THRIVE: Where Manila’s cool changemakers converge (Inquirer.net)

(Originally published in Inquirer.net on October 16, 2015)

THRIVE MANILA | October 17 to 25, 2015 | Click on the image to visit the THRIVE Facebook page and learn more about this inspiring event
THRIVE MANILA | October 17 to 25, 2015 | Click on the image to visit the THRIVE Facebook page and learn more about this inspiring event

It’s a curious kind of convergence, happening in one of the world’s most complicated cities to navigate and live in. Artists and designers will get to hang around startups, who’ll also get to meet social media mavens and social enterprises, who’ll most likely be enjoined by bike advocates and environmentalists to support their causes. There will be art, music, green and healthy food, bikes, left and right brains, and more conscientious shopping.

THRIVE's "GreenTech Startup Studio Session", just one of the many cool satellite events happening this week | Click on the image to visit the event page and learn more
THRIVE’s “GreenTech Startup Studio Session”, just one of the many cool satellite events happening this week | Click on the image to visit the event page and learn more
Another cool THRIVE satellite event, this time, in the outdoors and on bicycle: THRIVE Open House with VivaManila and Bambike | Click on the image to visit the event page and learn more
Another cool THRIVE satellite event, this time, in the outdoors and on bicycle: THRIVE Open House with VivaManila and Bambike | Click on the image to visit the event page and learn more
How about ethical, sustainable shoe-making? THRIVE has that, too! Learn more about THIS event with Risque Designs by clicking on the image
How about ethical, sustainable shoe-making? THRIVE has that, too! Learn more about THIS event with Risque Designs by clicking on the image

Welcome to THRIVE, a first-of-its kind event series that “celebrates creativity, entrepreneurship, and design for social good and sustainability.” More than just an arts festival, a conference, or a bazaar, THRIVE aims to connect the many dots that make Manila the energetic hub that it is—but all focused on creating a more sustainable future for this megacity and its citizens.

According to Jen Horn, THRIVE director and founder of MUNI, “Manila is brimming with creativity, and dreamers and doers out to create a better world, and I wanted more of these groups to learn about each other’s initiatives, connect, and collaborate.”

This is an excerpt only. READ MORE in Inquirer.net.

A Tuesday with Mitch Albom

Two of Mitch Albom's popular and best-selling books | Photo by Niña Terol-Zialcita
Two of Mitch Albom’s popular and best-selling books | Photo by Niña Terol-Zialcita

I was such a huge fan of Tuesdays with Morrie, the New York Times bestseller about professor Morrie Schwartz’s lessons on dying and death, as experienced and written by his student, Mitch Albom. Like many of Albom’s readers, I had always regarded him as an inspirational writer whose works are “must-reads” and “must-shares.”

So imagine my surprise (and elation!) when I got a call from my Rappler editor, asking if I would take on an assignment interviewing Albom during his trip to the Philippines. My answer was inelegant, and started with: OMG!!!

Fast forward to that afternoon, and I was fortunate enough to have been given 30 full minutes with Mr. Albom. We talked about his latest book, The First Phone Call from Heaven; his trip to the Philippines to rebuild libraries in Haiyan-flattened communities; his thoughts on success and fame; what keeps him grounded; and what he thinks of death and dying, seeing that he’s written a number of books about them.

Mitch Albom and Me ;)
Mitch Albom and Me ;)

My latest article from that interview is now out, and I’ll share an excerpt here:

“Tuesdays with Morrie was a book that most people didn’t want. I only wrote that book to pay Morrie’s medical bills,” Albom confessed.

“Everywhere I went… they told me, ‘No.’ ‘It’s a stupid idea.’ ‘It’s boring.’ ‘It’s depressing.’ ‘You can’t write it; you’re a sports writer.’ Almost everywhere I went, they told me, ‘Not interested.’ And I only pushed because I was trying to pay Morrie’s medical bills, and I couldn’t take no for an answer.”

Albom’s love and respect for his teacher, coupled with his dogged persistence, paid off. Tuesdays with Morrie not only paid for Morrie Schwartz’s medical bills, it also went on to sell 14 million copies in 41 languages worldwide, and was later on produced into a television movie by no less than Oprah Winfrey, winning 4 Emmy Awards. The book has also spun an Off-Broadway play and has been able to fund a number of charity efforts as well.

