Carolinian Summit: Igniting the Passion to Turn Goals to Action
Photo by Lance Matthew Pahang
In the quest to ignite the Carolinian passion in transforming goals into action, the USC Supreme Student Council, along with the members of various student organizations, convened for the seventh annual Carolinian Summit last Aug. 3-4 at the St. Buchcilk Hall in USC South Campus.
With the theme “Ignite the Passion, Goals in Action”, the Carolinian Summit provides an avenue for student leaders to broaden their network, hone their leadership skills and enrich the Carolinian spirit. It also provides an opportunity to plan and develop sustainable projects that may benefit the student body in the future.
The proposed projects of the participants were based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations in September 2015 in New York City. These goals were made to address the common issues shared by every nation across the globe.
The summit’s keynote speaker, former congressman Hon. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, expressed that the SDGs formed by the UN are unchanging and will never disappear. Because of this, awareness of the problems the nation is facing is not enough to solve it.
Being an active social media user himself, Hon. Tañada encouraged the participants to utilize the available platforms to influence others with the cause they are associated with and to engage with other people especially our country’s politicians.
Hon. Tañada ended his talk with a quote from the summit’s opening remarks by Vice President Leni Robredo on screen, courtesy of the Office of the Vice President: “We can all be the change we want in our country.”
To expound on the sustainable goals presented by the UN, Mr. Denxybel Montinola, also a Carolinian student leader, gave the participants a glimpse of the aspirations of the United Nations and how they can contribute to their attainment.
According to Mr. Montinola, the UN aims to achieve social progress, improved climate and environment, and economic development through the implementation of sustainable projects, which are geared to solve current problems without endangering the resources of the future generation. Through the 17 SDGs, the UN hopes to extend their concern for the four P’s: People, Planet, Prosperity, and Peace.
For the People. Mr. Angelo Acenas, a mechanical engineer turned public school teacher, shared about his organization “Teach for the Philippines”, which aims to develop programs to provide learning opportunities for students.
Because of the insufficient facilities and number of teachers available to public school students, “Teach for the Philippines” has gathered volunteers from all over the country to teach in government central schools and high schools.
Although an engineer by profession, Mr. Acenas did not regret heeding his country’s call for better education. Through this, he was able to address what he considers as one of our nation’s greatest problem: ignorance.
For the Planet. Japanese intern and volunteer for Let’s Do It! Philippines, Ms. Misaki Kaida, campaigned for better consumption and disposal behavior and a zero waste lifestyle. As an advocate of the environment, Ms. Kaida rallied for support of the National Solid Waste Act enacted back in 2000.
To support the cause at hand, Let’s Do It! Philippines has been propagating the creation and use of Eco Solar Lamps and Eco Bricks as friendlier alternatives to electrical consumption and solid waste disposal. Ms. Kaida and her team also conduct an annual National Cleanup Day as a way to restore the country’s waters.
For Prosperity. Cebuano businessman and well-known entrepreneur, Mr. Bunny Pages , shared his own success story to the participants. Looking back on how he started from scratch to end up where he is, Mr. Pages said: “You do not become a prosperous person by accident.”
For him, the ingredients to a more prosperous life lie in a better mindset and personal relationship with others, not to mention taking care of one’s physical health, improved communication skills, and the will to take action.
For Peace. Atty. Catherin Alvarez delved deeper on the quest for a more efficient justice system in the Philippines. As the executive director of Street Law PH, her work focused more on providing access to justice and human rights protection for the citizens.
Atty. Alvarez also campaigns for alternative lawyering which is a practice of lawyering for the masses. Through alternative lawyering, each and every person is granted their right to be represented and undergo due process. She also pointed out how the country’s justice system should protect each person’s rights regardless of one’s faults, saying, “you don’t stop being a human being just because you committed a crime.”.
On the fight for peace and order, members of the Philippines National Police (PNP) and PNP Peace Advisory Council addressed issues on mistrust and how civilians may help in improving police operations. Among those present were Senior Superintendent Ramicillo Sawan, Mr. Alfredo Tan, Mr. Bret Balbuena, and Mr. Joel Garganera.
On leadership, Mr. Segundo “Bre” Abrea Jr., along with his team from 2Xplore Outdoor Classroom, shared important guidelines on being better student leaders — the need to trust one’s self, leaving our comfort zones, straying away from negativity, not fearing failure and giving back.
The Summit ended with high spirits for the change makers who are inspired to bring newfound camaraderie and ideas to their different student organizations as the academic year draws near.
For Carolinian Summit proponents Hon. Kim Tubil and Hon. Danica Aldave, while the summit ignited each participant’s love for the different SDGs, they hope that after the event, these student leaders will be doing actions relating to the SDGs they love.