Transcript: TEDxXavier School

0:02:08.5 (Martin Gomez)
Thank you. Please be seated as we begin our program.

0:04:16.8 Welcome to TEDxXavierSchool 2012. Please welcome our school President, Fr. Johnny Go of the Society of Jesus.

0:04:42.0 Fr. Johnny Go
Good morning everyone. You know, someone actually suggested that for this event, I wear black turtleneck and jeans but I think he got a little bit confused and mistook this event for another sort of event. So, so much for that.

0:04:54.3 But just to clarify, this is TEDxXavierSchool and welcome to this event. Welcome.

0:05:04.4 TEDxXavierSchool is one of the first independently-organized TEDTalks in the Philippines and certainly the first by a high school. So some of you may be wondering, “What’s a high school like Xavier School doing organizing a TEDTalk?”

0:05:18.9 Actually a lot. TEDTalks is all about ideas worth spreading. And when we think about it, Xavier School is an educational institution. It’s in the business of spreading ideas.

0:05:30.6 When I was a fourth year high school student here in Xavier School, my Religion class was taught by a Vietnam War veteran who looked more like a rabbi than an Army captain.

0:05:41.4 The only hint that he actually had war experience was that every time the class got too rowdy, he would make us drop to the floor to do push-ups. And that’s true.
0:05:51.1 Anyway, Mr. (Gary Moore) – that was his name – hardly delivered any lecture. But the ideas we discussed in that class over 30 years ago remain unforgettable to this day.

0:06:03.6 We analyzed TV commercials long before media education was in fashion and we talked about the thoughts of Marshal McLuhan about media, subliminal messages and fragment of the mind. And this was a Religion class back in high school, in a Catholic high school back in the 70’s.

0:06:22.4 And it’s fresh and great ideas like those that we’re referring to where we talk about building innovation on tradition.

0:06:30.0 That of course is our theme for this TEDx event today. But it’s actually been the refrain in Xavier School’s 55 years of existence. Innovation, tradition – they’re really not a contradiction.

0:06:43.8 We always say here in Xavier that we’re a traditional school but in the very same breath, we also add that we’re a pretty innovative school.

0:06:52.0 And why no contradiction? After all, innovation is nothing but fresh and worthwhile ideas that have spread.

0:07:00.7 And what is tradition but the same fresh and worthwhile ideas that have spread but also stayed?

0:07:07.8 I’ve been a fan of TEDTalks from the very beginning but one of my personal favorites is Steven Johnson’s talk which is called “Where Good Ideas Come From”.

0:07:16.6 And in that talk he talks about two good ideas, about good ideas. The first, good ideas happen in what he calls “liquid environments”.

0:07:27.4 Liquid environments are spaces where people can congregate, people can waste time and engage in idle talk. Liquid environments are places where good ideas can connect and collide.

0:07:41.3 Second, a good idea usually begins as a slow hunch. And the reason for that is that ideas require time. Ideas sometimes need a long incubation period and we have to think and talk about ideas over and over again before they can actually become good.

0:08:00.9 So maybe, the greatest crime against innovation is shooting down ideas too soon.

0:08:07.5 This morning will be an embarrassment of riches. All of us will be treated to a wealth of speakers and ideas. Maybe what we can do is think of this TEDx event as a liquid environment. So sit back, listen, think and allow ideas to collide and to connect.

0:08:24.6 Of course, we don’t expect to leave this hall with answers to life’s greatest questions. But maybe after this event, we will leave with a couple of slow hunches percolating in our minds. I think that’s good enough.

0:08:37.2 Who knows? Someday one of them may turn to be a worthwhile idea that will actually spread and stay.

0:08:49.3 I’d like to thank our NExT team here in Xavier School who’s worked so hard in over the past months to put this event together. I’d like to mention our alumnus, Peter Martin Gomez, who plays such a crucial role for this event, and of course all our speakers – some of whom are our very own students.

0:09:04.4 So sit back, relax and enjoy the day and remember, we only have one rule during this event: don’t shoot down ideas too quickly. Thank you very much.

0:13:40.6 King Alandy Dy
Good morning, everyone, my name is King Alandy Dy, a freshman here in Xavier school. I’ll be your host for today’s event.

0:13:48.8 As Fr. Go mentioned, today’s theme is “Innovation built on tradition”. So it’s just quite appropriate that we begin with a story about how an innovative idea, when made into reality, can help make a great change.

0:14:05.2 Please join me in welcoming our first speaker for today. Co-Founder of MicroVentures Incorporated, more commonly known as Hapinoy, Mr. Mark Ruiz.

0:14:24.9 Mark Ruiz
Good morning. Okay. I’m really here to share a simple yet profoundly powerful idea – that small is the new big.

0:14:39.8 Now, the seeds of this idea were planted in my head by this man, Mr. Nick Joaquin – historian, journalist, writer, national artist for Literature. So it would be wise to listen to what he has to say.

0:14:55.4 He wrote a very incisive piece called “A Heritage of Smallness” where he made astute observations about our country, the Philippines. And as the title “A Heritage of Smallness” implies, it’s about our love affair, the Filipino’s love affair with everything small.

0:15:15.6 And I quote, “Society for the Filipino is the small row boat, the barangay. Geography for the Filipino is the small locality, the barrio. Enterprise for the Filipino is the small stall, a sari-sari store. And commerce for the Filipino, is the smallest degree of retail, tingi-tingi, as evidenced by all of these sachets.”

0:15:47.6 Now, when you look at his critique, he was basically saying that it is the Filipinos’ smallest in thinking that prevent us from achieving greatness, that prevents our nation from achieving bigness.

0:16:03.4 Now, contrast this with other big countries’ big achievements. The Great Pyramids of Egypt, so anybody would look upon these structures, you know, awe-struck. You know, the engineering genius of the Eiffel Tower still stands tall in Paris now.

0:16:21.5 And in this land called Middle-earth in the great river of Anduin, stand tall the Argonauts. I just had to insert that in. Okay.

0:16:33.2 And it’s not just about these big, jaw-dropping, shock-and-awe structures. It’s all about – it’s also about big institutions like big media, the printing press, newspapers, big banks, the financial center that is Wall Street, big government.

0:16:54.3 But as we look now at the 21st century, all of these big achievements, big structures, big institutions, these are really being challenged.

0:17:05.7 In the land of the pyramids, Egypt, there was economic turmoil, social turmoil which led into a revolution last year.

0:17:13.6 Europe, as we know, is encountering its own crisis and its own financial crisis. And there’s talk of bailouts here and there.

0:17:21.9 And the biggest news about newspapers nowadays is that they’re slowly dying. And don’t get me started on the banks that were too big to fall, too big to fail- but did.

0:17:35.4 So this really has to get us thinking, maybe too big is bad, too. Maybe we need a new kind of hero. Where the big has failed, maybe it’s now time for the small to prevail. Maybe we have to embrace the reality that small is the new big.

0:18:00.0 When I say small is the new big, I don’t mean one unit of small. It’s not this one single bird that creates the bigness. It’s the flock of birds that eventually bubble up and become a critical mass that becomes big.

0:18:17.5 In nature, this phenomenon is called “swarm intelligence” where there’s a collective behavior of decentralized self-organized units. We also see this in schools of fish and see how they move in unison. And we also see this in colonies of ants.

0:18:38.3 As we see this percolation of swarm intelligence in nature, we then have to ask ourselves, “Is this also happening in people – with people?” And the quick answer is yes.

0:18:50.2 But in the 21st century, this collective intelligence has been accelerated by technology – technology like social media, Twitter, literally the pulse of the planet, and Facebook whom I’ve seen a – the TEDxXavierUniversity being very, ah, promoted.

0:19:12.5 Now, if you look at Facebook, two years ago, Time named Mark Zuckerberg as Man of the Year – as Person of the Year. Just last year, they then named this symbolic individual called “the Protester” as Person of the Year.

0:19:30.3 And if you look at the dynamic, two years ago it was about the platform. Last year, it was about the people using the platform to create change. And it’s amazing how all of this is playing out.

0:19:44.4 There’s this new movement, Occupy Wall Street”, a “leaderless organization”, where people are self-organizing. They’re representing the 99% of society which are jobless, which are in, you know, the recipients of the economic crisis. And they’re rallying against the 1% that control all the wealth.

0:20:04.6 And I like this slide because it shows here this slogan, “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”

0:20:11.6 But when I look at the Arab Spring, when I look at Occupy Wall Street, when I look at all of these movements, doesn’t this look familiar? I think it does. Because 26 years ago – 26 years ago next week actually – we’ve already seen this happen right here, right at your doorstep actually.

0:20:33.3 That’s in 1986 wherein millions of ordinary Filipinos inspired by an ordinary housewife got together to topple a dictator. So again, swarm intelligence is alive and well in people and it is a movement and it is creating massive forces of change. And that’s why I believe small is the new big. Small is the new big.

0:21:01.2 We’ve seen it in nature. We’ve seen it in people. We’ve seen it in countries. Can we see it now in enterprise? Can we see it now particularly in my field, social enterprise?

0:21:13.8 And I’m happy to share that these are the principles that Hapinoy, our program, ascribes to. And we work with that small enterprise, that micro enterprise, the sari-sari store.

