‘We can be a spark’: South Luzon Lasallians empower youth votes in virtual caravan

As the 2022 national elections draws near, Lasallians from South Luzon come together to culminate the week-long voter empowerment youth caravan on December 1 via Zoom Meetings and Facebook Live. Dubbed as “YOUth Choose for 2022: Youth Caravan on Voter Empowerment,” the caravan sought to encourage political participation among youth for #Halalan2022, with the theme revolving around how youth votes can shape the future of the country in the next six years. 

For the South Luzon leg, the event was co-organized by the La Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG), Participate PH, and YouthLed PH. De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), DLSU-D, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI), De La Salle – Lipa (DLSL), and  Lasallian Peace and Justice Commission (LJPC) also partnered for the caravan’s launch on November 24.

Calls from Lasallian leaders

True to their Lasallian roots, student leaders from different Lasallian schools stood together as they highlighted the role of youth in determining the course of the elections.

DLSL Student Government Executive President Dale Fernan Castillo encouraged his fellow students to be vigilant, involved, and united for the upcoming polls. 

“Just like [the] One La Salle prayer, even if we are not the light, we can be a spark. Use our influence and resources well for this upcoming election,” Castillo said. 

Meanwhile, DLSMHSI Student Council President Adam Palo emphasized the large numbers of youth voters for #Halalan2022, reminding participants to vote for leaders who give equal importance to nation building and social action. 

Emphasizing what’s at stake in choosing our future leaders, DLSU-D University Student Government (USG) President Niña Ligan  touched the essence of accountability among public servants, saying “it is our time to be accountable, accountable to do our responsibility […] of choosing the right leader who does not only know the definition of good governance but know how to take action”. 

Youth as the hope of the nation

Aside from Lasallian leaders, the event also featured various youth leaders across the country who underscored the youth sector’s role for the present and future generations through discussions about leadership and social media activism. 

Hirayang Kabataan Executive Director Atty. Carlo Africa raised the lack of alternative candidates during elections, which made him realize that the youth can be the leaders for a better Philippines. 

Africa then pointed out that with the right opportunities and training, the youth can be leaders for their communities who “seeks to understand, chooses to respond, and acts towards positive change”. 

Delving on the power of youth and social media, Active Vista Center Managing Director Rash Caritativo, meanwhile, addressed the spike of false information in social media with the advent of  trolls and disinformation in various digital platforms.

Given this issue at hand, Caritativo highlighted the need to improve critical thinking among youth when navigating online spaces to reclaim truthful narratives in the age of disinformation. “We (the youth) believe ultimately that things can change and that the future we want is possible,” she added. 

Despite the youth’s active engagement in sparking societal discourses in social media, Caritativo, on the other hand, challenged them to translate online activism and presence to offline involvements, and open conversations with other leaders and civic communities. 

“Things can change, so change things […] ang ating vision, hindi siya mags-stay na nandiyan lang siya hangga’t hindi mo siya inaaksyonan,” Caritativo noted.   

 For the full copy of the event, you may watch the replay here. 

Slider taken from Lasallian Community Development Center (LCDC) Facebook Live.

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