Last January 26th, Xavier celebrated its fifth annual TEDx event in a true show of the power of hard work and true potential of its students as organizers. Getting students to go to school during a weekend to give up their much awaited rest for an event about the exchange of ideas is no easy feat, but this year’s TEDxXavierSchool defied the odds and did just that. With the Multi-purpose Hall filled to the brim with eager viewers all the way from Nuvali to Alabang, and with the audience in rapt attention throughout the program of nine speakers, this year’s TEDx is definitely one for the books and wholly worthy of its name.
The theme of this year’s TEDxXavierSchool, rethinking change, called on both speakers and audience members to think of unconventional ways to tackle prevalent social problems. With that as their guide, nine speakers–Joddi Chua, Nicole Tomas, Laurence Cua, Verlin Santos, Philbert Dy, Romel Santiago, Sharwin Tee, Jinggoy Buensuceso, and Ramon Bautista–each gave their “ideas worth spreading” by sharing their personal insights and experiences about rethinking change.
To start the program, Joddi Chua, one of Xavier’s own senior high school students, shared his insights about how one needs to learn to work with one’s “undesirable” characteristics instead of throwing them away. Directly following him was Nicole Tomas, an expert debater who spoke about how the discussion of issues, even seemingly useless ones, is essential to forming a strong identity. After Nicole, Laurence Cua of Uber spoke about how forms of crowd-sourced transportation could revolutionize the economic climate of the country.
Next, Verlin Santos, a Filipino spoken word poet and author with a rhythmic, lightning-fast voice, discussed how art and poetry can foster change and positive growth. Philbert Dy, an outspoken film critic who writes articles for clickthecity, then spoke about how talking to people we find annoying about their own opinions is far better than simply ignoring them. Afterwards, Romel Santiago, an advocate for the preservation of Manila’s culture and history, spoke about working towards the actualization of our identity by exploring Manila and experiencing its beauty. Next, Sharwin Tee, a Xavier alumnus and internationally renowned chef, explained his personal stance on the best way to explore the world: through food, especially eggs.
After Sharwin Lee, Jinggoy Buensuceso, an award-winning Filipino visual artist, gave a speech about the power of art to change social norms. Finally, comedian and television personality Ramon Bautista summed it all up by emphasizing that everything, especially being good-looking, can be learned and worked on.
All of this was complemented by the animated dialogue of hosts Bea Bee and Jun Sabayton, along with the appearance of Enrico Yao Bate, a 9 year old already acquainted with the language of coding and the creation of games. Aside from the extraordinary main event that focused on the speakers and their ideas, the event was adorned with numerous other features, among which were the freedom wall, the Instagram competition, the Twitter competition, the free loot bags, the free shirts, and the free food and drinks, all organized by the members of the committee and provided by the numerous sponsors of the program. Aside from these, the decor and designs were definitely unforgettable, and the countless posters contributed to the overall atmosphere of the event.
Overall, this TED event was a testament to the power of a good idea being properly executed. This year’s TEDxXavierSchool committee was composed of 35 student members who, with passion and perseverance, created an event that would forever make an impact on the lives of all those present and inspire people to rethink how they spark meaningful change.