The world was both amazed and taken aback when Greta Thunberg, a teenage girl from Sweden, boldly spoke to world leaders about what they have done in the fight against climate change or the lack thereof.
While some thought she spoke out of innocence, many still got behind her when they saw that there was truth in her words. Thus, Greta became the youngest person to be featured on TIME’s Person of the Year cover back in 2019 with the caption “The Power of Youth.” And it all started when she was given the platform and opportunity to speak.
This is what the province of Pangasinan has been faithfully doing for four decades through its yearly cultural competition Padunungan that recently took place at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan on January 6 and January 7, 2020, with the theme “Rekindling the Fire: Establishing the Youth’s Involvement in Social Change and Innovation.”
Sociologists say that social change is the alteration or shift in human relationships and interactions that change a society and its customs.
According to the head organizers of Padunungan 2020 Raphael Dondo and Wenona Lladin Ico, they came up with the theme because they wanted the event to demonstrate continuity and showcase how the youth actively take part in making a huge difference in society in various ways.
“This theme is easily understood by kids, and effectively and efficiently concretizes our goal for Padu 2020: To show how the youth becomes a key player in solving issues that affect the country.”
“We wanted to see how the youth can use their influence and free-thinking to see the different perspectives of all issues that surround the country.”
In this year’s Padunungan, all of these were exemplified through the event’s contests that elicited both the youth’s creativity and understanding of the social issues in the Philippines.
One entry in particular that makes you think about what it really means to give and withhold as an individual and as part of a marginalized group in society is a video titled “Siblet” by Labrador National High School.
The video is about a student who is labeled “selfish” when she refuses to share her test answers with her classmates. The student then falls into deep thought which becomes the narration of the video that talks about the ways society treats a person when one is deemed selfish according to societal definitions. In the end, the student is well aware of the dilemmas our communities face and makes the resolve to be part of the solution rather than the problem.
“Siblet” won first place in the video-making contest. Watch the video below.
Here is the Video Making Contest Entry of Labrador National High School for #Padunungan2020. They are the CHAMPIONS for this year's contest. Congratulations, Labrador National High School!#Padu2020
Posted by UP Subol Society on Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Labrador National High School’s video-making contest entry titled “Siblet”
Video from UP Subol Society Official Facebook
According to Dondo and Ico, the video-making contest was only added this year to make the competition more accessible to senior high school students, as well as allow for the use of technology as a creative medium.
Indeed, it is through these kinds of opportunities we are able to spark something meaningful that would otherwise be left unheard of.
It is said that when the youth are given the freedom to engage, particularly through development and empowerment opportunities, it is the society that ultimately benefits from it. And when knowledge is accessible to the youth, they arise with awareness and readiness to become active and productive members of society.
Padunungan 2020 was a success in that the event was able to accomplish many of the things it set out to do such as continuously preserve the culture of Pangasinan and provoke the creative minds of those who can truly show us the changes we need in our communities.