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DREAMERS & DOERS: The TEDxKatipunan Takeaway

What is the change I want to see in the world, and what am I doing to make that happen with myself today?

This is the thought that was in my head while listening to the speakers at TEDxKatipunan, over dinner with my Punchdrunk Panda partner Nica right after, over a post-dinner hangout with friends, and the moment I woke up this morning.

One of my top passions is to be a “brainwasher”; to make people consider my thoughts, my values and the things I love, and hopefully induce a change in their way of thinking that will effect change in their way of doing. I try to do that in the way I live my life and the content I create for this blog. And one day, I hope to be able to have the honor of communicating those thoughts in the same manner that yesterday’s TEDxKatipunan speakers did.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here’s my synthesis. And for those of you who did attend, this is a reminder, so you won’t forget some of the valuable things that were shared with us.

Modern-day Revolutionary #1: Dylan Wilk, CEO, Founder, Human Heart Nature
His Revolution: To show love of country through patronage of locally made goods helps circulate money within the country, and hopefully pays to help educate, shelter and feed our own countrymen.
My Favorite Bits: “Love of country cannot just be singing the national anthem. It has to be in our mouth, our hearts, and our pockets”; “Less for self, more for others, enough for all”
My 2 Centavos:
As a Filipino entrepreneur, I would naturally be a lover of this idea. There is SO MUCH TALENT HERE. We just need to recognize and support that. This also poses a challenge to all Filipino entrepreneurs to really develop the best products, services and business practices so that Filipinos will not have to look elsewhere, because Filipinos can do it too, and better. And really, this is something we should know on our own, without having to wait for a British guy to tell us.

Modern-day Revolutionary #2: Arriane Serafico, Blogger, Postura Project
Her Revolution: To start mini-revolutions in everyone, and support the local industry simply by wearing something Filipino everyday, and to stop overthinking your personal revolutions and just jump!
My Favorite Bits:
I will never let anybody tell me that my dreams are too big. Because I know better”; “As a wise person once told me…kebs.” (on just going for it, whatever it is you want to change/achieve);
My 2 Centavos: PdP collaborator Arriane’s talk tied in well Dylan’s talk on supporting local industries and really buying Pinoy. Her sharing on our revolutions also echoes my thoughts on being passion forward, and what should really drive us. But I think most importantly, though in no way do I mean to undermine Arriane, on paper, she may seem the least impressive among the speakers, but the fact that she encouraged the audience to really go out there and start our own revolutions no matter how small, coupled with the (ngalay-inducing) pledge she had us make, was really powerful.

Modern-day Revolutionary #3: John Chua, Advocate, Photography With A Difference
His Revolution: To find ways to understand and change the lives of persons with disabilities through his passion in photography, and to use one’s social media network to help really take projects like PWD and the Batad Rice Terraces restoration off the ground.
My Favorite Bit: “If you have no budget, the sky’s the limit!”
My 2 Centavos: There is profound strength in the role of social media in social change, which also reminds me of Jay Jaboneta’s story on the Yellow Boat Project. It really just goes to show how willing people are to help if you just give them an avenue to contribute what they can, if not with finances, then with their knowledge, skill, and most importantly, clout.

Modern-day Revolutionary #4: Anna Oposa, Chief Mermaid, Save Philippine Seas
Her Revolution: To stop global whining. And to save the Philippine seas, home of the richest marine biodiversity in the planet, by stopping its abuse and destruction through legal discourse, social media, education, and enforcement of conservation programs.
My Favorite Bits: “The worst global issue is apathy”; “Boys are replaceable, marine wildlife is not.”
My 2 Centavos: I’ve listened to Anna speak at the first IMMAP Open Mic Night, and a lot of what she said yesterday were the same ideas she shared back then. And it was still as great to hear. Her talk was like an amped up version of Arriane’s talk on starting your own revolution and Anna is a prime example of the tsunami-esque waves a single person can make that create ripples that the whole world can see, feel, and be inspired by. We whine and bitch and judge others a lot for the actions, while we sit idly waiting for change to happen. Anna reminds us to STOP MAKING EXCUSES.

Modern-day Revolutionary #5: Pie Alvarez, 24-year-old Mayor, San Vicente, Palawan
Her Revolution: To get younger people into governance and “wake-up” the system.
My Favorite Bit: “Mahatma Gandhi said…oh my God! Wait no, he didn’t say that. Mahatma Gandhi said be the change you want to see in the world.” (while fretting over the uncooperative slide remote thingee)
My 2 Centavos: Pie also encourages us to look at our core, at what we are naturally good at or what we are naturally drawn to do, and see how we can use that to create change. For her, her “naturally bossy” self and her desire to solve the people’s problems are what got her to where she is. And I agree that we need more young, idealistic, untainted people like her in the system if we want to change it. This is not to discount the experience of the older generation, but the addition of young blood is very necessary for change. I took a picture with her in case she becomes President.

Modern-day Revolution #6: Maria Ressa, CEO & Executive Director, Rappler
Her Revolution: To fight corruption by encouraging us, the youth especially, to draw a line we will never cross.
My Favorite Bits: “Evil is knowing better but doing worse”; “
Sometimes doing the wrong thing seems to be the only way to get ahead. You have to find the courage to say NO. The first time is always the most difficult. But it defines you moving forward”; “When you choose to draw your line and you choose to stay on the idealistic side you have the possibility of translating that action through your social networks”
My 2 Centavos: Nothing and no one could have ended the series of yesterday’s TEDx talks more perfectly then Maria Ressa. After all the prior talks, especially from the younger speakers, the audience was inspired, pumped and ready for action. But Maria’s perspective was very necessary to remind us of the bumps along the way, the tests of character, the very real temptations that lure us towards corruption. I can only hope that once we all involve ourselves in these pursuits for the betterment of our country, that our ideals and our principles remain intact. And that we never cross the line we’ve drawn.

These 6 individuals really give me hope in Filipinos, and in effect, in the Philippines.

So now, I turn the question to you.

What change do you want to see in the world, and what are you doing the make that happen with yourself today?

Jen

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