I shared a lot more in that piece–and will sharing a bit more in the coming days. In the meantime, I hope you can take time to read the full article… and I hope that you’ll be as inspired in reading it as I was when I wrote it. 🙂

Feeling uninspired? Wise words from top creatives (Rappler.com)

(First published on Rappler.com on February 12, 2014)

Graphika Manila 2014 poster | Taken from the Graphika Manila Facebook page
Graphika Manila 2014 poster | Taken from the Graphika Manila Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – What does it take to live a life less ordinary?

At the recently held Graphika Manila 2014, luminaries from the creative world shared the stage to talk about their creative process, their best work, the mistakes they’ve made, and lessons they’ve learned along the way.

We saw from their individual journeys that whatever the speakers’ backgrounds—whether they hailed from Barcelona or Bacolod, were a newbie or a veteran, worked freelance or in a studio—they all had one thing in common: they openly sought inspiration and designed their lives around what mattered most to them.

You can do it, too—regardless of your profession or passion. Here are 6 ideas to get you going:

1. Commit to your passions. Illustrator and creative director Ash Thorp admitted to coming from “humble beginnings,” and spent a lot of time drawing during his youth because he “didn’t have a lot of toys.

Thorp talked about his “year of complete potential”, during which he endured commutes every day from San Diego to Los Angeles “because L.A. is where the action is; it’s where Hollywood is.” Eventually, he got noticed by Hollywood producers, who commissioned him to do some work for the big-budget remake of Total Recall.

TOTAL RECALL. Screen shots of material produced by Thorp for the movie Total Recall. Used with permission from Ash Thorp
TOTAL RECALL. Screen shots of material produced by Thorp for the movie Total Recall. Used with permission from Ash Thorp

Today, Thorp lives back in San Diego with his wife and daughter, enjoying work and life as a freelancer.

His advice to the Graphika Manila 2014 crowd: “When there’s a trend happening, let the trend go [its] way and just be yourself.”

2. “Take your weakness and make it your strength.” New York-based illustrator and designerSara Blake/ZSO grew up near-sighted and with a “googly eye.”

Instead of looking at her near-sightedness as a weakness, Blake found inspiration in the many patterns she could see up close. Although she was a very shy child, Blake found solace in art and used her imagination and connection with nature to stand out from the crowd.

In a recent interview, Blake talked more about her creative journey and how she “embraced” her weaknesses to develop her own unique style.

Telling TheGreatDiscontent.com that she wasn’t the best illustrator when it came to drawing realistically, she said, “Instead, I decided to embrace that I use my instincts to determine what I would abstract and what I would base [on] reality.”

DON’T BE SCARED. “Skull 3”, pencil on smooth Bristol paper. Illustration by Sara Blake
DON’T BE SCARED. “Skull 3”, pencil on smooth Bristol paper. Illustration by Sara Blake

Blake tells the Graphika Manila audience, “Free yourself from anyone’s expectations but your own.”

3. Experiment. Learn. Have fun. (Rinse and repeat.) Creativity is the twin sister of experimentation. The more you experiment and learn, the more your mind stretches and makes creativity possible.

Each of the speakers talked about learning new skills, experimenting with new tools, and having fun with the process of discovery. Sara Blake even gave the audience a sneak peek into her creative process, showing time-lapse videos of her Photoshop screenshots.

In designing the typeface for her alias, ZSO, Sara Blake took inspiration from a heart, and joined the Z and the S in order to form an upside-down heart. Peacocks, owls, skulls, flowers, and other natural elements and patterns are also dominant in her work.

WEARABLE ART. Sara Blake, a.k.a ZSO, has ventured into designing fashion accessories, such as this peacock scarf. Photo courtesy of Sara Blake
WEARABLE ART. Sara Blake, a.k.a ZSO, has ventured into designing fashion accessories, such as this peacock scarf. Photo courtesy of Sara Blake

(READ: Take it from the masters: What art lovers can learn from experts)

4. Seek inspiration everywhere. Would you work with “Designers from Hell”? “Obviously, we’re not from hell,” quipped Teo Guillem and Carlos Pardo from Barcelona-based studio Dvein, but they were such huge fans of the rock band Pantera that they decided to name themselves after the Pantera album Cowboys from Hell. The word Dvein is an acronym for the phrase, DiseñadoresVEnido del INfierno.

“Ideas come from everywhere, from a mix of everything, like the Philippine jeepney,” Dvein said. “Sometimes you don’t know where your ideas will end up.”

