I found myself traversing the roads of the City of Gentle People last December 17-19, 2012 when I participated the National Youth Development Summit held at the Silliman University. Initially, I had no expectations for the activity since I didn’t know by then that it would be a great, fun-filled, and would be an avenue where I could learn many things about the youth of the Philippines.
Kaakbay Youth Development Initiatives in partnership with the Silliman University Student Government organized the National Youth Development Summit in response to the need to holistically develop the Filipino Youth. Indeed, they have not failed to carry out that thrust for the activity has been tagged as the “first of its kind”. “The most holistic and progressive youth conference of the Philippines yet” as its website says.
Initially, I had my reservations in joining the activity perhaps because I got afraid it might cost me too much especially that the registration package does not include accommodations, however, what pushed me to really go to the event and join was one, because of my friend Kuya Joe who had been very consistent in telling me to not let this opportunity pass, and for two, the different speakers that the activity have in line for us.
True enough, the speakers were worth listening to, and one thing I could say is that after all the different lectures and different things that they have shared to us, it rekindled my passion to advocate for the Philippines. (Corny, but true.)
Tito Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga graced the event even though he had to rush to Bacolod to be with his family because his mom died a day before the event. He said, he “lives for the living” thus he still went to NYDS.
May-I Fabros then talked about some women who are 12-13 years of age with kids. Indeed, a her unparalleled dedication to Women’s Health has been rewarded by the great news that week that the RH Bill (now RH Law) has been approved for the third reading that time.
The ever-famous historian, Prof. Xiao Chua impressed me when he emphasized that it does not take an old-age, or many people to start a revolution. Bonifacio and Aguinaldo were the clear examples for it. The youth was not wasted in the young during their times, and we can do it again with our time. It was only in his talk where I got to know the motto of the Philippines: “Makadiyos, makatao, makakalikasan at makabansa”.
Cong. Jocelyn Limkachoing of the first district of Negros Oriental started day two by opening our thoughts about how bills are passed in the congress.
Prof. Leonor “Liling” Briones followed the talk of Cong. Limkaichoing. Indeed, Maam Liling made an impact on me. She shared on how a 70 year old grew up in the mountains because her dad was a guerilla, how a 70 year old grew up till high school without eating rice, but kamoteng kahoy. How a 70 year old succeeded those trials in life and eventually became the National Treasurer of the Philippines. Indeed, the life story of Maam Liling is an inspiration for many youths in the Philippines.
Anna Oposa, one of my idols was there. In fact she’s also one of the reason why I really wanted to go to the summit. I’ve been following her through her blog, and has always wanted to be like her, or at least to champion my advocacy. She’s another proof that the youth was not wasted in the young. She advised us, “You have to be bothered to keep you work”.
Paola Deles of InciteGov said that there is so much wisdom we could learn from people especially when we interact with them. Indeed, she even said that we should turn out a sad story into something that could change you.
Atty. Golda Benjamin from the Office of Sen. Koko Pimentel gave us four rules to follow. Rule No. 1 is to stay in school. Rule No. 2 is to not stay in school for too long. Rule No. 3 is to learn everything (But you must have the humility to believe that you do not know everything). Rule No. 4 is that you should be an ambassador of the Philippines. One thing I will surely remember about her is this quote: “It’s not the name of the school that dictates brilliance, it’s you who dictate brilliance”.
Juana Change was the last speaker of the NYDS. She inspired us by showing the different videos she made that had made an impact to other Filipinos. She proved that social media can be a very good tool in influencing others. She challenged us, “Kung may gusto kayong baguhin, kailangan kaya niyo silang banggain”.
Other speakers include Prof. Serafin Arviola, Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, Mayor Karen Villanueva, Arlene Burgos of ABS-CBN.
Also, one portion of the event was the different contests where I participated in the Elocution Contest. Kuya Joe and Kuya Rodd really know that I was at first not sure and not convinced in joining the contest. It was not until they had pushed me to join, and face my fears that I decided to join. Grace be to God, I emerged as the champion.
While I was traveling back to Cebu early in the morning of December 19, I realized that I was wrong in having reservations to attend. Indeed, it has been a very good avenue to grasp knowledge and to become inspired in advocating not only for the Filipino youth but also for the country in general. I now bring with me that aim to be inspired and be inspirational. Know more about the NYDS through its website at www.nydsph.org.
Inspired and inspirational,
Some photo opps: