Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista (Tapat) kicked off a three-part podcast series, What’s the T, as part of the 2021 edition of their annual advocacy forum, Tapatan. Episodes were broadcasted through Facebook Live last July 10, 14, and 17 and are currently available on Spotify.
With the theme, Sulong Kabataan!, this year’s Tapatan will also feature leadership and voters education workshops on July 23 and 24 and an expo of youth organizations on July 26 to 31.
Young, old, older
In its first episode, the program focused on the perceived differences between generations and featured guests meant to represent each of the different cohorts.
Present were human rights lawyer and opposition figure Atty. Chel Diokno for the Baby Boomers, DLSU-Dasmariñas faculty member Albert John Puchero for Generation X, and Commission on Population and Development commissioner Dexter Gablan for Generation Y.
Puchero pointed out that generation gaps are bound to be present in any relationship where people are from different age groups. Diokno added that among the signs that such a gap exists are when one feels isolated and frustrated and when there is a “lack of ability to feel connected with each other.”
The former DLSU College of Law dean recalled an account from a former Senate intern who was supposedly patronized by a senator for her young age, an experience that Gablan said he also went through.
The reverse is also something to be wary of, Gablan notioned. “Young people tend to dismiss the ideas or advice of the older generation, and that can be very offensive to them as well,” he explained, saying that such an attitude leads to a “growing segmentation” between age groups.
To bridge the generational divide, Puchero advised that a “conscious effort” must be made to avoid generalizing a cohort’s characteristics and that there must be proper communication between groups.
Gablan, meanwhile, would like to see more “woke lolos and lolas” and more “old souls” among the youth. “Being different is okay. How we collaborate despite having these differences and learning from these differences is how we actually move forward,” he imparted.
While political standings are usually pitted against each other, former Women’s Representative from Anakbayan-University of the Philippines Baguio and progressive Angela Mistranza sat with teacher, lobbyist, and social conservative Jochebed Dela Cruz for the second episode to discuss what it means to subscribe to their respective ideologies.
Both Mistranza and Dela Cruz acknowledged the spectrum on both sides, saying that even within their crowds, infighting still happens. But this does not take away the essence of both political philosophies: the desire for social change.
Progressivism in the 21st century, at least for Mistranza, means prioritizing the needs of the masses, ordinary people, and marginalized sectors to encourage social change. This means being aware of the “different levels of privileges” we have that hinders us from seeing situations these people might face.
Dela Cruz shared that he was a part of the social conservative spectrum that participates in rallies and protests but, as aligned with his ideology, he still believes in respecting tradition and fundamental beliefs.
The two advocates also weighed in on their insights on contemporary issues—fake news and cancel culture in the media, the struggles and situations of the LGBTQ+ community, and the handling of the pandemic and the West Philippine Sea—all of which they found common ground in: change is necessary.
Catalysts for change
Despite generational and political differences, Filipinos are faced with pressing issues that call for collective action. Youth leaders Dexter Arvin Yang from Good Gov PH, Antoinette Lee from Kilos Ko Youth, and Madelene de Borja from We The Future PH discussed how the youth, as the present and future nation-builders, can concretely act upon their advocacies.
“Take small steps,” Lee advised to those who plan to partake in causes as exhaustion is inevitable in the field. She further explained that there are three challenges aspiring advocates generally face: finding a main advocacy to forward, acting on it, and sustaining it.
While choosing a certain advocacy to fight for may seem overwhelming, Yang exclaimed that the experience is different for everyone as it could start as early as childhood or through lessons learned on campus. “Find out what you’re good at, find out what you’re passionate about, and then find a problem…na magagamit mo ‘yung passion mo, ‘yung strengths mo para i-solve ‘yon,” he stated.
(Find out what you’re good at, find out what you’re passionate about, and then find a problem you can use your passion and strengths to solve.)
Moreover, de Borja emphasized how similar conflicts and sentiments on social issues arise within groups, which highlights the beauty of collaborative effort during advocacy campaigns. “We can connect with each other, find out what’s happening in different communities, and hopefully create safe spaces for us to discuss…and act for our advocacy,” she elaborated.
The Kilos Ko Youth representative agreed and added that collaborations through joining organizations will help advocates build more internal connections with other groups or communities that can further amplify their advocacies.
Besides advocacy-driven actions, the young speakers suggested the youth exercise their right to vote and campaign for the right leaders in the upcoming elections, reminding them that anyone, regardless of age, can contribute for change to happen in the country.
Tapatan will hold workshops that will help people have a grasp of what their leadership style is as well as one on the importance of participating in the democratic activity of voting in the upcoming elections. Those interested to join are invited to register through bit.ly/Tapatan2021_Workshop_Registration.