From small to big ideas: Why things matter

Jodesz Gavilan
From music to maps, the speakers of TEDxDiliman talk about their passions and why they matter to our society

THIRD YEAR. TEDxDiliman continues to live up to the hype on its third year. All photos by Gianco Ante

MANILA, Philippines – A crowd composed of people from different fields gathered on Sunday afternoon, Oct 13, at the University of the Philippines Diliman to discover why some things really matter, not only to a certain group, but to everyone.

On its third year, TEDxDiliman, one of the local versions of an international conference called TED led by the Center for Art, New Ventures And Sustainable Development (CANVAS), organized a selection of speakers in line with this year’s theme “Things That Matter.” (READ: Liveblog of TEDxKatipunan 2012

Different fields

From music to maps, the speakers talked about their passions and why they matter to our society.

Joey Ayala, a performer known for his brand of music that fuses ethnic sounds with modern styles, said that we, in order to be authentic, must embrace change and leave something for the next generation.

“Mag-iwan ng bakas (leave your mark)”, he said.

EMBRACE CHANGE. Joey Ayala gives the connection between music and authenticity

Ateneo De Manila literature professor, Rica Bolipata Santos, spoke of the importance of books in everyone’s lives. She said that books can enlighten our minds and can also illuminate dark corners. In a country ridden with problems such as bad governance, books still matter and can make people realize that, despite the diversity, we are all alike.

“We will have to read good books and we will have to also demand good books,” Santos said.

Darkness is always synonymous to evil and fear. But according to artist Don Salubayba of the Anino Shadowplay Collective, shadow plays expand their horizons of creativity.

“Shadows can trigger our creativity other than our fears,” he explained.

BEYOND FEARS. For Don Salubayba, shadow plays trigger creativy over fear

For avid map collecter and UP law professor Raphael “Popo” Lotilla, maps matter because they show the need for greater integration and a common idea of security.

“What we really need is a concept of common security so that in the future, we’d have no more need for walls,” he said while referring to an old map of Intramuros.

Visual artist Marina Cruz-Garcia said that beyond all the misconceptions associated with adoption, it should be seen through the eyes of the child. “Adopting one child won’t change the world, but to one child, the world will change,” she said. She added that adoption matters because every child matters.

READ: In retrospect, TEDxKatipunan

Lawyers matter, according to the youngest Justice of the Supreme Court Marvic Leonen, because lawyers help explain how the law helps us understand ourselves.

“Lawyers matter because they will hold your hand, they will attend to you with compassion,” he said. “They have to understand that their careers are not careers, but (a) profession and (a) passion.”

LAWYERS AS GUIDES. For SC Justice Marvic Leonen, lawyers will always be there for you

The famous choir founded by the National Artist for Music Andrea Veneracion, the UP Madrigal Singerrs, owes their 50 years of international awards to one secret. According to their choir master, Mark Anthony Carpio, the secret behind the success of the Madz is that they pray and work hard. And for every performance they do, regardless of the place, they always make sure that they leave the audience inspired.

“In every concert, we always believe that it is an opportunity to touch the lives of those who came to listen to us,” Carpio said, “There will always be one person influenced by our singing and we believe that we sing for that one person.”

READ: Sabrina Ongkiko: Transcendent Love

For 29-year-old astrophysicist Reinabelle Reyes, asking questions will never be a bad thing to do. She credited her success to a constant need to ask questions. “We do not ask questions because they matter. We do it because it matters that we ask questions,” Reyes reiterated “Don’t shush the little kid inside you that keeps on asking questions.”

The first winner of the Apprentice Asia, Jonathan Yabut, emphasized how vital preparation was in his victory. “Preparation breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds confidence,” Yabut explained, “When you have confidence, you are unstoppable.” The Economics graduate from UP Diliman, who bested 11 contenders to win the competition, said that the combination of passion and perseverance was key to his success.

Everything matters

The TED series promotes the concept of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” With hundreds of independently organized talks held over the world, you can’t help but think that these ideas are really worth sharing. Through TEDxDiliman, everything matters after all to make our world better.


Jodesz Gavilan is a former Rappler intern and a student at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.