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YOUTHFUL IDEALISM

Pinay student protester, Bretman Rock among Time’s Most Influential Teens of 2017


Two Filipino teenagers made Time Magazine's list of the 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017: a student activist and a beauty vlogger.

Shibby De Guzman, 14, was one of the youngest big shots on the annual list published Thursday.

The St. Scholastica’s College-Manila ninth grader was recognized for being among the student leaders at the #YouthResist rallies against the Duterte administration in July. At the protest, Shibby and her classmates wore cardboard placards around their necks, similar to the ones placed over victims' bodies left on the streets.

The placards, however, read "lahat tayo posibleng drug pusher," and rested above their dainty school uniforms.

The photo Time used for her entry is an edited version of the photo below, showing Shibby and her classmates protesting the rising death toll of the administration's war on drugs.


Last November, the then-13-year-old also faced backlash on social media for speaking out against the interment of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani. Time quoted her response to detractors who claim that she and her fellow student activists are being "brainwashed" by her school, which has long been active in speaking out and demonstrating against injustice. "We completely know and understand the injustice we are protesting against," she said.

Reacting to the Time accolade, Shibby said she mainly took opportunities "suddenly out there" for her to do good.

"Personally, I think there are people who deserve that spot more than I do because I didn't work hard to get to where I [am]," she told GMA News Online in a text message.

"To influence others and to open their eyes to the violence and corruption of the government, and that they have cheated the people they are meant to serve, I believe that youthful idealism can spark something in adult minds as long as they are open," she said.

Bretman Rock

Hawaii-based beauty vlogger Bretman Rock also made the cut after dominating social media with his fierce and hilarious make-up tutorials and Instagram antics.

 

 

"There is nobody on the Internet more fabulous than Rock. Just ask him," Time said.

Bretman was born in Cagayan Valley and moved to Hawaii when he was 7 or 8 years old. According to a feature on him in Allure, he has faced bullying from his male peers due to his sexuality, but has not let it bring him down.

The sassy 19-year-old with nearly 9 million Instagram followers toured the United States and returned home to the Philippines to host the Miss Universe red carpet show.

The two Pinoy teens joined the year's youngest celebrity heartthrobs, music stars, top-notch athletes, trend-setters, inventors, dancers, and goodwill ambassadors on Time's list. — Margaret Claire Layug/BM, GMA News

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