There seems to be an ongoing madness over the Jejemon phenomenon in the Philippines. According to UrbanDictionary.com, the term Jejemon refers to anyone with a low tolerance for correct punctuation, syntax and grammar. This definition is limited to the linguistic style of Jejemons. But in reality, Jejemon is a new breed of hipsters who have developed not only their own language and written text but also their own sub-culture and fashion. They are said to be the new "jologs", or often attributed to be of inferior intellect, but this belief may be wrong as a number of them exist in exclusive schools, science high schools and popular colleges. The parameters of being classified as a Jejemon are still unclear, and how the different "levels" of "Jejemonism" are reached, although there are named levels such as "mild," "moderate" and "severe" or "terminal."
This made me think about our participants in the recently held Magsaysay Youth Leadership Camp. I wanted to find out if our younger generation really has become of lesser sense. I asked them about their experiences and lessons learned from the camp and here are their responses:
Q1: How was your overall experience with the 2MYLCamp?
DAREN QUINIO: My 2MYL Camp experience was very awesome! Corregidor is a great place and the people I met were very cool. I felt that I've become a part of a family of future leaders that will lead the country in a better way. Not only does my self image and social capabilities were enhanced, but also my leadership potentials were brought out. I am very glad that I attended this camp and I hope that there will soon be another camp in the years to come.
KRIS CARILLO:The camp is a great example of what our youth needs right now. It was fun and exciting, filled with lessons that our next generation needs to be equipped with so that they may know their identity as Filipinos.
CHEE SANTOS: I would certainly not forget this three-day camp of staying in the island of Corregidor for reasons that I gain lots of experiences, learning, and friends. Experiences such as island tour, team building adventure game, ghost hunting, canyon painting, workshops that widened our understanding, ability and awareness regarding the place and ourselves. The things we have learned from the speakers and different talks that uplifted and inspired us all through out. And of course relationships we have had with our Marshalls and co delegates.
Q2: What are the lessons that you learned from the youth camp?
DAREN : This camp taught me how to love my country and to be proud of my identity as a Filipino. I also learned that leadership is all about service and not about credentials. As a leader, I must not be self-centered, rather, I must be willing to sacrifice for the welfare of other people. And being a Filipino youth, I have my own responsibility to reach out to my generation; to lead them and to be a good example to them. I must press on and continue to follow the examples of our national heroes. And I will always remember the statement of Rizal, "the youth is the hope of our fatherland."
AROBELLE CAREY: Passion is very important in everything that we do. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid of failure. Every person in a team is essential. Dance is not all about swagger. It’s also an expression of oneself. We should raise the brown race and be proud of what we have!
CHEE CHEE: Actually the whole camp is considered as a big lesson. We all learned and discovered the true value of ourselves as a Filipino and youth. Becoming able to search for our dreams and able to live with it with passion and love to be a better leader someday. Another thing was to give and serve generously without expecting in return. One pastor made me realize that in every thing that we give, if we don’t feel any pain, it means that we give only what has been left because the true value of giving is giving what is part of you not what is left of you. I also learned to appreciate the goodness of the island. Even though it was ruined, you would still see it’s never fading beauty.
So should we really be afraid of the Jejemon age? I guess not. Perhaps their "Jejenese" language could be the ongoing craze, but in thinking, our young people today have more sense than some adults that I know of. They are intelligent, mature, responsible and idealists of their own future.
- LECL -