#SHIFTDavao: The power of social media
MANILA, Philippines – Davao City is the largest city in the country, and one of the most progressive districts in Mindanao. In fact, Davao lays claim to being the first so-called Smart City in the Philippines – a fully modernized metropolis that utilizes CCTV, GPS, and video monitoring systems on a citywide scale to enhance their public safety and security services.
If you want to see the future, Davao is already making it happen.
It’s a distinction that’s enough to make any of the city's 1.5 million residents proud. But one of its citizens, Perry Lamanilao, believes that a major component is still missing: an upbeat, dynamic learning event.
Most ad congresses and media conferences are held in Metro Manila. And according to Lamanilao, a social media summit has yet to happen in Davao – or the rest of the Philippines for that matter.
It turns out, he found the answer in himself.
On July 27, Saturday, Lamanilao, together with two other partners will launch #SHIFTDavao, the first-ever Social Media Conference in Mindanao. It is a one-day event that aims to educate a wider audience on proper social media practices.
The #SHIFTDavao conference will be held at the Finster Auditorium, Ateneo de Davao University. A simulcast will be streamed live at the University of the Immaculate Conception Auditorium in the Bajada Campus.
Rappler joins forces with #SHIFTDavao by delivering its nightly newscast before the event. The newscast on Friday, July 26, 2013, will be broadcast from The Deck of the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
Conquering new territory
It’s a shift towards a new direction: using the social media sphere as a new space for learning.
Davao is the perfect venue for this shift. The city is full of young digital citizens who are hungry for learning and inspiration.
“We want to bring social and digital media to the rest of the Philippines,” Lamanilao adds. He and his volunteers worked on their own research, did interviews, and conducted surveys to bring #SHIFTDavao into shape.
For Lamanilao, it was a baptism by fire. Trained as a journalist, he had little experience in event organizing, especially of this magnitude, with 500 students expected to attend.
Within the span of a month, he had to secure venues, create a registration platform, and determine a theme and flow for their event. Lamanilao shared how his team would stay up until 2 am to close deals with sponsors and other partners.
Along the way, they managed to get the support of the local government and Archdiocese of Davao. Backed by the Regional Commission on Higher Education (CHED), all schools, colleges, and universities in the Davao Region are now participating in the event.
It has turned out to be bigger than anything Lamanilao dreamed of. But it’s exactly what he wanted – a big conference that will take its place beside the events he only attended in the past. A platform to share ideas and raise questions about the way our world works. A chance for others to experience and learn the way he did.
Making the shift
Students and media practitioners from the Southern Philippines would usually need to shoulder their own fare and pay expensive registration fees to attend media conferences in Manila. Now, #SHIFTDavao is bringing the big names to the region.
#SHIFTDavao’s speakers include Rappler’s Maria Ressa and Josh Villanueva, Yves Gonzalez formerly of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Luke Meinzen of the US embassy, Secretary Lucille Sering of the Philippine Climate Change Commission, Robert Shore of Frame Works, and Jaypee David of Globe Telecom.
Backed by the sheer desire to see it through for their fellow students and social media consumers, the proverbial shift is now set to happen in a big way.
Right now, Lamanilao is still busy with last-minute preparations for the weekend. But he is already looking forward to the future.
“Bacolod, Cebu, Iligan, Manila… then #SHIFTPhilippines? Let’s see!”
For Lamanilao and the rest of SHIFT, this is just the beginning. Through this social media confernce, Lamanilao is indeed making the future happen in his own way. And his example now paves the way for other young people to follow suit.
#SHIFTDavao is an event for the benefit of the Social Communications and Mass Media Unit of the Davao Archdiocese.– Rappler.com
Follow live updates from #SHIFTDavao via Twitter and Rappler.