Beyond Borders: My Vibrant Journey at the 19th Asia Pacific Regional Rotaract Conference in Seoul

By PDRR Christian de Borja | Posted on November 29, 2023

Last November 2-5, 2023, I embarked on an exhilarating journey as a delegate at the 19th Asia Pacific Regional Rotaract Conference (APRRC) held in Seoul, South Korea. The experience was nothing short of amazing, filled with leadership insights, cultural exchange, and unforgettable moments that redefined my Rotaract journey.

The conference kicked off with a dynamic leader’s meeting, where District Rotaract Representatives, National Representatives, and regional leaders gathered to discuss pivotal matters. The highlight was the voting for the host country of APRRC 2025, which, to the delight of all, was awarded to the Rotaract Clubs of Mongolia, District 3450. The energy was infectious, setting the tone for the exciting days ahead.

Day 1 concluded with a spectacular welcome dinner at the King’s Vacation on the 31st floor of Seoul Dragon City. The lavish dinner, overflowing drinks, and engaging networking game fostered camaraderie among attendees, creating an atmosphere of unity and friendship.

The following day saw the ceremonial flag procession and inspiring speeches from distinguished leaders, including Oh Se-hoon, the mayor of Seoul, and Mr. Oh Joon, a UN ambassador. Our very own Past Pilipinas and Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIO Chair PDRR Louie de Real shared updates on Rotaract, and country representatives showcased their achievements, with DRR Nikki Parlade delivering the opening remarks for the Philippines.

Public Image and Branding Workshop

The afternoon brought breakout sessions, with yours truly moderating the Public Image and Branding Session, together with PDRR Divagaran Kalaivanan of District 3310, and PP JN Vianney Dagandan, from District 3860. Both of them are part of the Public Image Committee of the Asia Pacific Rotaract MDIO. 

Simultaneously, the other session delved into Global Grants and International Service, showcasing our commitment to making a global impact.

Post-breakouts, a cultural workshop unfolded, featuring a crash course in K-Pop Dance and handmade stamp making, a delightful immersion into Korean culture.

The conference hall’s corridor later transformed into a lively showcase of Asia-Pacific culture, featuring delectable foods and treats from various countries participating in the Rotaract Festival. This provided a perfect opportunity to highlight the diverse cultures, traditions, and delicacies unique to each nation.

Later in the evening, attendees were treated to an exquisite 5-course fine dining experience. The much-anticipated Mr. and Ms. APRRC competition took center stage, with PP Jan Kristian Bisagas of the Rotaract Club of Lucena Circle, District 3820, and PE Summer Bonifacio of the Rotaract Club of Manila, District 3810, proudly representing the Philippines. Adding to the festive atmosphere, Philippine delegates showcased their vibrant spirit by dancing to the tune of “Haypa” during the Country Presentation. The Philippines emerged triumphant, with PE Summer Bonifacio crowned as Miss APRRC 2023, and the country securing 3rd Place for the Country Presentation.

Day 3 offered a unique experience as delegates embarked on different tours, exploring the beauty of Seoul and its surroundings. The fellowship dinner marked the conference’s closing, bringing together Rotaractors for a final celebration of shared experiences.

In reflection, the 19th APRRC was not just a conference but a celebration of the Rotaract spirit. The conference truly “Awakened my Identity” as it provided a platform to connect with Rotaractors from diverse backgrounds, turning virtual connections into real friendships. As I return home, I carry with me the memories of this incredible adventure and the anticipation of future APRRCs, where the Rotaract community will continue to thrive, learn, and grow together.

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