Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Part 3 of a series

The Revolution of the Filipino Youth Part III

I believe it is high time for real change to happen in our country. As I have written a few months back, I believe the youth today should start the Revolution of the Filipino Youth. We shall echo the call of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy and various personalities who said that what we truly need today is CHAracter CHAnge. Even with all the changes we will make in our laws, if we as a people do not change, then it is a useless exercise. It is time for us to break the stigma of being nominal Christians (or being called Christians by name alone). The future of our country is at stake but it is also within our hands.

A few months back when I wrote an article calling for the Revolution of the Filipino Youth, I received alot of emails asking me on how to proceed. Honestly, at that time, I didn't have any idea on how to proceed. I wrote that letter hoping to gauge whether there are still like-minded Filipinos out there who feel the same way to our country.

Now with the 2007 elections approaching, I believe I have found some answers. There are already countless individuals and organizations out there that are trying to create the change needed to turn our country's fortunes. I have met Alexander Lacson who wrote the book "The 12 Little Things Every Filipino can do to help our Country." The book is an inspiring to-do list, simple steps that everybody can do to HELP the country. I have read about and interacted with Gawad Kalinga, WorldVision International, Habitat for Humanity, CRIBS, and a host of other organizations that are providing special care and support to every Filipino in their little communities.

I believe it is high time that the Philippine media explore the excellent examples of these individuals and organizations to amplify what the government can learn from and what every Filipino can do in their own little way.

I have met Gen. Manuel Mariano, former chief of the AFP Logistics Command, who wrote a wonderful book entitled "The Power of Reform: In the AFPLOGCOM, A true story." The book is a fitting example of how great leadership and true "political" will can stamp out graft and corruption in the government. If only Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia read his predecessor's book, he would not have been in the mess he is in right now.I believe the Philippines can rise up again from the ashes. Thirty years ago, we were 2nd only to Japan in terms of economic might. Today, even Vietnam is receiving more foreign investments and growing at a remarkably faster and higher pace.

But I believe the Filipino is only lost, we can find our way again. We need only a few good men (and women) to lead the way. I believe the Filipino Youth can take up this challenge in ensuring that only credible and honest candidates are elected to office this coming May 14, 2007 elections. I believe it is easy to see through the insincerity of some candidates.

Emilio Aguinaldo became our first president at the very young age of 29. Andres Bonifacio was also 29 when he started to organize the Katipunan. Emilio Jacinto, the brains of the Katipunan, was only 21 when he joined the Philippine revolution against Spain. And the list goes on...

Our national hero, Jose P. Rizal, died for the country at the young age of 35. His death provided great momentum to the cause for Philippine Independence which was briefly attained in 1898.

As a young Filipino today, I believe we can do better and more. Rizal only had a pen and a paper. And looked at what he achieved.

As a young Filipno today, with all the tools that modern technology has brought, I believe I can do more. Think of it - Jose Rizal with his mobile phone, laptop and Figaro coffee... How many more books or articles could he have written? How many more revolutions he could ignite?

Think of it - Andres Bonifacio or Emilio Aguinaldo with all the modern military technology, with the support of hundreds of thousands of troops, how many more battles could they win?

Think of it - The Katipunan with their laptops, and the Internet, they could win wars by a single keystroke? The examples shown by young Filipinos in our history are rich and creative examples of how we, the country's youth, can effectively bring about the change needed today. Jose Rizal lived in an age without the amenities and technology that our times can bring. I believe we can obviously do better and more.

What is being asked of us today is a little of our time, a little of our resources, and a little of ourselves in helping transform Philippine society.

In the 1980s, Mother Teresa said "If you want to help other people, do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person."In 1977, Ninoy Aquino said "In this age of darkness, there are two ways of spreading light. You may either be a candle, or the mirror that reflects the light." I will even go further, you can also be the candle-maker or the mirror-maker.

I believe there are countless ways that the Filipino can do it. But first things first, we have to change ourselves. We have to start it ourselves in order to lead the way for others.

If you are a young teacher in a public elementary school, make sure that you instill the values of nationalism, discipline and justice to your pupils. If you are a student, make sure that you follow the law, study well, and always respect your parents. If you are a young entrepreneur, make sure that you pay your taxes and employees well.

The strength of a nation depends on the strength of its people. Be it physical, financial, or mental strength. A people that is disciplined and law-abiding can build a strong nation much like what Singapore and South Korea did over 20 or 30 years ago. A people that elects the right leaders provide avenues for sustained economic growth. That in turn, ensures a functioning democracy.

I believe Good Citizenship is the answer as well. But an ACTIVE Good Citizenship is the more appropriate term. Alot of us tend to just agree and actually do nothing about it. Time for that has passed. Our present condition, which I likened to a dying man on his deathbed, calls us for national action. The Filipino Youth should become the active positive political force in the country. Let's step up then and do our share.

I believe the Filipino Can Do It!P.S. Here's a list of various organizations helping create the change needed today: Hands On Manila, Angels Home of the Foundation of our Lady of Peace Mission, Bahay Lingap-San Lazaro Hospital, Center for Environmental Awareness and Education (CEAE), ChildHope Asia Philippines (CHAP), Circle of Friends Foundation Inc. (COFFI), Clean and Green Foundation Inc. (CGFI), Coalitition of Services for the Elderly Inc. (COSE), Entrepreneur Volunteer Assistance Charity Foundation (EVA) Service, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), Holy Family Home Makati Foundation, INTEL Computer Clubhouse, In Touch Community Services Inc., Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF), KYTHE Inc., Museo Pambata Foundation Inc., Museum Foundation of the Philippines Inc., My Zoo Volunteer, Pasig Medical and Maternity Hospital Foundation Inc. (PMMHF), Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Inc. (TWHI), Tuloy Foundation Inc., Virlanie Foundation, White Cross Children's Home, Winner Foundation, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Linis Ganda Foundation, Bantay Bata 163, Books for the Barangays, Center for Family Ministries, Philippine Band of Mercy, Belen sa Pasay, Philippine Educational Theater Association, Love the Children Foundation (Davao), and a host of other established organizations like the International Red Cross, Gawad Kalinga, WorldVision International, GoNegosyo and others.

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