Listen, it’s our Turn.

24 08 2009

“Let our voice be heard;” that is the youth’s battle cry in the present day Filipino society where, despite the modern times and the technological breakthroughs, they are still considered a minority. Sad as it may seem, the youth, who holds almost 40% of the nation’s population, seem to not have a voice in how their country is being run and by whom. Those and many other discriminatory notions associated with age are about to be dispelled by a number of non-partisan youth leaders who are encouraging the youth to register and to actively take part in the upcoming 2010 elections through responsible voting. They call themselves the First Time Voters (FTV) Network. Like a spider web of advocacies, FTV has recently reached the islands of the Visayas and are beginning to reach out to the idealistic minds of the Ilonggos.

Gone were the days when the youth allowed themselves to be exploited and be prodded upon by “conscientious” adults towards the practical way of living. The youth no longer wants to be discriminated for their lack of experience or for their tender age. It is in fact these same reasons why their opinions should matter. As a member of the youth, my inexperience and my tender age are what make my ideals unbiased. My primary concern is not the material benefit I will gain from a decision. I could care less for the money I may gain from corruption, and I certainly will not use my present economic situation to manipulate another person to my benefit. We don’t believe that change is impossible. We just believe that its time for the older generation to accept that they did not make such a nice job of making a better country when they allowed themselves to be bribed, when they used their connections to get things done or when they told their children that being idealistic equates to being nonsensical. We we’re those children once. But now, we are part of those who can decide who will be running the country and it is time for our “impractical” ideas to be implemented since the practical way of choosing between the lesser of two evils hadn’t seem to work for several generations now.

Young Filipinos, take a stand. Your one vote counts. All 27 million youths, when believing earnestly that their one vote will count, is equal to 27 million idealistic, unbiased and uncorrupt votes. That is enough to make a candidate win. Register for the elections, come May 2010 vote responsibly, and make a difference.

— Ana Gella Opong (FTV Iloilo)

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