A revisit on language lessons would refurbish the simple thought that a ‘house’ is the structure built for living, while the ‘home’ is where people dwell as beings. The usage of the word ‘home’ suggests a feeling of belonging. It suggests a certain emotional valuation. Thus, a person who has great passion for driving may feel “at home” in his or her own car.

The same word was used by Pope Francis for the subtitle of his encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care For Our Common Home. The ‘home’ that the pope refers to is the currently degrading Earth. Pope calls on every living person to respond to this encyclical, and then effect the united action towards the valuation of Earth and all of its creatures. By doing so, the Earth will not be reduced as an objectified resource for functionality and consumerism of humans, but rather as a place where creatures dwell.

In the encyclical, Pope Francis mentioned the youth. He said, “Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.”

In Laudato Si, the pope recognizes the young people’s concern for a better future and their demand for change. It trickles down to all the youth elsewhere. As a bastion of change, the Pinag-isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Proresibong Atenista (PIGLASAPAT) amplifies the demand by conducting the 1st Ateneo Eco Congress. The congress aims to bring in a multi-perspective discussion on environmental justice, and formulate legislative documents that shall embody the youth’s demand for action from Ateneo de Davao Community, the Davao City Government, and even the Provincial Units, Regional Units, and National Government.

Young people demand change.” – Pope Francis

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