The search is finally over! It’s time to meet these fresh faces that encapsulate today’s Filipino youth—five game-changers from different universities who hopped on the challenge and rose to the ranks as this year's batch Chalk Bright Young Manila.
At their age, some may say that they are yet to mature. But the fast-paced life, the struggles of this generation, the ups and downs, and the will to live with a purpose are things that molded these individuals to become who they are today. For these young trailblazers, it’s not about just navigating every day with school tasks, barkada hangouts, and me-time—dreaming big, as well as making time for the little things, matter even more. The force to move with passion and intention is unwavering.
Here’s what they have to offer—more than just good looks and talent, the new batch of Chalk BYM is a diverse group of inspiring individuals! Each with different advocacies to promote, one can take a lot from Roi Avena, Eunice Evangelista, Laurence Santiano, Mary Maximo, and Sean Dandasan. Everyone, meet the brightest in Manila:
Roi Avena, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde
As an introvert, Roi has always kept to himself—until now. Discovering his talent in music early on, art is his medium to communicate his feelings and who he is. When he joined the competition, the 22-year-old realized that this could be an opportunity for him to grow further. So he did—and now, as part of the newest batch of Chalk BYM, he wants his passion to be on the spotlight and inspire others to also be comfortable in showcasing their craft. “Art is rich dito sa atin, and it’s slowly growing. Pero alam kong maraming natatakot [to show their talent] because of judgement. But art is always relevant. Dapat makita nila ‘yung essence, to take in the emotion na dala nito. If it can help me, sure akong marami rin itong matutulungan,” Roi says.
Eunice Evangelista, UP Manila
“My journey in BYM gave me the confidence to speak up and speak out for the things that I advocate for,” Eunice begins. We are a generation who grew up on social media, so to speak, and in a world where everyone is incessant in wanting to be heard, this young lady does so with a goal in mind. She believes in our power—that us, despite our age, can make the difference that the world needs. As someone from the medical field, Eunice voices out the importance of living holistically, putting emphasis on one’s health physically, mentally, and emotionally. Through her work as a speech pathologist and a gymnast coach, the UP graduate uses this opportunity to reach out not just in her usual crowd, but also to the less privileged youth with special needs. READ MORE HERE.
Laurence Santiano, UP Diliman
There's a lot of misconceptions about gamers, and Laurence is here to break all your doubts. No, gaming is not a waste of time. And yes, gaming is a passion—and you’ll be convinced once this Chalk BYM winner starts talking about the wonders of this world. “The learning that we take from these stories [in games] are cherished. We hold special connections to the game characters that touch our hearts and in our own ways. They change us for the better,” he says. But more than playing, Laurence is out here to fulfill his journey outside the small screen action. “With my advocacy and streaming, I realized that I can really push for my beliefs and have fun while doing it,” shares the 22-year-old. READ MORE HERE.
Mary Maximo, UP Manila
She may be the youngest in the group, but Mary isn’t lagging behind. If anything, she’s on full speed on this race—and in constant action in serving the youth of today. The 21-year-old is a public servant and proud of it. Describing herself as a “leader who listens,” she’s learned to pave her way in working for the government with her community in mind. As the SK Federation President of Taguig City, working together and hand in hand is her key to grow with her people. Her faith in our generation is palpable. “I want to let people know how important it is to empower the youth, as they are the future of our country,” Mary says. READ MORE HERE.
Sean Dandasan, UP Diliman
“The youth of today care so much that it hurts,” says Chalk BYM winner Sean. Advocating for the acceptance of non-traditional families, he himself knows the struggles of being a part of this set up all too well. To make a difference, this student jock acknowledges the pain—and steps up as a brave soul to inspire the change he wants to see. Inclusion isn’t just giving comfort when one wounds, but also a conscious effort to listen and be there for people. With social media forming bases for mutual friendships and connections, Sean considers that despite the varying opinions of the youth, we’re all, in a very special way, one big family here. It’s all about reaching out. READ MORE HERE.
Photographed by Ed Encelona
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Aldrin Ramos
Clothes by Forever 21, Penshoppe, and Mango
Makeup by Chuchie Ledesma, Angeline dela Cruz, Muriel Vega Perez
Hair by Jeff Valenzuela, Arthur Tolentino, Muriel Vega Perez
Video Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
Videography by Mismo Studio
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