EU Ambassador Franz Jessen gives his opening remarks at the book launch of "What's EUr Story?" in Pasay City, Manila.
Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho
EU honors talented essayists anew
(philstar.com) - November 7, 2018 - 6:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — The European Union Delegation in the Philippines launched on Wednesday a booklet to honor talented essayists who won in the essay competition "What's EUr Story?"

The book launch, held in Pasay City, was led by EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen. 

During the ceremonial unveiling and distribution of the booklets, the ambassador was assisted by managing editor Kristine Daguno-Bersamina of Philstar.com, which is a co-presenter of the competition. The winning essays were published on the leading news website. 

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen leads the book launch of "What's EUr Story?," a compilation of winning essays from the EU Delegation to the Philippines' essay writing competition. Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho

The EU hosted "What's EUr Story?," an essay competition which aimed to highlight European experiences and influences of young Filipinos. The competition, opened to Filipino youth aged 16 to 35 years old, was  divided into three categories: High School Students, College Students and an Open Category.  

Salem Rangiris Jr., who hails from the capital of Lanao del Sur, was the grand winner of the competition. He wrote a compelling piece on the similarities of Filipino and European cuisines and related these with the two cultures' shared values.

Writers Hannah Joy Ibarra and Joshua Paguia, winners for college and high categories, respectively, read excerpts of their works during the book launch.

Other writers featured on the booklet include Joseph Galaura, Marie Sybil Tropicales, Lorenz Dantes Paison, Patricio Dumlao IV, Brynn Jonsson Julia, Serina Mara Alonzo, Marvin dela Cruz, Rona Parducho, Natazia Grimares and Jason Occidental. 

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen together with media partner and winners of the "What's EUr Story?" writing competition. Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho

Jessen said in a statement that the Philippines is a unique melting pot of cultures and that Filipino youth easily embrace new trends, technologies and cultures. 

These traits, according to the ambassador, helped the essayists came up with colorful narratives that reflect both the cultures of both Europeans and Filipinos. 

"The power of the written words is enormous," said Jessen. 

The essays were assessed by a panel of judges who includes Jessen and National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose. Entries were judged on the basis of substance, content, originality, analysis and adherence to the theme (65%); logic, organization and coherence (20%); and style and presentation (15%).

EU AMBASSADOR TO THE PHILIPPINES FRANZ JESSEN EUROPEAN UNION DELEGATION
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