MANILA, Philippines – Millennials know John Arcilla for playing the angry, foul-mouthed Heneral Luna, who died for the love of his country. But the man who took the stage at the Social Good Summit was markedly different from his most famous role.
Speaking calmly but passionately, Arcilla talked about how innovation and technology can and should be used to bring people together and create good.
“We are surrounded by people whether we choose it or not. You are not alone, and they are not too,” he said, stressing that every action has an effect on other people.
He also talked about kindness in a world of harsh online trolls and bashers.
“Caring is such a natural thing. Being uncaring is perverse. It is like you are trying not to eat for life,” he said. “Being nice is not a big deal, too. We don’t even need to underline kindness, it is actually our purpose. Unkindness is unnatural.”
Arcilla underlined the importance of being responsible with posts and words.
“We are all interconnected. No escape. Which means we cannot just do anything, say anything, post anything without thinking of its effect (on) someone in your circle or to a group of people who will read it. Choosing words to say is not hypocrisy, I think it is prudence, it is polite, I think it is human.”
‘Let us innovate with purpose’
For Arcilla, while kindness and caring are important, it doesn’t mean not taking a stand, remaining neutral, or being apathetic.
“Making no choice is actually a choice. We are actually empowering the other side of what is bothering us. So wherever you want to bring this country, wherever you want to bring your life, it will be up to you, it will be up to us,” he said.
However, taking a stand does not mean being partisan.
“I don’t believe in colors. Politically and racially speaking, let us not go there. Let’s think of everybody’s welfare,” he said.
The actor then turned his attention to innovation and technology. He questioned the purpose of innovations that divide and disconnect people, technology that enables irresponsibility.
“How about technology that makes us closer as human beings instead of promoting hate cultures, or worse, making us divided as a nation, divided as citizens of this planet?” he said.
“Let us innovate with purpose. When we post something, think of the welfare of others, think of the positive energy it can create. Think of the people who will be inspired, think of the society that you want to have, a planet that we want to be safe to live in,” he added.
He talked about the need for people to be responsible, to evaluate whenever they innovate or upgrade.
“Next time we think of innovation or technology, think again: What kind of person do I want to be? Where do I want to bring this country? What do I want this planet to be made of?” he said. – Rappler.com