By: JC Beltran
With election season around the corner, Kapihan 2015 was a timely event that shed light on the profiles of several candidates and Philippine elections while placing a premium on the youth vote as a game-changer for the outcome in 2016. A shared effort of Ateneo Gabay and Ateneo Task Force, Kapihan was held on October 26, 2015 at Faura AVR. Entitled “Tayo Para sa Bayan: A Forum on the 2016 National Elections”, it aimed to foster discourse between the guest speakers and Ateneo students to further develop their insights on the dynamics of society and politics.
To engage the attendees as they waited, a KuliTV documentary about the issues of the K-12 curriculum was projected. KuliTV serves as a video platform that tackles the various current issues concerning education in the Philippines.
The event formally began with a short prayer led by hosts Czarina Duka and Jehanne Bonita. This was followed by a brief opening remarks by project head, John Paul Sabio, to explain this year’s theme and its relevance to Ateneans in this current age.
To begin the forum, Duka and Benita introduced the first speaker, Political Science instructor Rene Raymond Rañeses. Rañeses started his talk by contextualizing political climate in the country through statistical information and maps. He proceeded to declare the top three presidentiables for the coming elections, namely Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, and Jejomar Binay. He gave an in-depth analysis of the candidates through the use of an information matrix that consists of three criteria: issues, alliances and strategies. He compared and contrasted the potential candidates based on their personal backgrounds, stands on pertinent issues, proposed policies, performance under the PNoy administration, and generated buzz from surveys and media.
Following Rañeses was his colleague, Arjan Aguirre, also a Political Science instructor. In contrast to the macro-level nature of the first topic, Aguirre rather explained the role of the youth sector in elections. He emphasized youth as the “promise of politics”, composed of individuals who offer something “new” to society. Furthermore, he asserted that the youth comprises of a sizable portion in the electorate and their participation in the elections could make a difference to the nation’s development. Throughout his talk, he pointed out various key issues faced by youth nowadays, particularly on education and employment. He suggested that awareness on these issues will guide the youth to facilitate change in society and vote wisely during the elections for that change to happen. However, he stressed that cooperation between the “young” and “old” remains integral to the formation of society and the configuration of Philippine politics.
At the end of their segments, both speakers entertained questions from the audience to level off the discussion.
After the forum, participants were asked to go to Social Sciences Building 1/F and receive their coffee and biscuits served by the Kapihan core members.
Kapihan 2015 is a project of Education Formation Committee.
Projects Heads: John Paul Sabio & Marjorie Chan
Core Team: Gab Hernandez, Clowee Licsi, Abegail Lee, Joseph Lumba