To some people, dreams come in vivid, blazing color, and perhaps bursting in surround sound. To others, they come in the form of insistent knocking, of little voices in their head, or of deep stirrings in their heart. This dream of mine took a few years in the making–and involved some twists and turns, an attempt to escape, and a month-long illness that forced me to re-examine my life and mission before making the necessary detour.
The idea for Changemakers Philippines was born in my head around three years ago, before the explosion of social media in the Philippines. Like many of my ideas, I gave this one a whirl, made myself a Powerpoint presentation, thought about it for a few days, slept on it, then eventually decided that I probably wasn’t the right person to implement it.
It resurfaced two years ago, while I was undergoing Anton Diaz‘s Maven Secrets class, when I realized that my true advocacy was to use all of my skills and gifts in “communicating, connecting, and changemaking” for causes and for the larger idea of social innovation. I wanted to be around people who were passionate about making the Philippines a better place; I wanted to use the power of words, images, and ideas to incite people to positive action; I loved being in the thick of game-changing strategies and actions that would impact the lives of many people; and I was convinced that technology would be a key driver to getting more people involved in causes and issues that truly matter.
When it was time to make this dream a reality, however, I chickened out and (almost literally) tried to fly away from it. However, when circumstances forced me to take a long, hard look at the things that truly mattered to me, Changemakers Philippines came popping out again. With the help of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way at Work and my friend Loes van Mierlo’s website, Sacred Discovery, I was back on track, and the seeds for the forthcoming version of Changemakers Philippines were planted.
A few days after that, I got a call saying that I–or more accurately, that Changemakers Philippines–was a finalist in the first-ever Tatt Awards sponsored by Globe Telecom and IMMAP. You cannot imagine the goosebumps that I felt at that very moment. There I was, resolving to finally getting this dream off the ground, and here was the Universe, saying, “Let’s give you something to kick this into high gear, shall we?” I was terrified and elated at the same time. This is it, I told myself. Take this gift and run away with it.
So here I am, taking this gift and asking for your support to make Changemakers Philippines a reality. Right now, the website itself has nothing more than a “skeleton” and a few old blog posts to give it some muscle. But the bigger dream is to make it a platform for enabling changemakers and social entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground, to engage in sustainable social innovation. More than just being a website, it will be a venue to connect people, ideas, and resources; it will be a mechanism to galvanize and mobilize communities; and it will be a brand that will bring changemaking to the forefront of the Filipino consciousness, so that channels for positive action will be available whenever these are needed. If we do make it to the winning circle of the Tatt Awards, whatever prize money is there will be used to kick this project into high gear.
To be honest, if I could vote for my friends in the same category, I really would! (And all my co-finalists are my friends!) But I’m just thinking of it in this way: if Changemakers Philippines wins, then all the other advocates and changemakers will win, too. 🙂
(Go to “The Advocate” tab at the bottom, then vote on the far right of the page.)
Want to know more about the Tatt Awards? Watch this video.
Thank you in advance for your support! 🙂