In the realm of academic brilliance, one shining star emerges: Mr. Brent Vesagas from the University of Baguio’s School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts – BA Political Science Program. His recent accomplishment at AVISOC 2023, the ASEAN Virtual Student Opinion Competition, not only brought acclaim to himself but also cast a radiant spotlight on his university’s enduring legacy of excellence.
Notably, the BA Political Science Program at the University of Baguio continues to make waves in AVISOC events. Last year, Ms. Ghea Lyennette Calawa, a student from the same program, secured 3rd place in AVISOC 2022, a testament to the consistent excellence fostered within the institution.
Proudly hosted by prestigious educational institutions across Southeast Asia—Universitas Brawijaya (Indonesia), Universiti Utara Malaysia (Malaysia), Burapha University (Thailand), Tarlac Agricultural University (Philippines), and the SEAMEO Center for Lifelong Learning (Vietnam)—AVISOC 2023 marks the 3rd iteration of this esteemed ASEAN-wide competition.
This prestigious platform challenges university students to articulate their perspectives on global issues through articulate articles or captivating posters. Drawing 749 participants from 9 countries in Southeast Asia, the event showcased the tenacity and talent of undergraduate and bachelor’s degree students from various universities, all vying for the coveted medals and certificates of achievement.
Among this gathering of bright minds, Mr. Brent Vesagas shone brilliantly, securing the silver medal in the Opinion Article Division with his article titled “Equilibrating Freedom of Speech and Human Decency.” His piece explored pivotal instances in the Philippines that probed the delicate balance between freedom of expression and societal decorum.
Examining the suspension of the popular TV show “It’s Showtime!” due to alleged sexually explicit content and the controversial declaration of Persona Non-Grata against drag artist Pura Luka Vega in 11 localities, Mr. Vesagas navigated the complexities of individual expression within societal norms, sparking essential discourse on cultural, ethical, and religious sensitivities.
These cases incited fundamental questions, emphasizing the imperative need for constructive dialogue and empathy to cultivate harmony within diverse communities. AVISOC 2023 transcends being a mere platform for achievers; it stands as a celebration of the intellectual prowess and ingenuity of ASEAN’s burgeoning minds.
We laud Mr. Brent Vesagas for his outstanding achievement and extend gratitude to all participants. AVISOC 2023 serves as a testament to the power of ideas, the valor of intellectual discourse, and the resolute dedication of our students to forge a more inclusive, understanding, and harmonious future.
Written by Beverly B. Laltoog