TEDxADMU: Project i 
14 December 2013
Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo de Manila University

Last week, Saturday, I ditched my accounting class to attend TEDxADMU.

I’ve seen a couple of TEDx videos in the past. It’s totally inevitable—in the midst of monotonous selfie poses of “friends”, they have been adorning my feeds since I can’t remember when.  With that, of course, I couldn’t help but formulate expectations on how the thing will push through.

For one, I thought that speakers would just randomly walk in and do their speaker business when it’s time for them to. Man, it would have been so interesting to see how the speakers would have dealt with the transition amid the awkwardness!

But nej


The emcees’ presence didn’t make the experience less enjoyable, though. I felt comfy with Angel Aquino around because I have sat just right next to her during the Cinemalaya 2013 special screening of Bwakaw.

Excuse me for having such high friendship standards.

I’ve also enjoyed Jethro Tenorio’s perpetual reference to pop culture, which I think was his way of helping us the audience visualize the concepts presented by the speakers.

The speaker-randomly-walking-in deal sort of happened, too, actually. Just, sort of.

Once the emcees were off the stage, Father Javy—Father Rene Javellana (just hopping onto the Fr. Javy bandwagon since that’s how the people who come in contact with the microphone addressed him) appeared out of the void and started flashing pictures of paintings and sculptures ranging from prehistoric to modern times. He pointed out how man has always been taking “selfies” way even before the term itself was conceived. We’ve seen self portraits littering the grounds of archaic social media sites such as Friendster and Multiply, so that knowledge isn’t at all new to me.

Well, partially.

I didn’t realize that works of art such as the Lascaux cave paintings, the Venus of Willendorf, and Michelangelo’s David could also have been selfies too! Cool.

Thing is, he expressed disgust at the fad’s narcissistic nature right after affirming that selfies have been part of human expression ever since who knows when (well, he just gave a visual crash course on the history of selfies). Quite ironic, no? He taught us stuff, but I didn’t really get what he was trying to point out. Could I have missed something? Ewan.

Project i seemed to propel the thought that the selfie is a huge part of the “project of the self to the world” deal, because the next speaker, balisong-wielding Czarina Medina, talked a bit about and flashed a bunch of her own selfies. She claimed that she hates taking selfies and that she wouldn’t do so unless there’s a story behind it.

And I think that that’s something we oughta preach.

The need to take a photo of one’s face when on the way to The Fort or to SM Aura or to any burgis location for that matter, is a bit too superficial, don’t you think? Instead of submitting to one’s, erm, narcissistic urges, why not snap a photo of that dirty kid selling flimsy but pretty jasmine wreaths you saw on the way to insert burgis spot here? Make your audience wonder. Be the instigator. I don’t know. I just think that you’d get more pogi points of you gave the impression that your brainy wainy is wearing a nice tuxxy wuxxy.

Lol. Okay. On that note, I’d like to compliment balisong girl’s very brainy wainy for sporting a fancy Giorgio Armani gown (nope I do not know who that designer is I just saw his name on Oscars Fashion Police). She quoted characters from two of the most awesome films (slash film series) I’ve seen!!!

Do... or do not. There is no try. 
–Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off. 
–Tyler Durden, Fight Club (1999)

The project of the i is the project of “my world”, she said. Developing one’s i must not be inward. Okay. I get it. But I’m not quite happy with it yet. How does one’s i affect the world—or, okay, on a smaller scale, one’s immediate environment—anyway?

The screen flashed this TEDxMalibu (Adam Leipzig) clip about knowing your life purpose. It didn’t absolutely address my concern, but hey, it’s getting there, I think.

According to that guy, during their high school (?) reunion, only 20% of them old folks were happy or content with their lives. They were because they apparently did what they really wanted to do with their lives. According to that guy, it is very important to know your life purpose. To do so, you’ll have to know who you are, what you want to do, what thing you’d want to impart to other people, who you’d be doing it for, and finally, how you would be transforming other people as a result of what you’ll be imparting to them.

Pretty simple, huh?

Nej. Not everyone can easily conform to this dude’s ideology. There’s always the issue of constraints, of deciding whether or not to break out of those constraints.

There’s always the issue of making sacrifices. What about that chap who has to pursue a career that’d get him a few more bucks to ensure that his sibs would get to eat three times a day? And what of that irritating raggity kid begging you to give her a share of your Baconator the moment you walk out of Wendy’s? Would their going on a journey to find their life purpose be worthwhile? Forget the lower socioeconomic strata—what about that rich chic who has been pressured by her parents to take up law when she just wanted pursue music for the rest of her life?

Life is not fair. At least, not to those who are not very privileged to think so. People should have known that by now. Swerte nalang ng mga taong may resources at malakas na support group.

The next magical creature that graced the stage was Jetro Rafael, the tophat-wielding bipolar who carried, I don’t know, at least four bags onstage? One of the cool things I like about him was that he made an effort (I think) to speak in Filipino throughout his talk. To me it’s a gesture of honesty, and that’s really nice. He is the owner of the famous Van Gogh is Bipolar, one of the coolest go-to places at Maginhawa Street.

He’s a pretty weird chap. He talked about how he sees things—as in literally see things—colors and shapes morphing into pretty things, creatures coming out of the darkness. All that crazy stuff. Think Doctor Who episode of Van Gogh.

He closed his talk with quite a colorful message: Kahit sabihin ng buong mundo—buong kalawakan—na hindi ito para sa iyo, basta ito yung nasa puso mo, gawin mo lang.

(Also, he rang his newly bought bell because he just felt like it.)

Not surprisingly, he was the only one to receive a standing ovation (I do believe he was the only one. Ewan. Got too focused on the speakers that most of the time I forget  to look around and see how the rest of us is doing). He made Kristian, one of my chums, have second thoughts of turning (nonclinically) bipolar. I don’t even know if that’s possible. Lol.

Then came intermission. My chums and I indulged ourselves in coffee and burgis food. We made new friends, too. Sort of.

*Because this has been too long a post* 
*I'll have to cut it. Lol* 

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