THEME: “Change, I want To See Begins With Me: Becoming the New Filipino”

“Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.” My courtesy to the Honorable Board of Judges, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good day to everyone!!! Change they say is the only constant thing on earth. Much has been heard around the world about a battle cry raised against the administration of a workplace, against the educational system or against the government. . And there has been only one similar plea ... to have CHANGE in the system. People long for change because they want to start anew. Particularly, for the labor sector for example , to raise their standard of living. .for the youth sector, to enjoy a more quality education, to have freedom on everything they need, and for the women in the community, to attain gender equality, for the masses, to eradicate poverty, and for an ordinary citizen, to have a peaceful living. But what is change really? Is it something personal? Yes.! It must start from within. If we long to change the world into a better one, make it a point, aim high and follow your dreams. Sound idealistic? No. It’s simple. Great things come from humble and small beginnings.. Remember that old, old cliché? Absolutely, we must always start from the fist step in the ladder. Some coin it as a joke “ there is no short cut to heaven.” So

what is important is that, you must only believe in yourselves as I mentioned earlier, try to follow where your aspirations may lead you. If you can’t reach them, just look at the beauty of such aspirations. If you find it hard to reach your dreams , change the way you look at them. In short, think positive!! As a youth, I want to see myself way ahead as a successful career individual with much higher hope to change not only my life but others as well. After all we are destined to live for others too. God created us for others’ existence. Biblically, once God felt lonely and alone and decided to create Adam. And when he saw Adam lonely, He created Eve out of his concern and sensitivity to Adam’s need to have a companion in life. See? God himself has wanted us to live happily with others. That significant event alone has taught us to

care for others and that makes life worth and meaningful. As a social being, it has been a fact that “no man is an island.” I myself has been longing for a change for a better life,

and I believe it must start from me and I must be like a stone thrown into a still water to create a rippling effect to others. Change therefore is not a word per se that will just multiply and happen in an instant without any driving force from within ourselves. It depends on our motives to see how Philippines will become more progressive socially, morally, economically and spiritually. No matter how we cry out loud to eradicate poverty, social unrest and political turmoil , if we have the wrong motives, change is impossible. Yes, it’s hard to change if we are resistant to it. But if we are determined to foster it, we must also alter our principles, our ideals, ourselves. We can make and unmake men by trying to be an example to them and that will eventually create a peaceful and better Philippines if not a better world.

Furthermore, what is change for? An alteration for a better one? A change for becoming a new individual? Try to ponder upon the metamorphosis of a butterfly. The gradual change from a slow creeping scary worm into a beautiful multi- colored winged creature truly gives us a clear picture what is change for. We want freedom like a butterfly who is not destined to stay forever in its cocoon. We hope to spread our wings and explore and look for a more comfortable life like a butterfly looking for the sweetest nectar it has never tasted all its life. Hence, change connotes freedom, peace and abundance in life. If we long for that kind of life, we better vary our outlooks. Certainly, the once selfish individual can possibly turn into a selfless one, the egoistic into a socially and civic oriented citizen, the peace wrecker into a peaceful loving one, the proud into a humble person and the violent into a non- violent citizen. These are but a few examples of changes that will be made possible if we mean what we really want to say and say what we really want to mean. Personally, I am inspired by a line from a song that goes , “when I see you smile, I can change the world.” If we want to be happy, make others happy too. So now , we come to know what is change for? After all life is short. So we must accept the challenge just like

me. You’re hoping to become a better Filipino? Start to make a change and take a step forward. Good day once again! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Written by: Ellen J. Jayoma Performed by: Leo Marapo Jr.

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