What today’s youth can learn from these Ramon Magsaysay laureates

Published July 10, 2021, 12:47 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Some of which we can apply right now

COHORTS GALLERY

RYAN CAYABYAB

Musician, National Artist

Philippines

Learn to love your own culture, to generate more creative songs. Express your own feelings and stories. When the regional gets into the mainstream, we will be on the way to being global.

*****

KIM JONG-KI

Businessman, anti-youth violence advocate

South Korea

The problem is difficult to solve alone, we must work together. The solution should be based on empathy and recovery of relationships.

*****

CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES

Former ombudsman of the Philippines

Philippines

Never succumb to pressure; be beyond the reach of influencers.

*****

YOUK CHHANG

Executive director, Documentation Center of Cambodia

Cambodia

The biggest cost of truth-telling is sacrificing family and friends.

*****

ANTONIO OPOSA JR.

Lawyer, environmental activist

Philippines

We can’t change the world but we can change the storyline. Good stories are powerful.

*****

SAUR MARLINA MAURUNG

Pioneer for alternative education for indigenous people

Indonesia

Learning from the communities is important. Learn their ways, discard colonial perspectives, understand their native knowledge.

*****

CHUNG TO

AIDS activist

China

If everyone can solve one problem, this world will be a better place.

*****

SONAM WANGCHUK

Engineer and education reformist

India

It’s not just about what you need, but what needs you.

MAHABIR PUN

Scientist, teacher, entrepreneur

Nepal

Research and innovation are very important. Poor countries are poor because they have not given topmost priority to science, technology, and innovation to develop their economy.

*****

YOSHIAKI ISHIZAWA

Academic, professor, and Angkor Wat champion

Japan

Now is the time to really care for people in this pandemic.

*****

MECHAI VIRAVAIDYA

Former politician, activist

Thailand

Corporate Social Responsibility is not very successful. What we need is Individual Social Responsibility. ISR.

*****

“There is a certain impatience in youth which is really nothing more than their energy eager to be put to use.”

The late President Ramon Magsaysay could have been channeling today’s youth when he shared these words six decades ago.

Young people are now looking at the challenges of the times in global terms. They are a force, going where their energies take them.

This has brought the brightest among them to a one-of-a-kind learning and development program for selected next generation social change leaders working in Asia.

From June 14 to 25, 2021, 33 outstanding young leaders from all over Asia gathered to learn from 11 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees in the Nextgen Leadership Program organized by the Ramon Magsaysay Transformative Leadership Institute.

The Laureate mentors were Mechai Viravaidya from Thailand, Saur Marlina Manurung

from Indonesia, Youk Chhang from Cambodia, Sonam Wangchuk from India, Kim Jong-ki from South Korea, Yoshiaki Ishizawa from Japan, Mahabir Pun from Nepal, Chung To from China, and Conchita Carpio Morales, Antonio Oposa Jr., and Ryan Cayabyab from the Philippines.

They interacted with the participants—students, young entrepreneurs, and awardee

protégés from the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, and Hong Kong.

The program premise is that “Each one of us, ordinary as we are, are challenged to moments of greatness of spirit, when we choose to be empathetic, to listen deeply, and to connect and act together for a better Asia.”

Courage, empathy, passion, audacity, persistence, collaboration, inclusiveness, empowerment, and purpose in action were the sentiments that echoed throughout the 10-day virtual sessions.

The participants went through expansive learning sessions with the awardees who shared their inspiring life stories and advocacy work, driven by greatness of spirit and transformative leadership. Also contributing their nuggets of wisdom were trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation and industry experts.

It was heartwarming to see the participants deeply engaged in the sessions. From the questions and personal insights that they shared, it was clear that the awardees left an indelible mark on them, and that they are ready to pursue similar advocacies.

The Ikigai concept of purpose in action resonated with the participants. They are well on their way to blossoming into leaders in the bigger world, working toward social change and development work in Asia.

Likewise sharing their advocacies that mirrored those of the laureates were benefactors Ayala Foundation, PHINMA Education, Seaoil Foundation, Smart Communications, and Magsaysay awardee Ambassador Howard Dee.

The engagement of the NextGen participants does not end with the 10-day sessions.

They will regroup to pursue a batch project that will encapsulate the learnings they imbibed, which will be implemented within the cycle of the program, even as various foundation events take place throughout the year.

Another eagerly anticipated event is Bravo Asia, a celebration of Asian culture, which will showcase Magsaysay Laureates who have excelled in music, dance, film, and literature. This will unfold from Aug. 30 to 31, 2021 and will culminate with the announcement of the 2021 Ramon Magsaysay Award winners.

 
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