An Experience I Will Never Forget in My Life: WCYF 2009  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The World Creative Youth Forum (WCYF) 2009 is so far the most unforgettable experience in my life ever. The industry, time and effort that I have allocated to it was the first in all of what I did previously. The understanding and trust I had given to the event, the people and the partners in the project was very great that perhaps in the end this is one of the major mistakes that some people point at me. It was a great selfless effort that I have to really sacrifice to the extend that even not being able to sleep for more than 2 days, not able to take a bath or change clothes and even smiling despite people saying the most negative things about me. I am writing this article not to brag but to share my experiences and thoughts with others so that perhaps they can learn something from it. For me WCYF 2009 is the greatest and biggest event I have handled and I will be forever proud to have worked with all the people in the event specially the delegates and participants.

Lessons learned:

The Power of a Good Cause. A good cause cannot be defeated and that is the primary learning I have. Despite all the problems and despite the negative attribution to WCYF and how it has been handled there is one undeniable fact... IT WAS A SUCCESS BEYOND DOUBT. With the participants help and BROOD and our dedication to make things happen all of these had become possible. It is the delegates of WCYF who put their hard work, time and effort into a cause which I believe cannot be overpowered by any negative force in this planet. The desire to make a difference and make things sustainable for a better life is simply a cause and desire so big that it cannot be defeated.

Trust people but not too much. There is nothing wrong to trust people but you should always know who you are trusting. Do a background check on them and then ask around it they are worthy of that trust. Also remember that most of the time some people does not mean what they say. Also, be wary of people who always praise you but give no comment specially if you know that you have made a mistake. Give your trust but be watchful still. My biggest mistake in WCYF is giving the trust to people who should not have been trusted at all. Yet, it is an experience which I did learn something.

Do not proceed with an event unless all the requirements are archived. Do not make my same mistake. All should be tangible and present and if ever there is a deficiency it must be negligible. Do not trust pledges specially from politicians saying they will help for most of the time they might never come. Assure of the finances of your event and see to it that you have enough funds to work on a project.

Trust your instincts and your organization's core values. Brotherhood of Destiny (BROOD), the organization which I co-organized believes in simplicity and sustainability rather than aesthetic appearance and publicity. In WCYF 2009 publicity is generated through exposures but it was never converted into actual fund generation. It surely build a hype but media attention and hype is not the main focus of an event it is in the end the output and the learning that will be generated and what happens afterward. It is great that the participants of the event proceed with what was planned and successfully made an action plan, manifesto and the organizational paper. These are the things which will ensure that the World Creative Youth Forum will continue and there will be sustainability.

Humility. WCYF 2009 teaches me a lot about humility. I learn to approach people and be humble. I realized how I can take all of my pride and ask for help. I learn to accept ridicule. I learn to accept being turned down. I learned to tell the reality of the situation. I learn to believe more in human capacity and understanding.

Optimism. During the course of WCYF optimism had been my weapon together with a team which also possess a great optimism and enthusiasm. The ability to see good things and success beyond seemingly insurmountable obstacles is what made me still standing despite many challenges ahead. The amount of debt and threat to BROOD's credibility is many but we know what the truth is. We know what had happened. If we have one mistake that we have committed that is believing in what people say so much. With optimism and positive attitude there is still a great triumph ahead of the road.

United Action. In WCYF 2009 I learn the lesson of united action regardless of age, gender, race, nationality and even educational attainment. I see the caring of everyone and their eagerness to help. The way they want to help might be different but it is simply heartwarming. Their ability to understand things which otherwise normal people will be angry about is simply unbelievable. WCYF gathered the greatest people that could possibly be assembled at one time and these are the people that you would be proud you had been part of.

Power of Prayer. The power of trust in God and what He intends to do had been magnified. I had always told the Lord that His will be done and make me an instrument of that will. I continue to trust Him and pray that He continue to guide me and I know that all of these problems will be solved.

Reality Check. During this event I also had a reality check. I have known who my real friends are, who the real Ryodan are and who are just there in times of happiness and will leave you in times of trouble. I had received help from people who I least expected to help me. I received not only financial help (most are small but are really inspiring) but also moral support and assurance that I have done the right thing. I also realized that somethings cannot be changed in an instant. The culture of "lagayan" and "palakasan" are really very imminent. The media itself is tainted with things that I do not believe previously. I have come to realize that people no matter how seemingly good they are can be driven by money, power and envy. At times of great failure and need your closest friends may sometime take the chance to stub you and wish that you can never ever stand up again. It is indeed reality that in this world there is the old adage of the Survival of the Fittest.

To this day, BROOD and I remain standing and believes that a good cause and a fight to make a difference can never be defeated, We sure did make some mistakes but we hope that individuals and partners who have pledge their support and told us that they will be responsible for things really make good of their promises.

I am personally grateful to all our partners, UNESCO-Jakarta Clusters Dr. Hubert, Dr. Anwar and Juliati... though I know our credibility might be hanging as to how they see us... we know as soon as things start happening and going better it will all be a time and partnership worth all the effort.

I will forever be thankful to the understanding and dedication of my eldest son John Dwight who had been a very dedicated volunteer for the event and had been always at my side in all those times. He had been an inspiration to me during the event and for some reason he had acted like someone way beyond his age advising me on how I should be stronger amidst all the problems.

To Mei Santiago, my ever understanding partner despite all the "kakulitan" and constant reminders which sometimes makes me not contact her or tell her about the situation ... her caring and concern inspired me a lot. I will never ever forget how sleepless you had been during the ordeal.