ROCKSTAR DESIGNERS. To push the boundaries of their ideas, Dvein formed a band called The Vein, and created a music video for their song “Magma.” The result: liquid genius. Photo courtesy of Dvein
ROCKSTAR DESIGNERS. To push the boundaries of their ideas, Dvein formed a band called The Vein, and created a music video for their song “Magma.” The result: liquid genius. Photo courtesy of Dvein

Meanwhile, for Fil-Am Eugene Gauran, who now works as Design Director of the award-winning, international visual effects studio The Mill, it’s important to “be inspired by different forms of media.” Although working primarily with visual effects and computer graphics, he said that he finds inspiration in design-based forms because “everything starts with design, and you work your way up.”

5. Go ahead and be obsessed with your craft. “Obsession is the secret to an exciting life,” Bacolod-born Filipino designer Isabel Gatuslao said as she related how her “obsession” with typefaces and identity led her to do work for influential people, including interior designer Chat Fores, celebrity stylist Liz Uy, and, very recently, for Nike and NBA royalty Lebron James.

THE CUSTOM LEBRON X BY ISABEL GATUSLAO. Shoes made for royalty. Photo courtesy of Isabel Gatuslao
THE CUSTOM LEBRON X BY ISABEL GATUSLAO. Shoes made for royalty. Photo courtesy of Isabel Gatuslao

Every element must have a reason for being—else, it has no place in a well-designed piece.

Jessica Hische concurred. “As a lettering person, you get more obsessed with the smaller details,” she says. This attention to detail plays a key role in her work. In designing the cover of the book The Circle by Dave Eggers, which examines the issues raised by use of social media, illustrator and letterer Jessica Hische took inspiration from “the interweaving connectivity of social media sites.” The cover, which featured a cleanly beautiful spherical piece featuring interconnected orange links, was cited by the New York Times online as one of the best book covers of 2013.

For professional creatives, what matters to a client is to show work that reflects a clear and insightful strategy, a focused mind, and a clean, disciplined hand.

6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Every creative knows that his first draft or study will not be his last.

A simple tip for those who are afraid to get started out of fear of making a mistake? Start with a pencil sketch of your ideas before committing them to ink or a digital rendering. Pencil sketches or doodles get the mind’s creative juices flowing while being clear that “this is just a work in progress.” Plus, it’s easy to erase, making it less painful to undo an error.

Jessica Hische put it another way when she said, “It’s hard to get clients to believe you’re good at something unless you do it over and over.” Make those mistakes. Assess why they happened. Note that for the future.

This applies even if you’re not an artist. Make your ideas real by writing them down, examining them, and consulting the relevant parties.

In creativity, and in life, practice makes perfect – and profitable. – Rappler.com

Technology, travel and ‘tweet tourism’ (Rappler.com)

(Published on October 7, 2013 in Rappler.com)

"Technology, travel and 'tweet tourism' by Niña Terol-Zialcita, published in Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines – Technology has drastically changed the way people travel. The ubiquity of smartphones and 24/7 connectivity, for instance, has allowed frequent fliers to use websites and mobile apps to book flights and accommodations, keep track of mileage points and other perks, share recommendations and reviews, and post photos in real time.

A new conference, the Asia Pacific Tourism, Hospitality and Technology [APTHAT] Conference, aims to shed light on the impact of technology on tourism and hospitality, the trends that are disrupting the industry and the issues that will define the way forward. The two-day meet is slated for November 21 to 22 at Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia — itself is a tourism draw because of the dense Borneo jungle and its mix of indigenous and contemporary cultures.

Conference sessions will include plenaries on travel and innovation, emerging trends in tourism development and marketing, “tweet tourism,” “Blue Ocean” strategies for tourism, as well as breakout sessions on eco-tourism and sustainable development, social media marketing and many others.

This is an excerpt only. Read the full article in the Rappler website.

For more information on the Asia Pacific Tourism, Hospitality, and Technology Conference, visit the APTHAT website.

In the News: ‘The tweet is mightier than the sword’ (Rappler)

In September 2012, I was fortunate enough to have been one of the panelists of Mashable and Rappler‘s “Social Good Summit” in Manila. Here’s an excerpt of a feature about some insights that I and fellow netizen Jane Uymatiao shared with the audience.

To view my full segment, please watch the video on the right sidebar. To view a summary of the  Social Good Summit, please click HERE.