0:21:29.0 Now, the sari-sari store is literally the smallest unit of retail. It sells less than 500 pesos per day. The name “sari-sari” connoted various kinds and this comes out in the store’s merchandise: daily household items such as coffee, laundry, noodles sold in tingi-tingi, very small doses for daily consumption. It’s literally so small.

0:21:56.3 But in aggregate – and this is where the power comes out – there are more than 800,000 sari-sari stores in the Philippines. If you add up all of the sales of these sari-sari stores, they’re actually bigger than the sales of some of the largest supermarkets here, okay.

0:22:16.8 But the thing is they’re an independent, fragmented, you can even say isolated set of stores. They’re separate from each other.

0:22:26.2 So if we try to imbibe the thinking of small is the new big, how then do we apply it to 800,000 sari-sari stores? This is how we at Hapinoy are approaching this.

0:22:36.4 What if we could aggregate, organize and connect these independent sari-sari stores and unify them under a common banner, under a common brand called Hapinoy? Then maybe we could have something very special.

0:23:01.1 And Hapinoy, again, is built on the idea of small is the new big. It creates a certain nuance. It basically says that the small have power when they band together. The small have power when they band together.

0:23:21.3 Individually, each sari-sari store is “powerless” but can you imagine if there were 800,000 of them working together?

0:23:31.4 But the secret sauce behind the sari-sari store or the Hapinoy program isn’t just the store. It’s also the 800,000 women who run, own and manage these stores – the micro entrepreneurs.

0:23:46.4 But thinking back to the theme, “Innovation built on tradition”, so we embrace the tradition, we embrace sari-sari stores, we aggregate and connect them. But let’s figure out how to create innovations out of this network.

0:24:01.8 And so we at Hapinoy have what we call a path to prosperity because it’s not just about creating more micro grocery outlets. Ahmm, it’s really about using this channel, this network to effect social change.

0:24:17.8 And when we say that, aside from noodles, coffee and laundry, why can’t we bring quality of life goods such as healthcare, water, nutrition, energy, technology to the base of the pyramid, to poor communities?

0:24:36.0 And let me give you some concrete examples of what we’re doing that tries to live this out. Using sari-sari store network of Hapinoy, we’ve worked with pharma companies to introduce medicine to poor communities through sari-sari stores.

0:24:53.1 So the goal really is you have your can goods, you have your laundry. But hey, you’ve also got your medicines sold in packets. Very simple idea but again, quite powerful.

0:25:05.2 Why not take it a step further and also bring in mosquito bed nets, given, ah, the whole dengue, ah, phenomenon that also is penetrating poor communities?

0:25:19.1 On the other flipside using mobile technology, we’ve partnered with a telco to introduce mobile remittance services. Ah, literally, the sari-sari store in the barrio is now like a mini Western Union, okay. And what it does is it allows access to financial services to the poor at a cheaper, ah, at a cheaper cost of access.

0:25:43.4 And we’re taking it a step further. We’re also working with a social entrepreneur inventor to bring packetized renewable energy solutions to our stores.

0:25:53.6 So that’s how you, excuse me, build on tradition and create innovation – from groceries to quality of life goods that could impact poor communities.

0:26:05.6 Now, when I go back and revisit Nick Joaquin, I think his critique was not so much that we’re small. His critique really was that Filipinos think small. The smallness of our thinking – that’s the problem.

0:26:23.1 But that problem now has a solution because now we can embrace the fact that small is the new big. I really don’t think the Philippines will be creating pyramids or the Eiffel Tower in the next few years. I think we have to sort of, ahmm, accept that.

0:26:41.2 But we’re forgetting so many things that we already have – we already have. We have 800,000 sari-sari stores. We’ve got 40,000 barangays. We’ve got 7,107 islands. We’ve got all of these small, micro things scattered all around the country.

0:26:59.9 And the trick really is to think big things out of these many small things. So let’s embrace our heritage of smallness and dream big things for our country. Thank you and good morning.

0:27:39.6 Kim Alandy Dy
Now that was an awesome speech. Who would have guessed that big changes can actually start small? If only we all did our own thing. But being in high school like me, what could be my own thing? What can I do? Please welcome our next speaker, a third year high school IB student here in Xavier School, Mr. Raynard Lao.

0:28:15.7 Raynard Lao
Good morning. I love Xavier School. Now, I’m not saying that just to kiss the ass of Mr. – Fr. Johnny Go because that’s the truth, because it changed my life.

0:28:27.5 Here as a student, that’s what I’m supposed – that’s what’s supposed to happen. I’m supposed to go inside in a blank slate and get out and say, “Wow, I’m a changed man. I’m a man with not just – striving with a passion for justice.”

0:28:40.6 So for 12 years, I’ve been in school. That’s my whole conscious life. That’s endless hours of reading books, endless hours of listening to teachers, and you know, occasionally sleeping in class. But it’s still part of that.

0:28:56.9 I’ll tell you now that I may not be the best Xavieran out there. I may not be that those that are engraved in plaques by the time I graduate. But that’s the point here. Not everyone is like that. Not everyone is born with greatness.

0:29:09.6 You don’t go to school and expect to be the valedictorian or the cum laude. I can expect that most of us here are just here are random students trying to get by – failing math and trying to find out the parabola and finding X of a triangle.

0:29:25.1 See, here’s an idea here. How about we focus on extra curricular activities? Because that’s what I tried to do. That’s what I try to do. I took pride with how I took the most out of the little time I had in Xavier School. I only have one year left, then I’m off to college. And that scares me.

0:29:44.8 So what I did was, “All right. Let’s join some extra curricular activities.” As of now, I’ve had – I’ve had a hand in organizing interactions and facilitating them, even joined Model United Nations and my little baby, the Debate Club.

0:30:00.2 Now, things weren’t always like that. Because now, high school is colorful. It’s a rainbow. I’m having fun. This are the times of my life. When I watch TV and they say high school is the time of your life, this is it. I can say I’m living. But frankly, that’s not how it always was because grade school was boring.

0:30:21.7 Let me tell you a story first. At the past, I was a shy boy. You can ask any teacher here and they’re going to say, “Raynard Lao? Oh, that’s a very obedient boy.” When the class was rowdy, the teacher would say, “Why are you guys like that? You guys should be like Raynard Lao.” And I’d be smiling. I’d be like, you know, because that’s how I was.

0:30:44.5 I was so shy that in third grade, my father enrolled me into a basketball – ahmm, in basketball when I was first grade. And I was so scared. I mean, I couldn’t play basketball. I was just so thin and I’d say, “This is just not my sport.”

0:30:57.6 Whenever I’d go in front and people will be staring at me, well, I’ll just (crush) out and I wouldn’t know what to do. I wouldn’t know how to dribble with my left hand; what more with my right hand? And so it scared me.

0:31:08.9 So that in third grade, when I was in Dreamscape, an arcade that is sadly not here anymore, my dad said, “Hey, why don’t you try out in this arcade competition where you shoot hoops?” You know, that arcade hoop game. And I said, “All right. Why not?” But I was scared, right?

0:31:23.2 So when I did it, I ended up in eighth place. And so, all right, that’s cool. I – now I can go to the finals. The finals. And so what happened was they didn’t get my score. I had to do it again.

0:31:36.3 And so you know what I did? I cried. I said, “I don’t want to do it no more. I don’t want to do it.” So I just couldn’t take that pressure. I had no confidence. I had horrible self-esteem, so much so that in grade school, I chose not to do anything because I told myself, “I can’t do that. I’m just going to lose. I’m not going to play a sport. Those big boys are going to push me around.”

0:32:00.7 And so I was stuck in that rut for seven years. But when I was a freshman, I said, “All right. Things should change,” right? I was telling myself, “I want to do something more now.”

0:32:16.8 So that when I reached sophomore year, my friend goes up to me and says, “Hey, why don’t you join the debate team?” And I was like, “Me? I can’t even stand in front of my classroom without wetting myself. And you expect me to join the debate team?” I had horrible self-esteem. I said, “I couldn’t do it.” But I tried to.

0:32:37.0 So much so that, well, I – so I was able to, you know, to try out. I (set) going there guns blazing. I was like, “All right. I can do this thing. This is my goal. This is my time to shine,” right.

0:32:51.5 What happened was I didn’t get in. I didn’t get into the debate team. I was waitlisted. The only reason why I was still there because my friends were like, “Uy, cute, tara. Maganda ‘to. Angas ‘to. Cool ‘to.” That’s it. Not because I was good but because I was their friend. And so that was a crushing blow to me. I was like, “Wow!”

0:33:09.3 This is the first time I stuck my neck out and I got shot down. But apparently, you know, I wasn’t that bad at public speaking. I would go on to go abroad. I would go on and represent Xavier School in (scrimmages) in Korea and Singapore. That’s why I ask myself, “Why not?”

0:33:25.6 I said, “All right. Look where I am now. I was able to go abroad.” I mean, who would say that a club would be able to bring you overseas? I was able to meet so much people. I was able to learn so much things that I know I wouldn’t have learned in school.

0:33:42.8 I said, “I’d go out there and I’d meet people from different ethnicities, different religions and I’d learn.” Instead of being limited into a Chinese exclusive boys’ school, I would meet girls, I would meet Muslims, I would meet atheists, I would meet Swedish girls who are not gay and who are not straight.

0:34:02.4 So that confused me. I was like, “Wow! The world is so different!” And I wouldn’t have gone there if it wasn’t for extra curricular activities.

