Two Filipinos Make It to the Prestigious 'Young Explorers' of National Geographic Society

An Igorot and a farmer made it to the list.

Two Filipinos made it to the list of the National Geographic Society’s 2020 Young Explorers, an annual gathering of the brightest young leaders from around the world. Since 1888, the National Geographic Society has brought together extraordinary individuals from around the world who have extraordinary stories to tell. Among them are two Filipino young leaders: Josefa Tauli and Louise Mabulo.

Josefa Tauli, 25, is a Kangkanaey-Igorot from the Cordilleras. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, which is the youth’s platform of participation in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Her advocacies center on youth participation in environmental planning and Indigenous People’s rights.

"I feel very excited and privileged to have been given the support by National Geographic to continue forward with the causes close to my heart. I'm also really looking forward to connecting with and learning from fellow youth who are all doing very inspiring work," Taul tells ABS-CBN.


Louise Mabulo, 22, is a farmer, chef, and entrepreneur. She founded the Cacao Project, a social enterprise that helps farmers attain sustainable and profitable livelihoods. Her project helps ensure food security and establish resilient livelihoods. Mabulo is also the host of an online cooking show titled Simply Sarap, which promotes cultural diplomacy. It is co-produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

“It is an absolute privilege to be recognized by National Geographic Society for this honor—knowing that they align with our vision and are here to support me through it. It’s extremely reaffirming,” Mabulo tells ABS-CBN.


Young Explorers Selection Criteria

According to the National Geographic Society, the 24 Young Explorers from 15 countries are between 17 and 25 years old, and are on the frontlines of the most complex and urgent issues of our time. The representatives have diverse backgrounds and ideas. 

“Young people have the courage to tell the truth,” says National Geographic photographer Markus Martinez Burman. “It is in our shared empathy and energy that we find unity and strength.”

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According to National Geographic, it selects Young Explorers based on a number of criteria. National Geographic Young Explorers are leaders, problem solvers, informed, curious, and capable individuals who are committed to making the world a better place.

The Young Explorers must have a sense of responsibility and respect for other people, cultures, and the natural world, and is empowered to make a difference, pursue bold ideas, and persist in the face of challenges. 

They must also observe, document, and engage with the world around them, telling stories that inspire others. They are committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their respective fields, and create and foster a global community committed to a sustainable future.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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