Former senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan speaks during the "Dagitab: Kindle-a ng Kabataan: Pasiklabin ang Bayanihan" youth summit and volunteer fair at the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, O.P. Auditorium on Friday, Aug. 11. (Photo by Rainiel Angelyn B. Figueroa/ The Varsitarian)

FORMER senator Francis Pangilinan called on young people in a UST summit to push reforms and participate actively in the  Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October.

Pangilinan, during the “Kindle-a ng Kabataan: Pasiklabin ang Bayanihan” youth summit and volunteer fair held at the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, O.P. Auditorium on Aug. 11, said young Filipinos could start change because of their energy, idealism and critical thinking.

“The youth, historically, are agents of change not only in the Philippines but worldwide. Youth and students come together and mobilize and organize societies that actually transform,” Pangilinan said.

The former vice-presidential candidate referred to historical figures like Jose Rizal as examples of Filipino youth who have brought about change. 

“They were in their 20s and they rose and stood up, spoke out, and took a stand for our society, for the Philippines…It is no accident that in the history of revolutions, students were game players,” said Pangilinan, the founding president of the National Movement of Young Legislators and institutor of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards.

During the summit, Assoc. Prof. Melanie Turingan, assistant dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, stressed the role of Filipino youth in nation-building.

This role, she said, is validated both in the Constitution and through the formation of the SK.

“The creation of SK recognizes the power and potential of the youth to contribute to building a better tomorrow for the country and changing the status quo,” Turingan said.

“Through the years, it has been proven that the youth are good leaders and followers, and that the Philippine youth are responsible citizens,” she said.

The SK elections are set on Oct. 30 after being postponed for three years. 

The “Kindle-a ng Kabataan: Pasiklabin ang Bayanihan” is a one-day youth summit and volunteer fair organized by the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, which Pangilinan chairs, to “ignite the spirit of bayanihan within the Filipino youth.” Hannah Joyce V. Andaya and Mabel Anne B. Cardinez


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