0:34:10.5 Like, I was able to meet a British girl and she was like, “How are you, sir? Where you are from?” And I was like, “I’m from the Philippines.” And she was like, “Oh yeah, the Philippines! (You also like) McDonald’s.” And I was like, “Oh no, it’s more like Jollibee.” But then they couldn’t understand that.

0:34:23.4 They said, “Wow! This guy is from the Philippines.” They thought we were a village. They thought we were, you know, this small tribal hut with no Internet. So it was kind of fun, you know, messing around with them saying, “Oh, yeah, you know, we like, cook our own food and like, I dress up in like, a river.” So that was good.

0:34:40.2 But I figured, “Wow! This is fun. This is what high school is all about.” And I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t stick my neck out.

0:34:46.9 Now, I’m not here trying to advertise, “Hey guys, join debate,” because that may not be your thing. But it’s my thing. And that’s what’s important – doing what you want.

0:34:56.9 That’s why I commend those who ran for student council and won yesterday because that’s hard, going in there campaigning and saying, “Well, I might lose,” right? But things worked out and that’s what it’s all about. Because high – I have to say, high school is not a chore. High school is not a phase. High school is an opportunity. It’s a place where you can be more than what you were before.

0:35:20.5 And that’s what I did. I said, “High school. What can I – what does it have to offer?” Well, I was busy in class reading books of old dead white men. I would – I would be excited to go to a debate lecture that would be for three hours – three hours about Mahatma Gandhi or the Arab Spring. It’s just because it was my thing. It’s just because I like doing it.

0:35:43.6 I mean, in debate, I was able to meet a monk, like a legitimate monk, so much so that he can’t shake hands with a girl because if he did he’d have to fast. Would you – any of you be able to say that you’ve met a monk? So much so that people outside of school?

0:35:58.6 Because these things open my eyes. And because of that, I say I was more of a student now. I learned so much that, well, when I was in the curriculum, I’ll be honest here, I was bored. I would sit in class and I’d sleep because I’d say, “Wow. I don’t think I’m going to be physicist when I grow up. I’m not going to study Algebra.” But I didn’t tell myself I’d be a debater either. I just said I did what I like.

0:36:21.1 So I had to ask myself, “What now? What does the future have to hold?” Because I only have one year left in Xavier School. And I was like, “I have to top junior year.”

0:36:33.5 You see, I was – I came up here and I was tasked to changed the world because, you know, that’s what TED’s about. I must come here and and change your lives, right? And I was like, “Wow. That – that’s pretty scary.”

0:36:46.0 I’m here in front of people who are older than me, people who are much more accomplished, people who have done so much more and I’m tasked to change your lives. Because I’m pretty sure you guys didn’t come up to TED just to listen to us speak. But you came up here and said, “Wow. I want to go in there and I want my life to be changed.”

0:37:04.1 Because I’m not here to just boast. I’m not here to say how nice my life was. I’m here to say that you guys can start something now.

0:37:11.5 At the end of this speech, you go out there and just go home and do your homework and sleep while at the same time you can go out, meet your friends and, you know, like, go to some charity – charity case like in Gawad Kalinga saying, “Why not?”

0:37:26.2 I mean, it’s there. It’s there waiting for you and you’re just sitting down in your couch like a potato saying, “I’m lazy. No, I don’t want to go out. No.” Because that’s not how it needs to be.

0:37:37.9 My challenge for you is that outside of this, outside of TEDx, you do something. Because we’re not here to talk. We’re not here to bore you. We’re here to change your lives. And that’s what I try to do. And that’s what high school has done for me.

0:37:50.3 But that wouldn’t have been the case if I didn’t let it be so. So I ask, “What are you guys doing later?” Thank you.

0:38:10.8 King Alandy Dy
Now, that last talk really inspired me. School is really not just a place for studying but also for us to discover our passions and talents. And speaking of talent, interestingly, our next speaker will give us an idea of what talent and passion can do not only for you but for others as well. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Brian Tenorio.

0:38:44.4 Brian Tenorio
I see, on the stage. Hi. Good morning. Today I’ll be talking about shoe thinking or guys in heels. Not so difficult to see but in the next 15 minutes, I shall discuss shoes and how they help in solution-seeking – you have to scroll it up – peace making – someone has to scroll it up, sir? Someone has to scroll it up. Peace making, love spreading and general design development with occasional references to dating, friendships and shopping. Yeah.

0:39:19.5 So I was, ah, I was out with out with friends for drinks last year when I was introduced to this set of very stylish friends. And, ahmm, very beautifully dressed people, very stylish.

0:39:32.8 One of them – one of the more good-looking ones in the set chatted me up and asked what I did for work. And I said that I worked for a bank which is true. But when he found out my full name and that I used to be a shoe designer, his eyes grew larger and suddenly was quoting lines from my interviews in past magazines and TV interviews years back.

0:39:52.6 And then he told me, “But you know what,” and he found out I was in social development work and then he told me, “But you know what? You can save the world by designing shoes.”

0:40:05.7 And I was driving home and I thought, “I don’t know how to save the world by designing shoes. I don’t know how that could happen.”

0:40:14.1 So – but let’s start with a small story, ahmm, about saving the world through shoes. Maybe we were more eco-friendly with our designs, we actually could design and design shoes to save the world.

0:40:28.5 But I’ll tell you about the legend of The Eight-Leather Monster, a design project from before. When you use leather to make shoes, you end up with a lot of extra cut-outs, so those parts in light blue; so that’s the leather in dark blue. The pattern is in yellow and the cut-outs – the extra cut-outs, sorry, in light blue.

0:40:51.1 So in our factory years back, we would have sacks and sacks of cut-out leathers of different kinds of leather from different kinds of animals. And we realized that we could use these different leathers and put them together with very expert stitching into a nicer, more interesting shoe. And we made one, we called it “The Eight-Leather Monster”.

0:41:12.0 We felt that it was very beautiful but at the same time, the value came from putting together waste products or waste leathers and selling it more expensively.

0:41:22.0 And we did a somersault in the idea and we thought, “You know what? Instead of making it eight leathers, let’s use not leather. Let’s use vinyl.” And it becomes a more interesting somersault of an idea. And that shoe is mine. That’s not me. That’s a friend. But that’s not my feet. That’s not my foot.

0:41:39.8 And then I thought, “You know what? We could design pairs also that remind us of what things should be valued, what is important to us as Filipinos in this country to save the world,” yeah?

0:41:49.4 So maybe we could create shoes that remind us about the environment, about biodiversity, about animals and ecology. And this – this slide is for the ladies. It’s, ahmm, the angel – Angelfish shoe.

0:42:01.9 But really, so now I thought, “Is saving the world just about designing beautiful things? It’s the easiest thing to think,” yeah.

0:42:13.9 I realized that this may not – this point about empathy may be the greatest thing that shoes can teach us. You don’t have to read the long amount of text. I’ll tell you right now it’s more fun to place yourself or put yourselves in the shoes of other people.

0:42:28.0 You solve more problems. You understand solutions. You have less fights and arguments. Maybe dates and outings are more enjoyable.

0:42:37.8 To start to illustrate my point, I have this very interesting story from the past, the story of (Doo Doos). I have this good friend, let’s call him (Doo Doo) and he called me up one time. That’s his real name. He calls me (Boo Boo).

0:42:53.3 Ah, he calls me up one time and says, “(Boo Boo), Brian, I just got a pair of white pants.” And I’m like, “Wow! That’s really interesting.” It’s like, ahmm, “What kind of pants did you get?” “Oh, these are like $20, $25 pants.” And this was in Manila.

0:43:06.8 And I said, “You know what? That’s really great. That’s a really good deal as long as you don’t wear your white pants with black shoes because you’re going to look like you’re going to off-you’re off to do something else. And besides, the color combination of white and black is just too severe.”

0:43:21.0 So he thought, “What should I do?” And I, “You know what? Brown shoes, hmm, maybe. But you know, I think colorful ones or even blue ones will be more interesting.”

0:43:33.1 And that’s one – that’s when we came up with the colors – with the shoes (Doo Doos) and that’s what they’re called.

0:43:40.1 And then we thought, “You know what? We can make it in a lot of other funny, interesting colors that remind me of how this friend is to me, (Doo Doo).” So I created more colors and called them like, ahmm, “yellow likey”, “gray daze”, “Funny olive” and “Purple hickey”. Very interesting colors for shoes.

0:43:58.2 And then we thought – now I must admit that the illustration in that particular example was a bit on the superficial. Again, it’s just designing beautiful things. We can’t save the world by creating more (Doo Doos) and making a few people have something to match with their white pants, yeah?

0:44:12.8 So – but what can we learn from shoes? I think we can understand others better if we place ourselves in their shoes, if we put more effort in how it is to figure out where they’re from, what they’re doing and where they’re coming from.

0:44:33.0 But why us? Why Filipinos? Why shoes and Filipinos? What’s up with that? Well, I have another small story. I was in a cab in Berlin and the cab driver was trying to guess where I was from, “Are you Japanese? Chinese? Thai?“ And I said I was from the Philippines. “Oh, Filipinos, yeah. Imelda Marcos. How are her shoes? 2000? 3000?”

0:44:50.6 That’s the only thing she remembered and Abu Sayyaf. That’s the only thing she remembered about, you know, that’s the only thing he remembered and top of mind when he saw me.

