Some weeks ago, my brods and I were helping organize the 1st IamNinoy Heroes’ Summit with the Benigno S. Aquino Foundation and some other partner organizations. Attached below is a press release we prepared for it. Congratulations to my batchmates who spearheaded the project!
UP Diliman Hosts the First IAMNINOY Heroes Summit
The close of the 2008-2009 Academic Year signaled the end of the Centennial Celebrations of the University of the Philippines. After 100 years of existence, the question students of the University now asked themselves was, “Where do go from here and what direction shall move toward?”
The University of the Philippines prides itself in being distinguished as the National University, home to the best and brightest of country. In fact, it is the University that has produced the most number of national scientists, national artists and Government officials ranging from Mayors, Governors, Congressmen, Senators and has most number of Philippine Presidents.
Having produced all of these leaders, another question being asked was, “being home to the best and brightest, why haven’t we solved the same problems that have been haunting our country?” Some students said “perhaps our country doesn’t need more leaders, what it needs are heroes. It doesn’t need leaders to move the people but heroes who will move for and with the people. Less leaders who are driven by their personal goals and ambitions and more heroes fueled by their passion for service and action. Perhaps the University of the Philippines ought to stop training leaders and start developing heroes who are willing to live for this nation.”
As a response to the questions posed, the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG), together with the UP Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy (UP CLCD), in partnership with the Benigno S. Aquino Foundation, Yabang Pinoy and Gawad Kalinga, took the initiative to gather the University’s top leaders selected from a student population of 25,000, representing over 20 student councils and 500 student organizations for the First IAMNINOY Heroes Summit at UP Diliman.
The First IAMNINOY Heroes Summit featured the life of National Hero Benigno “NINOY” S. Aquino, not as a journalist, activist, senator or political leader but as an ordinary person who decided he was going to live an extraordinary life.
The organizers of the Summit believe that what made Ninoy a hero was not the fact that he died for his country, but that fact that he decided he wanted to do something for it, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it would be. Through the Summit, the organizers sought to invoke a sense of nationalism in each of them and promoted more socially relevant programs and projects geared towards a better Philippines. The objective was to develop the current youth leaders of the University into the next generation of heroes for the country.
The program included speakers from members of the Aquino family, like former Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino and Maria Aquino Vargas-Montelibano, Raphael Lopa, the executive director of the Benigno S. Aquino Foundation and advocates of the IAMNINOY campaign, Dino Badilla ASec. Commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Marge Manalaysay and Zander Lino, advocates from Yabang Pinoy Movement and Tony Meloto from Gawad Kalinga.
Also included in the program was the launching of “The Ninoy Book Project” spearheaded by the Upsilon Sigma Phi, of whom Ninoy was a member of. The Summit was held last March 27, 2009, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM at the National College of Public Administration and Governance Atrium.