What Will You Do If You Meet the US Ambassador to the Philippines?

Philip Goldberg in Baguio Selfie

Selfie with the US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg

How would you react when you learn that you would get a chance to meet with someone so important?

Perhaps you’d get nervous and try to get ready for that opportunity.

For the youth of Baguio, they just played it cool when they’ve met the US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg during his visit to the Youth Empowerment for Stronger Communities (YES-C) Program at the CFSPI.

They took out their shining tablets and took pictures of him like pro journalists.

Interviewed and asked him questions like he’s just one of their buddies.

Interviewing the US Ambassador to the Philippines in Baguio

One even had a ‘selfie’ with him.

Philip Goldberg in Baguio Selfie

So, we all took ‘selfie’ with him.  

US Ambassador in Baguio Philippines with Youth

When I say ‘with him’,

I meant with him at the background.

(I thought to myself, I may have not taken a photo with Chelsea Clinton and Melinda Gates during the Women Deliver 3rd Global Conference in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia last year when I attended the said event.

At least I have got the opportunity to have a ‘selfie’ with the US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg)

And I was happy.

Then this happened…

Meeting with the US Ambassador to the Philippines in Baguio City

I was introduced by Eren Joy “Ej” Bautista as one of the “famous bloggers in the Philippines”.

It felt unreal.

US Ambassador Philip Goldberg Meeting with Social Media Consultant Jonha Revesencio

But here’s a photo of that moment…

Social Media Expert Workshop in Baguio and Meeting the US Ambassador Philip Goldberg

 (Special thanks to EJ, Luke and Jay for making this happen!)

What about you..what would you do if you were me? 

Empowering Future Leaders with Workshop on How to Use Social Media to Empower Communities

Emerging Youth Leaders in Baguio Social Media Workshop

71 Emerging Youth Leaders Attended the Youth Empowerment for Stronger Communities (YES-C) Program in Baguio Philippines

Emerging Youth Leaders in Baguio Social Media Workshop

71 emerging youth leaders were gathered in Baguio City to learn about how to use social media to empower communities through a 2-day workshop held at at Consuelo Center for Leadership and Social Innovation, CFSPI Baguio City. (More photo here)

The workshop was part of the Youth Empowerment for Stronger Communities (YES-C) Program organized by the Child and Family Service Philippines, Inc (CFSPI) in partnership with the Embassy of the United States of America – Manila.

Social Media to Empower Communities Workshop in Philippines

The participants were high school students and out-of-school youths of different religion and ethnicity who were gathered together to create a lasting network linking youth leaders with community leaders in Baguio to develop these youth leaders into responsible and productive citizens of their city. (See my previous post on a similar project where I was privileged to be part of the Generation Change Project held in Davao City, Philippines)

Each participant was given access to a tablet to document examples of constructive community leadership and to help support the social media training. They were also taught on how to get started blogging.

Together with Jay de Jesus (the lead facilitator and social media guru) and Luke Meinzen, we’ve discussed about the importance of being response when using online tools such as blogging and social media platforms and how they could best use these platform in expressing themselves and empowering their community. 

Youths Interviewing the US Ambassador to the Philippines – Philip Goldberg

To get started, each group was given an opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to the Philippine, Philip Goldberg and ask him questions. The participants then shared their thoughts about the interview through their newly created blogs.

US Ambassador Visits Baguio Talks with Youth

In the course of the program, the participants will then submit proposals for community outreach projects. The teams with the best proposal will get a mini-grant which will be awarded at the Youth Summit in Manila at the end of the program.

These types of programs definitely help train, inspire and motivate the youth to think of ways on how they could create change in their society and how they can be catalysts of such change.

(Special thanks to Jay de Jesus for the opportunity,  Eren Joy “Ej” Bautista and all the facilitators and mentors for making the workshop such a success and breeze!)

Singapore: So Good Amidst the Haze

Good Things About the Haze

What Can Singapore Do While Suffering from the Haze?

While I may have been spared from the haze because I’m back in the Philippines, I constantly monitor the PSI level and my prayers and thoughts are with my friends in Singapore and Malaysia.

In times like these, it’s pretty normal reaction for people to complain (even more) but this guy proves that we can be more productive if we look not on the “why” but how you can respond positively to the situation.

“In these hazy conditions I was forced to see clearly just how selfish and inward looking I sometimes was and we could sometimes be” – Josiah Ng

Good Things About the Haze

#WD2013 Key Takeaways from the Women Deliver 2013: Women Issues are Human Issues

Women Deliver Conference in Malaysia

Women Deliver 2013 Key Takeaways: Women Issues are Human Issues

During my last few weeks in Singapore, I was thinking as to what else could I do to make my stay even more meaningful. Then I got an email from Anastasia Dellaccio, the Outreach and Communications for the United Nations Foundation about the Women Deliver + Social Good launch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Women empowerment and discussions of women issues are two most important topics which truly matter to me. Without thinking twice, I immediately booked my trip from Singapore to Malaysia.

Every time I go to Malaysia, I would always stay with my friend, Mary Jane and her family. They’re like my second family and their place is just stone through away from the Petronas Tower and the place where the conference was held was just a few minutes walk so I thought it’s definitely perfect time for us to bond before and after the conference.

We attended the Plus Social Good launch and learned so much from the many inspiring and brave women from all over the globe and below are just some of the best articles written about the event and the issues:

Women Deliver Conference in Malaysia

Women Deliver: Investing in Reproductive Health by Jeni Klugman, Worldbank:

Women’s lack of agency, alongside weak accountability, are key factors driving poor reproductive health outcomes.”

Are Health Workers Delivering for Women? And Are We Delivering for Health Workers? by Rebecca Kohler

Why Policymakers Must Invest in Girls 

“We invest in girls because women and girls are half of the population of the world. So if you want the society to grow, you have to empower [them],” Barbara Bush, co-founder of Global Health Corps”.

Women Deliver 2013: Lessons learned for Indonesia by Rita A. Widiadana

“Family planning should, and must always, top the priorities of the country’s development program. It provides women with reproductive rights — a basic human right, and creates a healthy, smart generation. In addition, family planning also serves as a way to halt Indonesia’s speedy population growth.”

What I saw and Learned in Southeast Asia and Why I Left Inspired by Chelsea Clinton

From reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS to providing clean drinking water to rural communities, these programs are examples of how, when corporations, NGOs, governments, and people work together, incredible strides can be made to challenges that were once thought intractable. These achievements give me hope that other countries will be able to replicate these models and provide similar health care access to individuals – and that, in my lifetime, we’ll achieve an AIDS-free generation and eliminate mortality caused by unclean water.

View more photos of the Women Deliver here.

Image [Women Deliver Flickr]

Women Deliver and Plus Social Good Launch in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Plus Social Good Bloggers in Malaysia

Women Deliver 2013 + Social Good in Malaysia

Yesterday I was invited to Women Deliver + Social Good Launch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Women Deliver + Social Good brough together over 4,000 advocacy organizations bringing together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women.

Plus Social Good Bloggers in Malaysia

Inspired by the Social Good Summit +SocialGood unites a global community of innovators around a shared vision: Leveraging the power of technology and new media to make the world a better place.

+SocialGood is a place where connectors can collaborate, share best practices, influence local and global agendas, and find new ways to translate vision into action.Social Good Community

Women Deliver Program and SpeakersDo join the community and share your story on how you can help improve your community in your area!