Tuesday, January 5, 2010

[TEDx Manila] Before A Fresh Start

It's been more than a month since the last post. Now wanting to start the year on a sad note, I can only offer a whimper of apology for being lazy to write more than the required 140 characters.

But not lazy enough to post a reprint of the blog I wrote for the TEDx Manila event I attended exactly last month.

Five Best Things About TEDxManila

This is brain spa!

Thus said Joel Yuvienco, team member and organizer of the first TED event, albeit independently organized, to be held in the country. Judging from the attentiveness showered by the crowd, it sure feels like a refreshing break from the regular programming brought about by both traditional forms of media and traditional learning formats as well.

I'm pretty sure that there will be more things to be said and written about this seminal event but for all intents and purposes, let me share my ode to it.


Five Best Things About TEDxManila

1. Atty Antonio Oposa rocks!

Whether or not he was supposed to start first, he totally defined the passionate Filipino TED speaker. Speaking eloquently, his presentation was a story of passion - about taking care for the planet, the irony of terms to describe countries and the environment likened to wealth being passed on to a mindless generation while being rewarded for depleting the earth's resources. We will just have to wait for the video and watch it for yourself. [Not that the other speakers were crap but no doubt, Atty Oposa's star shone the brightest that afternoon.]

2. Ideas are in vogue

Or 'spreading ideas' is an idea whose time has come. It has always been but not in this types of event or venues. Back then, as it is now, ideas are mostly confined in lecture halls, classrooms and behind corporate walls between persons of distinction and earned titles. TED has changed that and Filipinos are clearly, receptive. We want to hear what others are passionate about. Keynote and Powerpoint presentations are the new rock concerts and they are here and we're invited!

3. Expect Sequels

With that kind of reception, there is bound to be sequels and that would be a real boon. Exclusivity at this day and age is so undemocratic and condescending. I nominate TEDx Kawanggawa for those working anonymously behind the scenes - humble hands of the various industries and the backbone of the society.

4. Empowered: Things Can and Will Get Better!

More Filipinos will appreciate values, not just of distinguished and learned academicians but of other Filipinos that are also doing well yet remain faceless and non-celebrated. I want to hear from struggling Filipino artists and designers speak about their craft, from laborers about their daily toil, and from younger generation about overcoming challenges and helping others like the next batch of Efren Pe├▒afloridas. Ideas spread like wildfire and information aims to break free. A kind of empowerment!

5. It has happened!

It is one way to dream about putting up an event such as TEDx and another to make it a reality. It takes time, money and effort. Some things go as planned while a big chunk go and cause plenty of headaches. In the end, TEDxManila made history as it happened last Dec 6. Notwithstanding the technical difficulties, TEDxManila happening is a success in itself. For that, we owe the organizers a big debt of gratitude, not just for bringing us to partake of this wonderful event but more importantly to show us that, here in the Philippines, there is an audience and that TED can be done.



If there's a takeaway from the holiday break, it probably would be 'to stop and smell the roses'.

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