EV Kabataang OA finalist lands 3rd Place in the Nationals

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LOS BAÑOS ,Laguna - “Nakakakaba kasi first time ko pong sumali sa isang quiz bee competition and I am not only representing my school but also Region 8. So nakakatakot po kasi baka hindi ko ma-meet yung expectations ng mga tao sa akon.” I was nervous since it was my first time to join a quiz bee competition representing not only my school but also Region 8. It was terrifying because I might not meet everyone’s expectations., said Meryll when asked about how she felt representing the region in the national quiz competition.

Meryll Pedradoja, 4th year Agriculture student from the North West Samar State University (NwSSU), was hailed champion in the 2019 Eastern Visayas Search for the Regional Kabataang OA. She bested twenty-nine (29) other agriculture students from the regional quiz bee and became the representative of Region 8 for the Nationals. Read more: (http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati-8/news/10092019-0823/region-8-kabataang-oa-2019...)

Being the regional champion didn’t stop her from learning new things. “Iniba ko yung style ng pagrereview ko kasi hindi sapat na binabasa mo lang ng basta-basta at i-memorize. Kailagan mo talagang maintindihan at ma-absorb lahat nang theories na andoon sa Philippine National Standard (PNS).” I changed my style in reviewing because it is not enough when you just merely read and memorize. It must really be learned and understood especially the theories stated in the PNS. She thanked ATI-RTC 8’s OA Focal Person Ms. Graciel Gacutan and former DA-RFO8 OA Focal Person Dr. Carlos de la Cruz for helping during their reviews at NwSSU. She was also thankful for the references provided by her coaches especially on the PNS Organic Soil Amendments where many of the items in the difficult round were taken. She also appreciated her school coach and fellow Kabataang OA finalists for their support by giving her mock quizzes and questionnaires. She was equally thankful to the BSA Faculty and Staff from NwSSU.

“Nag-enjoy siyempre!” Of course I enjoyed! When asked about her experience during the National Competition. “Palagi ko kasing sinasabi sa sarili ko at classmates ko na 4th year na ako, ayoko kong i-stress ang sarili ko ng sobra rather I want to enjoy and embrace the moment na nakasama ako sa National” I always tell myself and my friends that I am already on my 4th year, I don’t want to stress myself that much and rather enjoy and embrace the moment that I was able to participate in the Nationals. She admits that she is competitive but said that she doesn’t want to deprive herself from the enjoyment and learnings she may experience and get during the competition. “Sobrang saya ko rin kasi naging close ko yung mga roommates ko during sa competition.” I was so happy because I got to be close with my roommates during the competition.

Fifteen (15) agriculture students from different state colleges and universities in the country represented their respective regions. The mechanics for the National competition was no different from the Regional Quiz Bee. Easy, Medium, and Hard Questions were asked and eliminations were made after every round. By the end of the competition, Meryll won the Third Place following the representative from Bicol Region on 2nd and CaLaBaRZon as the Champion.

At one point, Meryll admitted to be intimidated by her fellow contestants. She jokingly said that it would be okay for her to receive even a Certificate of Participation because for her, it was a huge possibility to lose. “Magagaling kasi lahat nang representative sa ibang Regions kaya unexpected talaga para sa akin ang manalo as 3rd Placer kaya nakakagulat na sobrang saya as in.” Other regional finalists were good that is why I was not expecting to get the 3rd Place. I was surprised and was very happy. After knowing she won, she was really thankful and acknowledged that God made her win possible.

As the Third Placer, Meryll wins Php 15,000.00 and a trophy. As a message to her fellow students who would like to participate in next year’s competition, she said, “Do not let yourself go into battle without any weapon. Always pray to God kasi iba si God kung mag-bless, umaapaw talaga.” Do not let yourself go into battle without any weapon. Always pray to God because when God blesses, it’s overflowing. She added that in every situation, do not TRY your best but DO your best. Because when you only try, you’re not doing it. She encourages the youth to do their best so that they won’t regret in the end. “Do not settle for enough. You won’t be able to know that you can do more.”

"Kabataang OA Quiz Bee" was adopted and implemented in the national level by the Agricultural Training Institute, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture. It was the brainchild of ATI Region IV-A, which aims to create awareness on organic agriculture in the youth sector. The activity was held on November 5, 2019 at the BSP International, Mt. Makiling, Los Banos, Laguna.