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“Youth is the hope of the Fatherland,” was quite a strange adage I used to hear about. So vague it was for me that I did not even care why Rizal made such a statement. Perhaps, my childhood made feel passive about everything that was fed of me without trying to ponder on it. Not until I reached high school did I understand a little about being a responsible citizen. I began learning different matters regarding current issues which greatly concerned Filipinos. I gradually absorbed the essence of Rizal’s aphorism—realizing my worth in this society. I appreciated my opportunity of having education. I valued every moment I was in school and imbibed a lot of knowledge that were beneficial in creating a better person in me.
When I entered college, it was a good chance for me to realize my passion to serve. Being in the course BS Development Communication changed my perspective in helping people: to serve people is to help them help themselves. I began venturing journalism class. I found it helpful because if ever I graduated with such a degree, I would have the edge to serve better—responsibly, even. I will not allow myself to be victimized by bribery and threats. No matter what it takes, I will serve the truth that every Filipino should know about.
I believe that every youth could contribute to the development of the country by just doing what he is called to do–as long as it does not harm anybody. In my case, I would use the influence of writing to educate, to infuse values, to inform people of the societal issues, to suggest reasonable solutions to existing problems and to lead every Filipino towards understanding one another.
More so, having turned nineteen, I would wholeheartedly practice my suffrage in the coming 2010 elections. Voting responsibly and wisely will eventually foster the country. Having a good leader that will manage the entire state is indeed an advantage. To have such, we must take a wise and collective effort of choosing. Let us not sell our precious votes for a certain price or means: remember that the consequence of our decisions will far outweigh these short-term supplements.
How can we say that we have a progressive nation? Is it by having an economic development? Probably, it is just a factor. Meaning, it is just a contributory component towards national development. We must also consider the preservation of our culture, patronizing of local goods, conservation of natural resources, healthy socialization and the like.
As youth, we can preserve our culture through practicing our Filipino values and customs such as using “po” and “opo” in talking to the elderly, accepting visitors cordially and obeying our parents. We must always assume that we are the best role models; hence, we may be obliged to do rightful actions for the younger ones to follow.
Since the greatest percentage of the country’s population is the youth, why don’t we take initiatives in promoting our local industries? Let us patronize the Filipino products so as to promote our goods—to boost our economy. If this happens, there will be more jobs and livelihood opportunities waiting for Filipino workers in the country. Furthermore, the Philippine work force will be strengthened.
In nation building, it is necessary that we respect and love our countrymen. No matter what religion we are in, customs we practice, languages we speak; let us consider that we are from one race.
To be honest, I used to speak vulgar and hurtful words about and towards others. My frankness sometimes tends to be irrational to the extent that I almost lost etiquette. I know that being so unethical in communicating is a dangerous manner. I could lose friends or worse, destroy people. By pondering on such matter, I realized that I should mellow down. Those usual arguments regarding religious beliefs which led me to discriminate and stereotype people ironically changed my outlook in life. It became clear to me that religion has nothing to do with the way you act: it is your relationship with God that will suggest what you are.
If every Filipino would consider this thought, definitely the nation will advance farther. There would be more understanding among us; therefore, we can work undividedly for the betterment of our country.
Inasmuch as we love our nation, we should also protect our natural resources. Again, as a youth and a future journalist, I would advocate in my writing the preservation of our environment. I will not just inform every body about preventing pollutions, managing the ecosystem properly and reviving the destroyed natural resources, I will act on them as well.
These things are simple gestures that the youth could do. We may have our own individualities; still we can make for a better nation. All we have to do is to use our differences and various capabilities to complement a collective effort towards development. Let us be active. Let us be the instrument of progress. Let us be—the catalysts of change.

by Ronald Cena

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