This is the transcript of my responses to the questions of the Asia 21 Philippine Young Leaders Initiative nomination process.
Asia 21: As a leader, what is your vision for the country?
Me: I envisioned a country of fairness, equality and equity; a country with leaders of reason, responsibility, justice and accountability. A nation whose health and education of its people are the top priorities, where such services are accessible, affordable and sensitive to the needs of the poor, marginalized and the most vulnerable.
Asia 21: What particular social problem/s (e.g. illiteracy, lack of employment, etc.) would you like to address? How do you propose to go about this?
Me: As a health service professional I focus on health-related issues. As a youth leader I also focus on issues concerning the youth and the People with Disabilities (PWDs). For most of my advocacy, I was drawn to help draft legislations of the Congress affecting health, the young people and the marginalized. I was one of the youngest members of the Technical Working Groups that drafted the most controversial bill, the Reproductive Health Bill in both Houses voicing the nursing and youth sectors. I also belong to the core groups reviewing the Anti-Discrimination Bill and the amendment of the Philippine National AIDS Law.
My political lobbying & advocacy also extends to addressing the nursing crisis in the country serving as the voice of young nurses in Congress during the nursing volunteerism-for-a-fee controversy & nursing unemployment crisis. I also teach and inform a lot of people of my advocacy through online media as a blogger, independent writer and performing artist/singer.
Asia 21: What do you expect from the Philippines 21 Young Leaders Initiative?
Me: Further learning is always expected in all endeavors. I expect to develop and hone my leadership skills through my interaction with different young leaders & networking with them. I also expect to exhort some young leaders join me in my advocacy and or help them lobby for their different advocacy.
To date, I got an email from them and got accepted to the Final Screening Process. The next is yet to reveal.
Honestly, I am not expecting much. Just as the adage goes, "Expect for the worst, but hope for the best!". So if I won't get accepted, at least I tried. And if I did get accepted, then it would be my honor to represent the country together with the rest of the 20 other young leaders.