The 11th National Congress for Veterinary Medicine Students (NCVMS) with the theme “Veterinary Students: Excellence and Camaraderie Gearing towards ASEAN Economic Integration” was recently held at the University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, North Cotabato.

The congress was participated in by eight veterinary colleges from all over the Philippines and only the Visayas State University delegates represented the Visayas. The six VSU delegates who took the challenge to march forward to venture beyond their comfort zones were: Dr. Melvin A. Bagot as the coach-adviser of the group, along with Mr. Carl Leonard Pradera (DVM-5), Ms. Nannette Joy Bercades (DVM-4), Mr. Edu Gelo Orig (DVM-4), Mr. Steven Tan (DVM-4), and Mr. Perkin Charles Ong (DVM-3).

The three-day congress kicked-off with a parade. The first day was filled with seminars about Asian integration and animal welfare, updates about swine breeding, nutrigenomics, understanding diversity, and scientific research presentations. The seminar-series imparted new knowledge on the advancement and updates of the current trend of the veterinary medicine field. The teambuilding activity followed which was geared towards building strong bonds among the participants and foster camaraderie.

The second day assessed the skills of the students in terms of communicating their thoughts through the different literary and academic quiz contests. Mr. Steven Tan placed 1st Runner Up in the extemporaneous speaking contest; Mr. Carl Leonard Pradera was the 1st Runner Up for the essay writing contest; Mr. Edu Gelo Orig came in 2nd Runner Up for the poster-making contest; and the VSU Team composed of Mr. Pradera, Ms. Nannette Joy Bercades, and Mr. Perkin Charles Ong finished 5th place in the national academic quiz contest.

Also, as part of cultural integration, the congress visited the Institute of Middle East and Asian Studies, which was a school and at the same time a mosque.

 The last day was aimed to promote community awareness and extension via the Anti-Rabies Vaccination drive held at Barangay Osias, Kabacan, North Cotabato.  In the said activity, application of the basic knowledge and principles were tested. It also taught the students how to be flexible and innovative in any situations.

During the congress, new officers were elected of whom Ms. Nannette Joy Bercades became the new Vice President for the Visayas of the National Executive Council.

The Congress was a wonderful experience for students to learn beyond the four corners of the classroom. Melvin A. Bagot/CVM