TEDxUPM: Putting passion into action

Mikhail Enver Requilman
TEDxUPM: Putting passion into action
The youth of today are challenged to go beyond your comfort zone and embrace life
MANILA, Philippines – Go beyond your comfort zone and embrace life. 

This was the core message of a variety of speakers at the recently held TEDxUPM (UP Manila) – an affiliate event of the famous TEDTalks – on Saturday, February 7, in the Little Theater of the UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences.

A group of inspirational individuals put passion into action as they spoke about how to look at life and society from different perspectives.

Beyond comfort

Julia Chu impressed the crowd as she shared how going beyond your comfort zone can bring you immense and unexpected benefits. 

Chu has worked with Pilipinas Shell and Philippine Development Foundation for Project Tuklas – a scholarship program for public high school students.

For Chu, it is important to shape one’s life while still young. 

A Magna Cum Laude graduate from UP Diliman, she said her life in college was ‘common and comfortable’ – focused on getting decent grades and entering law school.

She said travelling around the world has helped her realize that its better to pocket precious moments instead of material things like diplomas and trophies. 

“A lot of people say that ‘Oh, I’ll achieve it when I’m older.’ But as young people, we have the capacity to do that, right here right now,” she added.

While travelling worked for her, Chu urged the audience to discover their own passion.

“Find what is relevant to you and actually do something about it.. I hope in the end of this, you will be excited into action and shaping your life the way you want it.”  

Passion and art


“We are most creative when our emotions are on its highest.”

– Antoinette Jadaone

Antoinette Jadaone continued the optimistic tone and focused on the positive side of heartbreak.

The award-winning screenwriter and director of the critically acclaimed film That Thing Called Tadhana called her talk “How to turn your heartbreak into nasa’yo ang huling halakhak.” (How to turn your heartbreak into you’ll have the last laugh.)

Drawing inspiration from her own relationships, Jadaone produced critically acclaimed screenplays including Relaks, It’s just Pag-ibig, Beauty in a Bottle, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, and the award-winning MMFF film English Only, Please.

Kapag nagmahal ka, nasaktan ka, pakinabangan mo na. Kasi sinaktan ka lang niya hindi ka niya pinatay,” remarked Antoinette Jadaone.  (When you love and you get hurt, take advantage of it. The pain did not kill you.)

“We are most creative when our emotions are on its highest,” she added.

She stressed that indulging in pain is not to suffer more from it; it is supposed to make you remember everything so you can write clearly and honestly about it.

Kaya kung sino man sa inyo ang nagmahal at nasaktan… Balikan mo lahat ng ‘yon, at sana maisulat mo ang pinakamagandang kwento… (So, if there is anyone among you who have loved and got hurt… Go back to it and write the greatest story…),” she ended.

Competition, passion

Other speakers included Abbey Sy, an advertising management graduate from the De La Salle University and Tony Abad, an economic law lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila Law School. 

Sy said passion does not just drop from the heavens, it is something worked for. 

“Good things come to those who hustle, work hard and never give up,” Sy pointed out.

Abad argued that the Philippines needs to be more competitive if it is to survive. 

“The 1% is getting richer and richer at your expense,” he cautioned.

He explained that competition fights monopolization, concentration of wealth, corruption, bad governance, and poverty.

Abad further recommended that the youth should fight against the culture of anti-competition and promote a national competition mind-set.

TEDxUPM also showed videos of a talk of David Steindl-Rast who discussed about happiness and gratefulness, and Amy Webb on algorithms of romance and online dating.

If you missed the live stream of TEDxUPM, you can watch the video again below:

 – With reports by Raisa Serafica /

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