0:44:58.2 And I thought, “Wow. People remember us for shoes.” And guess what? China could make the most shoes in the world. Italy probably the best made shoes. Japan or Japanese will buy the most expensive pairs. But you know what? Filipinos buy – oh, sorry, Filipinos love their shoes the most. No other culture will love shoes more than us, Pinoys.

0:45:20.2 I come from this town, Marikina. And in the photo are women running in stilettos. It’s what we call “Tour de Takong”, “Tour de Takong” in Marikina. And you can understand if you empathize how difficult it must be to be running a race in stilettos. But this is where I come from. It’s really more fun with shoes in Marikina.

0:45:42.1 And the we realized – but, you know, if you have very good stories like that about empathy, how could you empathize with this? In D.C. in 2009, I visited this museum, the Holocaust Museum. And in one of the halls was this room filled up with shoes, mountain of shoes, from Holocaust victims.

0:46:00.8 And when I was there, I realized, ahmm, some pairs were larger than mine. Some were smaller. Some were pink. Some had ribbons. The smallest ones, I thought, two-year olds, three-year olds. But these were victims, too. And then I would count them and say, “There’s more small shoes. There are more big shoes. There’s more women.” And then I felt extremely sad.

0:46:24.4 But the point is when they talked about it in the Holocaust Museum in this particular Flickr account, for example, everyone would say the most memorable experience they’ve had of the museum, was from that hall of shoes.

0:46:36.9 So from happiness to sadder moments, we have people empathizing via shoe design, yeah?

0:46:44.3 On the other side, there’s a range of feelings. Shoes can bring you sad ideas but at the same time can make you feel good. We have a pair here from a very good shoe designer, Filipino shoe designer, Kermit Tesoro, and this again, this one is for the ladies.

0:46:57.4 And you’ll see how the comments – you’ll see – you just have to count the Likes and you’ll realize a lot of people have a lot of stuff to like about shoes. You know what, guess what? It’s the only thing in what you’re wearing that does not really change size. If you’re female it gets larger when you’re pregnant. But for most people, you gain weight or not, you lose weight, it’s the same pair, yeah?

0:47:19.5 I was in a table of four just last week and this is a story about shoes again but about empathy – or about dating. So we come from political of shoes in a pile in a Holocaust museum to about something romantic.

0:47:32.7 I was in this table of four and the – and we were discussing about a few days ago and we were discussing dating and relationships. The question being discussed – and I will have to read it – was, “How long should two people hang out or date until they become a couple, get engaged or get married? How long?”

0:47:55.1 “How long,” for the boys, “How long should be going out with this girl from the other school to know and to feel until maybe we can call ourselves a couple?”

0:48:08.5 The – but you know, the – the analogy comes from shoes. And I will have to explain it this way. It should just be like shopping for shoes. You cannot just keep on trying the same pair over and over. At some point, you will have to make a purchase because you know what? If you keep on trying the same pair over and over, chances are you will end up ruining the pair for the next person coming in.

0:48:33.7 And at the same time, if you don’t, that pair gets ruined. Eventually, no one’s going to buy it. It’s going to be on sale. Who wants to be on sale as a pair like that? Again, an analogy about love, shoes and relationships, yeah. You can tell that.

0:48:46.9 And this slide is for the boys, for the guys and the gentlemen – for the gentlemen in the audience. Linsanity. But, I don’t – I don’t have to fit shoes but this guy in that last conversation was saying, “When I buy my sneakers and rubber shoes, Brian, I don’t have to fit them much while I’m shopping. I don’t have to look through them so much. I don’t like shopping and I just buy and then guess what? The shoes fit me eventually.”

0:49:13.1 “I like a design I like, I buy it. It fits me eventually.” And I told him, “You know what you did? You just broke in the pair. That’s what you call breaking in. you did not adjust to the shoe. The shoes adjusted to you.” And that’s a difference again about trying out how people are, were they’re coming from and about how they think when it comes to shoes and relationships.

0:49:33.2 So we have this new world of insight from shoes – from making them, buying them, using them and loving these pairs. I guess the point here is, ahmm, if we put ourselves in the shoes of others, there would be less fighting, less arguments and misunderstandings and a lot of better designs, maybe even national progress and development and even enjoyable dates.

0:49:58.5 So to understand ourselves and others, we must learn to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Where did they come from? Where are they coming from? What are they about? What about their families? Who are their friends?

0:50:12.3 The next slide is going to be a very interesting visual. So how does it feel to put yourself in the shoes of others? Pictured here is a pair by Filipino designer, Joco Comendador. Very beautiful.

0:50:23.1 But then I imagined, “How am I going to be walking in a pair like this?” It’s heelless so it works. It’s an actual real pair.

0:50:30.9 Or another one here is by Filipino-German designer, Monica (Figg) and it’s called “The Kiss of the Spiderwoman”. It’s beautiful, too – all four inches of heels and leather.

0:50:43.0 But to illustrate my point about empathy, I put together this quick, small, mini (improv) fashion show. So I pulled out gentlemen from Xavier School to help to show us how it feels to empathize with women’s concerns, with female concerns. So we’ve asked three gentlemen very graciously to help us – hold on, just stay there just a minute – I’ve also asked some of their friends to help in and guide them as they cross or struggle from the right side to the left of my stage. Hold on. Is it that terrible, really? Okay. Stay there. It’s going to be fine.

0:51:18.7 So I’ve cued the music right now. We have the fashion show, guys, ladies and gentlemen, “Guys in Heels”.

[Music plays]

I hope it doesn’t take me (unintelligible). You have to (bring them in). You’re halfway there…

0:51:38.4 Oh and – oh, hold on. You know, there are so many (unintelligible) oh, hold on. Sorry it’s like five minutes or six minutes of that. Hold on. You can get it. (Unintelligible) the stage. You can tie it together in the end. And you have to show them heels. There you go. Very good. (Unintelligible). All right.

0:52:07.9 Thank you. Even I have not worn heels that high yet. In any case, thank you gentlemen. I may not have to discuss anymore their experience. You could have seen how they are from their facial reactions, from their how their faces looks like – look like or how they struggled from right to left. I couldn’t do that myself yet.

0:52:30.3 But, ahmm, this discussion would seem like it were entirely about shoes. And, ahmm, but really shoes are only accessories. Accessories are tools for understanding the human condition.

0:52:49.2 Accessory – these shoes are tools to understand our identity and desires, our dreams as individuals and as a nation.

0:52:56.2 So please, in the next few days as you go meet your friends, don’t try out their shoes but you know what I mean. Thank you very much.

0:53:17.2 King Alandy Dy
Thank you, Mr. Brian Tenorio. So we’ve heard about a couple of interesting and inspiring experiences already and maybe new ideas and insights are already brewing in your own minds. So we’ll let it brew a little more. We’ll now have a 30-minute break. Please feel free to buy some food from the concessionaires outside. Our speakers will also be around if you’d like to talk to them.

0:53:46.3 Ahmm, would – wi-fi, if you’d like wi-fi, lecture hall, the password is 1234. Thank you. Wait.

0:54:05.2 (Martin Gomez)
Ladies and gentlemen, we will resume in 30 minutes.

0:54:06.2 King Alandy Dy
Be back in 30 minutes. Thank you.

(Martin Gomez)
If you’d like to tweet about today’s events, please use the hashtag #tedxxs. That’s hashtag #tedxxs


1:46:20.0 King Alandy Dy
Did you enjoy the performance? Yeah! Okay. We – now back to our regular programming. Earlier, we heard about innovation, openness and passion. Now, what happens if we put all these things together? What can we possibly discover? Let’s now hear from our next speaker, another third year IB student here in Xavier, Mr. Dodie Ng.

1:47:16.6 Dodie Ng
Well, hold on, sorry. So how – how is the talk so far? How are the – all right. Ah, hope you’re enjoying this morning. Ah, hold on. We’re just waiting for this one.

1:47:34.4 All right. So while waiting for that, I remember a while ago when they announced that there’s free wi-fi here. I heard that there are some of you in the crowd that was cheering.

1:47:43.7 So for those of you who are lucky enough to bring your smartphones here, how many of you here actually used the free wi-fi awhile ago to go online and tweet? Come on, show of hands. How many of you here did it? Because I myself did it as well.

1:47:59.1 So – because for my talk today, I’ll be mostly talking about the Internet. Ah, so, ah, yeah. We just have to wait for the…

1:48:30.3 So our lives all revolve around the Internet, whether we notice it or not. Like, if I had to ask you this, how many of you here go on Facebook or have a Facebook account at least? Come on, show of hands again.

1:48:43.4 How many of you here would not even remember your friends’ birthdays if not for Facebook? Okay.

1:48:50.8 How many of you here watch YouTube more than you watch television now? I see. So just by this show of hands, we can see that our lives all revolve around the Internet at one way or another.

1:49:04.9 Nowadays, it’s so easy for us to go online and find anything we want to find. Because of technology, everything that we want to know is there. All the information that we want to look for are online.

1:49:19.6 And day by day, more information goes online and at the same time, it becomes easier and easier for us to get these information.

1:49:27.6 Like, 10 years ago, you will probably not be able to go online and find information as easy as you can today. With all technologies today like Google and Wikipedia, information really has been travelling a lot faster nowadays because, next slide, ah, the information that we get online are like all pulled together into this one big body that is so conveniently placed somewhere that we can just go to at the comfort of our own homes.

