Filipino Student Wins International Essay Tilt

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and Mr. Chiden Balmes (left) during the awarding ceremonies.

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and Mr. Chiden Balmes (left) during the awarding ceremonies.

Filipino graduate student Chiden Balmes won the Prize of Excellence for the Japan Foreign Trade Council Inc. (JFTC) Essay Competition 2011. Balmes was among the top two entries from 186 submissions from 43 countries who joined the essay competition with the theme “Vision for a New Japan after 3.11.”

At the awarding ceremonies held last 06 January 2012 in Tokyo, Balmes won ¥200,000 for his essay titled “The Making of New Innovative Japan: Road Map to Great Recovery.”

Balmes is currently taking a masters course at the Catholic University of Korea. He also topped the 2007 batch of BS Public Administration of the University of the Philippines-Diliman when he graduated magna cum laude.

Nicole Brown of Jamaica won the Grand Prize of ¥1 million for her essay titled “Japan v3.11-Reclaiming the Date.”

Balmes’ prize-winning essay earned unanimous praise from JFTC Essay Competition selection committee members for “the clear, structured way in which the author [Balmes] frames his thoughts.” In his essay, the committee said that “he frames his argument by saying that Japan needs to become an ‘innovation superpower’, and compellingly outlines the potential Japan has in three areas: Entrepreneurial Japan; Green Japan; and Global Japan. He concludes his essay by positioning 3.11 as a major opportunity for Japan to the become the innovation superpower he proposes.”

The full text of Balmes’ essay may be accessed at the website of the JFTC:

http://www.jftc.or.jp/discourse/data2011/201102.pdf

The Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc. (JFTC) was founded in June 1947 as a core private-sector organization in the area of international trade with nationwide membership of private companies and organizations such as trading companies and organizations, manufacturers, financial institutions, shipping companies, and other companies and organizations with interests in international trade.

Mr. Chiden Balmes (4th from right) and Ambassador Lopez (3rd from right) are joined by Ms. Nicole Brown of Jamaica (4th from left) and Jamaican Ambassador Claudia Barnes (3rd from left) and JFTC Chairman Shohei Utsuda (2nd from right) and other JFTC officials.

Mr. Chiden Balmes (4th from right) and Ambassador Lopez (3rd from right) are joined by Ms. Nicole Brown of Jamaica (4th from left) and Jamaican Ambassador Claudia Barnes (3rd from left) and JFTC Chairman Shohei Utsuda (2nd from right) and other JFTC officials.