Filipina teen on Time's 'Most Influential' list urges youth to 'take action, be heard'


Posted at Nov 04 2017 09:28 AM | Updated as of Nov 04 2017 09:43 AM

Shibby de Guzman, seen here speaking through a megaphone during a protest against the lionization of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is among Time Magazine's 30 Most Influential Teens. Screenshot from The Benildean Facebook page

MANILA - Shibby de Guzman is not afraid to speak out, especially on issues concerning her generation. 

This resolve has landed her a spot on Time Magazine's "30 Most Influential Teens of 2017."

"Though personally, I did not work my way to earn that spot, I am glad that I can give this kind of recognition and praise to the movement that has been ongoing here in the Philippines, and I want other teens to make the cut for that list as well," De Guzman said.

The 14-year-old shot to prominence after she was photographed protesting the lionization of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, according to Time Magazine. 

"I think all of us are truly deserving of that spot even in little ways," she said.

In selecting her as among the world's most influential teens, Time Magazine said: "She carried a megaphone and wore a cardboard sign similar to those sometimes strewn over the bodies of drug-war victims. Then, in a widely shared social media post, she shut down critics who alleged that her fellow protesters were 'brainwashed'".

De Guzman has been bullied online for standing up against extrajudicial killings and for protesting the burial of the late strongman president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

"Making statements and putting them out there in media plays a very important role in broadcasting what I believe in and as a representative of the Filipino youth who are striving for a better future," she said.

De Guzman said the youth should be vigilant and take courage to speak out. 

"Take action. Don't just say that you are inspired and influenced. Take those words to heart and do something about it, be heard and be brave because you are so lucky to have the opportunities to make a better future for this country," she said. 

Aside from de Guzman, Hawaii-based Filipino online sensation Bretman Rock, who has gained global following for his makeup and styling skills, also made it to the list. 

Time said it compiled the list based on the teens' accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media, and overall ability to drive news.