y-speak!: Age-old Classic Through Gen-Z's Eyes


ASPIRATION and appreciation for our nation echo throughout the youth as a new interpretation of classic literature hits digital screens near you.

As the world becomes interconnected and different cultures converge, nationalism is bound to be impaired amongst nations and their youth. Such phenomenon is evident as most favor foreign products instead of local brands, according to Adame, showing that around 30.8 percent of surveyed participants have done so. With the steady decline of national identity and the blurring of cultural integrity, is there still hope in rekindling a lost connection with our nation?

About 31 percent of Filipino youth are no longer satisfied with living in the Philippines. However, the remaining 69 percent of Filipino youth are in tune with their national identity and even wish to help others reignite their love for the country. Such heartwarming thought and the success of the Filipino teleserye "Maria Clara at Ibarra" helped students from another university to come up with the idea of reimagining an integral literature that targets the Filipino identity — Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

Adapting Jose Rizal's renowned literature, whose aim was to instill nationalistic pride amongst the Filipinos during colonial times, would certainly help showcase the same values today and convey them modernly, appealing to the current generation. It would help inculcate love and appreciation for the sacrifices of our forefathers in achieving independence for our country and would strengthen our nationalism.

Such interpretation was laid out by students attending Ateneo de Davao University, currently taking the course "Life and Works of Rizal." The students believed that performing a refreshing take of Rizal's novels instead of reading a shortened version of it, which most students have experienced, would, in turn, create interest in the subject and even make it relatable. The students made sure to focus on the emotional impact of the story and its characters, appealing to the evident sense of empathy and morality that the youth of today display. As the students hope, this adaptation could be part of the ongoing movement for cultural preservation. 

Their play interpretation does not merely focus on retelling the classics of Rizal but also captures its essence, breaking it down and translating it as an educational platform that displays the primary purpose of the books. With that, individuals, be they students or educators, could better grasp how important the novels are to our identity as Filipinos.

Preserving a dying tradition is a path that is not for the weak. One might need help with a strenuous and daring challenge, especially with the grip of foreign cultures clashing with local ones. However, doing something to help ease the decline of such values and culture is just as rewarding.

Pride and joy towards one's nation is genuinely uplifting, especially if brought upon by a generation struggling with their national identity. The future of preserving a nation's identity lies in the hands of those deemed by Rizal as the hope of said nation and those who are not afraid to showcase an age-old classic through Gen-Z's eyes.

- Lawrence Dave Suarez, BS-Accountancy, Ateneo de Davao University


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