Hope to see more of you “super citizens” online! 😉

‘The tweet is mightier than the sword’

Writter by Paterno Esmaquel II, originally published on Rappler (September 22, 2012)
NETIZENS' SUMMIT. Representatives from various media outfits attend the Social Good Summit co-organized by Rappler. Photo by Paterno Esmaquel II
NETIZENS’ SUMMIT. Representatives from various media outfits attend the Social Good Summit co-organized by Rappler. Photo by Paterno Esmaquel II

MANILA, Philippines – The government should step up to protect Filipino “super citizens” who, through cyberspace, slam politicians and help their disaster-stricken countrymen, said a panelist at a netizens’ summit Saturday, September 22.

This is needed at a time when the tweet, in the words of another panelist at the Social Good Summit Manila 2012, has become “mightier than the sword.”

The Philippine government, in particular, needs to legislate a Magna Carta for Netizens, said Pipol Power Institute executive director Nina Terol-Zialcita at the summit organized by Rappler and Tweetup Manila.

In an interview, Zialcita told Rappler that various netizens have drafted a proposed Magna Carta, and will consult legal experts and legislators about this. She said the law would “protect netizens’ rights” and provide a framework “upon which we should guide how we regulate ourselves.”

“We feel that as netizens, we have a tool in our hands that is very powerful. We have to learn to use it responsibly. We want our freedom. We want to be able to act and share information in a certain way. We want to be able to deliver information in a certain way. But we also recognize that we also have a responsibility,” Zialcita explained.

This is an excerpt only. To view the full post, as well as the video interview about the Magna Carta for Internet Freedom, click HERE. To view a summary of the  Social Good Summit, please click HERE.

In the News: Top 5 Take-Home Tidbits from the Lonely Planet No More Seminar (Fully Booked)

Almost a month ago (and fresh after the grueling campaign!), I and my “writing sisters” from Writer’s Block Philippines joined Lonely Planet guidebook author Greg Bloom in giving a travel writing seminar to guests of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street . It was great fun sharing our insights from two of the things we love most–writing and traveling–and to be joined by no less than an authority in the field.

Here, I’ll share an excerpt of what Fully Booked published in its blog, but for more meaty stuff, read the original post in the Fully Booked website.

Now that summer’s officially over, wouldn’t it be great to relive your travel adventures by writing about them? 😉

~ N

P.S. For an interesting look at what Greg Bloom thinks of Manila, read this post in ClicktheCity.com. 🙂

Top 5 Take-Home Tidbits from the Lonely Planet No More Seminar

Originally published in the official blog of Fully Booked

Fully Booked - Lonely Planet No More travel writing seminar - Niña Terol-Zialcita, Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, and Ana Santos of Writer's Block Philippines; Lonely Planet author Greg Bloom; Regina Cruz and Aimee Diego of Fully Booked
Fully Booked – Lonely Planet No More travel writing seminar – Niña Terol-Zialcita, Nikka Sarthou-Lainez, and Ana Santos of Writer’s Block Philippines; Lonely Planet author Greg Bloom; Regina Cruz and Aimee Diego of Fully Booked

Last weekend, Lonely Planet visiting author Greg Bloom was joined by Writers Block Philippines’ Nina Terol-Zialcita, Nikka Sarthou and Ana P. Santos to give nice, long, comprehensive seminar about travel writing.

Each speaker tackled a specific topic in travel writing—getting published, guidebook writing, feature articles, ethics. They also entertained questions from the audience of almost a hundred people, gathered at our Fort branch atrium space. While the seminar gave a great picture of the travel writing industry, how to do it as a job, and how to get started, here are five important take-aways from the workshop that are essential to anyone who would like to get into it!

1. Tell a story

“Each place has a story and your job is to find out what that story is,” Nina Terol-Zialcita mentioned. A travel article is more than a narration of what you did from the start to the end of your trip. Learn to focus on a certain part of the experience: the cuisine, the sights, the people, a realization and the events that led you to it, or anything else that struck you.

2. “Always try to get people into your articles.” — Greg Bloom

“That’s where the stories are,” Greg said.

“Imagine your destination as a person you want to get to know,” shared Ana P. Santos of Writers Block. How would you describe the person to others? Get talking to the people from that place and find out about the spirit behind it. Include dialogue in your article as well, as it shows the interaction and specific experiences that helped you build your story.

