RP top hunk promotes United Nations' MDGs
by Angie Costelo
Cebu City (October 15) -- Far from the klieg lights, intrigues, attention and publicity, Super star Piolo Pascual takes a break from showbiz world for a day to pledge his commitment to help promote the awareness among Filipinos on the United Nations Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the light of the nearing deadline to achieve the global targets by year 2015 last Friday.
The eight MDGs seek to solve the world problems and challenges on extreme poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality and maternal heath, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and environmental sustainability, and in creating a global partnership for development.
Encouraged by National Youth Commissioner Michael " Mike" Francis Acebedo Lopez to use his popularity to represent issues that truly matter, the influential singer/actor reportedly readily accepted the challenge of this new role in helping raise awareness on the MDGs and what the private sector can do, especially youth and student organizations, to help the government achieve its goals relative to the Millennium Declaration.
Last September 21 at the University of San Carlos Cultural Center, Piolo spoke at USC's 1st International Students' Night and asked more than 200 foreign students from at least twenty countries and over a thousand Filipino students to concentrate more on MDG-related activities for their organizations. "You have gone "beyond borders, within worlds", privileged and lucky to see and experience a different culture other than your own. But as you've left your countries, always be reminded that there are even more, millions, if not billions, of young people who are left in their own countries, continuing to suffer in a quagmire of poverty and ignorance. And even many of those who have braved distant lands have fallen prey to various unfortunate circumstances," he said in his speech.
He continued, "there are many issues affecting our youth, issues that know no boundaries. Issues that transcend race, creed, and culture. The blatant disregard for our environment has lead us to our current sorry state where global warming threatens our very existence. Ignorance of countless young people on the ills of substance abuse and importance of responsible and value-oriented sexuality has lead to the rise in the incidence of drug addiction, HIV/AIDs and even abortion. Poverty and little or no access at all to quality education for millions of children continue to be a problem in our country and overseas".
Endorsing the MDGs and UN's Stand up, Speak out Campaign, Piolo further emphasized this by saying that "Governments have committed to solve these problems through the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals or the MDGs. But with the year 2015 deadline for the MDGs fast approaching and still a great deal is yet to be accomplished, the challenge is to join our governments in trying to realize these goals. Doing our own little share in achieving the MDGs can surely contribute to the attainment of these goals, hence, the realization of the dream of a better life for mankind".
"As we seize opportunities for ourselves, we should also take every chance we can to contribute to positive change and endeavor to fulfill our role in making this world a better place. Ladies and gentlemen, I have played many roles, but this is one role I am more than willing to play with all of my heart. I am Piolo Pascual, I am an actor, a Filipino, a human being. And I want to do my share. I hope we can all do our share", he said as he ended his speech.
Piolo was also earlier conferred with Commissioner Lopez and international award winning singing sensation Raki Vega at the USC Buttenbruch Hall as Haribon Foundation's Ambassadors for Conservation, becoming the new faces representing the cause of environmental preservation in the country. Piolo and Raki were introduced to Haribon by Lopez.
Piolo has also committed to help Lopez in raising initial funds for the building of the Philippine International Youth Center through a benefit concert slated in the first quarter of next year. The center is envisioned to be a state-of-the-art and modern facility, complete with a hostel/dormitory which will cater to the needs of Filipino and foreign youth leaders and organizations for their trainings, seminars, and conferences, among others, on different pressing issues, most of which are already outlined in the UN MDGs.
If realized, the NYC hopes to pattern the operation of the said facility after the Youth Centers in progressive Asian countries which is "almost free" of charge to accredited youth organizations asking only for utilities and overhead cost. (RMC/PIA/NYC) [top]