LAOAG CITY, Aug. 9 — Over the last 50 years, the Philippines and its nine other Southeast Asian neighbors continue to promote friendship and cooperation.
Seeing this history unfold with the symbolic lighting of ASEAN landmark in various parts of the country including Laoag and Paoay in Ilocos Norte on Tuesday evening, the Ilocano youth made their presence felt as they wore colorful attire representing a truly unique ASEAN community.
The innovative, independent and outspoken youth of the north believe that they are not just future leaders of their own region but also have the potential to stretch the world’s awareness of ASEAN and to nurture a strong sense of relationship.
With the organization’s pillar of being outward-looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership with the Southeast Asian nations for a dynamic development and a community of caring societies, Ilocano youth understand the role of the ASEAN.
“ASEAN is an organization in Asia that aims to boost trade of goods, create bigger job opportunities and improve influx travel among the said members of the organization,” Josiah Navarro, a tourism student, said.
Hillary Siazon of Mariano Marcos State University said, “ASEAN is where the leaders from Southeast Asian countries get together and talk about economy and global trades.”
The youth emphasize that they play an important role in further strengthening the cooperation among the 10-member countries through sharing their hopes, aspirations and feedback in building the ASEAN community.
They also hope that Southeast Asian nations will have a more solid relationship and stronger unity, especially the leaders, being the ones taking the lead to forge peace.
“Let us be united, not divided. Build strong relations for the next generations. After all, young people are the hope of our world. We should invest in programs that will help them be more competitive and respected in the international community,” Siazon stressed.
ASEAN envisions partnerships where nothing and no one can divide these countries but linked together in friendship, cooperation and commerce.
Ilocano youth desire for unity as they consider this as the starting point of every initiative the ASEAN community will make.
With their voices being raised, the youth expect projects and programs that will benefit future generations. with Jannahry Ann L. Campos,PNA-northboundasia.com