By Herman M. Lagon
IT IS imperative that we delve into the perceived apathy of the Filipino youth, a demographic often under scrutiny for their alleged disengagement from socio-political concerns. Within a society grappling with economic hardships, social disparities, and political turmoil, the Filipino youth play a pivotal role. This generation faces a myriad of challenges, akin to a silent cancer that pervades our nation, gradually eroding its foundations. Yet, a number of youths appear oblivious or apathetic to these pressing issues, often dismissing warning signs and losing a sense of urgency amidst daily life’s clamor.
The peril of complacency and being “new to a point” poses a significant threat. Inaction and indifference inadvertently contribute to societal decline. To address this, our youth must awaken from this slumber and actively engage with the challenges at hand. The era of passive observation has passed.
Vigilance emerges as the key to liberating ourselves from the shackles of societal decay. Our youth must nurture heightened awareness of their surroundings, keenly observing the signs of trouble. By staying alert and well-informed, they empower themselves to take timely action and make a tangible difference. Through vigilance and participation, they can prevent issues from reaching a critical point.
Recognizing the signs of socio-political deterioration represents merely the first step. Our youth must transcend passive observation and take proactive measures to address these challenges. This requires a collective effort from everyone–the individuals, communities, and institutions. We must foster a culture of active citizenship, wherein everyone, especially the youth, plays a fundamental role in driving positive change.
To comprehend the perceived apathy of Filipino youth, we must consider their genuine context. The youth of today are not a homogenous group; they hail from diverse backgrounds and experiences. They are digital natives, intricately connected through the internet and social media, which both enhance and divert their engagement.
Contrary to stereotypes of apathy, however, many Filipino youths are actively involved in various socio-civic activities. They participate in electoral processes, registering to vote, and actively engaging in local and national elections. Moreover, they contribute to sociocivic activities by supporting organizations, making principled consumption choices, promoting worthwhile advocacies, organizing empowering events, and boycotting products that conflict with their beliefs.
Several factors influence youth participation, including gender, age, satisfaction with the current system, confidence in institutions, and a sense of pride in being Filipino. These factors significantly shape the extent of their engagement across various spheres.
The internet also plays a pivotal role in youth engagement, both positively and negatively. It can amplify their involvement by exposing them to online political and sociocivic activities. However, it can also be a source of distraction, diverting their attention from offline participation. Therefore, media literacy education becomes indispensable in navigating the digital landscape adeptly.
The perceived apathy of the Filipino youth is a multifaceted issue that warrants comprehensive understanding. It might even a wrong assumption entirely. Some might be apathetic but many are now actively engaged in various ways.
Nonetheless, to address the challenges confronting our nation, we must encourage and support their active involvement. For the future of our society hinges on collective efforts to address these issues, embrace vigilance, and take proactive steps toward positive change. The time for action is now, with the youth leading the way!
Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.