3. “Don’t underestimate the seductive power of a decent vocabulary.” — Ana P. Santos

The basics should never be taken for granted: well-written prose, grammar, a good introduction and a tight conclusion. What is heat vs. what is humidity? Know the nuances and words in order to provide a clear picture to your readers.

4. Know the market.

Research about the travel writing scene. What publications are you pitching to? What is the specific tone of that publication and how can your story fit into it? What are the trends in travel, and what would people want to read about? Where is the demand in travel writing? Is it in feature articles? Guidebook writing? This can also be a source of income when done well and done properly. The topics you write about should also be marketable to a publication and its audience.

5. Your primary responsibility is to the reader.

A part of the seminar was also dedicated to the ethics that govern one’s travel writing piece. While we want our readers to understand why we fell in love with a place, we also don’t want to be accused of ‘gushing’ over a city. Try to keep a certain sense of objectivity as well. While the article is written in the first person, the essence of it should still be about the place, and not about you.

This is an excerpt only. To read the full post, click HERE.

 

 

Filipinos dared to ask: Why not?

(Originally published in Inquirer Blogs)

 

It was an ordinary Thursday night, and yet Warehouse 135, the hip warehouse-turned-club on Yakal Street in Makati, was filled to capacity. Only it wasn’t filled with clubgoers and party scenesters—it was filled with young professionals, creative minds, thinkers, and dreamers who all dared to ask a question that would set the tone for the entire evening’s talks: Why not?

The WhyNot? Forum, according to founders Mark Ruiz and Bam Aquino, is a “smorgasbord of great, brave ideas—an open-source innovation soup that will hopefully inspire other Filipinos all over to connect adjunct thoughts, take impactful action, and weave together new breakthrough ideas.” Inspired by the TEDTalks of the United States (www.ted.com), it is based on the simple idea of gathering some of the best minds in the country to share their respective ideas for 15 minutes each. By asking The Question and challenging outmoded assumptions, it is hoped that WhyNot? Forum will spark a thought revolution that will encourage people to “think new thoughts, share big dreams, do brave things.”

Seven Great Minds, One Big Question

The first WhyNot? Forum, held on September 27, gathered a group of leaders, achievers, doers, and dreamers from diverse fields. There was Dondi Gomez, the “Marketing Maverick,” who is the youngest-ever Managing Director of Unilever Philippines at age 35; Gang Badoy, the irrepressible and bubbly lady behind RockEd Philippines, tagged the “Alternative Educator”; Professor Jay Bernardo of the Asian Institute of Management, the “Rainmaker” and “Entrepreneurship Guru” who owns the distinction of being the first-ever Filipino to have been named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) by the Junior Chamber International; “Technologist” Dr. Greg Tangonan, who teaches Innovation and Technology at the Ateneo de Manila University and has garnered 49 patents and numerous awards for his inventive work; Brian Tenorio, the creative genius behind the designer shoe label Tenorio Manila; Quark Henares, the “Filmmaker-on-the-Edge” who directed his first feature film at age 21; and Fr. Ted Gonzales, SJ of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), labeled the “Dreamer Priest.”

Even the creative forces running the event are achievers themselves: Ruiz and Aquino are part of the visionary group behind Hapinoy, an aggregated value network built around sari-sari stores, microfinancing institutions, and key partners in industry and civil society; event documenter Ditsi Carolino is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker ( Minsan Lang Sila Bata, Bunso, Riles); and guest performer Radioactivesago Project is a groundbreaking musical act that fuses jazz, funk, and spoken-word poetry in discussing a variety of social issues. Supporting the project from behind the scenes are industry giant Smart Communications, Web and multimedia company Softrigger Interactive, and Young Public Servants (YPS), a group of young, dynamic individuals focused on promoting “Good Governance and Democratic Citizenship among the youth.”

In opening the forum, Ruiz asked the audience, “What does the world think of when they think of the Philippines? … Maybe the WhyNot? Forum can be our megaphone to the rest of the world [to showcase the ingenuity and the innovative spirit driving us Filipinos]… Why not?”

Of challenges, opportunities, irritants, rock, beauty, passion, and baboy

Gomez, in defining “maverick marketing” in the experience of Unilever Philippines’ groundbreaking campaigns for Rexona, challenged the audience to adopt a non-conformist stance when it came to developing and presenting their ideas. “Great marketing gives people a taste of what could be… It provides imagination and courage to hope and to dream.” He cites the worldwide success of the out-of-the-box campaigns First Day Funk and its follow-up, First Day High, which set record sales figures, won for Unilever Philippines numerous global awards, and established Rexona as the market leader in deodorants.

