Volunteers play big role in successful APEC Cebu meetings

Scary but fulfilling, challenging yet an opportunity. This was how young volunteers described their experience during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Cebu last September.

“I was with conference management services, assisting delegates during meetings and doing documentation. In my off time, I was working on my thesis so there was no time for sleep,” said Julli Anne Aurelia.

Despite the difficulty she encountered balancing her studies and obligations as an APEC volunteer, it was worth every hardship.

She understood that helping out in a high-profile event as the APEC Summit was an opportunity she wouldn’t be getting again anytime soon.

Aurelia is one of 238 mostly college students from the University of San Carlos, University of San Jose-Recoletos, and Cebu Normal University who offered to help out in the APEC Cebu meetings.

Doing his share

Another volunteer, Mark Angelo Noble, said he found it scary in the beginning as his tasks entailed disseminating meeting schedules and arranging accommodations and transport for delegates.

“I had to talk to ministers and other high-ranking government officials from APEC member-countries. I was afraid of doing something wrong at first, but the delegates were very easy to deal with,” he added.

What he found most fulfilling was the sense that he was doing his share in helping Cebu accomplish its goals during the high-profile economic gathering.

Noble, who was team lead for the registration committee, said that when the Cebu Provincial Government announced it was looking for volunteers, he immediately signed up for the job.

A perfect fit

Kaitlin Danielle Capacio, on the other hand, had a friend working at the Provincial Capitol who told her that the Province was looking people to help out in the Third Leaders’ Meeting and Related Meetings from August 22 to September 6, 2015 as well as the other APEC-related sessions after these.

She was assigned handle the needs of the media, both local and international, that covered the event.

Capacio said it was a perfect fit as she had her internship with a media company while in college.

“In college, I was a writer so I already have a general idea of what their needs are. I felt comfortable dealing with the media delegates,” she added.

Part of her tasks involved taking care of concerns like IDs, registration, and access to the meetings as well as transport and accommodations.