TEDx Xavier School (full post)

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design

I have been a follower of TED Talks for a few years now, and the idea that people could independently organize TED talks locally excited me. The first time I heard of a TEDx event in the Philippines was a few years ago, but I couldn’t attend because it conflicted with my schedule. Last year, when it was first announced that Xavier School would host a TEDx event, I literally jumped up and down out of excitement, and I only do that when it’s something I’m really into.

Last Saturday, February 18, TEDxXavierSchool pushed through with 6 speakers: Mark Ruiz, founder of Hapinoy Sari Sari Store Program; Raynard Lao, shy student who conquered the world of debate; Brian Tenorio, shoe designer with a cause; Dodie Ng, young app genius; Brian Maraña, head of the International Studies Program of Xavier School, and Mr. Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga. All 6 gentlemen talked about vastly different things but with one common theme in mind: Innovation Built on Tradition, a concept that Xavier School itself has tried to embody in everything it offers.

On stage, in front of the TEDx sign

As much as I’d like to discuss the merits of each talk, I must admit that the specifics of what they said are now hazy. What I am left with instead is this feeling of inadequacy as a human being. Here are 6 wonderful gentlemen who’ve all done something out of the box they were in. Mark Ruiz is trying to unite sari-stari stores around the country; Raynard went from shy guy to champion debater; Brian T. was changing the world with his shoes; Dodie created something out of nothing by teaching himself; Brian M. was helping change the way students learn and see the world, and Mr. Tony Meloto was changing the Philippines, period. All of a sudden I felt insignificant and useless.

But the more I thought about it, the more Mark Ruiz’s message became clear: small is the new big. I’m just one person, but if I work together with other people who share the same passion/s I have, then I’ll have done my part in changing the world. Mine may not be as stand-out as these fine men’s achievements, but I’ll have made a difference in my own way.

Now I bet if my colleagues and friends read this they’d say that I was already making a difference through teaching. Well, they’re right. I’d like to think I’ve done my part in making sure that the world has more caring, compassionate, competent people to take care of it. I’d like to think that the kids I’m teaching now and have taught in the past 7 years have learned AND retained at the very least  a smidgen of knowledge and wisdom. I’d like to think that the world will be beautiful because of these kids I’ve taught. And that’s why I’ll continue to teach.

TED talks always inspire me. The people who share, whether they do it through talks or in the comments in the website, show so much depth that it inspires me (and others, too, I’m sure) to share not just my ideas but my whole self as well. I look forward to other TEDx events in the country. Let’s all be inspired and moved to action! 🙂


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