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A Question to the Filipino Youths – Are You the Real Hope of the Philippine Nation?

“Ang kabataan ang pagasa ng bayan.” (The youth is the hope of the nation.) – Dr. Jose Rizal, Philippine National Hero

Quite a rhetoric statement by Jose Rizal if you will examine, but if taken literally, yes, it conveys the truth about the youth. When adults are done, the new generation whom were once youth, will take care of the country. So needless to say, that is how life cycle goes in this planet, in any country. The youth is the hope of their own nation for they will be next in line to rule, run, lead, and build the country. However, what makes the statement rhetoric is that not all youth can be trusted if it’s about shaping the nation in the near future. Even the then youths whom are now the adult citizens of the country, they lose the quality of being a “hope” of this nation.

Children Playing in a Park

You may or may not agree with me on this interpretation of mine but I believe there is one truth we can both agree with. And that is:

Hindi pa huli ang lahat. May pagasa pa tayong maasahan sa mga Pilipinong kabataan ngayon.

(It is never too late. There is still hope we can rely on to the Filipino youths of today.)

Youths Enjoying in a Game Zone

Progress in the Philippine society in terms of technology and economy among others has brought significant influence to the Filipino youth. For instance, the used of mobile phones is far different from what it is before the turn of the millennium. Today, not only are the adults are holding a phone but also the youth, particularly the high school and college students. While advancement in technology is there, the way students, whom are under the influence of smartphone contents and offerings, behave nowadays is somewhat alarming. With social media, online gaming, mobile apps, and unrestricted access to millions of websites, youth acts in a more dominant way. Sadly, they have this feeling of superiority among peers, parents, and the people around them – just because they have the information available to them without the need to ask somebody. A teen lecturing her mother about a new app but done in a “bastos” manner, not a new scenario these days.

Filipino Kid Browsing a TV Screen Alone

For parents, I am pretty sure you can easily answer this question: How much time does your son or daughter spend on his or her smartphone? One hour. Three. All night long.

Perhaps, many Filipino kids of today prefer to not to have dinner with their families on the same table, but rather choose to take his or her meal on the couch, sofa, in the room, or bench at the corner of the house together with his phone or tablet. The true Filipino values is slowly getting lost in many homes because of the technological disruptions brought about by this social media channels. Even if the Philippines is now among of the third-world countries enjoying the service of the internet, our kids longing for this engaging yet time-stealing way of socialization kills the good values we inherited from our ancestors.

Filipino Kids (in the far corner) Looking on a Smart Phone

Mean tweets, offensive comments, controversial posts, daring photos, fake news – whatever happens to our “mahinhin” and “magalang” values?

Do your children still knows how to say “Mano po” while politely grabbing the elder’s hand and gently touch it to his or her forehead? I don’t think this unique Filipino act of respect to the elders is still prevailing in many communities in the country these days. With the influence of social media, adult websites, and uncensored video sites, many of the Filipino youths are this rude or “bastos” to their parents. How much more if it’s to strangers?

But let’s be fair to every youth of the land. Filipino youths living with poor families and who rarely get to socialize with the online community are is some ways still leaning with those good manners and right conducts. Why is it so? It’s because they spend less to no time with social media or the internet in general and there’s lesser chance they could be fully grabbed of these true Filipino acts of kindness and respect. But then, there’s another problem. Many of the underprivileged youths are seen on the streets, public internet café’s, and shopping mall gaming zones looking for alternative treatments they don’t get at home. Let me explain this in a more sensible way.

Young Filipino Couple Dating

Because of the news aired on national television channels, which the youths get to see and hear, here comes that desire to if not totally get it but to at least get a chance to experience it. We’re speaking of the internet technology, the same social media channels, game apps, dating sites, and adult websites the privilege youths are able to access on a regular basis because they have the capacity to do so. Poor youths still find ways to learn things out of curiosity. They find themselves on internet shops doing whatever they like online, even if they should be inside the classroom during those hours.

Dota, PornTube, League of Legends, Counter Strike, etc.; parents, are you aware of these?

The terrible fact about this is that instead of using the money for foods or basic needs, it goes to the internet usage fee, more specifically for accessing prohibited sites, playing role-playing games, and watching non-sense videos. Have you been into an internet gaming shop where you can hear youths shouting, cursing, and throwing insults against each other just because of the game they play? If yes, then that alone proves the Filipino youth’s good values is already no longer in play. Those good values are meant to be left behind in the dust. And how about the “baon” that goes to e-load for phones?

The extent of this social disruption to the Filipino youths doesn’t yet ends there. If you will look around, the vandalism on walls, posts, and public and private properties is rampant. What the youths see online, they do it offline. And try to imagine this; gang wars, acts of robbery and theft, fraternity hazing, and public demonstrations, who are the ones involved? The youths of the land.

And there's an even worse effect. Filipino youths tend to date earlier resulting to unwanted pregnancies. Filipino girls become victims of rape, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and the like and this happens when they decided to meet in person the friend they get to know online. Many youths channel their frustration, hatred, and anger in social media. Some Filipino youths are falling victims of human trafficking, child molestation, and illegal drug trade just because of the unguided clicks they're doing online .

Vandalism Done by the Youth

You could have experienced riding a public utility vehicle where most of the passengers are youths, maybe highschool or college students. Seeing them loud, naughty, and rude is not at all a new scenario in public vehicles and places. Notice and they can speak whatever they like, be it a joke, profane language, or vulgar words. And what about that simple act of throwing garbage or litter in the trash can or bin, only a few kids do this nowadays. How sad it is for our dear Filipino youths.

Is this the kind of youth to whom we are going to entrust the future of this nation?

As I explore around the city and towns, to be fair, I can still see youths doing their thing. That being responsible, respectful, and with self-control over their actuations in public, those are still in the minds of many youths – at least for what I’ve seen. But certainly, innovations in technology inflict too much harm to the youth of the land. The old (and never-ending) problems of alcohol drinking, drug addiction, and bullying now have more allies – internet addiction, cyber bullying, social media bashing, online dating, subversive to parents, and lavish spending for gadgets and apps.

The way I see things going on is this. In-of-school or out-of-school youths, it doesn’t matter. Education alone cannot do anything if it’s about bringing back the good values to our youths losing to the wrong path.

Change has to happen!

Couldn’t these realities be changed or steered into something that will lessen the harms it is causing to our Filipino youths? Well, if I am to answer this, yes.

Filipino Youths Playing Soccer

It is still not too late. With imposition of discipline at home level, control and restriction in in the use of the internet and gadgets in the government level, cooperation and assistance from the local government, and enhancement of education curriculum of various learning institutions, we Filipinos can still bring back our full trust of hope to the now youths of the land. If curfews will help in some communities, we should support it. If banning websites will help, let there be a law to require internet café’s to drop the sites. If you parent can delay the giving of gadget like smartphone and tablet as birthday gift to your 5-year old child, please do it. If learning institutions can include the subject GMRC in the entire K-12 term, and in all semesters in the tertiary level, it may help alleviate the worsening situation. You too surely have a better idea.

Kids Playing in a Game Zone

While this is easier said than done, and that innovations in technology is quite impossible to be stopped, the real change should come from you – the youth. We understand your generation is when selfie, groupie, millennial, and OOTD terms come in. We believe technology can help you in a more positive and meaningful way. Keep in mind you will be the generation to fill government posts, executive chairs in private companies and organization, drive cars on the streets, teach lessons to the future youths after you, manage businesses, and transact with other nations. We still believe in you.

It is just that almost everybody is asking you this:

Are you the real hope of this nation?

Filipino Kid Helping Her Mother to Sell

About this Post
This post in whatever way is not intended to insult the Filipino youths. The intention is to tell the youth, especially those who are getting lost of the right path, that it is about time to change. While many youths could be victims of technological innovations, still, everybody has a role to play in this society for the youths to be guided right. Youths are certainly the hope of the Philippine nation, no question about it. But if we left youths on their own in exploring the vast amount of information available online, this may end up in tragedy - a nation led by unqualified leaders. Let us guide the youths of today for that will make a big difference to the hope of our nation. This post is brought to you by, a free education website for students and young and old learners.

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