It was technically my first day in Ateneo—a cool coincidence. I had ample time to explore the campus, eat at the caf, and check out the lightning fast Internet connection at the Rizal Library.
When I heard about TEDxKatipunanAve, I was ecstatic. I am familiar with the speakers and was genuinely interested to hear about their ideas and projects. Best of all, there’s no entrance fee but there was an application process. Applicants were asked what their modern-day revolutions are. That was the tough part. So happy to be given a slot.
The first speaker was Dylan Wilk, a Gawad Kalinga volunteer. He grew up poor, but thanks to the government, he was given grants. Through his perseverance and love of country, he was able to make more than enough money—he can ride an helicopter if he didn’t feel like driving that day! It was through a friend that he discovered Gawad Kalinga. The most touching part of it all was that he was only supposed to stay for six weeks but he fell in love with the country (and a Filipina!) so he opted to stay. I felt shame upon knowing this, because this guy isn’t even Filipino to begin with and it seemed like he loved and believed in the country more than I do. He believes that love of country is important, and that we Filipinos should serve and give back to our country.
The second speaker was my age, so I was impressed
and frustrated at myself at the same time. Arriane Serafico‘s blog is part of my daily reads, so I already know that she wants to use creativity to ignite social change. One of her brilliant ideas is the Postura.ph campaign. The rules were simple: wear something Filipino everyday.
She discussed the things NOT to worry about when thinking of an idea to change society. I believe that if you want it so badly, the best thing to do is act now. To get there, people should work on things right away to reap the rewards as fast as possible. I totally agree with this concept:
After her presentation, she made us pledge to pursue our modern-day revolutions. How cool can you get?
Next up was John Chua, a famous advertising photographer. I have seen a Pipol feature on him some months back, where it was revealed that he has an elephant for a pet at the Manila Zoo and that he has founded an organization that makes a positive change in the lives of kids with autism and disabilities.
It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me during that talk. I’d end up teary-eyed only to laugh so hard at his “hardsell” Canon plugging. But I have to agree, getting a photo on the front page of a broadsheet with the name of the camera on the copy is effective.
The next young woman on stage has been addressed by local government agencies as “Chief Mermaid.” She’s no other than Anna Oposa. I liked how she was so witty and fashionable—now that is saving the world in style.
She says that it all started with writing a zillion letters to various government agencies. She’s also very well-rounded, having various hobbies and interests. Supergirl peg!
The next speaker caught me by surprise because she is a mayor… at 24 years old! Pie Alvarez, mayor of San Vicente, Palawan, is a born leader. She claims that her being naturally bossy has helped her in becoming who she is today.
For her, nothing beats the satisfaction of changing lives through her chosen career. She shuffled back and forth the United States throughout her campaign (she was still studying that time). Pie also let go a career in fashion—at Chanel, no less—and pursued a career that most twentysomethings wouldn’t think of getting into.
Last but certainly not the least, the highly respected Maria Ressa.
Her talk took me back to my college days, when we were instructed to do good and not let money get in the way of our work. She shared tips on how to say no… and for her, it begins with knowing the boundaries and drawing the line between what is good and evil.
All in all, TEDxKatipunanAve was a successful event. As an attendee, I was inspired to make a change and to someday (hopefully soon), come up with my own revolutions that could change the society positively.