In celebrating National Women’s Month, the Aurora State College of Technology Gender and Development Office organized a web series. SURE: Gen Z was the title of the web series. It was done every Friday of March via zoom call and Facebook live. Teachers, students, and people from the administrative team joined. The speakers were from Central Luzon State University and ASCOT. Below are the topics for each week.

Week 01: SURE: Gen Z—“Walan Bastusan: Usapang Sex Lang!”, by Prof. Argel B. Masanda RGc, RPm

Week 02: SURE: Gen Z—“ANO BA TALAGA BET MO? A Talk Using Gender-Fair Language and Defining SOGIE”, by Atty. Rocky R. Dujunco, CPA

Week 02: SURE: Gen Z—“KABATAANG JUAN AT JUANA PARA SA KINABUKASAN: A Talk about the Opportunities for the Youth in the Changing World”, by Mr. Jester S. Leander

Week 04: SURE: Gen Z—“Kumusta, Brenda?” by Prof. Argel B. Masanda RGc, RPm

Week 01 centered on positive sex talks. It aims to lift the taboo surrounding sex. This is because, in our culture, we often do not talk about sex. After all, it is often associated with something perverted/bastos. Some become uncomfortable just hearing sex and all the other terminologies with it. This must be changed. If we keep on tiptoeing around this topic then we will be setting a bad example to the next generation.

Prof. Masada’s talk was engaging and informative. Through simple games he made us understood more about sex. Myths were even busted. It goes to show that we have a lot to learn about this topic. Also, if we do not treat it as a taboo, then more discussions such as this will be done. It needs to be discussed because it is common knowledge that teenage pregnancies are on the rise, many sought the internet or even unsafe websites to learn more about it instead of just talking to someone in their circle, and we need to have proper sex education.

Week 02 was all about the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE). SOGIE has been associated with the SOGIE bill some lawmakers are pushing for some time now. It has not passed into law because of the common misconception that is for the marriage of members of the LGBTQIA+ community. This goes to show that many people still do not understand what SOGIE is.

Atty. Dujunco’s discussion was educational. Complicated terminologies were simplified. The genderbread person was introduced. This made understanding the difference among sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression easier. We were also made aware of the importance of using the right pronouns of other people. We must never assume their SOGIE. It may seem like a trivial matter to some, but for others, it is such a big deal. Using the right pronouns and taking your time to know someone’s pronouns makes them feel respected and seen.

Week 03 was all about the youth and the opportunities they have in our changing world. Our world has seen a myriad of changes brought about by research and technological advances made over the years. It is important for us especially the youth to know how to keep up with the changing times.

Mr. Leander talked about Ikigai, a Japanese concept that talks about passion, profession, vocation, and mission. He reiterated that we must look into ourselves and find our purpose. Our purpose will then give our life direction. The youth were encouraged to live up to what Dr. Rizal said—ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. The in-demand work and set of skills were also discussed.

Week 04 was all about mental health. It is undeniable that we have all been going through a lot during this pandemic. It has taken a toll on our mental health. Some people have limited knowledge about what mental health is and is often associated with illnesses.

Prof. Masanda echoed what mental health is and how important it is. Some of the things asked were about the things that make us sad, how we deal with stress, and the like. We learned that it is imperative to check on ourselves and check on others—be empathetic. We must also develop coping skills to make sure that we can keep going amidst everything that has gone on in our lives.

There was also a self-defense class and zumba class that took place this month. The last activity that the GAD Office did was the #MySuperJuanChallenge. People joined and sent their pictures with captions that portray breaking gender stereotypes.

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