VOTY joins MTV EXIT and USAID in fight against human trafficking and exploitation

By: Mina Deocareza

Alagwa

Voice of the Youth Network (VOTY) recently joined MTV End Exploitation and Trafficking (MTV EXIT) in its fight against human trafficking and exploitation. VOTY showed its support through participating in one of its events, the screening of the film entitled “Alagwa” at the Cinema 1 of SM Mall of Asia, March 2.

This movie screening was made possible by USAID Philippines, one of the partners of MTV EXIT. It was also part of the US Embassy’s 3D: A Roadshow in Diplomacy, Development, and Defense, which took place from March 1 to 2.

Members of different organizations and students from different schools who also supported the advocacy attended the said event.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg was also present in the event. He spoke at the opening program where he briefly discussed how rampant cases of human trafficking and exploitation have been around the world, even in the US. He even said that most of the time, victims of human trafficking and exploitation are not informed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jose Mateo R. Dela Cruz, Country Youth Leader of MTV EXIT Youth Philippines, also gave a speech about the role of the youth in fighting human trafficking. He also encouraged everyone to spread the word and help more people become aware of this pressing issue, not just through MTV EXIT but also in other simple yet meaningful ways. Most importantly, he invited everyone to take part in the fight.

“Alagwa” filmmaker Ian Lorenos also spoke in the said event and shared information on the film’s journey from a mere father and son story to something that captures a highly relevant issue in today’s generation. He emphasized that more than the drama; his film pushes a very important and timely advocacy. He also expressed his belief that like him, every individual can actually join this fight. “Everyone can do something even through simple ways,” he added.

Alagwa

After the screening, participants in the event had their photos taken at the photo booth set by MTV EXIT and USAID while holding signs showing support to the fight against human trafficking.

Starred by Jericho Rosales and Bugoy Carino, “Alagwa” is a multi-awarded film which bravely talks about the dark truth about human trafficking and exploitation. It tells the story of Robert Lim (Rosales), who loses his son Brian (Carino) at the heart of Manila. Later on, Robert finds out that a certain syndicate is actually involved in his son’s disappearance. Initially, he seeks assistance from the police, led by the character of Leo Martinez. He then loses hope and tries to resolve his problem by tracing the whereabouts of the said underground group by himself. Soon, things become more complicated as sadder and darker truths about human trafficking further unfold. Though there is some sort of redemption in the end, this film is still heartbreaking as it opens the eyes of the viewers about the irrevocable damage human trafficking causes to the lives of its victims and their loved-ones.

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