The role of the 'selfie generation' in building a better Philippines
Ours is a generation that loves to selfie. Ours is a generation that can be written in 140 characters or less. Ours is a generation that looks forward to notifications.
Admittedly, our generation breathes social media. The youth has been criticized for being too focused on the self rather than for others, coining the term, the me-generation. However, I disagree with this statement. Rather, I believe that it is through social media that one begins to understand the concept of a shared world, or the idea that our lives are interconnected in one way or another.
We all live in one world. We share the same values, culture and sentiments. We share the same resources, space, and wealth. We share the same country, the Philippines.
With recent events, the concept of a shared world has been more pronounced. If one person becomes too greedy with money, there will be those who will have less of it. If one person ignorantly throws his trash on the river, there will be those who will be harmed by it. What wrong decisions we choose now, inevitably harms the people around us.
In our country, many have made wrong choices and now, many more suffer because of it. We are faced with multiple problems in each sector of society that some people have given up hope in addressing them.
However, ours is a generation that was born at a time where these problems already existed. And ours is a generation that refuses to accept it. (READ: #TAYO11: Building the nation one youth organization at a time)
In this room, my fellow youth have made great strides in addressing decade-old problems. The idealism that flows in our veins is what drives us to carry out our advocacies. In each of our hearts is the dream of a better Philippines
In this shared world, we realize that we can provide the answers to these problems.
When faced with the lack of hospitals, we provide medical missions and free operations. With the lack of proper education, we provide assistance and mentorship. In facing discrimination against the marginalized, we provide guidance and aid. With the inadequacy of jobs in the provinces, we provide livelihood workshops. With the depletion of the environment, we harness support from the community. In facing the poor education on disaster preparedness, we organize trainings. In the absence of upholding children’s rights, we show concern and compassion. (See the full TAYO 11 winners here.)
Although the past has seen wrong choices made, the present are making right ones. The youth, fully understanding the concept of a shared world, are inflicting positive change. From the wrong choices made by others, we bank on these failures to provide solutions and build this nation. Although easier said than done, the motivation comes from the heart. With efforts like these coming from the youth, then a better Philippines is a dream not too far off from reality.
With my fellow finalists as testaments, let me rephrase my opening statement, ours is a generation that selfies with the community to tell their stories to others. Ours is a generation that writes project updates in 140 characters or less to encourage the people to join in our efforts and ours is a generation that awaits notifications from new partners and members.
I refuse to call this generation a me-generation but indulge me in changing it, as proven by the youth in this room today, in calling it a we-generation, or rather, a TAYO-generation, because ours is a generation that innovates and finds solutions for the welfare of this shared world, for the welfare of our country, the Philippines. – Rappler.com
Carla Cucueco is the Vice President of Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid, an organization that provides opportunities for educational growth to impoverished children in Payatas, Quezon City. Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid is one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations of 2013.
This speech was delivered by Cucueco in behalf of the TAYO 11 finalists and awardees in Malacanang Palace on Thursday, February 6. It was interpreted in sign language by John Maunes of Gualandi Volunteer Service.