A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to one of my previous teachers. He told my co-writer and I that our articles are footprints we leave for the future generations, regardless of whether we live to see their impact or not.
But just days before that, all I felt was that my passion for journalism was slowly fading away. Honestly, the past few months have been the hardest on me. Being part of the publication’s Editorial Board took a toll on me more than I expected. Sure, I was expecting additional stress, but I did not expect it to be as emotionally tiring as it is, to the point where I have almost given up my passion. The last few months have been extremely demoralizing, from organizational issues to national issues coming at me, I never really had time to sit down and to process my emotions.
Then came the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the elections.
I know most of us had so much hope for May 9. But this slowly faded away as the results showed less and less of what many of us expected it to be. Plenty of the people close to me were devastated. It seemed like they were robbed of the future they were dreaming of.
And then I remembered the encounter I had with my previous teacher. He was right—the footprints I leave as a writer will benefit the future generations—and that reminded me of why I’m a journalist.
When people say, “Ano ba’ng ambag mo?” my immediate thought is that I’m a writer. I do as much as I can to make people aware of what is happening around us. But especially in these very crucial times, it has become more than that. Being a student journalist has helped me give voices to those who can’t speak for themselves, a means to empower others. And I will continue to do that.
Right now, with potential threats to our freedom, we must continue to seek the accountability of those in power. We must remain vigilant and keep an eye on corrupt and unjust practices, especially of those who are expected to lead and to take care of our nation. When these do happen, we must not be silent. Let’s not be silenced. This is just what the oppressor wants. And even if we become scared, we will not give them what they want. Now that we are living in the most uncertain timeline where it seems like our country is moving backward instead of forward, we have to keep the fire burning in us. Let us not let the oppressed and marginalized’s hopes die just because we are scared to speak up.
Amid this, we must also not forget another battle that we must also not concede to—the battle against misinformation. We must not succumb to the lies that they feed us. We must continue to be the pillars of truth. As we are those who are exposed to the truth and can accept it, we must put our best efforts forward in order to let those who are blinded by lies know what is really happening. All hope is not lost for them and neither is it for us—in the end, we all look want the same thing for the country anyway—a bright future.
So, let us not lose hope. The country needs the youth.
Manatiling mulat. Tumindig.