AN 11-year-old Filipino student’s thoughts on how music can touch lives won for her the third prize in the Universal Postal Union’s 43rd International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People.
Postmaster General Josefina dela Cruz said UPU, a specialized agency of the United Nations, has announced that Ashley Nicole Abalos from the PAREF- Woodrose School in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) won the bronze medal in the contest, where an estimated 1.5 million young people took part.
“The winning of the Philippines through Ashley makes this an exciting time for us,” Dela Cruz said.
The contestants were told to write a letter “describing how music can touch lives.”
“Music is not music until it is shared,” Abalos wrote. “Through your music, you are able to open the eyes of many even if you yourself cannot see.”
The Filipino impressed the international jurors, dela Cruz said.
“Written with great sincerity, this composition full of emotions and genuine reflections captured the magic of music to connect people,” one juror said.
The first prize went to 13-year-old Nataa Miloevi from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
the second prize to 10-year-old Zou Canyan from Bai Shan (Ji Lin province) China.
It is the first time that Bosnia and Herzegovina won the international competition since becoming a UPU member in 1993.
The winners will receive their prizes on October 9, the anniversary of UPU’s foundation to form part of World Post Day.
Dela Cruz said the contest does not only “harness the skills of young people in letter-writing, but is a great way to make the youth aware of the significance of the postal sector, as being strengthened by the UPU and the re-engineering efforts of PhilPost [Philippine Postal Corp.].”
The competition was created by the 1969 Tokyo Congress and officially launched in 1971.
Since then, millions of young people all over the world, up to age 15, have participated in the competition at national and international levels.
The UPU establishes a theme annually, with participating countries choosing an entry for the UPU international competition.