Dr. Greg Tangonan, for his part, discussed the worldwide movement marking the early 2000s the “Decade of the Mind Initiative.” He shared experiments in mind control, mind mapping, “out of body experiences” in the virtual world, and other brain experiments. He ultimately asked: “[If brain activity could be measured,] could the Filipino concepts of hiya (shame) or pakikiramay (empathy) also be measured? Can this be our contribution to the ‘Decade of the Mind Initiative?’ Why not?”

When it was Gang Badoy’s turn to speak, a technical glitch disabled her from using her Powerpoint presentation, but she masterfully held her own and gave the crowd an entertaining and engaging talk about the experiences that led her to found, and therefore commit herself to, RockEd, an alternative education movement that seeks to get young people involved in social issues through music. “We don’t have to unite to progress,” she challenges. “Even if we don’t get along, as long as we get the job done, it’s okay.”

True to her signature style, Badoy brought along a group of musicians to drive home her point and entertain her audience. Radioactivesago Project rendered the thought-provoking intermission number, singing their hit songs “Gin Pomelo” and “Gusto Ko ng Baboy (I Like Pig),” among others.

The next speaker, Fr. Ted Gonzales of CEFAM, seemed to have been struck by Sago’s quirky lyrics, often quoting them in his talk about integrity, passion, and “[embracing] the inner movements of your heart.”

Hindi tayo mga baboy (We are not pigs),” he asserted. Fr. Gonzales was the obvious crowd-drawer in the room, as many of the audience members were “graduates” of his hit retreats Life Directions, Agimat, and On Fire.

During designer Brian Tenorio’s 15 minutes, the audience was transformed into an intimate group that listened closely to his ideas on love, luxe, lust, and beauty. Ironically, this shoe meister, who has gained fame for his beautiful and bewitching creations, maintained that it’s not what you wear or the details that you place on yourself that matter as much as what’s going on around you. “Beauty is not oppressive,” he states. “Beauty unifies… It should allow growth. Beauty should allow love.”

Unfortunately, the natural beauty around us is constantly being threatened by natural and man-made disasters. Mr. Ramon Isberto, Head of Public Affairs at Smart Communications, disclosed a groundbreaking project meant to help local communities around the country prepare for storms. “The Philippines has the highest number of Category 5 typhoons in the world,” he reveals. “Why not be prepared for it?”

Likewise, entrepreneurship guru and AIM professor Jay Bernardo encouraged budding entrepreneurs to develop business ideas by seeking solutions to “irritants” around them. Citing the Chinese word and symbols for the word “crisis,” he urged his listeners to “look at the opportunity before looking at the dangers… because once you see the opportunities, you will no longer see the dangers.”

Quark Henares might not have been a student of Prof. Bernardo, but he exemplified the attitude of risk-taking in his talk about the experiences that brought him to the forefront of the filmmaking world. From the psychologically disturbing movie that he saw at age 11 (David Lynch’s Eraserhead), to his “Eureka moment” after watching the cult classic Pulp Fiction, to making the movie that bombed at the box office but was praised by his idol, Quentin Tarantino ( Keka), Henares’ candid insights proved to the audience that some rewards can simply never be equated to fame or fortune.

Why not more?

Although this event is only the first of what promises to be a long-running series of thought-provoking discussions, it seems to be coming in at the right time. Regardless of their inclinations, educational backgrounds, or lifestyles, Filipinos simply have become tired of turning to the government (or to the streets) for answers to society’s nagging questions; they are now looking to themselves to develop long-term solutions to problems that have unfolded over several generations.

Indeed, the world is teeming with opportunities. Prof. Bernardo cites the “kanto boys” whom people look down upon during ordinary days, but who become reliable comrades and trusted allies in times of calamity, pushing cars and shuttling pedestrians over flooded waters for a small fee that anyone would be willing to pay. Anyone can achieve great things; anyone can make a difference. It only takes one simple question, and the guts to embrace the answers.

 

The next WhyNot? Forum will be held in November 2007. For more details, email[email protected], call (0928) 5055713, or  SMS ‘whynot’ to 2948. All videos from the WhyNot? Forum will be posted on www.whynotforum.com and may be viewed free of charge.