Nobody in this world started their journey with giant strides; everybody else began walking in baby steps. Hence, at some point in our lives, time is reminding us that everything doesn’t necessarily need to start from something tremendous. And it was through time that the unheard voice within me started growing amplified.
The battle cry of my advocacies from which I pour my heart into once started as a tiny speck of feeling dying to be heard. It took me mounted series of discovery towards searching my voice; a search I never expected to help me discern not only my voice but also my own self including my character and my dreams.
Last 6th of April 2017, The University of Asia and the Pacific launched its annual Civitas Asia National Student Conference themed “Tagged,” focused on the question of ‘How can the youth be the real change that his society longs for?’ A three-day conference inspired by the idea that the youth of today, also called the “Me Generation,” is tagged to incite real change in the community. Consequently, the CivAsia Conference has given me the chance to discover more about my voice and ascertain my mission and my advocacies as a youth.
The 2017 Civitas Asia National Student Conference’s wide and diverse range of contents has somehow empowered me to find my voice and conviction, particularly towards my advocacies. The talk on youth in sports has taught me that life like sports is about bouncing back from all your setbacks. The youth and advocacy, and the youth and media have given me the opportunity to understand more and to lobby suggestions on the existing problems present in our society today. The youth and financial literacy, and youth and innovation have made me become financially aware and helped me see things in a wider perspective of our evolving society respectively. The youth chat and the youth and nation-building inspired me to always find my passion and start from the bottom for having passion and starting from small decisions towards goodness would lead me closer towards greatness. Overall, the CivAsia Conference has offered me lessons essential for my holistic growth and development and has challenged me to change the world through my aspirations and advocacies.
Three days weren’t long enough. I may not have immediately found myself and voice within those days, but with all the learnings and things that I’ve gained combined somehow concretized my way in finding myself.
Searching for my personal self and finding for my voice are neither an overnight nor a three-day trip. It takes years of what seemed to be a never-ending walk in a road that branches out into even more paths that also divides into many more, and my CivAsia experience might still even be considered a baby step in this long journey. However, looking at it all is a great sigh of relief.
Eventually, these things would remind me of how far I’ve gone or how many steps did I already take, because every action created is a step taken closer to where I am headed. From baby steps to giant strides, I am moving forward.
To the organizing committee of the Civitas Asia National Student Conference 2017, and to everyone who made my CivAsia 2017 experience meaningful and great, Maraming salamat po!
By: Junbert Pabon, St. John’s Institute Bacolod

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