Young and Pasaway

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By Perci Cendaña

Youth Advocate

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


MET with the Baguio-based members of the 10th National Youth Parliament (NYP) last weekend. In the kamustahan were University of Baguio student leaders Ferdinand Tamulto and Noah Rex Talosig, and young instructor Napoleon Paris of Saint Louis University. Part of their efforts to advocate for their 10th NYP resolutions is to lobby with local government executives. They were very happy to report their fruitful meetings with Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan.

The NYP is a biennial gathering of youth leaders convened by the National Youth Commission (NYC) as mandated by the Youth in Nation-Building Act (RA 8044). Members of the parliament craft and develop policy proposals and recommendations in pursuit of youth development. It also serves as a listening post for NYC and other government agencies including civil society on the needs, concerns and aspirations of young Filipinos.

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Last week, the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards Foundation, NYC, and the Office of Senator Bam Aquino opened the search for TAYO 12. The search recognizes, encourages and supports the outstanding works that youth organizations are doing in their communities, schools, workplaces and institutions. While organizations receive the honors, it is actually their projects that are recognized.

With the search, the organizers hope to inspire young people around the country to do their part by committing to innovative, creative and sustainable projects.

In the TAYO11 national finals judging early this year in the Senate, the NYC labeled the 20 finalists as the finest examples of being pasaway. They are pasaway not because they are unruly and unwieldy but because they refuse to accept the status quo. When the status quo is hopelessness and desperation, these youth organizations bring hope, opportunities and change to their communities. When the status quo is disinterest and apathy, these young people live and practice active citizenship by being part of the solution.

Being pasaway in many ways is an expression of hope, a comforting assurance that the nation has young people who imagine and believe that things could be better for them and their communities. As they refuse to accept what is out there, they arrive at solutions and mobilize to change things and change lives.

The pasaway honor roll last year a.k.a. TAYO 11 winners include a youth group from Cebu City that serves as volunteer sign language interpreters for deaf children and youth. The members of the Gualandi Project refused to accept the sad reality of the high incidence of sexual abuse among the deaf. Their project title "Break the Silence" succinctly captures their aim to let the hearing world know of their plight and rectify the grave abuse that has been inflicted on them.

Gualandi volunteers conduct sex abuse prevention education programs in the community and they facilitate the filing of cases against the perpetrators by volunteering as interpreters during investigations and court proceedings. In breaking the silence, this youth organization gives voice to those who the hearing world does not hear and facilitates the delivery of justice.

More TAYO stories in next week's column.

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The search for TAYO12 is open to all youth organizations, clubs and societies composed of at least 15 members, more than half of which should be 15-30 years old. A cash grant of Php 50,000 and cool prizes await the winners. To join, log on to www.tayoawards.net.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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