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Empowered youth: Rabia Salapuddin


One of the things I’ve observed in our Political Arena nowadays is the presence of young and idealistic contenders coming from the youth sector who are able to rise above the veterans. A clear translation of these surveys relates to us that the public is now more open to choices, and not because they are young they are no longer capable of bringing about change to society.

The Philippine politics captivates my senses. I find amazement in studying how people exercise the power entrusted to them by the people. “Filipinos learn with time and we improve by the hour,” with the battle cry of our good President Noy Aquino, “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” the Philippines made a huge turn from having a passive society to a more pro-active community and slowly being able to move the nation forward.

An empowered youth sector is very evident in the Philippines. Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, a Senatorial Aspirant representing the youth sector stands as a model of youth leadership and empowerment sending out the message that the young are now ready to extend their hands further in building a better society and future to the Philippines.

Just last School Year I enrolled myself in the College of Law of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU). In Law School I’ve met different personalities from all walks of life. The rich experiences and learning’s in class were something I valued the most. Among the many students in the class a simple lady always in pink caught my attention.

The charming, witty and jolly young lady was Rabia Salapuddin or Rabs as we call her in class. Rabs was always seen in her signature pink dresses everyday and never fails to greet everyone her cheerful smile. As a catholic, Rabia gained my utmost respect and admiration for her ability to talk out of any discussion peacefully and make sense of any challenges set before her.

A humble lady with a pure heart is how I would best describe her. Last June 2012, one with Rabs to join the Training of Trainers for the Legal Network for a Truthful Elections (LENTE), to my surprise it was only then that I’ve found out that she was the daughter of former Basilan Governor and House deputy speaker for Mindanao Gerry Salapuddin who was loved by the Basilan people for his reforms, intelligence and accomplishments. Who would have thought that I was already talking to a much known personality but amidst having almost everything in life she is still capable of blending in with the crowd.

This year Rabia starts her journey in public service following the footsteps of her good father by entering politics, as the youngest Governor hopeful to serve the citizens of Basilan. Yes, Rabia is not her father but she is her father’s daughter so I know she will also be a very good Governor to her people (by God’s grace).

Is it really time for the young to enter public service?

With great conviction I say YES! The youth of today are more open to change, more idealistic and more open to reforms to out-stand and outsmart time. Experience is best gained through hands-on experiences and age is no excuse for anyone to serve the people.

An empowered youth and an ideal Governor that is my friend Rabia. Good luck! God speed and thank you for showing to the world that the voice of the young matters and can make a difference! Jerrick Gerard Go

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