Top 4 Insights I Gained from the BloggedIn ASEAN Conference

Top 4 Insights I Gained from the BloggedIn ASEAN Conference


“Press like if you care about [insert major social/environmental/political issue here]!”

Seriously, how many Facebook pages and posts like this do we come across during our social media crawl time? Although on some level, this type of campaigning creates public awareness, liking doesn’t always mean understanding the issue and sharing is not always caring. In a way, it’s almost similar to when people stand on the street with their cardboard signs reading, “Honk for peace”.


The first ASEAN Blogathon

More than liking and sharing, it’s about creating stimulating and substantial content that resonates among people.

BloggedInASEAN is a social media-led event and blogathon wherein young leaders and social media savvy brains band together to learn, brainstorm, create awareness, and then inspire action through thought-provoking online content about today’s most pressing issues surrounding the upcoming 2015 ASEAN integration.


BloggedIn ASEAN

The organizers: Young Southeast Asian Leader’s Initiative (YSEALI)


These issues were discussed by experts through lightning talks wherein we learned about various topics ranging from ASEAN history and its vision, business acumen and start-up entrepreneurship, health care and human safety, and food security and cheeseburgers. Like I said: varied.

READ: Philippines Youth to Business Forum (Y2B) PH : Initiating Change Through Inter-Generation Collaboration


BloggedIn ASEAN

Two of the conference speakers: Al Gabriel on Food Safety and Richard Heydarian on Politics & Economics

Without further ado, let me share the top 4 lessons from BloggedIn ASEAN‘s lightning talks that hit my brain like a ton of bricks.


Top 4 Insights I Gained from the BloggedIn ASEAN Conference


4. Although it is ingrained in our culture, the “Bahala Na” mentality just won’t cut it.

Master crammers out there might dispute me on this, but we Filipinos need to learn the concept of “mise en place”, a French expression that means putting everything in place before we start.

Preparation before any endeavor helps us become psychologically and mentally ready for whatever circumstances we will find ourselves in. Apprentice Asia Champion Jonathan Yabut set it straight when he said, “Preparation always trumps diskarte.” So kids, #YOLO moderately.

As such, there is a hell of a lot of preparation our country still needs to undergo before an ASEAN Integration will happen. We’re just not ready for a common ASEAN market by year 2015 yet.

READ: Ped Xing VI: ASEAN and the Road Ahead


3. Our generation has the intelligence, skills, and drive for change. We just need your trust.

WE, THE FILIPINO YOUTH, KNOW: We know we can create social impact. We know we can work for our country’s development. We know we have the necessary skills in our arsenal to collectively strive for our nationalistic goals.

We just need you to trust us. Do not lower you expectations of what we can achieve because believe us, there is a huge chance we will sink to them. Believe that we can move this country forward because in a few years, we will be running it.


BloggedIn ASEAN

The champions, #TeamKKIBB who used the concept of marriage to explain the ASEAN Integration and its ramifications.


The content that the BloggedIn ASEAN delegates produced were nothing short of spectacular and highly informative. You can check out the contestants’ posts on the BloggedIn:ASEAN website (


2. Contrary to what we believe, the government is doing their part for post-Yolanda recovery efforts.

When Atty. Lesley Cordero, the Undersecretary for Rehabilitation of the Office of the President, explained the events that transpired in her office when Typhoon Yolanda struck, it only brought back images of chaos in disaster stricken areas, public outrage at the government’s inefficiency, and the rampant displays of corruption.

Atty. Lesley called on us at the conference to dispel these negative issues on the way the government is handling these concerns. No amount of preparation and action plans could have prepared anyone for the vindictive nature of Yolanda. None.

However, the PARR has developed initiatives such as FAITH (Foreign Aid Transparency Hub) and EMPATHY (Electronic Management Platform for Accountability and Transparency Hub for Yolanda), and it is through these initiatives that the public eye will be able to closely monitor government efforts for post-Yolanda recovery.

Personally, what I think about this is that we should not over-generalize non-action in the government. Efforts are continued to be carried out by both the public and private sectors. We can only hope that with the best practices and lessons shared by Atty. Lesley, prompt and swift action will be carried out should another disaster strike.

The Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery’s (PARR) newly developed main principle is: Build Back Better, Faster and Safer.

READ: Dateline Tacloban: A Year after Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)


1. “I’m young, I want to help, I want to make a difference. Where do I start?”

More and more youngsters want to address our country’s issues and develop sustainable goals for long-term development. Do not belittle yourself because of age, a lack of stellar credentials, or influential connections.


BloggedIn ASEAN


First, be informed. Understand what’s going on around you and read up on current events. Secondly, offer your time and skills for volunteer organizations. Third, although this is not for everyone, work in the development or public sector. It’s a fulfilling endeavor to build a career for the greater good.

“If you can’t change the world yourself, you can at least work for an organization that can.”


Not your typical conference: Passion, Vision, and Free Food

BloggedIn:ASEAN was organized by a Philippine Team under President Barrack Obama’s Young Southeast Asian Leader’s Initiative (YSEALI).

Young influencers converged in A Space Manila, a hip working venue in Makati. A Space was highly conducive for creative brainstorming and collaborative work.


BloggedIn ASEAN

BloggedIn ASEAN

BloggedIn:ASEAN host, Jolly Estaris, addresses the crowd. Jolly also gave a short training course on how to create interesting online content.

BloggedIn ASEAN

The BloggedIn:ASEAN participants were treated to an array of chow like Pinkberry yogurt, Starbucks coffee, Gavino’s Japanese donuts, SnR pizza, among others.

BloggedIn ASEAN


The conversation doesn’t end here and doesn’t end online. If you really are driven for change, transform your words and online opinions into concrete actions. A lot of the insights and lessons shared at the conference, and the work written by the participants are idealistic and radical. However, it is exactly these types of ideas that can change the world.

When in Manila, keep informed and carry on.


Thank you to Joren Lansang for the photos.



BloggedIn ASEAN




Twitter & Instagram: @BloggedInASEAN



Top 4 Insights I Gained from the BloggedIn ASEAN Conference