(On My Very First Time to Participate Vital Societal Activities)
“Kabataang Lumalaban, Makabayan… Cha-Cha ni Gloria, Ibasura!”
These were just one of the first yells I have spurted out from my heart on my first year as a college student and as an Iskolar ng Bayan during the launching of the Kabataan Kontra Cha-Cha Campaign in Cebu, last July 10, 2009, at Metro Colon.
Since I was a kid, I have always dreamt of actively participating in youth and societal activities that aim for reforms and for the promotion of the general welfare. I have always wanted to share my time with my fellow youths and Filipinos whom I have seen on TV’s, heard on radios, and read and seen on newspapers and in the web.
Truly, this is one of the reasons why I came to study here in Cebu, University of the Philippines in particular, where I believe I could achieve such dream and air my sentiments and the sentiments of my fellow Filipino youths.
However, my academic responsibilities had once agitated my mind not to pursue such goal. I have also been actively participating in every activity during my high school years especially that the students gave me the mandate to lead them and represent them to the higher implementing bodies in our institution. On the other hand, this active participation of mine brought a little damage to my part like being stressful and being hospitalized twice. This is why, weeks before I became Isko, I thought of putting myself into the state of low-activism when it comes to serving the students and serving the people. Nevertheless, my heart still dictates me to continue joining youth organizations and serving my countrymen.
Being active in youth and societal activities where I could serve the people, for me, is a great fulfillment in life that cannot be bought by a single centavo. It is through this manner that a youth could obtain true happiness that he or she hardly seeks in his or her teenage life. It is very fulfilling, especially to see, that our fellow citizens have benefited from us who sacrifice our time, who get out from our comfort zones, who toil perspiring with the sweat of true labor, service and love trickling down our skin, and who shout at the top of our lungs for the voices of the oppressed to be heard. One cannot attain such genuine happiness only from studying, reading, playing computer games, and other personal activities.
A youth is ungrateful if he or she only sits at a corner while other youths, inspired by past generations, join the people in airing their concerns, in taking actions for societal reforms, or in serving the countrymen.
Many remarkable events of the youth and the people concerned throughout the Philippine history have passed which have been successful because of their participation. To think, these events have kept us, the children of the past generations, alive with much freedom that was once robbed from our beloved parents and grandparents. Thus, it is our responsibility and privilege as rescued youths to continue the works begun by the past generations that has changed the once dying Philippine democratic society under a dictatorial rule.
Afraid? What happened to the active youth during the past Martial Law and until today should not intimidate us to exercise our right to participate in studying and solving issues that would affect our lives.
Instead, this should make us afraid that this might happen unto us if we allow the oppressors to maltreat us and to trample our rights, that is, without taking courses of actions or simply being apathetic amidst the issues.
After the event, I thought that everything was and is God’s Will for me. I now believe that God really wanted me to continue the mission he gave to me which is to serve the humanity and all of His creations – a reason why my heart keeps on inspiring me to engage myself into public service. I am bound to be God’s instrument of peace and love wherein, in order to do this, I am also bound to be a public servant regardless of my age and other factors. Moreover, in this vast world, many people are also called to serve like me. Everyone has potential to be hero of his or her generation.
My first public statement? “Ang Cha-Cha ni Gloria ay mas masahol pa sa Careless Whisper…”