The Game Changer: Internet-based Change

by wecantalk

Yesterday, I attended for the first time The Game Changers Forum held at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. How did I got invited? On wednesday night, David Guison, a fashion blogger, tweeted about the event which is actually the last day of registration. You have to fill their form and answer the question that goes like this: Which among the latest technology/advocacy you like most. I will not elaborate my answer but it has something to do with seeing the beauty around us in a very busy environment we have. It wasn’t even in my mind when I read their reply on Thursday afternoon that I have been selected as a participant. I am very positive because it is invitational and they only have limited slots. So here goes my experience.

The Game Venue


The venue is at Intramuros, former location of my current school – UST, at Colegio de San Juan de Letran – UST’s sister school. I wasn’t very familiar with the place; it was just my third time to go in that place. Anyway, the school has few students since that was Saturday. The halls are near empty in fact but the students and employees are very kind and welcoming. The hall proper was jam packed with bloggers, students, media and other participants. Half of the hall is filled with Letranites (my theory is that there are few invitees that they let Letranites enter so it won’t look haunted to the speakers). I’m actually shocked by the fact that they give you a small paper with the WiFi’s usernames and passwords. Its kind of weird, I thought. But when I entered, it makes a lot of sense. Almost everyone, if not all, is holding onto their laptop, tablet and smartphones blogging, tweeting, Facebook-ing and taking down notes. I actually went with the flow and bring out my phone and tab. I just wonder how does it feel to be up on stage giving your talk to a bunch of people who are not looking at you but on their touchscreen devices instead.

The Game Speakers

It is my very first invitational event to attend and I’m very unprepared. I didn’t took notes and that stuff while the others are. And right now, I’m feeling a little numb for not doing so. Anyways, I’ll recount the speakers base on my memory.


First up is Rosario Juan, better known as the founder of TweetUpMNL and the #rescueph. She is already in the middle of her talk when I came and I’m still looking for my seats so there is little to none that I can say about her. I just simply admire her for making a team for the common good of the people who are in trouble in the middle of a calamity. True public servant.

Second is Yves Gonzalez, former MMDA spokesperson and an app developer. What I liked about him is that he do what he says, at least base on his stories. Like some incidents which he said to himself that he will have an application next year at iOS and came next year there his app right there. Although his being “closeness” to a particular operating system is on the negative side. I think that being an exclusive iOS app developer do not promote better leadership to the youth.

The well-known Maria Ressa went up after Yves. She is a former Bureau Chief in Manila for CNN and currently CEO of Rappler. Most of her achievements and credits are journalism-based which I admire. Her talk centers on how Filipinos can play big in the world in terms of social networking sites like Twitter. Well, better said than done, right? But somehow, I thought it has to be said and done rather than not give it a try to the very least. Maria also discussed how our lives must not be dictated by technology. Honestly, this is true and I’m quite learning this the harder way. I tend to dip my 24 hours facing computer and not studying and that really sucks after you realized what you just did.

Bianca Gonzalez, a very famous TV host and personality, told us a lot of things. But of all, it marked to me what she said about not tweeting or posting on the internet just because it is the mainstream. We must verify facts first or make the issue clear by reading articles and news and not by hearsay alone. She also said that “we must exist in the world, not just in the world wide web.” Bianca is a very good speaker but I would rather not hear how she joined Pinoy Big Brother just because her manager, Boy Abunda, wants her to be a “masa” (or for the mass or people of majority). PBB is a really big and well-respected show in the Philippines and to know that celebrities join this show just because they want to catch up fame made me puke. But I like Biance anyway. Somehow, PBB thought her some new ways to communicate to the public better, something you cannot just learn from classrooms.

tg-guingona2Senator Guigona also spoke. I don’t know he seems sincere all the while but somehow there is this “plastic effect” on his each word. May be a side effect of being a politician. There’s nothing really noteworthy about his speech but some perfume to his name.

My Game

Its not totally a well-formed forum but I did gain some lessons from The Game Changers forum. For one, when I’m on my trip home to Cavite, my mind is full of things I’m seeing things or development  that the world or the Philippines need. I am also very encourage to study harder.

Although generally speaking, the event is rather one-sided. What do I mean by that? Its not really about changing the game we have right now but more of a “how you can tweet better” forum. Is that bad? Actually NO but I would rather change the misleading title of the event. Rosario, Yves, Maria and Bianca all talked about their different ways of utilizing Twitter and that made me say so. Do they actually wanted to say that: in short, the game changer is Twitter? Perhaps but I will vaguely know the answer as they might not answer my query at all.

It was a very healthy experience and if ever I will be invited again, I will be more than happy to attend. Internet is such a big leap in the society and there is no way of escaping from it. Just “don’t let technology dictate your life,” right? I did criticize the forum but its just part of me being in that event and I’m sure the speakers won’t mind being criticize.