1:49:58.7 You don’t have to go to a library anymore and search for maybe (even ours) just to find something you’re looking for when nowadays you can just go online, type something and you’re there.

1:50:10.9 It’s so easy to find information online and nobody’s going to stop you from finding what you’re looking for.

1:50:17.6 There’s this great freedom in the Internet. But at the same time, we become spoiled. We may not notice it but with how easy it is for us to get these information, we become spoiled with information.

1:50:31.9 We stop caring about the value of the information that we’re getting. It’s like since it’s so easy to get, it’s like what’s the point of, you know, take – find – it’s like we lose the value of them.

1:50:44.4 And so I’d like to talk about how I came to this realization when last summer I decided to create a game. All right. So this game was something that I did summer because I was just really bored.

1:50:59.1 Ah, I’m not a professional programmer. I’ve never had any professional training in programming. But I thought maybe it would be fun if I tried it out.

1:51:07.7 So this game called “When Pigs Fly”, it was my summer project. I made it, ah, for the first month of summer last year from scratch and I never actually published the game but I learned a lot from making this and for me that was the most important thing about this game.

1:51:26.6 So I’d like to talk about my experience when creating “When Pigs Fly”. So when you’re going to do something nowadays, when you want to learn how to do something, a lot of you would probably do the same thing that I did.

1:51:39.3 I went to Google then typed in the search box, “how to create an app” or “how to make a game” and I just kept on changing the query until I got what I was looking for.

1:51:50.3 Nowadays, when we’re researching, that’s pretty much all we have to do, right? And that’s the same thing I did.

1:51:56.3 So for my first day, first few days, I was researching and I found this framework that I thought it would be easy for me to learn. And so I decided that, “Hey, this would be fun.” I actually tried it out.

1:52:08.8 And so I spent a week or so trying to research more about this framework and I couldn’t find anything because as it turns out, this framework was quite new at that point and it’s not like, popular software such as Photoshop or things like that wherein if you go online and you want to do something there, just look for a tutorial and there’s instructions there about how you can do things.

1:52:35.2 But for this, when I searched online, all I could find were like how to do the basics and I was just not used to it being that way. And so that’s where I ran into some trouble. And then that’s when I realized that, “Okay, now what?”

1:52:51.1 And then so I tried it out. So I tried researching on the basics and I tried learning a bit. And so I spent a week or so trying to get a grasp of these basics and I tried playing with them on my own which is something I really have not done before.

1:53:08.5 But eventually, after a week, I came up with a prototype for this game actually and when I showed it to my friends, they were like, “Oh, it’s nice. We should, you know, progress this. We should add some more.”

1:53:21.4 And so online, it’s like I got these, all, I got all of these – I got all of these ingredients to make a burger and with these ingredients, I was like, “What am I supposed to do with these?” Because normally, if I want a burger, it’s either prepared for me already or I know how to prepare it already. But for this, I had no idea what to do.

1:53:44.9 But then eventually, we got our burger done and we called it “When Pigs Fly”. So after that, I gathered my friends. We started building on the graphics and some more of the game concepts and we came up with this.

1:54:03.0 So here are some screen shots for the game, ahmm, yeah. Next slide. And so as you can see, it’s a rather simple game actually. Ah, if you’re interested to see the video, there’s a video here.

1:54:24.1 So the game is actually a pretty simple game. All you have to do is, ah, tap and try to manoeuvre this pig as he flies across the sky and eat food. And while you’re up there, there are these birds flying that are trying to attack the pigs. And that was just a sheer coincidence and it had nothing to do with that very popular game with birds attacking pigs.

1:54:44.6 Yeah. So here is the short video of the game. And, yeah, I was really happy that I got it done. Ah, I did it in around a month or so and I had a really great time, you know, ah, creating this game. I learned a lot and at the same time, – and at the same time, I got something done. And this, where we see the value of the information that we get online.

1:55:13.7 You know, it’s not like, the information there is not for us to just be able to get anytime you want, but it is something for us to learn from. Because people put them up there so that you can – you know, it’s available to everyone but, you know, when you see, it you don’t just look at it, read it and that’s it. You stop there.

1:55:36.8 These are informations(sic) that allow you to learn. Like, for example, if you want to learn how to play the guitar, what I see what most of you are doing nowadays is just go online then grab maybe some tabs or something then play the song and that’s it. Just memorize how to play the song. And for them, that’s already playing the guitar.

1:55:56.9 But for me I think, the most important thing there is how you’re going to use that thing you learned about playing the guitar and maybe, you know, create your own songs, which most people are not really doing nowadays.

1:56:08.0 Or likewise, let’s say, for all the chefs out there, if you want to learn how to cook, a lot of people would nowadays will just go online, look for a recipe, then that’s it. Follow the recipe as it is given to you and just stop there.

1:56:22.3 But there’s more to cooking than just that. There’s a lot more that you can learn from the things that you actually see in recipes that we take for granted because these recipes are just so easy for us to get.

1:56:34.8 And so, I’d like to ask you this. How many of you cannot start a research paper or cannot start researching unless you go to Wikipedia first, for all the students out there?

1:56:46.7 Go on. I know there are a lot of you that go to Wikipedia at least once just to start a research. Because, before I’d like to end, I’d like to ask you this also. How many of you have actually contributed information in Wikipedia?

1:57:04.0 Okay, a lot less answer. Because if you don’t know, Wikipedia, you can actually edit the pages there and add your own content. Because, before I end, I’d like to ask you to share what you also know because the things online, you only find them there because someone put them up there.

1:57:22.7 And it’s also with you, your responsibility as netizens to also share what you know, that you can share the things that you’ve learned, share the things that you realize online for people to see. And who knows? You may one day be part of their own learning experience online. Thank you.

2:02:28.1 King Alandy Dy
Please welcome Mr. Brian Maraña.

2:02:42.5 Brian Maraña
Good morning. For the past four years, I’ve had the pleasure of working in Xavier’s International Programs Office where we’ve been focusing on a program that we called the Xavier China Experience or the XCE.

2:02:54.6 This is a study abroad program in china that is now a mandatory requirement for all of our students to participate in before they graduate.

2:03:02.9 And I’d like to share this morning some of the lessons and insights that we’ve gained from implementing the Xavier China Experience because I think that those insights and those lessons can be relevant not just for those who might want to study abroad but for educators everywhere.

2:03:18.1 So I’d like to go back to our theme this morning about innovation based on tradition. And I’d like for us to think about what it means to have innovation and tradition in the educational context.

2:03:29.0 So let’s think of traditional education. For me, I think of traditional structure of having subjects that are separate, the Chemistry and Physics and Math and English that are entirely separate from each other.

2:03:40.5 I think of a structure in an organization where we have several periods in a day that are usually the same amount of times. For the first 45 minutes, you’re in one class. The next 45 minutes, you’re in another class, then 45 minutes after that and so on and so forth. And everything is sort of predictable and expectations are clear.

2:03:59.9 Now, this doesn’t work for everyone. We’ve heard speakers this morning who aren’t always so thrilled with that educational setup. But at the same time, there are some really valuable things I think about the traditional education that are worth preserving.

2:04:12.4 One thing about an educational system that’s very traditional is that it’s structured and it’s clear. A student always has very clear expectations of what’s expected of him or her in the classroom, from the time that you stepped into school to the time that you leave.

2:04:27.2 You know where you’re supposed to be, you know where you’re supposed to sit, you know what notes you’re supposed to take, what pages you’re supposed to read, what essay you’re supposed to write, what multiple-choice questions you’re supposed to answer.

2:04:37.7 And while this can be at times frustrating, on the other hand, it provides very clear structure for us to learn and acquire very difficult things.

2:04:46.0 I can’t imagine studying Trigonometry or Calculus or Physics in an environment that’s chaotic. The structure and the clarity definitely helps.

2:04:54.4 In addition to this, many of the things that we learned from a traditional educational setup are quite intellectually rigorous. It’s not easy to learn to solve some of those Physics problems, it’s not easy to do a well-designed scientific experiment; it’s not easy to write a well-composed essay.

2:05:11.4 And so, to have the structure and clarity and guidance and supervision of good teachers in a traditional classroom setup are definitely things that are worth having.

2:05:20.3 But as we’ve heard this morning and as we know from our own experience, that when we think about the hours that we’ve spent in class, when we think about those subjects that we maybe, we weren’t so interested in, there are large portions of our own educational system that to us can seem irrelevant and boring.

2:05:36.7 And so what we want to do is to try to think of ways that we can innovate, think of ways to be more creative, think of ways to energize our educational system so that it can be more engaging to us.

2:05:47.4 And so, there have been a lot of movements and a lot of efforts in the past few years to try to do this. And one of these efforts is something that we call student-centered learning where you give students the initiative and the choice to figure out what they want to study and figure out how to study it.

2:06:02.4 And certainly doing this provides a kind of relevance and engagement to the students that they wouldn’t otherwise have. It allows students to choose topics of their own choice and so they’re motivated. And we all know that when you’re motivated, when you have that energy to do something out of natural curiosity, you’ll accomplish much more. Not because of a grade, not because you’re going to fail but simply because you want to. So that’s a real value.

