By Zane Esparaga | Photojournalist
Vol. XCIII No. 7
Sept. 27, 2019
We all know that there is something wrong when children act like leaders and leaders act like children. Yes, you read it right. At this point in time, we see children bringing their battles on the streets or in any different platforms. Age is just a number. It feels like the innocence of the youth overpowered the great minds of educated persons seated in the position.
Last Sept. 9, a young boy named JD, who joined GMA Network’s hit noontime show “Eat Bulaga,” was asked about his ambition when he grew up. Without hesitation, JD answered that he wanted to be a soldier someday. When he was asked why, he answered, “Para talunin ang China. Para hindi nila makuha ang dagat natin,” [So we can defeat China. So that they won’t take our seas from us] he added.
On Aug. 20, 2018, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who was then a 9th grade student, decided not to attend school to protest on the risks posed by climate change. She stood in front of the Swedish parliament holding a “Skolstrejk for klimatet” (School strike for the climate) sign. This was the time when Sweden experienced the hottest summer in 262 years; heatwaves and wildfires also occurred.
More than a year later, Thunberg delivered a powerful speech to the United Nations Climate Summit in front of different world leaders including United States President Donald Trump. An emotional Thunberg said, “People are suffering. People are dying and entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
On the other hand, leaders in our country seem to be on airplane mode after being elected. History repeats itself, as they say. They proved that promises are meant to be broken. However, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was being praised here and there for what he has done for a short amount of time after being elected. Changes in Metro Manila were posted via photos or videos in different social media outlets, periodicals, and TV broadcasts. His quick action is proof that the right people will make a difference at any level in society.
It is very alarming that children who naturally would be carefree would start to talk about pressing issues that the world is facing — a job that our world leaders should be doing. The younger generation is starting to speak up and take action in their own hands because they know that it is their own future that is at stake. The real threat of not having a good future is something the older generations didn’t thoroughly experience.
With this movement and uprising coming from the youth, several questions pop in our minds. Why do we still depend on someone who is already been there but did not do anything? Why are we doing this when in fact we should be in school and those leaders should be the ones doing work? Why do our actions matter? Even if we are not the light, we can be the spark. The change we want to see is indeed in our own hands. In the end, it is us who will suffer. If we will just continue riding the waves in the ocean, nothing’s going to happen to us and to the future generation.