Liberal Leaders Summit 2013

I figured college life isn’t just about finding yourself, joining organizations and the varsity team or purely focusing with your academics. I think it’s also a training ground to acquire skills outside the program you are majoring. For a start, I wanted to hone my leadership skills and meet new people, so I joined the first ever Liberal Leaders Summit, held last 13-15 November at De La Salle University, hosted and organized by the DLSU Arts College Government. Endorsed by the Commission on Higher Educaation (CHED), this summit aims to strengthen the liberal arts education and its importance all over the country. This also served as training ground to aspiring young leaders nationwide. What was in store for us delegates? Remarkable speakers, ice breakers, “coffee breaks”, freebies, activities, open forums, a fieldtrip and a whole lot of fun and learning!

For the first day, we had Mr. Ramon Dano from the University of the East discuss the Essence of a Liberal Leader which are listening, learning and leading. He also mentioned that productive listening is important. 

 After him was Jonathan Yabut, the Season 1 winner of the reality game show the Apprentice Asia. He has achieved so much at a young age and as a leader, prioritizes his people first before himself. He even quoted that leaders know when to stand back and make leaders out of his people.

 The last speaker for the first day was Ms. Lisa Hontiveros. The moment I saw her I fan-girled! I got the kilig vibes when she complimented on the blouse I wore. It was the influence of her parents as activists that encouraged her to enter politics. She believes that liberal leaders can transform society by dedicating themselves to lifelong learning and giving back to the community. She is so down-to-earth and very approachable. 

My new friends Alyce and Jane!! (oh and thanks Jane for lending me your skirt hehe)

That same day, a lot of raffles prizes were given away and I won a coloring pencil set from Faber-Castell! I’ve been longing to get a new set of coloring pencils for a while now. Haha. There was also socials night which served as the perfect time to get to know the other delegates in which I enjoyed! 

For the second day of the Liberal Leaders Summit, four new speakers lined up the day’s itinerary. Maria Ressa, former CNN reporter now Rappler CEO was the first speaker. She has a dainty voice but was still a good and effective speaker. I was fascinated by the secret wonders of Rappler in which she showed in her presentation. Before rapping up her talk, she shared words of wisdom, in which I’ll share a favorite: “No matter what choice you make, life is about choices. Make the choice to learn.” 

Second was movie director, Lasallian graduate, soon-to-be DLSU professor and stand up comedian Direk Joey Reyes. He cracked up the whole auditorium with his talk and had amusing things to share that you’d never think of. He is literature major and said that it has greatly helped him with his career as a director and writer. He believes that in this country, “criticizing is a major sport”. This will make you stronger and will help you improve. 

Following him was the DLSU College of Liberal Arts President Mr. Angelo Tiglao. I’ve looked up to him since the time he spoke during my LPEP (see more about that here). He believes that a leader can do so much more outside his/her comfort zone and can do so much for the country. His mantra? “Stay foolish and keep dreaming.”

The last speaker was Ms. Kalikasan Castillo, the Chairperson for Local and International Linkages of the DLSU Arts College Government. She introduced to us the National Liberal Arts Network; what it was about, its objectives and the roles of the officers. We had the election of officers after that but I left early due to an appointment.


The last day of the summit would probably be my favorite day. We visited the DLSU Science and Technology Complex in Canlubang, Laguna. It’s very beautiful place, it feels like I’m going to college in a different country, maybe because it’s away from the metro? It’s everything a student needs to complete his education – preschool to college. For the college, it only has 150 students and only offers BA Communication Arts for the College of Liberal ARts. It is planned that in the next few years or so, some colleges of DLSU will be moved there so that the Taft campus would be less congested. We had lunch at Nuvali after.

I had an amazing time! Thank you so much to the new friends I met, the committee behind it and to the Lord for this opportunity! See you guys soon! 🙂

Photo Credits:
Jarys Sibal

We were also featured in Rappler. See post here.