With the recent turn of events, many of us are probably feeling hopeless right now. But in a world that keeps getting darker, what is there to be hoped for? What are the ways we can keep creating change for ourselves and our community?
Invest in critical literacy to combat disinformation
We are all aware that the system is broken, but if there's one thing that the recent events have shown us, it is how broken it truly is.
Despite efforts to uphold the truth, the flood of disinformation circulating online has led a majority of Filipinos to fall prey to fake news. Unfortunately, even the digitally adept youth can still be victims of disinformation. A study by the Ateneo Policy Center in Manila showed that for "a significant percentage of the youth in particular geographical areas, the ability to spot fake news is below the pass rate, which is typically 75 percent in the Philippines."
So what does this tell us? That social media is just a vessel of information; we still need critical literacy to tell facts from fiction. A piece of shared fake news, when consumed by many, can be a dangerous tool that can threaten our democracy, lose our trust in governance, and worse, distort children's worldview.
Books and other materials can be vital in building a community that thinks critically. In our spare time, let's read and equip ourselves with skills on discerning real from fake and pass this knowledge to others who need it. It may take a while, but these small steps matter so we can slowly pick up the pieces and rebuild this broken system.
Continue the Bayanihan spirit
Choosing a leader is not the be-all-end-all of everything. This is evidenced by the recent elections. What started as a meek campaign has rapidly evolved into a country-wide movement led by volunteers who are hungry for good governance.
This movement, rooted in the Bayanihan spirit, will persist even after the elections because we have other ways of creating change. And through Filipinos who have their hearts in the right place, we can still forge paths in addressing issues through our own capacities. From the simplest ways, such as helping out a neighbor, maintaining green spaces, or organizing programs that will benefit our communities, we can make many small changes to keep this movement going.
Rest but keep the fire burning
Things may seem bleak these days, and it's okay to grieve, feel confused, or angry. Give our hearts the rest and healing it needs; then, we forge on.
Our collective stand gave us a glimpse of the kind of nation we deserve if we continue reclaiming our rights and voices. We will be at the forefront of this struggle. We won't be shy to call out injustices and hold those in power accountable.
We will continue to nurture this movement anchored on compassion and love—a love that burns in our bellies, a love that heals our wounds, a love that strengthens us to triumph over the challenges ahead. This is our fight now, and we're in it for the long haul.
Banner artwork: ALAB by Harry Monzon