., Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd) student, proved his writing proficiency as he bested hundreds of entries submitted by other students from the different colleges and universities in the country.
Themed, “Dear Foreign Retiree: Why You Should Retire in My Town,” the said essay writing tilt is held in conjunction with PRA’s nationwide awareness campaign to promote local towns and cities suitable as second homes and retirement destinations for foreign retirees.
Rogayan’s essay entitled “Castillejos… A Haven to Retire, A Home to Reside,” discussed interesting things about his hometown, Castillejos, Zambales, as best retirement destination.
“Looking for an exquisite place where you can live harmoniously through the rest of your life? A haven where you can revisit history and commune with the marvels of nature? A sanctuary where you can get away the commotion of the urban life? A home where you can retire and enjoy the bliss of life with your loved ones?,” commenced Rogayan in his 2000-word essay. “You are surely looking for one of the sprawling towns dotting the mystic province of Zambales. This town that would appease your craving is none other than the Town of Castillejos.”
He likewise exponded in his essay about his town’s “abounding natural treasures, rich cultural heritage, jovial festivities and zestful events, reminiscent historical landmarks and amazing tourist destinations.”
“Retire here in our town for there is no place like Castillejos!,” ended the 20-year old Ramonian in his essay.
Rogayan’s essay was adjudged based on its content, originality, and relevance (40 %); grammar and spelling (20 %); logic and organization, coherence and unity (30 %); and style and presentation (10%).
Meanwhile, James E. Robison, BSEd II, and Michael S. Macabulos, BSEd I, were National Finalists of the said competition.
The 1st PRA essay tilt is divided into two categories: High School Category, and College Category.
In College Category, Justin Colin M. Macalintal of Colegio San Agustin in Biñan, Laguna grabbed the first place with his essay entitled, “Cebu: An Ideal Retirement Destination.”
Placing second was Julienne Clare O. Gregorio of St. Paul University in Quezon City with her masterpiece entitled, “Quezon City, Philippines: A Captivating Urban Haven” while Rogayan landed on third.
Honorable mentions in the College Category include Rose Ann T. Bulandos of Technological University of the Philippines in Dasmariñas, Cavite (“Dasmarinas City: Your Next Home”); Vanessa L. Munda of De La Salle – Lipa in Lipa, Batangas (“An Aromatic Experience”); Alfonso G. Manalastas of Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte (“Orange Tricycles”).
Percival Adonis J. Carino III of St. Mary’s College of Tagum in Tagum City, Davao del Norte (“Palm City…Savoring the True Tropical Glory”); and Marwin D. Sarandin of Romblon State University in Odlongan, Romblon (“Romblon: An Island Paradise Unleashing the Reasons Behind Why You Should Retire Here in Romblon”).
In High School Category, Shania Winona Tracey E. Canda of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in Lagao, General Santos City landed on the highest place with her essay entitled, “A Home.”
Grabbing the second and third places were Richard L. Milante of Shang Kai Shek College in Manila and Adrian Justin DC. Del Rosario of Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School in Santa Rosa, Laguna, respectively, with their essays entitled the same with the contest theme.
Honorable mentions were Jashwin S. Daryanani OF O. B. Montessori Center in Sta. Ana, Manila (“Laoag… A Beauty in Contrast”); Sebastian Fournier of Jose Maria College in Buhangin, Davao City (“Dear Foreign Retiree: Why You Should Retire In My Town”); Ahmad Ghazie Umug of Manila Science High School in Manila (“Mi Ciudad de Zamboanga, an Abode of Peace and Tranquility”).
Arianne R. Pequena of Philippine Science High School, Bicol Campus (“Relishing the Hourglass”) and Jannah Razel Barluado of University of the Immaculate Concepcion in Bajada, Davao City (“Dear Foreign Retiree: Why You Should Retire In My Town”).
The PRA’s essay writing tilt specifically aims to gather information on the different towns and cities of the Philippines that can be uploaded in the PRA website which will be made available to foreign nationals and investors.
It also aims to promote awareness among youth about the various assets present in their towns and cities.
Moreover, it likewise seeks to develop the research thinking, and communication skills of the youth including the familiarity with correct grammar, spelling, and writing style and to publicize the winning entries, both locally and internationally, thru the different government and private websites.
For each of the High School and College categories, the following prizes will be received: Grand Prize Winner will receive Php50,000.00 and Plaque of Recognition; Second Prize Winner will receive Php30,000.00 and Plaque of Recognition; Third Prize Winner will receive Php20,000.00 and Plaque of Recognition while five Honorable Mention Awardees will receive Php5,000.00 each.
The schools and universities for the High School and College categories will receive the following: Grand Winner will receive Php15,000.00 and Plaque of Recognition; Second Prize Winner will receive Php10,000.00 and Plaque of Recognition; Third Prize Winner will receive Php5,000.00 and Plaque of Recognition.
All monetary prizes are subject to 20% withholding tax.
The top three winners, the five honorable mention awardees, and school representatives of the top three winners from each category shall be required to attend the awarding ceremonies which will be held at the PRA’s office at 29F Citibank Tower, 8741 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.
The day of the awarding rites is yet to be announced by the authority.
Mr. Stephen Anthony and Ms. Marcia Agnes Kwiecinski, American Nationals; Ms. Chen Yao Jung, Taiwanese National; and Mr. Rene Muller, Swiss National, are the PRA retiree-members who assisted in selecting the top eight winners for each level.