Sen. Alan to Filipino youth and students: Embrace your purpose and identity

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday pressed the importance of knowing and embracing one’s purpose and identity, underscoring how this knowledge aids students and the youth in navigating both their own future and that of the country.

Serving as a keynote speaker at the 3rd Philippine Youth Internet Governance Forum (PhYIGF) at the Southville International School and Colleges on May 30, 2024, Cayetano emphasized the importance of honing the youth who will be leading the country in the future.

“There’s no better gift to people than the Lord’s gift of children and educating the next generation is such an important task,” he said.

The forum aims to provide a platform for young minds to discuss and explore various issues related to information technology and internet governance.

As the current chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Cayetano shared personal insights by using three fundamental tools that the audience could relate to. He said that in life, people have their own Operating System (OS), Internet Protocol (IP) address, and anginaIntegrated Circuit (IC).

“The thing about those operating systems, they were all created for the same purpose. Magkakaiba lang ng style. When you know your OS, when you know the purpose of why you are here in this world, you are much more stable,” he said.

“But if you keep jumping from one operating system to the other, and you don’t know why you are here in this world, that emptiness will frustrate and hurt you,” he added.

Cayetano also noted that much like an IP address, a unique address that identifies a device on the internet or a local network, understanding one’s identity and role in life is equally crucial.

“Your attitude changes when you know your identity, and your personality is who you are. Depending on your identity and your personality, you will be at home with that,” he said.

“Have faith that the world operates more efficiently than you might realize,” he added, drawing an analogy to an IC that functions seamlessly to ensure everything works together smoothly.

The independent senator then urged the youth to embrace their ambitions and the uncertainties of the future, expressing his own excitement for what lies ahead for them.

“I’m sure your heads are full of ideas and hope, and you want to get out there. Whichever way, you have such a bright future. It’s very unpredictable but that unpredictability actually gives you the edge and the opportunity,” he said.

At the end of his speech, Cayetano was asked by the crowd about encouraging more government officials to join youth-led initiatives and actively engage with their perspectives.

He responded by saying that the development of an ecosystem “starts with listening” and that excellence is key to challenging leaders to strive for improvement.

“By simply being your best, you will challenge the leaders because they don’t want to feel that the ones they are leading are better than them. We have to teach each other to listen, so be patient with government officials and pray for them,” he said.


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