Saturday, December 13, 2008

Keeping love real

"Keeping love real"
Sun.Star Davao, Dec. 13, 2008

One time, I was telling my daughter that back in the ‘80’s we used to have only four TV channels in Davao City and most of the programs were shown one week after its Manila telecast. It bewildered her!

And, I don’t blame her for this surprised reaction. Nowadays, because everything is convenient and accessible, the new generation is so used to instant gratification.

Hungry? No problem. Go to a fastfood restaurant and have your fill of burger, fries and softdrinks in a snap—drive through.
Research for a school paper? Just ‘Google’ the keyword and find hundreds or thousands of resource materials on the internet without the hassle of visiting the library.
Bored? Switch on your cable TV and voila, channel surf to your heart’s content until you find the show that amuses you.

But, let’s just hope though that when it comes to romantic relationships, the youth of today are wise enough to realize that instant gratification is not the best—‘true love waits’.

Rock sensation

Recently, Lamdag Foundation, Inc. held an enlightening talk entitled “Chastity Rocks” which was attended by college students and high school students from Stella Maris Academy of Davao, Ateneo De Davao High School, Davao Christian High School, Philippine Science High School and Brainworks.

Lamdag Foundation Inc., is a non-stock, non-profit group organized by women from Cebu, Manila and Davao. It has been in existence for more than 10 years and is involved in organizing activities for ladies of all ages (elementary, high school, college, young professionals, housewives, etc.) espousing virtues that will make them effective women in society.

Featured in the well-attended talk was the new rock alternative sensation Miguel Escueta, a recording artist under the MCA Music Inc.

Miguel’s hit singles include “Falling Away”, “Isipin”, “Handa” and “Take Me There”. His debut album came out in May 2007 called "I AM M.E.". In August 2008, he released a deluxe version of his top-selling album dubbed "I AM M.E.: AMPLIFIED”, a double disc series containing 5 new songs and 6 videos.

In addition, together with ‘OPM’s soul child’ Julianne, Miguel recorded the acoustic version of “This is Me”, one of the hottest songs featured in the Disney TV movie Camp Rock’s original sound track.

I am S.T.R.O.N.G.

A graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, the 23-year old Miguel works with “I am S.T.R.O.N.G” particularly in its “I Keep Love Real” campaign.

“I am S.T.R.O.N.G” is a character education program for the youth, by the youth. S.T.R.O.N.G. stands for “steadfast, trustworthy, respectful, open-minded, noble and gutsy”.
This laudable program was developed by the University of the Asia and Pacific under the leadership of Dr. Antonio Torralba.

Now on its 10th year and endorsed by the Department of Education, “I am S.T.R.O.N.G. addresses high school and college students, teachers and parents, sharing with them, principles on responsible day to day decision making and guiding the youth in living their personal freedom well”.

Keeping love real

The “I am S.T.R.O.N.G.” program carries the “I Keep Love Real” campaign for deeper understanding of love, relationship and sexuality.

So, what’s a cool rock star like Miguel doing with this campaign?

Miguel was chosen to become one of the spokespersons for the youth. As part of his advocacy, he has been giving talks to high school and college students about the importance of chastity in character building.

“Being part of this is program is truly something Miguel is proud of and something he believes in”, shared one of the “Chastity Rocks” talk organizers, Trescie Suarez.

According to its official website,, “I Keep Love Real” means:
“KEEP is respecting the nobility of affection and love.

LOVE refers to courtship, romance, and relationships between men and women with eyes towards friendship and marriage.

REAL is a quality of love that leads to respecting the dignity of the other person, waiting for marriage for love’s full expression, and making it last despite trials.

The first person pronoun I makes keeping love real a personal decision not an imposition from the outside”.

Youth speak

Aside from discussing the 7 myths of pre-marital sex, the boyish-looking Miguel shared his nuggets of wisdom to the audience during the open forum:

“Going steady early tends to skip the friendship part and deprives the person to make a lot of friends and do the things that he or she wants to do”.

“If you are a girl, never go after a guy, let them go after you instead. If he cannot go through the trouble of courting you, then he does not like you enough”.

“Be with someone who has a strong sense of sacrifice and knows how to delay gratification”.

“Keep your relationships open to your families”.

“Reminders to girls: watch how a guy treats people around him. Always remember to dress modestly to earn the respect of boys”.

“Get out of your bubble and be of service to others. In short, engage in more productive activities than entering into a relationship early on.”

Miguel’s engaging style impressed both the students and the parents present in his talk.

“Miguel’s talk was really inspiring. He delivered the message clearly. Events such as these could empower the youth and encourage us to become advocates”, commented a student.
“It’s hard to believe that a rock star would be giving a talk on chastity but I believe the audience was convinced on what he was driving at. It was a wise approach in getting into the lives of the young generation. Miguel was able to send the parents message and ideas to the youth without confrontations”, remarked one of the parents.

“I am S.T.R.O.N.G.”, with its “I Keep Love Real” campaign, is now internationally recognized in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Venezuela, Rome, El Salvador, Taiwan, Spain, Chile, Mexico and the United States.

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