After four years of development, the 1st National Youth Forum on Heritage (1NYFH) will finally commence on 11-14 November 2015 at Philippine High School for the Arts, Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna. It is very serendipitous that the theme of the 1NYFH, “Entering the Future Remembering the Past,” is inspired by Jose Rizal’s epigraph to his 1880 award-winning play El Consejo de los Dioses: “Con el recuerdo del pasado entro en el porvenir” (“I enter the future remembering the past”). Rizal was a native of Laguna, and Mt. Makiling was among his inspirations.

national youth forum on heritage

Young advocates and cultural workers will gather for the first time in the history of heritage-promotion and conservation in the country to celebrate the wonders of the Filipino nation, to affirm their commitments to nation-building, and to be inspired by each other and by the invited established cultural workers, scholars, and vanguards. The delegates are expected to actively voice out their ideas and concerns to the stakeholders of heritage and the cultural agencies of the government, and contribute in the forum’s proceedings.

The 1NYFH will be composed of 80 delegates: 54 of these are regional delegates (three delegates from 18 regions) who will pass the screening process, while the 26 will represent various youth sectors (e.g. youth organizations, young clergy, young servicemen) and active youth organizations promoting cultural heritage, to be identified and invited by the 1NYFH Secretariat.

Furthermore, the 1NYFH will play a crucial role in enriching the heritage discussions vis-à-vis the future of cultural heritage in the hands of the Filipino youth. In the 1NYFH, five special topics will be discussed in the proceedings:

  • Cultural Heritage and the Youth Programs. Dialogue with cultural and concerned government agencies regarding the integration of cultural heritage in youth programs and in various professions (e.g. civil engineers, medical practitioners, clergy, journalists, military servicemen).
  • Heritage Awareness Strategies. Equipping young heritage advocates in raising their respective communities’ awareness of local cultural heritage and history; outlining the complexity of cultural heritage for youth-centered local forums and workshops on heritage; strategies in integrating cultural sensitivities in tourism per se and the cultural concerns and intellectual property on native designs and arts and crafts in the rise of creative industries.
  • Harmony in Diversity: Intercultural Exchanges. A specialized session for the young artists advocating heritage, to discuss strategies in harmonizing cultural heritage with the current youth preference, integrating local heritage in the programs of various artistic groups, and sharing cultural space with fellow young artists in promoting unity and peace.
  • Cultural Heritage Documentation and Research. Dialogue with concerned cultural and government agencies in regards to the state of cultural mapping in the country, contribution in Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties (PRECUP) and other heritage registries, and accessibility of government archives and Filipinianas to young heritage practitioners.
  • Exploring Cultural Heritage Beyond. A dialogue for the advocates of intangible heritage, the toponymy (about terrestrial place names), hydronymy (about fluvial place names), and street names, the Philippine languages, the national symbols and cultural icons, and the folklore, values, and traditions.

The 1NYFH will be composed of 80 delegates: 54 of these are regional delegates (three delegates from 18 regions) who will pass the screening process, while the 26 will represent various youth sectors (e.g. youth organizations, young clergy, young servicemen) and active youth organizations promoting cultural heritage, to be identified and invited by the 1NYFH Secretariat.

A delegate must be a Filipino citizen age 18-30 years old before 11 November 2015 (ceiling age, as defined by the Youth in Nation-Building Act of 1995), and an advocate of heritage—cultural worker, activist, scholar, student, professional, artist, and government official and employee. For regional delegates, he or she must be active and residing at the place of representation for at least six (6) months at the time of submission; and a member of a representative youth organization (either community-based or school-based) involved in advocating heritage, or organizations, advocacies, and social enterprise concerned on heritage issues, promotion, and awareness

The event registration is FREE. The Secretariat will provide the following: food, accommodation, transportation to venue/s, forum kits, and certificate of participation/attendance. Delegates, however, will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City; and the assembly place and drop off point before and after the activities of the 1NYFH in the Philippine High School for the Arts, Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna. Any other expenses not related to the 1NYFH are not covered.

The screening process ensures the competence of the delegates to the forum. The screening paper will be in the form of a questionnaire and essays developed by the 1NYFH Secretariat.

The National Youth Forum on Heritage program is designed to serve as platform both for the Filipino youth who advocate for heritage and the stakeholders of Filipino heritage. Its thrusts are mainly focused on youth participation in nation-building through heritage promotion and conservation, and on heritage education for the youth anchored in awareness and capacity-building.

NYFH envisions a Filipino youth that is aware of his or her identity by appreciating its past and drawing inspirations from it. Because he or she treasures everything that constitutes the nation’s soul (culture) and spirit (history), he or she is after the conservation and promotion of these. In doing so, NYFH has a mission of fostering active youth involvement in increasing the community and fellow youth’s awareness of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, and integrating heritage in various youth programs and initiatives, regardless of professional background and field.

The NYFH is a proud youth program by the youth, of the youth, and for the youth. Its steering group is composed of young men and women who selflessly consecrated their ideas, time, energy, and skills for its success for four years: The young leaders of The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, Inc., Project Saysay, and Proyekto PH. It is supported by the RFM Foundation, Inc. and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

For details contact the NYFH Secretariat at [email protected] or visit www.nyfhph.com and www.facebook.com/nyfhph.

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