Teaching What Matters in the Future

On May 9, 2015, I attended my first TEDx event titled TEDxPlaza Divisoria Ed. One of my Facebook friends, Roxanne Hambre Fuentes organized this education-themed talks to inspire educators, parents and stakeholders.

With Roxanne

With Roxanne

I arrived just as it was about to start around 1:20pm at Dear Manok Restaurant. It was held in one of their conference rooms on the second floor.

The program included 6 speakers, 2 video presentations and snacks (pancit, lumpia shanghai, rice and iced tea). Registration was for 250 pesos only. This included a red eco bag with TEDx overview, name tag, the programme, a pen, feedback sheet and a certificate of attendance.

Inside the kit

Inside the kit

The first speaker was an TEDEd Club moderator named Adeva Esparrago. She shared a wonderful concept of magnifying ideas. In a nutshell, she promoted idea replication as a potential for greatness. She encouraged us to listen to our students and allow them to focus on what they are passionate about. I liked this. I know that I can use this when school starts again in June.

She showed us video clips of her students presenting their own research and ideas. This encouraged them to become confident speakers and better researchers.


The second speaker was someone I have met before during the Oro Youth Council convergence and Rotary Club of CDO’s New Generation Forum. He’s Samuel Macagba III. His talk was about empowering the youth through technology.

He pointed out how this generation’s youth was a mystery to most of us. Sometimes, we don’t truly get why they had to be online all the time or why they had to let everyone know that they just got home (jhg) or they just woke up (jwu). He cited that there are 3 prevailing patterns of the youth:

1. Excessive expression in social media – they voice out everything they do or feel online.

2. Extreme fascination in playing video games -some of them feel that playing these games make them complete.

3. Selfie generation -they can’t help but take a photo of themselves in whatever they wear, etc.

With these 3 patterns, there are also 3 underlying truths that we may not recognize right away. Here’s how he interpreted them:

1. Whenever they rant online or post status updates, it shows that they hunger for their stories to be heard.

2. Those moments of playing video games bespoke a hunger for belongingness.

3. The momentary gratification of taking a selfie is a hunger for self-understanding and acceptance.

Sam then gave out how we can empower our youth and help address their need for attention. We can do the ff.:

1. Create a digital presence that helps create a positive environment for them in the digital world.

2. Use online tools to become digitally creative and engage the youth.

3. As educators, we can influence the youth by becoming a digital role model.


Our third speaker was Princess Ubay-Ubay. During my college years, she has already made a name for herself by being a great leader in our student council. She began her talk with a great story about how she was having a terrible day but then out of nowhere, a street kid asked her for a pen because the kid simply wanted to write.

This experience allowed her to realize our capacity and power to influence other people. This power can also create good leaders. She stressed that leadership in itself can be taught. She urged us to empower our students to empower others. She left us with a challenge, “What should be your domino effect?”.


After the 3 speakers, a poem was read to us entitled “You touched my inner soul” by Dee McDonald. Although it was a good poem reading by Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa CDO (NAGMAC), it would have been better if it was an original poem written in Cebuano.

You Touched My Inner Soul

The Clarity you gave to me,
It shone like Angel rays,
Like water rushed on golden sands,
And crashed along the bays.

The questions deep within my heart,
Confused my humble mind,
Yet when you spoke your words aloud
It seemed, no longer I was blind.

The answers all came flooding in,
They touched my inner soul,
The knowledge that you gave to me
Within my heart I hold.

I understood that the events
That troubled me somehow,
Was nothing to be frightened of,
Instead I should be Proud.

I Thank You Sir most graciously,
These words I say aloud,
For the Clarity you’ve given me,
Has made me feel quite proud.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/you-touched-my-inner-soul#ixzz3ZsBJBrkj
Family Friend Poems

Speaker #4 was a public school teacher assigned at Besigan for 3 years. I have heard of Besigan from other teachers and this was the place they often use to scare me each time we talk about where I would be assigned once I become a permanent public school teacher. They tell me that I could become an “MT” and although MT stands for Master Teacher, it has also been known to mean Mountain Teacher.

Aisa Badana talked about merging realities for a better choice. She stressed how her students in the hinterlands have different realities from our own. For most of them, their Higaonon culture is a dominating factor on their way of life. This meant that as young as 14 years old, they are expected to get married and start a family. Most of them might not even finish high school because they have to start working to help their families.

She ended her talk with 3 things:

1. Make the most of your time with your students. You never know how simple things can inspire them.

2. Give, give, give generously.

3. Never give up on yourself and on your students.

Following her mantra, she also showed us photos of her students who graduated with honors, became teachers, joined the Navy and became productive citizens in the community.


The fifth speaker was a young lady named Shayryl Mae Ramos. She brought the first Robogals program in the Philippines. She wanted us to build an army of makers. The thrust of Robogals was to engage more female participation in the fields of engineering, robotics and programming.

She introduced us to their student programs geared to girls aged 9 to 12 years old. Their activities included spaghetti tower with an egg on top, popsicle catapults and making a simple sensor. I sincerely believe that this would be a great way to plant seeds in the minds of our students.

She ended her talk with a conviction that the sky’s the limit for makers.


Our last speaker was Faith Barbac. She is a life coach and her talk is about recycling your past. She began her talk with her own life story that included a painful past of child molestation and self-pity.

She then shared 3 principles that we can share each time we recycle our past to help others:

1. Accountability – we learn to control how we respond to various life experiences and become responsible with our choices.

2. Openness– we become open to mentoring and coaching.

3. Hurting people hurt people – we learn that when we hurt others, we hurt ourselves and everybody else. Our actions do not affect only people in our lives but also in our own communities.

She ended her talk with kintsukuroi. This was a Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold lacquer. She relates how the gold lacquer symbolizes the healing of our souls. She says how our painful or shameful pasts can become tools to inspire others and to help them. She reminds us that even the worst part of our lives can become special.


I have to say that my first TEDx experience was truly something. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to listen to inspiring ideas. Thanks to the TEDxPlazaDivisoriaEd team for doing this here in Cagayan de Oro. I’m looking forward for the next TEDx event.

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