Kulasa Shibby de Guzman, vlogger Bretman Rock among TIME’s ’30 Most Influential Teens of 2017′

November 3, 2017 - 7:04 AM
Shibby de Guzman at a rally (PhilStar file)

MANILA, Philippines — Two Filipinos, young activist Shibby de Guzman, 14, and Hawaii-based vlogger Bretman Rock, 19, are among TIME’s “30 Most Influential Teens of 2017.”

According to the newsmagazine, “we consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news” in choosing who lands in its annual list, who have included “everyone from singer Lorde to Olympic champion Simone Biles to political activist Joshua Wong.”

De Guzman, now 14, earned widespread admiration — and derision — when news outfits showed her joining last year’s protests against President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow the dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

She also joined rallies against the extrajudicial killings that have marked the government’s war against drugs, including last year’s “counter-SONA,” activists’ alternative to Duterte’s state of the nation address.

Even as she earned praise, the St. Scholastican student was trolled heavily on social media. However, she remained undeterred.

According to TIME’s citation: “Then, in a widely shared social-media post, she shut down critics who alleged that her fellow protesters were ‘brainwashed’: ‘We completely know and understand the injustice we are protesting against.’ Now in the ninth grade, de Guzman hopes to rally even more young people to take action in the Philippines. ‘It’s so important that [they] know their own rights and when authorities abuse them,’ she says. ‘There are values that aren’t up for debate’.”

One of Shibby de Guzman’s responses to social media bashers (image from the Benildean)

Of the beauty vlogger, TIME said: “There is nobody on the Internet more fabulous than Rock. Just ask him.”

While it noted that “the Hawaii-based Filipino beauty vlogger shot to fame for demonstrating makeup skills — fierce contouring, flawless eyebrows — that could give the Kardashians a run for their money,” TIME said “the real reason Rock (born Bretman Rock Sacayanan) has racked up nearly 9 million Instagram followers is his larger-than-life personality, best seen in the musings he posts alongside his glam how-tos.”

“Now Rock is building a career off that cheeky candor,” TIME said. “Earlier this year, he hosted the Miss Universe red-carpet preshow; in September, he kicked off a national tour to meet his biggest fans.”

The two Filipinos join the likes of Millie Bobby Brown, 13, who earned an Emmy nomination for her role in Netflix’s “Stranger Things;” Hawaiian native Auli’i Cravalho, 16, the voice behind Disney’s “Moana;” supermodel Kaia Gerber, 16, daughter of the legendary Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber; young scientist Krtin Nithiyanandam, 17, who developed an antibody that can detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and a bioplastic that can clear wastewater of toxins, and is working to “make triple negative breast cancer — a type of breast cancer that doesn’t respond well to usual therapy — more treatable”; and Muzoon Almellehan, 19, UNICEF’s youngest ever goodwill ambassador, who is “fighting to change” the conditions of millions of children in refugee camps, which she “experienced … firsthand after she fled Syria for Jordan in 2013.”