The results of a research study on Filipino teenagers had me smiling all week long. Despite the pervasive perception among adults that Pinoy teens have fully embraced their Western counterparts’ behaviors and attitudes, the study showed that that belief isn’t exactly true.

The TRU Study: 2011 Philippines Teen Edition, which was made by global youth research organization Teens Research Unlimited (TRU), discussed the mindsets, preferences, and purchasing habits of Filipino teens. And I just have to tell you that the results were positively encouraging. Here are some of them:

·       The Pinoy teen believes in the Filipino.

Despite his access to global brands, the Pinoy teen doesn’t see them as having any profound advantage over local brands. In fact, nine out of 10 Pinoy teens perceive local brands as being at par with US brands. Indeed, asked to name their top ten favorite brands, local clothing company Bench topped the list. Their other fave brands: Nike, Adidas, Jag Jeans, Jollibee, Lee, Levi’s, Avon, Natasha, and Nokia.

·       The Pinoy teen is very much into technology.

Well, you probably know this by now, but the Pinoy teen is definitely one wired kid. His days are filled with virtual encounters over the Internet, whether he’s chatting with friends on Facebook or playing with them through multi-player online games.

The study revealed that the hottest trends among Pinoy teens are social networking sites (81 percent), multi-player online games (78 percent), online photo sharing (75 percent), PC games (76 percent), and smartphones (67 percent).

While it is only too easy for teenagers to get carried away with technology, it is our responsibility as parents to guide them on its proper usage. For example, we should set limits as to when and where they can use their laptops, or how much time they can spend playing online.

With proper guidance, I believe that their intimate acquaintance with technology will only yield fruitful rewards in the long run. After all, we are now living in the age of the Internet.

·       The Pinoy teen gives importance to the same values as his parents.

How many times have we heard that “Iba na ang mga bata ngayon?” Well, it turns out that they aren’t so different from us while we were growing up. True, their fashion may be bolder and their language more casual, but the minds and hearts of today’s teenagers are still very much Pinoy.

Pinoy teenagers see the following as important: family (89 percent), religion/faith (86 percent), and personal well-being (84 percent).

Yes, mom and dad, your teenaged children have been listening to you all along. They have imbibed what you have told them—or shown them—about faith and family. Good job!

·       The Pinoy teen believes in the value of education.

Eight out of 10 Pinoy teenagers believe that getting ahead in life would be difficult without a good education.

For an educator like me, this news is especially heart-warming. It validates what I see in our tutorial centers each and every day. At our centers, I see all these young people working hard to get better grades. I can feel their energy and enthusiasm, and their hopes for a successful future. If these teenagers grow up true to the values they have now, then I have no doubt that the future of our country would be bright one!

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