“Prince of the Modern Youth”— that’s how the fans branded the 13-yr old Darren Espanto. As a not-so-young fan (yes I am!), I was expecting for like “Prince of Pop”, “Pop Heartthrob” or just the “Total Performer” to be linked in his name as he journey towards stardom because I thought they best describe what Darren is— a multi-talented young man. But then the former title instantly trends and a lot of fans even agreed to give this to their prince. I am pretty sure that the administrators and members of the most solid fan-based group of today had their justifiable reasons why they came up with such title.
Darren, being born and raised in Alberta, Canada received a lot of criticisms and even questioned his rightful identity of being a Filipino. People would say in their comments that he is not a real Filipino, his parents opted to leave the country and adapt different culture so they don’t even have the right to be called such in the first place, and thus he is not qualified to win in the contest he joined. Let me remind everyone how we suppose to call the OFWs… they’re called (?) YES! They are called the modern heroes! I will not dwell more on this because common sense implies that they are Filipinos still, and logic dictates that like any other contestants, Darren should have been given the equal rights in the whole duration of the contest. And where on earth could they find a teenager embracing his own language in a foreign country? Kris Aquino said in her program that the good thing about the Darren is that his diction both Tagalog and English is so clear. I personally think that that alone is something that we all should be proud of. In this modern times, people would intentionally sound like foreign to be more conyo or more elite. But here’s a boy born from a country miles and miles away from the Philippines who talks, understands and celebrates the language.
In the beginning of this article, I mentioned the age of Darren and now I will give so much emphasis on it. He just turned 13 last May and yet he was so willing to pursue his dream. Are you not yet convinced how willing he was and is? Well, we all know that he travelled all the way from Canada to audition and now, he is away from his family… imagine a 13-yr old kid away from his family for his dream! He turned his back on the comfortable life that his parents have been preparing even before he was born. He doesn’t have to do this because the family needs it, he is doing it for his dream because he knows that the Lord has blessed him with extraordinary talent. At age 13, he knows the path he wants to take and that’s pretty admirable looking on the totality of youth today. But that’s not yet the whole story. Even in Canada, he persevered, he fought and armed with all the learnings and the same faith in himself and in God, he flew back in the Philippines and the rest was history.
Now, he’s taking the path towards superstardom where he could influence people and be a role model. In these cruel times, I say with so much emotions that the country, the youth needs him. We need somebody who is more than just a talent, more than just a pleasant face, we need someone we can picture our children to be like and actually be proud of it and that makes him the “Prince of the Modern Youth”.