“Kami ang kabataan, pag-asa ng ating bayan.
Ito ang iginuhit ng aming kapalaran.
Ngunit kaya pa ba namin itong gampanan?
Sa bigat ng pagsubk na aming pinagdaraanan.
Nandito kami upang sana’y mapakinggan.”
(excerpt from the entry of Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth in Region I)
The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC), through the 9th Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week Sabayang Pagbigkas Competition, provided the children at risk (CAR) and children in conflict with the law (CICL) who are residents of Bahay Pag-Asa, Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), and other youth care facilities nationwide the opportunity to voice out their concerns and stories of hope. The CAR and CICL seized this opportunity and have responded with a resounding message and call to action.
The group from the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) Region I have spoken out their appeal for the children, CICL, and to the government and declared their stand on the Juvenile Justice System as their hope especially this pandemic through their piece “Panawagan ng Kabataan”.
“Una . . .
Sa batang malaya at walang sala
tulungan ‘nyo sila
Upang sa amin ay di magaya
Edukasyon yan ang kailangan nila
Programa para sa kabataan sana’y
“Pangalawa . . .
Sa tulad naming nagkasala,
wala sanang manghuhusga,
na sa araw-araw sa amin pinapaalala.
Mapait na sinapit, natisod at nadapa
dahil tulad ‘nyo kami lamang ay tao,
Nagkamali minsan natutukso
Ngunit sana’y pakinggan ‘nyo rin ang
bigyang pansin ang nakatagong talento
sapagkat kami ay may pag-asa pang matuto.”
“Panghuli . . .
Sana’y di na mahuli ang walang kasalanan.
Sana’y laging pantay ang ating timbangan,
Sa kapus palad man o mayaman.
Sapagkat, nakakaawa batang walang kasalanan.”
With this, they bagged first place and took home a cash prize of P50,000.00 which the members of the group can use for their personal needs, school supplies, or be part of their savings.
Meanwhile, the second place with a cash prize of P30,000.00 was awarded to the group from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Haven for Girls in Region III for their entry “Bangon Kabataan”.
It narrates how they wholeheartedly accepted their mistakes committed in the past and is now ready and hopeful for their tomorrows. They have also conveyed their call to intensify the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Law to ensure that their welfare and rights are protected and promoted.
“Mga kasalanang nagawa, amin nang pinagsisisihan
Natuto at nangangakong hindi na ito gagawin kailanman
Sa pagkadapa kami ay unti-uning tatayo at lalaban
Ang pagkakamali sa nakaraan ay amin nang kalilimutan
Dahil may Juvenile Justice Law na sa ami’y tutulong
Kami’y hindi pinababayaan at ibinabangon
Ibinibigay pangangalaga at protekta para sa aming kabataan
Kaya naman, panibagong bukas ang sa ami’y nakaabang.”
On the other hand, the third place with a cash prize of P20,000.00 was bagged by the group from RRCY Region VIII for their piece “RA 9344, Juvenile Justice Law: Pag-Asa ng Kabataan”. It highlights the importance of rehabilitation and their appreciation of the law for giving them compassion, new hope, and a brighter future.
“Pagpapatupad ng Juvenile Justice Law paigtingin
Upang kabataang napariwara maibaling
Sa pagtahak sa matuwid na landasin,
Magabayan sa pagbuo ng pangarap at mabuting adhikain,
Tungo sa buhay na matuwid at mapasalamatin.
Kasama ng pag-ihip ng magandang hangin ay nagkaroon
Buhay naming napariwara ng bagong direksyon;
Taos-pusong pasalamat sa lahat ng tumulong
Upang sa pagdating ng tamang panahon
Mahawakan naming may sigla sa puso, diploma, sa araw ng graduation.”
While the fourth and fifth runners-up were representatives from the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee XI (CVDC Bahay Pag-Asa) with the piece “Kabataan, Lipunan, Pamahalaan” and CAR (Bahay Pag-Asa of Abra) with the piece “Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya” which both received P5,000.
Now that the children have voiced out their battle cry, shared their hopes and dreams, and given their vows, it is time to hear them out and for duty-bearers to respond to this challenge.
The Sabayang Pagbigkas Competition is one of the activities of the 9th JJWeek Celebration. It aimed to provide an opportunity for children and youth to showcase talents in writing and delivering their literary pieces, communicate to all stakeholders and duty-bearers their call for action, and create awareness among audiences about their stories of hope.