On 24 September 2018, the MARITIME LAW ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (MARLAW) launched its First Nationwide Essay Writing Contest among bona fide law students in the Philippines which focused on the issues concerning the West Philippine Sea.

MARLAW wishes to congratulate all the law students from various law schools from all over the Philippines who participated and submitted their respective essay entries on-line.  With the deluge of entries, each of which presenting intelligent and persuasive discourse on the topics, the Judges had to work over-time in selecting the winners because so many deserve to win. Hence, MARLAW had to make some adjustments in the announcement of winners.

After a painstaking and meticulous judging process, MARLAW, with great pride, hereby announces the 10 winners.


Rank Names of Winners Year Level Law School Title of Essays
1 First Prize Stephen Levie Niño Saavedra 3rd Year University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City GOING INTO THE HEART OF THE MATTER: THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA DISPUTE AND WHAT WE CAN DO
2 Second Prize Ricka Abigael R. Dumelod 2nd Year University of Sto. Tomas, Sampaloc Manila


3 Third Prize Roland T. Redoble 1st Year University of Perpetual Help System, Las Pinas City


4 Runner-Up Danielle RJ L. Macatulad 3rd Year University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
5 Consolation Prize Carlota Nicolas Villaroman 3rd Year San Beda University, Mendiola The Ruling that Could Be
6 Consolation Prize Juralyn Lilian A. Obra 3rd Year University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City The Art of Disputes
7 Consolation Prize Harlene Kaye Dayag Taguinod 4th Year Cagayan State University, Andrews Campus, Cagayan Valley Voyage Through Bottomless Waters: A Country’s Faith on a Passage of Voided Promises
8 Consolation Prize GLADDEN GRACE T. TUNGALA 1st Year Aklan Catholic College, Kalibo Aklan The Whys in our Seas
9 Consolation Prize Joshua L. Monsanto 1st Year University of San Carlos, Cebu City Who Remembers Sierra Madre?
10 Consolation Prize Bryan Mendoza Santos 1st Year Arellano University, Pasay City Moral Courage Over Physical Witness


The Winning Essays can be read by clicking on their respective Titles.

The First Placer shall receive a cash prize of P30,000.00, sponsored by MARLAW Past President Atty. BENJAMIN BACORRO and P10,000.00 worth of gift checks from Rex Bookstore. The Second Placer shall receive a cash prize of P15,000.00 from MARLAW plus P4,000.00 worth of Gift Checks from Rex Bookstore. The Third Placer shall receive a cash Prize of P10,000.00 from MARLAW plus PP3,000.00 worth of Gift Checks from Rex Bookstore while the Runner-Up will receive a cash Prize of P5,000.00  from MARLAW plus P2,000.00 worth of Gift Checks from Rex Bookstore.  Each winner for the Consolation Prize shall receive P1,000.00 worth of Gift check from Rex Bookstore. Certificates will also be awarded to the Winners. MARLAW shall contact the winners on how to claim their prizes.

MARLAW would like to thank MARLAW Past President ATTY. BENJAMIN BACORRO, Partner at Ortega, Bacorro, Odulio, Calma & Carbonell located at ALPAP 140 L. P. Leviste Street Makati City for generously sponsoring the Cash Prize of P30,000.00 for the Frist Placer and Rex Bookstore for sponsoring P25,000.00 worth of Gift checks for the 10 winners. Your respective sponsorships will certainly go a long way to help our law students. May God Bless you more.

MARLAW would also like to thank the MARLAW Past Presidents ATTY. ANTONIO VELICARIA and ATTY. FRANCIS EGENIAS, partners in the VELICARIA and EGENIAS LAW OFFICES located at 121 Alfaro St.  Salcedo Village Makati City, who served as Judges for the MARLAW Essay Writing Contest. While it is truly enjoyable to read each of the Essay Entries, it is not easy to select which among them should win since all entries are equally deserving.  May God Bless you more.

MARLAW would also like to express its heartfelt thanks to all the Law School Deans and Law Professors who helped in the promotion of the Contest and encouraged their students to join. Special thanks is also given to the Philippine Star and Bandera, who served as our Media Partners and MARLAW member  Atty. Omar U. Obias, and Marlaw Friends  Mr. Ervin Santiago, Ms. Carmela Jocelyn Tarroja and Ms. Anna Y. Lucas of  Crimxon Innovations, Inc. who helped  in the promotional campaign for the Contest.

MARLAW would like to thank all the members of its Board of Trustees headed by its Chairman Atty. Dennis Gorecho and all the members of its Executive Officers, with special mention to Atty. Maria Trinidad P. Villareal, Atty. Emmanuel, Buenaventura, Atty. Elma Christine R. Leogardo, Atty. Denise Luis Cabanos, Atty. Manuel Peña, Atty. Earl Louie Masacayan and Atty. Ian Malilong, and all the others for taking the extra mile in ensuring the success of the Essay Writing Contest.

To all the law students who participated and submitted their entries, please accept our sincerest thanks for joining. We congratulate each one of you for your bravery in expressing your thoughts and opinions and sharing them to us. They will certainly serve as catalysts in shaping our country’s position in the various issues and battles that we will face concerning the West Philippine Sea. It is our sincere wish that you will join and lead our organization when you become full-fledged lawyers in future.

Thanks to everyone who have contributed to the success of the Essay Writing Contest. May God bless you all.

Most of all, may God bless our country, especially in our journey as a people, in protecting and enforcing our rights and entitlements in the West Philippine Sea.


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