NEW BREED: THE YOUTH LEADS THE CHARGE IN TAKING BACK THE PROMISED LAND WITH GRIT, PURPOSE, AND POWER
A new generation of leaders, fighters, and dream weavers have risen from the ashes burned by the past few years, and they're coming in strong with a blazing fire for change and progress in the world they are going to inherit. In this issue of The Feed, we look at the individuals, groups, and initiatives leading the movement towards a more inclusive, representative, and unified Philippines.
Each generation has had a pivotal moment of realized identity throughout recent history, with wars, revolutions, and distinct ideologies forever marking their place in society and what they bring to the socio-cultural landscape of the country. These are identifiers that have shaped how they were perceived by the rest of Philippine society across generations, from our ancestors who overthrew a corrupt government, to our predecessors who established game-changing industries and institutions. Each generation has brought something new and remarkable to the table, and this next one’s not any different.
These days of constant threat to our freedom, rights, and dignity are the very birthing grounds in which a new generation of Filipinos are taking flight—unafraid, unabashed, and wholly unstoppable.
For the past few years, young people have taken up a more involved place in modern society with youth-organized movements and outspoken individuals leading the fight while juggling course requirements and office work with their advocacies. As the world as we know it rapidly change and evolve into unfamiliar landscapes of terror and manipulation, young people have been observing, learning, and brewing their time until that pivotal moment finally erupts. And it just did.
More and more, we’re seeing young people assert themselves into making a difference in today’s world, especially as they assume responsibility over the mishaps and shortcomings of generations that came before them. The youth has been growing to be more outspoken and active in what goes on in our country even before disaster struck through the pandemic, but it has definitely met new levels in the past year we’ve spent cooped up inside and left to our own devices.
It’s almost as if all the external pressure and stimulation of constant devastating news have fueled young people all the more to go out into the world and do something. Make a change, save a life, and right the wrongs.
This is all the more evident the moment one steps into the youth’s turf and home territory: social media.
Daily trending topics always have at least one socio-political issue in its midst, with digital natives promulgating messages of justice, peace, and information through eye-catching memes, visually-pleasing infographics, and easy-to-digest history and society lessons via TikTok. Empowered by their digital prowess, young people have made information more accessible to each other, and therefore more effective in gathering peers towards advocacies and movements that define this generation.
The community pantry initiative is also a beautiful display of what a young person can do. From an unassuming cart of resources simply left in the streets unattended for people who might need it, a massive grassroots movement has erupted and expanded to different parts of the country, with the sole intention of helping fellow Filipinos out. The project was started by Ana Patricia Non, a small business owner in Quezon City, and has reached tremendous heights thanks to social media’s amplification, and other young people’s initiatives to start pantries for their own immediate communities.
Image of Ana Patricia Non of the Maginhawa Community Pantry that started it all. Via Patreng Non, FB.
Photo by Anjo Lapresca. Via Patreng Non, FB.
Moreover, perhaps one of the most fundamental exercises of the youth’s power is the resounding call to register and vote. As the Philippines prepares for next year’s national elections, the campaign to recruit even more new voters is intensified, with only four months left for voter registration. Vote Pilipinas, a one-stop-site for everything one needs to know about the upcoming elections, is leading this campaign with digestible content for new voters to easily understand.
Several youth-led organizations have also been rolling out their own campaigns to raise awareness on voting, and other crucial national updates. Similar to Vote Pilipinas’ well-designed content, orgs like Kids For Kids, For the Future, Pagbago.ph, Saligph, and so much more, are using eye-catching aesthetics and visually-pleasing forms of content to deliver relevant news and information, and educate young minds in society.
Via KidsForFuturePH, Instagram.
This issue of The Feed is all about young people taking charge and making waves—not just in politics and social issues, but in the arts and creative spaces as well. As highlighted by the aforementioned organizations, creativity plays a big role in the youth’s reverberating voice and identity, especially when it comes to expressions of the self and the world around them.
Our cover personality feature is Kelvin Miranda, a promising young actor with less than two years of experience under his belt. He made a mark in the local film and television stratosphere through his portrayal of genius wallflower Mark Sta. Maria in 2019 Netflix Original Film, Dead Kids, and has since starred in GMA News and Public Affairs’, now more popularly known as GTV’s recent romantic fantasy series, The Lost Recipe.
What makes the 22-year old stand out among his peers is his raw understanding of what it means to be an actor, and how his roles fit in the grand scheme of life and reality:
“Mas naintindihan ko yung mga bagay na akala ko’y maliit na bagay lang”, he shared*.* (“[Acting] gave me a deeper understanding on things that I thought didn’t mean much.”)
“Pero ang totoo masama man, mabuti, malaki o maliit, importante o hindi, kailangan natin pahalagahan dahil meron itong magandang idudulot sa atin pagdating ng panahon. Ito ang magtuturo sa’tin kung paano mamulat sa reyalidad, kung saan tayo lalakad.” (“But in truth, may it be good or bad, big or small, important or not, we need to value it because there’s still something good that could come out of it one day. [Acting] is what teaches me to open my eyes to the realities of this world in which we walk on.”)
This deep respect for the craft has allowed Miranda to redefine acting through his own talent and skill, while leaping off into new heights as one of this generation’s most gifted personalities in the entertainment industry.
Additionally, the mere act of creating art has also taken an entirely new life in the hands of young people. From means of self-expression to tools of widespread communication, artists have been at the forefront of amassing support among the youth, especially amidst this pandemic.
The list goes on in terms of accounting for each and every act of command and leadership that this generation has undertaken, and the best thing about it is that they’re just getting started.
Today’s youth have all the time in the world to commit actionable steps in changing our country, but they’ve taken up the urgency to do it now and with fervor. From the arts, to politics, to environmental causes, and to business ventures—this generation is non-stop when it comes to taking back what is rightfully ours, and painting a new world where each person is free, dignified, and utterly protected.
On the cover: Kelvin Miranda
Photographed by: Dix Perez
Grooming by: Nadynne Esguerra
Produced by: Leo Balante
Cover layout: Bhernn Saenz