New Bida Youth Start Culture Change

Jan 15th 2013

Leadership and citizenship were the focus of CFA’s pre-Summit gathering of 44 high school students from 21 schools all over the country as they prepared to join almost 300 other students in the 2012 CEAP BIDAHAN Youth Summit.

The pre-Summit gathering was organized by the Communication Foundation for Asia for student leaders from its subscriber schools. Held on November 29, 2012 at the CFA Seminar room, the event started with a warm welcome by Noel de Leon, CFA’s Director of Print Media and Sales. He addressed a number of national problems that Filipinos are currently facing and encouraged students to participate in the kind of projects that CFA has initiated to respond to these challenges.

Ms. Pie Mabanta, CFA’s Electronic Media Department Head, facilitated the workshop in the afternoon. This was divided into three sessions: The Truth that is Me, My Truth is not always your Truth, and Our Journey to the Truth. Clips from CFA’s Good Trip video were also shown in between, for the participants to broaden their perspective on the topic. This was followed by a talk from PPCRV’s Voters Education co-director, Ms. Ginny Rodriguez, who enlightened participants on how to become responsible citizens of the country. She presented photos of past elections in the country and made the students realize how big the youth’s contribution could be, if only they had the initiative to start and be the change.

The next day, the 44 students proceeded to Claret School of Quezon City for the start of the 4th CEAP-BIDAHAN YOUTH SUMMIT on November 30-December 1, 2012. CEAP is the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, an organization that spearheads the BIDAHAN as part of its mission to teach Catholic values for total human development. The aim of CEAP-BIDAHAN is to motivate the youth to be the new heroes or mga “BIDA” (mga kabataang may Bagong Isip, Diwa at Asal). The core principles of BIDAHAN include dignity of every human person, primacy of truth, importance of exacting accountability and stewardship, need to build and support democratic institutions, and preferential option for the excluded and vulnerable sectors of society.

In all, BIDAHAN gathered around 330 youth leaders from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. They participated in interactive learning workshops, sharing sessions, series of talks and music to encourage them to get involved in the program’s advocacies and core principles. The event commenced with opening ceremonies followed by a series of talks and workshops such as “Gusto kong Kumonek,” “Pezbuk,” “Investment Activity” and “Action Planning.” These activities provided avenues for discovery, appreciation, realization, celebration and change, intended to deepen the youth’s understanding of the BIDAHAN Core Principles, and to sustain the commitment to live out its objectives. There were also personal reflections and sharing sessions, which helped develop a sense of responsibility in the views of young people today. The participants displayed their talents during the youth night and ended the first day encouraging everyone to be stewards of change.

The second day was a recap of all the lessons during the first day of BIDAHAN. Advocacy talks and presentation of plans followed. The President and 4th Chancellor of the De La Salle University, Br. Ricardo Laguda, FSC, encouraged everyone to support positive attitudes regarding citizenship, poverty reduction, gender equality and youth empowerment. Ms. Bob Lopez of CFA then pointed out that the youth is a very powerful force in promoting good governance and poverty reduction.

After the talks, the action plans from various schools were presented. Most of these plans contribute to the principles and objectives that are in line with BIDAHAN. They showed that participants had taken to heart the idea that “Ang Kabataan ang mismong Bayan” (“The Youth is the Nation”). The summit closed with the support groups urging everyone to engage in culture-change efforts, inspire others, lead and take affirmative actions as champions of BIDAHAN.

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