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Aksyon ng Ating Kabataan  

For myself, for them

by Alroy Eugenio Nonato

Alroy Eugenio NonatoAlroy Eugenio Nonato was awarded an honourable mention for the ANAK Liwayway Scholarship for Leadership Excellence last June based on his high school GPA, a group interview, and an opinion piece in response to the question, “How does expression impact you?” The following essay was his submission.

To express one’s self is to act on emotions and display your thoughts to the world, disregarding the stereotypes society has placed on you. As a high schooler, society expects my generation to be entitled and selfish. We are not expected to help others because of our greed and egos. My actions do not fit this mould. I dedicate my time to a school group where I raise money to fund a school/daycare in the Philippines. I organize fundraisers and plan out events for the group. We assist children half across the world in receiving education and the possibilities of a better and brighter future. I do not do this to prove anyone wrong or to change society’s appearance on myself. I do this because I get a sense of satisfaction from helping others.

Some people believe I do this to get face value and to impress people. They slander my work and tell me that I do not truly care. This does not bother me. I know why I volunteer my time and no one can change that. I feel happy because I am able to make someone else happy through my actions. It puts a smile on my face.

Similar to Nereo II, I am able to express myself through my actions. He does it through his spoken art, and I do it through my volunteer work. He found that spoken word, and being a battle lyricist revolve around a similar basis, of being an expression of one’s self through his words. However they are different because you experience separate feelings doing each. As a battle lyricist you need to feel anger and try to mentally destroy your opponent. As a slam poet you express yourself without concern of others. You disregard other people’s opinions and express your inner thoughts freely. This scenario is similar to my experience.

As a volunteer worker, there are individuals who do not personally know me and believe that I volunteer for my own gain. They believe I do it for face value and that I want to bring others down by making myself seem kind. I was seen in a similar light as Nereo II, a person in it only for themselves. In reality Nereo II found more satisfaction with slam poetry. He was allowed to open up and express his inner emotions. I am able to continue volunteering because I know my true intentions, and it is through volunteering that I am able to express my emotions. I disregard the negativity of others, and stay true to myself. We are able to show ourselves and our thoughts to the world and we disregard the negative feedback, while embracing the support we receive.

Nereo II stated that people “should not try to force a square into a circle” and instead to “be a chameleon”. He believes that humans should be able to adapt to the world, and make it ours. Do not let others control you. I share this sentiment. I should be able to adapt to my surroundings, but still keep my core intentions and motivations close to my heart, because if I do not I will not be truly expressing myself and what I stand for.


• eyedzproductions. (2008, October 7). Nereo II Interview & Performance Part 1 & Part 2 [Video files]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/SaKHuhIsLTQ?list=PLFmoTeGNlagHzDVBR3XLaXp97XFzTovgV

Alroy Eugenio Nonato is a recent graduate from Sisler High School and currently in his first year of studies at the University of Manitoba. Visit www.anak.ca to learn more about ANAK’s 2016 scholarship program and upcoming 10th anniversary celebrations.

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