2:06:25.9 At the same time, I think this kind of student-centered learning is also quite empowering. What we’re telling the students in this setup is that you are in-charge of your education, that learning is a life-long process and that you need to be active in it.

2:06:39.6 And what a valuable lesson rather than saying that education is about sitting in a classroom and being passive and trying to take everything that a teacher is telling you. Now, we’re saying you are – you have the responsibility, you have the freedom, you have the privilege to learn on your own.

2:06:54.3 But just as traditional education has its own setbacks, so too does innovation and progressive education. If we sit in a classroom and we say, “Okay, everyone, what do you want to study and how is it that you want to study it?” there’s a real danger of the education system becoming a bit aimless.

2:07:11.3 And let’s face it. There are certain standards that we want our students to live up to. There are certain standards of writing that we want them to be able to achieve. There are certain standards in Mathematics and Science that they should be able to have before they graduate and go on to college and go on to the real world.

2:07:26.4 So we don’t want to be aimless in our student-centered approach. We don’t want to be aimless when we try to just come up with all of these innovations.

2:07:34.1 So what do we want? What would be ideal? I think would be really perfect for all of us is if we could take the best of traditional education and take the best of our innovations, if we could have a system that had the same kind of rigor and structure and clarity that a traditional education provides but is also relevant, meaningful and empowering. But what would that look like?

2:08:00.3 For Xavier School, one of the ways that we’ve tried to do this is through the Xavier China Experience or the XCE. This happens during the third quarter. So it happens during an academic time.

2:08:11.6 And so, in addition to having our students study Chinese language and Chinese culture, they also have to study Physics and Math and Biology while they’re there.

2:08:21.1 So it’s a real challenge. We’re trying to again, take the traditional subject areas and make sure our students keep up with those subjects and at the same time innovate and say that you can learn while being abroad, you can learn while being in a foreign environment, you can learn outside of the classroom.

2:08:36.3 And we have three programs that we offer students. And they can choose one before they graduate. So 7th grade students who are 13 to 14 year olds here, they have a chance to go to Southern China and spend six weeks in Guangzhou or high school sophomores have the option to go to South West China and study the diversity of Yunnan province.

2:08:55.7 And our seniors have the chance to go to the capital of China in Beijing where there’s a rich sense of history and a rich sense also of development.

2:09:04.2 And what we want to do is make sure that this is relevant and engaging and at the same time rigorous and difficult, challenging. And one of the ways that we do this is providing certain themes to our educational process rather than subject areas.

2:09:18.1 So what do I mean? What I mean is that when our students go to Beijing as a good example, they aren’t taking courses in English or Social Science or Filipino. They’re taking classes in a theme.

2:09:28.8 One theme that we see in China is all of the societal and cultural change. So we have a course entitled Societal and Cultural Change. Because if you go to Beijing, you might go see a place like the Great Wall of China, 500 years old or 600 years old. You’ll be able to appreciate the richness of China’s history and China’s past.

2:09:47.1 But at the same time, maybe the same day, you can go see the Olympic venues and see how China is modernizing and developing at a very rapid pace.

2:09:56.9 And so, there are a lot of discussions to be had about how does China deal with all of that societal change and how should we as Filipinos or anywhere in the world deal with rapid cultural and societal change. So we feel that’s quite relevant and quite engaging.

2:10:11.0 Something similar occurs in our Yunnan program for High 2 Students. They go to South West China. I mentioned, it’s an ecology rich and diverse environment. They’re taking Biology in their sophomore year. And during the third quarter, they focus specifically on ecology.

2:10:27.3 So what better place to study ecological diversity than Yunnan province? Early in the trip, they get to go up North to a town called Lijiang and they get to see and experience the wetlands just by Lasher Lake. But a few weeks later, they go down to Southern Yunnan province where it’s quite tropical and they can walk around the tropical rain forest park and see the biodiversity there.

2:10:50.2 So now, we’ve moved beyond just real life themes, but we’ve also have a real life setting, we have real life activities, we have real life instruction. And these courses end up being some of the most highly rated programs that we have based on our post-program evaluations.

2:11:06.1 But it’s not just fun and engaging. Our students on those same evaluations also say that these programs are some of the more difficult programs that they’ve had, that they do more work in the XCE than they would do in a typical third quarter at Xavier.

2:11:21.0 And the reason is that the assignments that we give and the projects that we give cannot be solved simply by reading a book and they cannot be solved simply by listening to a lecture.

2:11:30.2 In the Beijing program, we have a course called Local and Global Citizenship. And our students are tasked to go out into Chinese universities and interview university students about their opinions on Chinese citizenship. They then come back to the classroom and have a dialogue about what it means to be a Filipino citizen and what it means to be a global citizen.

2:11:50.3 And they collate all of their ideas and then we go to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and present our ideas to the Ambassador and to the Consuls there.

2:11:57.7 And it’s a wonderful dialogue because we also get to hear the perspectives of professionals, of public servants who are also talking about their experiences with citizenship on a national level and on a global level.

2:12:09.5 So now we have real life themes, real life instruction and now real life assessments and real life projects. These things are not easy, they’re difficult. But probably the most difficult thing of living in China, whether it’s in Beijing or in Yunnan or Guangzhou, is just being away from home and being in a foreign environment.

2:12:29.5 This is especially true for our Grade 7 students, again, only 13 or 14 years old. For many of them, they’re away from home for the first time in their lives, away from their family, away from their friends, away from their support system.

2:12:42.7 And this comes out, the anxiety and disorientation, that that causes comes out in different ways when they’re there.

2:12:50.0 This is a picture of some students that I was with. And we took them to local restaurants. So we went out of the dorm, away from the canteen. And we went to the restaurant and I gave the guys the menu and I said, “Order away.” And the problem is they don’t read Chinese characters very well.

2:13:04.9 So they sort of opened the menu and randomly selected dishes, some based off pictures, some just sort of random. And so, you have a boy there on the left who’s looking very curiously at what he originally thought was a plate full of fried potatoes but in fact is a plateful of cold tofu. And so, he’s trying to decide whether or not he really wants to eat it.

2:13:24.8 So this kind of disorientation happens all the time. It happens when they’re doing laundry and they pull out pink underwear because they threw in a red t-shirt along with the mix.

2:13:34.1 And so, they’re trying to figure these things out for themselves and there is anxiety, there is fear, there is frustration. But by the end of the program, there’s also a sense of responsibility, of accountability, of real achievement.

2:13:47.3 And many of our students much later into high school and even after high school point back to the Grade 7 experience as one of the most transformative and meaningful programs that they had in their Xavier education.

2:13:58.9 And I think it was this experience of being lost, of being out of your element, of being confused that was so educational. And this is what we try to do even for our older students.

2:14:09.2 For example, those in Beijing. For someone who studied abroad in Beijing, I know what it’s like to have to go on a lot of tours, to get on a tour bus, to get off the tour bus and follow a tour guide who tells you where to go, what to see and what’s worth knowing.

2:14:23.5 And I have to say that this, just like some of the lectures and textbooks that I read in a traditional classroom setup, this is a traditional tour setup. And it can also seem boring.

2:14:33.4 And so, we wanted to provide some of that empowerment to the students. And so, what we say is that once a week or twice a week, the students get to design their own itinerary. They break into small groups of 11 or 12 accompanied by a faculty mentor and we tell them that you can go anywhere in the city that you wish. You can do whatever you want.

2:14:51.0 We just have a few conditions. One, you stay with your group. Number two, you make an effort to accomplish those academic projects that you have assigned to you. And number three, that you only take public transportation. So you can’t cheat and take a taxi and show them where you want to go and get there. You have to ride the buses. You have to ride the subways. You have to figure it out for yourself.

2:15:13.0 And inevitably, the groups get lost. My first group in Beijing in 2008 decided they wanted to go to the old Beijing Science and Technology Museum. And this was no easy task. It’s not a popular tourist destination. There were no books or tourist books that they could refer to to tell how they could get there.

2:15:33.1 And so, they had to navigate Chinese websites to figure out the buses and subways. That involved one bus ride, a transfer to the subway, a transfer to another subway line, a transfer to another bus and then a 10-minute walk.

2:15:44.9 And so, I was impressed when they got to that last bus ride and I could see the Science and Technology Museum coming up. I knew where it was. I wasn’t going to tell the students. But I knew where it was. And so, it’s in front of me. And a few seconds later, it’s in front of us. And a few seconds later after that, it’s behind us.

2:16:03.8 And so, I turned to the students and I say, “Guys, when do we get off the bus.” And it hadn’t occurred to them that they’d have to get off the bus. They hadn’t thought of what station they need to choose or which station they need to – that they need to identify in order to get to the museum.

2:16:18.7 So they got off the next stop and they began arguing immediately which direction to go in. And they eventually ended up going in a direction away from the museum until one of them asked a local newspaper vendor which way to go which I thought was a very proactive move. Unfortunately for them, the newspaper vendor pointed them in the wrong direction.

2:16:36.7 And so, we continued walking in the wrong direction for another ten minutes until the frustration begins to boil and the students begin asking lots of people. And finally, lots of people direct us back in the right direction. And 20 minutes later, we’re at the museum.

2:16:49.1 The boys gleefully go up to the ticket counter and say, “Okay, we’re here. Let’s go see what this Science museum has to offer” only to find out the museum had closed five minutes earlier.

