You are a Truthteller

Andrea Panaligan - The Philippine Star
You are a Truthteller

MANILA, Philippines — Young STAR, The Philippine STAR’s youth section, bears witness to a lot of frustration. Young people today grieve for the formative years lost to the pandemic; equate their worth to their labor, and feel they’re too small to make a dent in decades of unchanging history.

This frustration is not unwarranted. How would you feel if your world is crumbling and you’re too powerless to do anything about it?

This question has always been at the core of The Truthtellers, the paper’s two-part anniversary issue this July, led by Young STAR.

When we think of truth, we think of fake news, deepfake and social media filters. We think of growing up in a world where we can always fall victim to manipulated media. We think of liars easily rising to power. We think of our anger: massive, seething, unable to change a thing.

But dig deeper and you see that this anger is ultimately fueled by care and love for nation. We’re angry because we don’t want our communities to be misinformed, deceived, and taken advantage of.

In this issue, we continue to highlight the stories of Truthtellers working to build a more just Philippines. History teachers take on the gargantuan task of teaching our students how to uphold truth. An advocate battles the stigma around mental health and makes services more accessible across the country. A community doctor earns back the people’s trust in vaccines. A filmmaker tells the stories of queer people in a world that renders them invisible.

We debunk the longstanding belief that there is nothing we can do. The people who lent their voices to this issue – publishers, musicians, activists, actresses, teachers, dancers, advertisers, and more – are all standing for truth. They all believe truth is still worth fighting for.

With the diversity in our roster, we prove that anyone can be a Truthteller. It’s true that we can’t even begin to imagine the scale of what we’re up against, but we also don’t know the magnitude of our power if we came together and chose to keep resisting, still. If there’s a singular message that reverberates throughout all the stories in this issue, it’s that kaya natin ‘yan.

The fact that you’re reading this right now is already a big step. You are a Truthteller. Keep seeking and living truth. This is only the beginning.

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