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A boy who is six or seven years old approached me when I got out of the tricycle on my way to SM. He was holding an empty ice cream cup with some coins in it. After I gave him the five – peso coin change I got from the driver, three more dingy boys approached me.

This is a very disheartening experience and it keeps on existing at present. The youth of the land who are supposed to be the hope of tomorrow are just around the corner begging. In fact, some of them wander along the streets of the cities and towns sniffing rugby and some are in factories working. Does this mean that the asset of a growing nation becomes the country’s greatest liability?

Good Heavens! What happened to the Filipino youth? Where are they heading for? How swift time flies! How fast the days go by! Yet, the youth of today are vulnerable targets and hostages to the consequences of the fast changing world, of virtual reality, of the decadence of morality, and the onset of spiritual decay. As technological advancements mushroom, the Filipino youth is exposed to greater challenges most of which uproot the solid foundation of values and virtues.

Could there be a deterrence to all of these and eventually transform the Filipino youth into formidable forces in nation building?

Yes. Despite the difficulties and failures at the moment, despite the trials and frustrations of the present, I still believe that one day the youth of today will heed the challenge for a better Philippines and transform themselves as oases of abundance and responsibility bringing this humble country to its most longed glory. I think that we have a very estranged juvenile populace at present because they are deprived of opportunities to prove themselves.

Given the best opportunities and wholehearted support, I believe that the Filipino youth have the power to make it happen. In their hands, indeed, lies the future of this country. They need not to be Manny Pacquiao in the boxing world. They need not to emulate Paeng Nepumoceno in international bowling. They need not to be Gian Carlo Dapul in his successful feat in winning the most coveted English Speaking’s Union International Public Speaking Competition in London.

They can make a big difference by simply being themselves.