On September 15, 2012, more than a hundred attendees flocked the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman to witness TEDxDiliman 2012. This was the second time that CANVAS (Center for Art, New Ventures, And Sustainable development) staged a TEDxDiliman event, which carried the theme, “The Future”.
Several recognizable personalities stood as speakers this year, including former Philippine senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, film director Jose Javier Reyes, and controversial cultural activist Carlos Celdran.
Particularly, Leticia Shahani explored the diplomatic history behind the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines over Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal) and the Kalayaan Group of Islands (also known as Spratlys). She emphasized that despite the obvious lack in technological capability of the country's military and navy, the Philippines should ready itself for the future, and to continually push for the protection of the seas and resources that surround it.
Meanwhile, netizens eagerly awaited and followed the entire occasion via livestream. On Twitter, the hashtag #tedxdiliman gathered a huge following, and quickly became a trending topic in the Philippines.
@seph_ubalde: #TEDxDiliman trends on Twitter! Kudos to everyone and media partner @interaksyon pic.twitter.com/weYMWRaV
@cheriemercado: inspiring talks from expert speakers :) based on TED in the US. Check it out on you tube
@mikkahipol: A country of passionate citizens is not far from progress. #takehome #TEDxDiliman
@klaraiskra: That was so much fun and enriching! Hope I get to attend again next year! #TEDxDiliman http://twitpic.com/autlz2
Due to this year's success, Gigo Alampay of CANVAS promised a larger, bolder TEDxDiliman by next year.
@lookingforjuan: Next year ulit! Babalik kami, puede na mas marami! #TEDxDiliman
@lookingforjuan: See you next year! We'll be back, and we will accomodate more people! #TEDxDiliman
A number of local TEDx initiatives in the country have sprouted and gained attention over the last few years, owing to the movement's liberal and ambitious ideologies. Last June 16, nearby Ateneo de Manila University became the cradle of the first TEDxKatipunan; it strongly resonated among netizens on Facebook and Twitter. Last April 13, TEDxMakati was also held. Meanwhile, big plans are brewing for TEDxManila 2012, which is scheduled to take place on December 7.
All photos were taken by the author and posted under a Creative Commons – Attribution license, unless otherwise indicated.