2:16:59.1 And so, they felt, “Okay, we failed at our task.” And we began to process this. And I said, “Well, what was your task for the day?” And they said, “Well, we wanted to get to the museum.”

2:17:08.4 And I said, “Well, you got to the museum.” And they began to think about, they began to think about the lessons they learned. They learned something about situational awareness, being aware of your surroundings and knowing when to get off the bus.

2:17:20.4 They learned about planning, they learned about teamwork and communication. They practiced their Chinese, being able to talk to local residents. They learned that you have to find multiple sources of information in order to find the right way and the right path.

2:17:35.6 Now, those kinds of lessons, in my opinion, are far more crucial and far more important than anything that they could have learned in the museum itself.

2:17:43.7 So our insights here for XCE is that there are couple of ways to blend innovation and tradition. I think for teachers and educators out there, you don’t need to have an XCE. If you want to make your classes more engaging and more relevant, you only need to do one thing. Focus on real world issues, have real life themes, have real life settings.

2:18:07.1 Again, a real life setting doesn’t have to be as far away as Yunnan province. They can be as close by as your local community, your own city. You only need to step out of the classroom walls every once in a while.

2:18:19.4 Also, you can have real life assessments and projects so the kinds of things that students are working on don’t seem like just a series of hoops that they have to jump through.

2:18:28.7 And finally, the next message that we’ve learned from the XCE, and this is to all students out there and really to all of us, is to allow yourself to get lost. Allow yourself to get confused. Allow yourself to put – to be in situations where you don’t know the answer, where there is no step by step guide. It’s that experience of being lost, of being confused and finding your way out of that that ends up teaching you the lessons that you’ll never forget.

2:18:55.7 And so, today, my message to all of you, to educators, to students, to learners of all stripes is I invite you to help us upgrade the way that we learned. And the way we do this is quite simple. It just means that we have to get real and get lost. Thank you very much.

2:20:08.5 Tony Meloto
Is it on?

2:20:18.8 Good morning. This is always the scenario for me. Now that I’m a senior citizen, I’m always the last, being the oldest person in the crowd. And today, we talk about innovation and tradition. But I am more innovation than tradition especially in a country like the Philippines where we don’t really know who we are because we are just in the process of defining ourselves.

2:20:41.1 Especially in a country like the Philippines where we don’t really know who we are because we are just in the process of defining ourselves. Three hundred years in the convent as people say and 50 years in Hollywood, we are the most confused people in the planet.

2:21:00.6 And now, we’re seeing that together with other emerging countries in the world, we’re starting to define ourselves. And I find it most interesting at this point in my life that I work more with young people than those who are my age.

2:21:22.3 I guess my journey began when I was 35 years old, when I had my midlife crises. Just like many of the people in this country, you know, we were taught to study hard, to become successful, get rich and give to charity.

2:21:38.0 And I realize that I did all that. But at 35, I discovered that you can achieve your ambition but doesn’t necessarily make you a happy person. And oftentimes, when we are just ambition-driven, we get something that we realize later on is an empty bag.

2:22:01.5 And so, at 35, I had a wife, I had three children but I was not happy because I realize that the more that I was driven by a desire for personal success, I was living in a country where there was deepening poverty and there was growing corruption.

2:22:22.3 And I also realize that the tradition drives us – development is driven by charity when we need to realize that as a Christian country, we have to also talk about Christian stewardship.

2:22:39.6 And, and so, three things that was very clear to me – that I needed to address. One was that we had become a mendicant society, we were migratory and we were also mercenary.

2:22:54.7 And I often wondered, people talk about sustainable development but what I saw was sustainable poverty. And I tried to understand our situation, the Five S’s of sustainable poverty that the Filipino was living as a squatter. And a squatter does not have any dignity, does not have any security. And a country of squatters cannot be globally competitive.

2:23:22.2 So the second thing was that the Filipino had lowered their standards. In his subhuman conditions, he was living in a shanty, that’s the second S. And so, he could not come up with the best quality products because he himself is born and raised in a shanty, in a pile of garbage.

2:23:41.6 And the third, he is raised in a village called a slum. It takes a village to raise a child. So he’s surrounded by drug addicts and drunks. And so, there are no village models. We have lost the fathers in our home and the heroes in our communities.

2:23:56.4 And the fourth is that he’s in a survival mode. And so the environment is quite predatory and mercenary.

2:24:05.5 And fifth is that it’s a subsistence economy. We call it “Isang kahig, Isang tuka”. One scratch, one peck.

2:24:13.9 And so we realize that a country that does not deserve to be poor is poor. A country that has a tradition of very strong Christian values is one of the most corrupt.

2:24:24.3 And so, this was the source of my midlife crisis. And I realized too that I just follow the old patterns. You know, send your children to the most exclusive schools, become successful, live in an exclusive subdivision and just create your own artificial bubble of security and comfort in a sea of third world poverty.

2:24:44.8 And I realize that that’s not the kind of legacy I wanted to pass on to my children. They cannot wander in the – they cannot walk the streets in safety. And especially the most successful, they are also the most vulnerable to crime and to rebellion.

2:25:02.1 At the same, in the countryside, the poor continued to be the most vulnerable to the calamities, to the typhoons and to the floods.

So I realized too that at 35, I was at the prime of my life, I had so much energy, why was I so unhappy? And that’s when I went to the biggest slum in the country called Bagong Silang, north of Manila, and started to really discover because I was in search of my soul, as a Filipino, as a Christian and as a human being.

2:25:29.7 And I did not find it in the artificial surroundings that I just boxed myself in. I lived in an exclusive subdivision with security guards, with high walls. And I was surrounded by squatters around me, my people, my family that I did not know.

2:25:46.1 And so I realized that I had to go beyond my own definition of family. I had to consider the poor, the orphans, the criminals, the rebels as my family. Otherwise, I will not invest my time, my talent, my treasure, I’ll just – it’s just convenient to write out a check and just perpetuate this whole tradition of charity.

2:26:06.1 So anyway, I realized that it is really about connectivity that the brightest and the best, those with the greatest opportunities are disconnected from our people, are disconnected from the land, are disconnected from the rich natural resources and that’s the reason why we’re poor.

2:26:24.3 You know, there are countries that do not have the fertile land that we have, do not have the biodiversity, the rich natural resources, do not even have our producer – our human resource and our market base, almost 100 million market base.

2:26:41.0 And, you know, it’s now very interesting for me just coming home from Davos where I was invited two weeks ago. And yesterday, it was very fascinating that finally what a – my own reflections about Davos was printed at the Huffington Post.

2:27:00.0 And it was simply just my own personal view of a ground up development where we have to start to see the world through the eyes of the poor and the suffering because it has always been top-down development. It’s always been the rich, the powerful, the best educated, those who controlled wealth and money who made all the decisions in our country that just – who were disconnected from the suffering of the majority.

2:27:27.2 And I had to start with my own reconnection. Because if there’s something wrong in any countries, it’s not the fault of others, it’s my fault.

2:27:36.6 So I worked with the criminals and gang members for three years in Bagong Silang. I introduced programs for sports, education, scholarship. But I discovered unless it is really holistic, unless you transform the physical environment, unless you restore human dignity, you address social justice, that it will be very difficult to sustain.

2:28:00.8 And after bearing six of the gang leaders that we had rehabilitated, five of them were killed by their former enemies, by drinking bodies because transformation does not happen overnight. And one of them committed suicide when our training center for livelihood was closed and that was his only hope.

2:28:19.2 So this whole journey had its own pain. And it was painful because when you start to consider the poor as family, and I also realized that my children have no future in this country or anywhere in the world if my country remains third world and my people remained second class.

2:28:35.3 So the whole objective for me of development was to restore the dignity, my honour as a Filipino. And as long as majority of my people lived as squatters, in slums, I will continue to live with this honour. And I will pass on that legacy to my children.

2:28:51.1 So the first village we built, it was through volunteerism, it was through – it was not anchored on fund raising because I realize that if we just go for the money that it cannot be sustained. It cannot be sustained by charity, it cannot just – it had to be a passion for a transcendent cause. And very early, it was not just a project to ease human suffering. It was, for me, a journey towards ending poverty in our country.

2:29:24.7 And it was about restoring human dignity, giving land to the landless, giving homes to the homeless and water for people who had no clean water.

2:29:36.2 And it’s simply amazing because we have discovered that we don’t need to wait for foreign aid or to foreign charity that we have the – we have the brains, we have the heart, we have the resources to end poverty if we just rise above our politics, we rise above our rivalries, we rise above our parochialism and really have a shared vision to end poverty in our country and for us to be able to really have that as the highest, as the driving passion for us.

2:30:12.0 So even the top universities, you know, should make it priorities not just to fuel personal ambition, for career, but really for their own graduates to have a vision for their country, for them to have pride in being Filipino.

2:30:28.7 And I realize that foundational to all my – to this is for me to really show the world that God did not make a mistake when he made me Filipino, that there is so much wealth in this country, that there is so much opportunity that we can offer our people.

2:30:45.5 So the task for me was to show that in this country, we should not just graduate jobseekers here or abroad. We should graduate wealth creators and job generators. And that we should see that the greatest wealth of this country is our people including the poorest of the poor, including the rebels and the criminals.

2:31:05.4 And we should not look for opportunities in other parts of the world because we realize that people from other countries will have their own share of trouble.

