Social media is weaved in the fabric of society today as a powerful tool that has the ability to shape opinions and drive change.

Beyond its initial promise of connectedness among itsalmost four billion strong usersaround the world that are separated by physical distance or even generations, social media has become a massive platform that allows its users to become more than just mere spectators in a particular issue as it gives them a voice—from showing support for a movement, to expressing their creativity to entertain an audience.

Like most people, I got on board the social media bandwagon to connect with friends and family. In 2010, while in college, I produced memes as a creative outlet. And in 2017, I decided to upload my works on Facebook, including my dubbed videos; I became known as “Macoy Dubs.” In the middle of the pandemic, I introduced the character, “Aunt Julie,” which was well-received by social media users.

Though social media is full of trolls and you may get a lot of vitriol by just being yourself, I think of social media as my safe space to voice out my thoughts and express my creativity. But more than an avenue for entertainment, social media became my way of spreading the word on more important issues today like theAnti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and LGBTQ+ rights.

'We need leaders who have a heart to lead us in creating a better society, where the LGBTQ+ community is not just merely tolerated but accepted and respected as human beings.'

I believe that given its wide reach, it is important that we use social media not only as a way to escape the realities of our everyday life but also as a way to scrutinize the aspiring future leaders of our country.

With the 2022 elections looming ahead, we should also be vigilant when it comes to widespread misinformation to help us choose the right leaders we deserve.

Time and time again, we see the power of social media—its power to build dreams, save lives, and spark a sense of community that shows that all of humanity is not lost. But social media also has the power to reduce lives in ruins and further keep people apart because of misinformation and polarizing views.

We want to look for leaders who have the passion to make this country a better place for its citizens by establishing and strengthening the foundation of human rights, jumpstarting the economy to attract foreign investors and support SMEs, giving local farmers a land to nurture, and making the Philippines an education powerhouse in the ASEAN region.

I want a leader who supports the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, by including SOGIE in high school and college curriculums. SOGIE intends to protect individuals who are continually harmed in the institutional, societal, and even familial level.

As of this writing, the SOGIE Bill, which was thumbed down on its third and final reading in the 17th Congress, has beenrefiledin the 18th Congress by several senators, while some senatorsexpressed dissent against it.

Mark Averilla a.k.a. 'Macoy Dubs' in one of the beloved characters he created, the "progressive tita,' Aunt Julie.

I believe inclusivity is key in creating a harmonious society, and we need leaders who have a heart to lead us in creating a better society, where the LGBTQ+ community is not just merely tolerated but accepted and respected as human beings.

Time and time again, we see the power of social media—its power to build dreams, save lives, and spark a sense of community that shows that all of humanity is not lost. But social media also has the power to reduce lives to ruins and further keep people apart because of misinformation and polarizing views.

We should also not underestimate the power of social media as it couldtopple a dictatorand uncover the wrongdoings of a government with just one click. With the Philippines dubbed as the “social media capital of the world," we Filipinos should use this tool that we have to discern what we want from the leader that our country needs today.

Come 2022, I want to see a leader who will unite Filipinos and will value human rights.Gusto ko rin ngleaderna may puso para sa bayan—‘yung matatag at kabog ang pamumuno.

Our next leaders should have a great track record in terms of transparency, no other criminal or corruption charges.

Iwant a leader who loves our country and defends our territory from potential attacks and intruders. I want a leader who is a man or woman of action and inspiration.

I want leaders who are intelligent and wise, who always uphold and defend the Constitution.

We want a statesperson who is capable of representing the Philippines on the international stage, someone who is brave by choosing words of wisdom rather than words of intimidation.

Exercise your right to vote. Register now! Go to irehistro.comelec.gov.ph.