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Youth Power 2005 Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by LLOYDLUNA.com, Philippines Dec 8, 2004
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions


The youth is definitely not the hope of this nation.

Many people see me as courageous, but not as a radical youth leader. And for the past few years of being on the lead, which started in 2001 during my Engineering SPECTRUM experience, I see no point of being courageous without positive output at the end of the day. (SPECTRUM, by the way, is the Official Student Publication of PUP-College of Engineering, one of the finalists of the 2002 Catholic Mass Media Awards under my leadership.)

And still speaking of courage, I hardly recall Jose Rizal as one after having seen Alexander and Troy. Of course, there is a big difference between the local and the Western not to mention the way they portrayed bravery. Aside from difference generation, Rizal could not just get into the field and say “Hey Pinoys, sugod!”

But in the end, I salute our National Hero for being brilliant rather than just “brave.” Modesty aside in the case of Andres Bonifacio who himself idolized Rizal during that time. I acknowledge the Katipuneros effort, too.

But generation after generation since Rizal, I could also hardly see the sense of the youth being the “hope” of the Motherland, not because they are coward (which I really hope not) but because they don’t know where exactly the battle is. For me, such music is already out-of-tune. Where is the hope when there is no youth vote for example? Or where is the optimism where they don’t know when and how to use their power and put their noble endeavour to good use?

I believe that the youth has the power to change his generation and face the challenge of his time. Only that most of the time they know not the essence of the powers. And this is exactly where the problem was and is originating from—the venue.

Two years ago, when I was awarded the National Leadership Achievement Medal by the Knights of Rizal during its 40th National Rizal Youth Leadership Institute, I didn’t realize how important the award was until I woke up one day delivering talks on leadership trainings, facilitating team building activities, talking about nationhood and nation-building and getting into the deep of today’s youth media. “Malaki pala ang responsibilidad ko.” I told myself. Once in a while I see conferences and trainings venues to enhance my potentials. And going to these kind of events really works.

On the other end, Filipino youth today is more than a “biggest sector” of the society, which counts to roughly 25 million. I believe that it is the most “able” sector, which can impact a positive change and make a difference. I’m not surprise why the youth is considered as untapped resource of this country. One is because, “kung ako nga lately ko na lang na-realize ung part ko, e ‘yung iba pa kaya” and two the youth is yet to realize their personal contribution in building the nation (which I hope corporate entities out-there could do something about this).

Youth Power, that is. I cannot recall the last time I heard about this (or is there really such thing). People Power is very familiar to me or to anybody else who really believes in its sense. But for the youth, I don’t know why and how come. And perhaps I shouldn’t care at all since I am already secured with my social status or at least I have already experienced “enlightenment” about my purpose.

But courage brought me back where I should be. I need to give back to the community something out of the blessings I got and am getting. What this country needs is neither an iron hand nor a talkative mouth but a big heart to awaken the youth sector and make them realize their purpose.

I fervently believe that there are still some people out there who have such heart for the youth. And as another year marks its offing, there are more challenges and opportunities awaiting before the Filipino youth.

We are not the hope, but the realization of the hope itself.

Who made this country great were Rizal and other heroes who happened to be “young” people. That was Youth Power during their time. And we can make another Youth Power this time. It is hard, I know. But maybe not at all. You wanna bet?



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Lloyd A. Luna graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 2004. In 2001, he established the Network of Campus Journalists of the Philippines (NCJP). Fuelled by a passion for journalism, he was recognized by the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2002 and now writes for the three biggest national daily newspapers in the country (The Manila BULLETIN, The Philippine Daily INQUIRER and the Manila TIMES). At 21, he was awarded the Presidential Leadership Medal, the highest award given by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. He also works now as the Presidential Technical Assistant in the Office of the President in Malaca
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