2:31:13.8 When I was in Davos, the Europeans were talking about Euro debt woes and the Americans were just battling it out with their own recession blues. And now, people are starting to realize that more and more solutions to the world problems in the West and in the North are in the emerging countries of the South and the East.

2:31:33.7 And so, somehow, because of my background as an economist and also working for multinational company in marketing, I realized that what the Filipino need was positive branding.

2:31:47.8 And so, we had Gawad Kalinga that embodied the best of the Filipino in his own country. And we wanted this to be the product of his love for his country, for his people. And we called it Padugo, bleeding for the cause.

2:32:04.6 Anyway, the first village we created in Bagong Silang has inspired many people to discover that they can do it. And many of our people abroad started to build their own village in the poorest towns or barangays where they came from.

2:32:16.8 And after we launched this in 2003 with various schools, a lot of young people who became our volunteers, we have been able to build 2000 communities and impacted then the lives of about 1 million people.

2:32:33.3 And what is interesting is that our latest count is we’ve had already more than 1 million volunteers in our communities. So it has become the work of nation building.

2:32:43.9 And lately, we are very happy that our legislators have also taken notice and are now have filed a bill called House Bill 4374, it’s the House Bill for Volunteerism for Nation Building. And the goal is to build 50,000 communities, one per barangay following the Gawad Kalinga model.

2:33:02.3 So that’s addressing the issue of social justice for 5 million families in our country because that will now become the platform for good citizenship, for productivity and for bottom of the pyramid wealth creation.

2:33:16.4 And so, after building the first village, we’re now embarking on the second phase. We call it the phase of social artistry. We’re now building the Enchanted Farm village university in Angat, Bulacan. This is the first of 25 farm village universities.

2:33:32.6 Farm because it really encourages people in the city to go – to find opportunities in the countryside. It is about the management and the business graduates of the top schools in the city to work with scientist and to work with the agriculturist and to work for the rich, to work with the poor for us to really transform this country into a land of squatters, into a land of rebels in the countryside and to be able to see that we have over 12 million hectares of underproductive land where we can plant coffee and cacao.

2:34:12.9 Because what is to me is really disturbing is a country that can feed the cattle and the carabaos and produce milk because we have kakawate, we have grass, we have malunggay and we have, you know, napier, everything is here, but we import 99% of our milk. And we can produce the best chocolate, we can produce, you know, the best ice cream using local ingredients and so on.

2:34:40.1 So now, the second phase is to really look at the different industries that are undeveloped. Like our chocolate, we only – we consume 36,000 tons of chocolate beans but we produce only 6000. So why should we import?

2:34:55.7 And to me, it’s very tragic that the producers of cacao and coffee are from the equator belt and down but the rich countries own the brand and own the wealth.

2:35:05.8 And so it’s very, it’s important for us to really just, you know, go back, reconnect with the resources that we have. And so, we hope that we can – we are moving to the phase of sustainability through innovation.

2:35:19.6 Before Gawad Kalinga, it was not the practice in this country for landowners to donate their land to the poor. But when we show that if you have ten hectares of land and you give two hectares of it, we can bring 100 families out of being informal settlers, out of living in the slums and build communities where people have strong values, that people can build their homes and can now really have the motivation to work or send their children to school.

2:35:45.5 We realize that we’d trigger economic development, we bring peace and order, land values start to go up. And so, land owners now – now, we have land coming out of our ears.

2:35:55.9 So in seven years, we’re able to raise enough land in 400 towns good for 1 million families. So I don’t think it’s a problem for us to get land for 5 million – to get 5 million families out of being informal settlers in this country.

2:36:09.4 You know, it is about solidarity. It’s about a passion for the next generation that learning from own mistake, that it’s selfishness, it’s greed, it’s self-interest that has made this country poor and corrupt.

2:36:24.6 And so, we hope that we can get more of the students in Xavier to really invest in countryside development. We’re coming up with our social innovation camps this summer. We are building a 100-bed facility now in Angat. And we’ll be inviting the Business and Management students and even the third year and fourth year high school to come up in our career camps and also for us to really train them in social entrepreneurship, in green innovation and so on.

2:36:58.1 So, we have – this is, to me, the most interesting place in the world to live in. It’s, to me, the most exciting time to be Filipino. And it’s not even about legal citizenship, it’s not even the colour of our skin.

2:37:16.3 Right now, I have with me our volunteers from France. This year, we’re expecting over 1000 people from Europe who will do their internship with us in our Gawad Kalinga communities because they’re starting to see that this is now the Asian age and this is also the time for global partnership, that those who have developed technology in the West will be able to really work with the creative talents of our country, to really transform this country and make it productive and expand the market base.

2:37:47.8 A lot of big business now are supporting us because they realize that investing and bringing people out of poverty makes good business sense because it expands the market base. And it also brings peace which is very important in terms of sustainability.

2:38:04.7 So this is just an old man rattling. I am very – I’m always very impatient for young people to wake up and for them to now be connected because many of our young people have very – they are very idealistic. Their hearts are less corrupted and their minds are less polluted but they’re just disconnected.

2:38:30.9 They’re connected through social networking, they’re all Facebook users, Twitter users. They go to the clubs, et cetera. But they do not know the poor.

2:38:39.1 So the first thing that this – the brightest and the best of people here and abroad, just like what the French are doing, is for them to know the poor because that is the abandoned wealth of the world. For them also to go to the rural areas because it’s not just in the malls that you find opportunities or in the developed areas. Because, you know, areas that have hit rock bottom have no place to go but up. That’s where the opportunities are.

2:39:08.9 And so, again, we hope that you can continue to help us as we transform the countryside. First, we’re addressing the needs of the disaster victims right now, we are building 5000 homes for the Sendong victims in Mindanao. We have a team right now to help also the earthquake victims in Dumaguete.

2:39:27.6 And the amazing thing is just build and they will come. If they – if you build, you tried and if you show the world, the people also who are part of this because that cannot be done by one man or one organization. My role is to just create the platform, my role is just connect people, my role is to just for us to really be on the same page in terms of the kind of world we want to build.

2:39:49.5 And so, this is an exciting time. My only problem is that I have enjoyed working with young people. Not only with the poor but also with young people. Because in Davos, I saw that the owners of technology are mostly young.

2:40:02.9 And so, the young people own the future. And so, and these are exciting times. I realize that that’s also, you know, what innovation is about. Always have aspirations, always have hope so that – because aspiration drives innovation, invention and creation. Thank you.

2:41:02.6 (Martin Gomez)
Hello. I just like to say a few words of thanks before we end today’s event. First, I’d like to thank our speakers, Mr. Tony Meloto. It was very inspiring and we really hope that a lot of us can do something for our country.

2:41:16.9 I’d like to thank Mr. Brian Maraña, one of our own teachers in Xavier who shared with us his experience of getting lost and which makes us want to get lost ourselves.

2:41:26.8 Of course, Mr. Brian Tenorio – Mr. Tenorio – Mr. Brian Tenorio who challenged our students to walk in high heels, thank you very much for that.

2:41:37.9 And then Mr. Mark Ruiz, of course, who talked about his innovative idea, his innovative business which hopefully inspires us to start small and make big changes from there.

2:41:49.4 So to our speakers, thank you very much for sharing with us your ideas. And of course I’d also like to mention our student speakers. You can relax now. We’ve been nagging you for a few weeks time. So thank you very much and you did a very good job.

2:42:03.9 Please give a hand for Mr. Dodie Ng and Mr. Raynard Lao.

2:42:13.3 I would also like to acknowledge our partners, BrandX, our official Xavier School shirt partner, Certified Digital Marketer Program, Epson – sorry? – I said Raynard.

2:42:29.2 I’m sorry if you didn’t hear, Raynard. Again, for Raynard Lao.

2:42:37.5 As I was saying, so again, I’d like to acknowledge our partners, our partners from outside Xavier – BrandX, Certified Digital Marketer, Epson and Futuregen. Thank you very much for supporting this event.

2:42:54.0 And finally, I’d like to thank the people who have made this possible, the people behind the scenes; the Xavier School administration, Fr. Johnny Go, for allowing us to hold this event; the Director’s Office and their support, thank you very much; the Physical Plant Office who made this beautiful life-size TEDx. You may have your picture taken later by the way.

2:43:13.3 For the IT Services Department who provided the backbone for this event. And of course, I’d like to thank you, our participants for making this event a good success for the first time.

2:43:25.3 In helping us prepare for future TEDx events, we’d also like to request everyone that before you leave, to please spend some time filling up our online evaluation form. There are laptops at the back of this room which you may use. We can also send you the link to the evaluation, to the online evaluation form which we will be submitting to

2:43:43.4 It’s been a great morning filled with ideas and stories that are truly worth spreading. I hope that you found something to take home with you and to your everyday lives.

2:43:51.5 In the spirit of TEDx, we hope that today’s inspiration translates into life changing action and that we continue searching, learning and sharing.

2:44:00.2 Again, good morning. And in behalf of Xavier School and the NExT team, thank you for being part of this year’s TEDxXavierSchool.


2:45:13.4 King Alandy DyThank you very much. This has been King Alandy Dy wishing everyone a good morning. So, our speakers will stay here so you may linger and continue to interact with them. Thank you very much.

2:45:33.0 End of Recording


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