TEDxKatips: Modern Revolutionaries

The country needs more of this.

One hot, and then cold Saturday morning, wedged between a college student working on her thesis during breaks and a Korean exchange student, I witnessed my first live TEDx. Now, I've blogged about my favorite TEDx videos during the time I got my attendance confirmation for TEDxKatips but spawned by talks yesterday at the Leong Hall of Ateneo, on this glorious day of Sunday, I just have to sit down and push my thoughts to my fingers and type.

{EDIT: The draft stayed sitting prettily in my drafts folder and it is now a few weeks since the actual TEDx.}

Here's the thing:

I can keep my notes all to myself, encase my inspiration in my chest and in my heart and be the sole revolutionary {if I ever will be} but the whole point of TEDx talks was to pin down worthwhile ideas and spread them. I hated to be the one who doesn't follow the rules for this one.

And so, with a sleepy head that is me, a cup of lemongrass tea in hand and aching muscles, I share with you my humble thoughts on the recent of

TEDxKatips: Modern Revolutionaries:

Ever the drama queen, I was teary eyed listening to Human Heart Nature's Dylan Wilk. His talk explained the entire concept around the cosmetic/skincare brand we all know as HHN now. He says, some years ago, he came to the Philippines, sold a luxury car to give Gawad Kalinga its proceeds and planned to leave. Philanthropist Tony Meloto told him GK doesn't need money but hands --- and so he stayed, where he fell in love with the country and found the love of his life in the form of Anna Meloto. A dropout and he himself, formerly below the poverty line {who is among Britain's richest men recently}, Wilk shares his learnings on why despite the hindrances, he was able to pursue studies and his business endeavors: Help from his countrymen.

It wouldn't be surprising that this was what I did the following weekend:

My adopted baby, Mikka, and I, Legacy of Light Village, Calauan, Laguna.

This is, of course, another story.

I know how disheartening helping have become in this country --- you know how beggars have a minimum amount they'd like to accept? You and me --- we know the horror stories --- but it's worth the effort to continue helping, to look beyond the apathy and the lack of improvement to extend a hand, no matter how little effort, because at the end of the day, time spent with people who needs you will always mean something --

it will always change a life.

And Dylan Wilk will always be one of the many foreigners in this country who put me to shame for being more Filipino than me.

Now, Arriane Serafico's talk was a breath of fresh air --- a refreshing take on being fashionable and nationalistic at the same time. I've seen the tags for Postura on Twitter before but never quite understood the meaning behind it till then, which was pretty genius if you ask me. She talked about starting a revolution --- it never meant that it would need to be of something big. If all you needed to do was jump, then jump. Serafico, whose presentation was concise, brief and straight to the point, touched on using creativity to change the Philippine landscape, it and its multitude problems. "

It's more fun to be a changemaker in the Philippines because we have a surplus of problems to solve," she quips and the crowd erupts into laughter.

Anna Oposa, a fierce fighter of the seas discussed how writing letters has gotten her to get marine life organizations to act more humanly towards sea creatures. From my seat at the Leong Hall at Ateneo, I could feel the infectious passion for fighting for them who can't fight. My favorite quote from her talk:

It was worse than heartbreak, boyfriends can be replaced, marine life can't be.

You could say Mayor Pie Alvarez had it all. Alvarez, the country's youngest mayor at 24 years old. She was working for Chanel {I KNOW, RIGHT??} when she decided she wanted to come home to San Vicente, Palawan and run for office. At such age, she chose leading a place where citizens wake up to victims of crocodile bites and where people rarely know what an ostrich is. At 26, I don't know if I can give up the comforts of being in the metro for that --- that much I applaud Ms. Alvarez for. The only downside of her presentation though, and I say this as an observer, was that it lacked the necessary {wish-it-was-negligible} touches of facts, research and truthful backing. I was live tweeting during TEDx {hopefully not to anyone's chagrin} and I could see the older folks waiting for those points, especially when she brought the house down when she pointed out we had a lot of 40 and up aged politicians, to which her point was clear:

If you want to make change, should you really wait so long? The problem with staying who you are, I believe, is that you lose friends and audiences along the way sometimes.

Now, Maria Ressa {who does not need any introduction, the woman is just inspiring}, walked in, her beginning slide flashed on and I literally felt goosebumps. Her talk called The Courage to Say No was all about turning and running away from corruption. "Evil is knowing better but doing worse," Ressa says. "Most people do not know when they're being evil." A veteran of the news industry, Ressa is awe-inspiring for being one of the few journalists who would go as far as not become a part of the Attack and Collect, Destruct and Collect {ACDC} journalists we have. "

Set a line for yourself and do not cross that line," was Ressa's ultimate thing to remember, to get the courage to say no.

To explain further what she's doing to perpetuate a greater sense of knowing current events, she shares the philosophy behind what I believe is yet the best news website currently, Rappler.com, an emotion-based news website. "It is corruption-free," Ressa says in one of the comments.

I could say I was changed. I could say that when I drove home that night, I took it to look at the people around me, the people crossing streets without warning, children who grew up with proper guidance and took it to heart that I will do everything in my power to bring change and less of global whining {to quote Anna Oposa} into the world. I plan to create changes in my own way, in myself and in the community I live in. If one TEDx talk can do that a highly-narcissistic, mostly-selfish girl like me, imagine what it can do to the rest of the country.

Kudos to organizers Francis Tan, Earl Javier and Chris Ang. More, please =)