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In our Hands

Many times it’s been quoted that the youth is the hope of the fatherland. With a total population of more or less 24 million as projected by the National Statistics office, this is not so hard to imagine.

The youth, age 15-30 years old as defined by Republic Act 8044, plays a major role in the making or breaking of the country’s future. At least a third of the country’s population is composed of young people who, if they work as one, could change the course of the country’s history.

And if there is one more moment in the history of this country where the voice of the youth is greatly needed, it would be in the upcoming elections. The youth population alone could ensure the victory of the candidate who embodies the ideals of the young generation.

In an article published in, entitled “Imperatives of the Youth” by Maxine Tanya Hamada, it was noted that in the 2004 elections almost 13 million of the total number of voters were 18-24 years old, 5 million of which are first time voters. But it was also noted that roughly 2 million supposed new voters also failed to register for that election. In that same year, the president won by more than a million votes than her opponents and as Hamada says it, “Had the 2 million youth voters registered and voted, it could have tipped the scale.”

For so many years now, the vote of the youth has been considered negligible because a huge number of young people are not registered voters. A lot of them are either unaware that they need to register to vote or they prefer not to vote at all. The latter is perhaps the more damaging since the decision to not participate in the polls is a blatant act of apathy to the fate of the country.

But of course, registering for the elections is only the first part in taking the steps to attain the changes that we aimed. It is not enough just to have yourself registered for the elections; you have to take part in the actual voting.

According to Youth Vote, an organization that encourages the youth to vote in the election, 54 per cent or 34 million voters for the 2010 election falls within the 15-24 years old age range. Comprising more than half of the total number of voters, it is therefore imperative that the youth exercise its right to suffrage.

The 2010 election is fast approaching but out of the 6.4 million potential voters, only 2.6 million were registered as of August 2009. Though the 4.2 million unregistered voters are given until October 31 to register, it is still expected that only a fraction of it will be able to register.

The youth is more than the hope of the fatherland, we are agents of change. If we are not satisfied with what is happening in our country today then it is high time to do something about it and the best way to show our discontent is to choose for new leaders to lead our country.

With the threats of Cha-Cha and extended terms for politicians, the upcoming election is a crucial moment in the lives of every Filipino. This is not only the time to choose a new leader but also the time to express our dissatisfaction to the government. Our collective votes could change not only a new leader but also the course of our history.

The change that we have been looking for could not be found anywhere else. The power to change the country for the better is in the hands of every Filipino, it’s in the hands of the youth.

It is up to us to do something to ensure a better future not only for us but to the future generation. By taking part in the elections, we are chartering the future our country. Through our votes, we have expressed to the world our choice—the choice to change.

Every single vote counts. Every single drop of the indelible ink makes a difference. Every stroke of the pen charts the destiny of our country. And the youth plays a crucial role in attaining this change.

The youth must vote. The youth must take part. The future is in our hands.

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Midyear Journalism Seminar 2009

The seminar was held at PHCCI Ballroom here in Dumaguete City.
It was fun and I learned a lot. I just hope that others did too.
A lot of things were discussed aside from the usual News and Features Writing lectures. The speakers were great, the venue was relaxing and the food was superb.

We were at the third floor of the building and we had fun playing with the elevator. LOLS. The view by stairs, as well as in the veranda, is also nice.

After spending my whole college life in the publication and experiencing four midyear seminars, I say that this is the best seminar we've ever had. And that is aside from the ambiance of the place. I am just so happy that despite the glitches along the way we were still able to conduct the seminar successfully.

The seminar was graced by Dr. Ma. Cecilia Genove ( Professor, Silliman University), Mr. Bobby Flores Villasis (Tourism Officer of Negros Oriental and one of the few Palanca Awardees of the province), Prof. Sandra Duran (former instructor of NORSU), Ms. Merlinda Baliola (former TN EIC), and Mr. Romy Amarado (TN Adviser).

The lectures were superb and I learned a lot especially in Creative Writing (with Mr. Villasis) and Feature Writing, and Magazine Article writing (by Dr. Genove). I especially like the way Dr. Genove lectures. You'll never feel sleepy with her upbeat and exciting delivery of the topics.

For the first time in my four years of attending these seminars, I saw Kuya Junrell (our EIC) calmly listening during the lectures. In the past years, he was always so busy that you seldom see his shadow during these seminars. This time though, he was able to enjoy the lectures as well as the presentations just like the rest of us.

It was really fun seeing our staffers presenting during intermissions. I just so love Paul Anthony's  (our new artist) voice and the way he plays the guitar. Such a pity I forgot to snatch a picture of him from our files. I just might one of these days (if I don't forget that is) and post it here.

Of course, I did not let the chance of having a picture with my baby brothers pass. This picture of me and Justine was taken as the technical team was packing the equipment after the seminar. I also had photos with my other brothers but since they've been so cruel to me lately I won't post their photos here. LOLS.

So that's it. A lot of things have actually happened in the publication since the last time I posted here. I just don't have the energy to post it.

On a good note though, Caballes Printing Press won the bidding for the weekly paper and I am just so jubilant! Thank God for answered prayers!

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