Thanks to all the partners who have shared our vision most specially to Sir Osbi Santillan of World Without Wars and Without Violence; the Generation Peace Network, Bea Misa of the Youth for Sustainable Development Assembly (YSDA); AJ Rodriguez and the people at Microventures, Inc. including Bam Aquino; Kuya Enteng and the very supportive Kalikasan, People's Network for the Environment; Anne, Stewart and the people at All Together in Dignity; Sir Nomer Macalalad of Wow Philippines Foundation.. thanks for the Shery Cruz CDs hope we could have sold more; Sidhay Bahaghari and Kuya Germs of Pitak who never missed an event of WCYF; Ding Reyes and Tony of the Kamayan Forum, thanks for giving us the chance to use Kamayan Forum for advocating the event; Desiree Segovia of AANI Herbal Garden, thanks for believing in me and the cause for which we are advocating.

Thanks to our media partners, GMA 7, Manila Bulletin and Free Update as well us to Duty Free Philippines, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

Our thanks as well to Mr. Nicanor Perlas who had been one of my guiding light during my lowest times in the event. I could not have imagined him bringing things from one room to the other. He had personally spent time and canceled appointments just to be there.

Craig, thank you very much. Your guidance, your dedication and your belief in me and in BROOD will never be forgotten and will not be wasted. We will continue to strive to make a difference.

Dr. Nina, Father Terry and the World Spirit Youth Council team... you have inspired us a lot. When I though that everything was bad and wrong, you motivated me to see beyond the negative things and see the goodness out of it.

Senator Mar Roxas, your help through your office and staff will be remembered. Of all those who had told us that they will help and that they support the event only you had proven to be true to your word. Sir Chito and Sir Omi, I know that there are problems during the event but through your help we are able to solve it. Marami pong salamat!

To Tita Letty Bautista, the caterer who I know we had caused so much trouble in her life, family and business. My thanks for her in understanding everything and helping us still. I know I had not registered a good impression with her but I hope that someday we will meet again in better terms.

To the Indonesian and Malaysian delegates, to which greater understanding and burden was also experience and needed... my great salutation and hope for even greater understanding on the matter. We will never ever if possible inflict anything on anyone and always strive to honor everything but there are things that is beyond our control. I hope that in time friendship will still be there.

To Cesar Amoranto, the BROOD National Council on Environment and my very good friend thanks for your help and support. Though I did miss you a lot during the days leading to WCYF when you are needed the most understand that this is not enough to cover the goodness which you have shared and the dedication you had given. Despite your stituation you still strive to make a difference.

To the people in Brotherhood of Destiny (BROOD) which had been instrumental to the success of WCYF and had been very supportive of this project my sincerest thanks. Inkz, Jabez, Hajime, Justice, Mac, Febbie, Nina, Realgirl, Jeemaica, MsCute, Lupin, Trixhon, Darkling, Spiker, and more.... those that I was not able to mention sincerest thanks and don't say that I forget you because your every help is indeed a part of the fruit of this endeavor.

Hajime, BROOD Council on Arts and Culture.. your help throughout the preparation and the youth camp will be remembered and is appreciated. Your reminders on how not to give up on what I am doing is one of the factors and reason why I strive to succeed over all the problems I am facing each day. Hope that life will also be kind to you and your family.

To Harem Blanquisco, Chrisel, Randolp and the Young Leaders Alliance of Rizal (YLAR), my great admiration with your group for enduring the pain, the sleepless nights and sometimes lack of food because of lack of budget. The output and things you had helped to make the event a success cannot be measured by monetary means.

To Sheila Muescan, who had been tasked to do the impossible on a project which has very meager budget but had managed to come up with valuable x-deals, our sincerest thanks. We hope that we could be partners again in better times and in addition a request that you continue to help us until things get settled. I know there are times we argue but what is good is friendship remains.

To Andy Moran, you had been a great help as the Assistant Project Coordinator and as a friend. You had made invaluable contributions though I wish that things could had been better for both of us. I had hope that in future times friction and clashes of ideas, opinions and personality would be less. I wish you success and good tidings in the future and in everyday life.

To, Joseph Ramos for his ingenuity and clever mind in envisioning and formulating events... Salamat! If not for him the cultural night and some pre-events would not have been possible. I just hope that next time we learn to make events at a lesser cost and also learn to put less pressure on someone already pressured. I know that there is some bad feelings when we separated ways but I hope it can be healed in due time.

To Anne Pamela Fernandez and her team, your work as the WCYF media team will never be forgotten. Your group's dedication to work as a full time volunteer will be forever remembered by me and by BROOD.

To the United Nations Association of the Philippines, Sir Serafin Arviola and the UNYAP Volunteers, our regrets if not all of your needs had been provided but we would like to let you know our gratefulness for staying in the event and making things possible. It is for this reason as well that if allowed we would like to be part of UNAP and perhaps instill greater volunteerism among us all.

To Tita Elzie, Chairperson de Lima and the Commission on Human Rights.. our thanks for providing the material needs of the event. For supporting us despite the challenges and always being there to back us up. This also goes to the National Youth Commission, its commissioners and most specially Chairman Richard Nalupta.

To the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PACGOR) we hope that your support in time will be there. We assure you that through you we will ensure the sustainability of WCYF 2009. Your support will be the ultimate icing on the cake to make this a success.

To Robin Charles Ramos, Pocholo Gonzales and VOTY.. our sincerest thanks. For finally believing in us and throwing your full support for this event. The one month radio allotment at DZME was indeed very timely. Charles and VOTY had never left me during the course of all the problems and had been a constant person inspiring us.

To Anjie, Jerome and Lucky my sincerest thanks for putting your effort in WCYF 2009 and helping out as a volunteer. Although I had to thank you things could have been better if your personal interest, pride and personality problems had been better. It is with great disappointment that we have parted before the BROOD Summer Camp and until now I am indeed very disappointed.

I might not have been able to thank everyone but to all those who had helped you know who you are... MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO!

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