June 3, 2020
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In challenging times, the participation of the youth resonates with insightful and effective means to battle against the pandemic.

As we struggle to recover from the impact of COVID-19, we look up to authorities to guide us. However, our present situation in the country affirms the necessity of looking for other ways to help us get through these difficult times. Fortunately, we are witnessing the rise of new and youthful voices that bring a fresh perspective to pressing concerns. From mayors to entrepreneurs, these admirable individuals bring an energy that extends to their advocacies, leadership, and actions. Through their example, we get to witness significantly effective strategies. These don’t simply act as guides. They show forward-thinking and staying relevant are crucial to connect with people, understand them, and in turn, accommodate their needs in the best way possible.

LEFT: Macky, Mikko, and Mark Tung. (Photo by Ed Simon of Studio 100) RIGHT: Ligo Sardines PH advertising post. (Photo from Ligo’s Instagram)

The Power of Social Media

Weeks into the community quarantine, there remains a lack of clear guidelines from the government about navigating through the lockdown. Coupled with the widespread frustration of the public over this inefficiency, companies began taking social responsibility in their own ways.

With almost nothing but social media to entertain us, we have seen online posts and campaigns of businesses. Who hasn’t heard of the humorous posts of major sardines brand Ligo Sardines? Through one-liners and strong imagery, Ligo manages not only to promote their products. They also tackle the latest issues in the country like the matter of social distancing, mass testing, and the government’s use of special powers. Who is behind all these ingenious marketing strategies? It is the VP for Advertising and Promotion Macky Tung, together with his brothers Mikko and Mark. The Tung siblings’ earlier pledged to donate Ligo’s entire advertising budget for 2020 for COVID-19 relief funds.

The result of the clever posts? Not only did Filipinos flock to create their own works and become Ligo’s advertisers. They also enlightened the public on critical issues today. Through wit and humor, the Tung brothers managed for their business to remain relevant. They communicate the value of awareness and critical thinking at this time.

LEFT: Mayor Donya Tesoro of San Manuel, Tarlac, handing out relief goods. (Photo from Tesoro’s Instagram) RIGHT: Mayor Bryan Celeste of Alaminos, Pangasinan, giving away food packs. (Photo from Celeste’s Instagram)

Inspiring Young Leaders

There may be struggles with some authorities’ response to assisting constituents during this crisis. However, there are local government leaders who continue to be lauded for their proactiveness as public servants. From coming up with strategies to allow people access to markets, transportation, and medical services, to collaborating with organizations to build modular tents and COVID-19 testing booths, these young Filipino mayors are showing the best practices in dealing with the pandemic.

A glimpse into their social media presence tells how these mayors value cooperation to battle the pandemic. Rather than responding to unnecessary underhanded feedback or boasting about their accomplishments, these young leaders focus their energies on doing what they can to better serve their communities. Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, for instance, shared his thoughts on how citizens compare him with other city mayors, “I hope we will not have these kinds of comparison, especially negative ones. It is not timely to do that. We should just help each other.”

The praises of the public towards the leadership of these mayors prove they are rays of hope amid this crisis. Their professionalism and proactiveness are what the country needs the most right now, after all.

LEFT: Kimberly Yao. RIGHT: Stephanie Sy. (Photo from Tammy David/Forbes)

The Role of Entrepreneurs

Apart from business giants that commit to helping in this crisis, there are also young entrepreneurs who rise up to the occasion. They launched initiatives through their own companies. Among these is Abetina Valenzuela of Equilife Medical that provides medical equipment to hospitals, Stephanie Sy of Thinking Machines that support the Department of Health in detecting areas that need adequate health facilities, and Kimberly Yao of CloudEats that started a charity food drive in partnership with groups like Belo Medical.

Through the actions of these young people, it is apparent how we need their voices more than ever. Their fresh perspective and forward-thinking way of tackling issues certainly steer the conversation about dealing with the pandemic.

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