(Email to the MFS Yahoo!Group last June 2008)
Hi Manila Futurists!
Just reminiscing about our happy FEU experience for “The High Tech Future of Global Business and Computing In the 21st Century” , our MFS-sponsored event at the said university last June …
More than 300 FEU and FEU East Asia College students trooped to our seminar at the FEU University Conference Center last Thursday , June 25th --- filling the venue to the brim , coming in throngs and wondering what the MFS event is all about.
MFS was on its 10th leg of its campus tour seminar-series, hopping from one campus to another each month as part of its objectives of giving free education seminars as our gift to the community ---- for its vision of establishing a well-informed, empowered , optimistic and intelligent community .
Ateneo De Manila Unversity’s Rafael Saldana PhD led the lecture as our invited special guest speaker : associate professor of applied mathematics and computing in the School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University ; Editor-in-Chief of the Philippine Information Technology Journal (PITJ) and immediate past president of the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP). His lecture concentrated on his research interests grid and high performance computing --- being co-principal investigator of two international projects related to grid computing: ONCO-MEDIA Project (funded by the French Government’s ICT Asia Regional Program) and EUASIAGRID Project (funded by the European Commission FP7 Program).
Starting the program was a unique rendition of National Anthem via the FEU Pangkat Kawayan ---- which sounded like my childhood flashback of that “bamboo band” sound when I first heard it , with FEU students playing the music onstage.
Secretly, albeit unique and definitely Filipino flavored music, I was thinking about the bamboo band music’s complete 360 degrees contrast to our own music , on how the audience’s reaction would be once we start our own 21st century pop music background ( Flo Rida hiphop rap , very Western and girly Fergie music ) for our AVP powerpoints --- as intro for the MFS group.
Next came the opening prayers/ invocation , enter onstage black T-shirt clad teeners, in full-emote mode line after line , like a melancholy drama in dance rendition , interpreting each prayer line into their own “inspirational dance”.
Meantime, the audience’s thoughts were sidetracked from focusing on the prayer to having their attention on the dramatic dance rendition --- as the dancers sashayed, morose-faced, as if in angst and anguish at what’s in store for them --- our one-hour lecture ..
After bamboo music and an anguish-laden prayer dance, enter our AVP powerpoints, seemingly a much welcome 5-minuter visual feast for them --- with mod pop music by Fergie and Flo Rida , putting smiles on their faces and getting the attention of the teen-populated audience.
MFS’ new friends from FEU ---- AVP for Academic Affairs Ms. Cecille Anido , FEU Research Center Head Anabelle Verdote , and FEU Institute of Nursing Associate Dean Arquiza took turns in giving opening remarks, closing remarks, and giving introductions ( including introduction for me as MFS Moderator) . Onstage, I saw the big audience filling the capacity of the big conference center to the brim, and I can even hear their excitement onstage ( “ ah, futurists pala galing sa US” ) , and other loud murmurs from the teen students.
After my first introduction (getting an introduction as MFS moderator for the first time) , we also got another first from FEU : a Certificate of Appreciation for me , and also another Certificate of Appreciation for Dr. Raffy Saldana. Wow! The FEU warmth and hospitality is really something else…
Also catching my attention was how even the professors and students were smiling at us and our group, just like some VIPs dropping by unexpectedly but welcome just the same, dropping by at their territory but treated as special guests . FEU’s trademark humility and their gracious welcome for us is really amazing.The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Research Center even gave us a lunch treat --- including Dr. Raffy Saldana, Institute of Nursing Associate Dean Arquiza, Institute of Nursing Associate Dean Dr . Belinda Buenafe, myself, Research Head Anabel Verdote, AVP For Academic Affairs Ms. Cecille Anido, also including AGHAM and MFS member Natalie Pulvinar.
Stretching their hospitality to the max, Ms. Cecille asked her staff to give us a quick tour at the FEU Institute of Nursing’s impressive and yes, very expensive virtual lab --- a whole floor --- with life-sized mannequins with human body parts costing millions , but with the objective of having an effective education for the students.
We also toured their e-learning classrooms --- imagine an ocean of computers --- and students seemingly nonchalant as Dr. Raffy and I took photos of the whole scenario ( with the main objective of reliving our experience in our blogs ) .
Dr. Raffy gamely trudged with us during the whole tour , albeit his aching right foot due to the absence of Planax ( pain-reliever medicine) in his system that morning, and we guffawed and laughed hilariously at the mannequins’ interchangeable reproductive organs ( “pwedeng boy , pwedeng girl”) , and had our jaws dropping at the discovery of the amount of the mannequins ( millions in Philippine pesos) shipped from the US just to have the best for the FEU students.
My whole experience with the warm and friendly FEU group reminded me of our initial FEU experience --- last October 2007 at the FEU East Asia College , when we had Ryan Belir’s group ( now also subscribing to our MFS mailing list, Hi Ryan ) who showed us their very warm and sweet hospitality , especially with their gentle and self-effacing demeanour, kindness and patience even with our technical problems , helping us out with our registration, giving us FEU memorabilia gifts ( for each of us MFS members and for visiting Las Vegas futurist-scientists VIPs Gilda Cabral and Mike Korns) , and even a bouquet of flowers for Gilda .
As we bid them adieu, I whispered to Research Head Anabelle that we’d love to be back , hopefully within the year, and she gamely said “Yes” right away, without batting an eyelash. I thought to myself that I might be pushing my luck too far with FEU , but , darn, they were just so nice and sweet . Can’t help but ask for a second helping .
We’re moving to Ateneo ‘s Leong Hall Auditorium on July 25th --- as MFS partners with the Ateneo Business Cluster Group --- an umbrella organization of a variety of business student organizations --- who agreed in co-presenting our event for the Ateneo community. Dr. Raffy gave word that he’ll be sure to be around (fresh from his Paris trip) , expressing his eagerness to meet our futurist founders Gilda and Mike.Here’s to more successful Manila Futurists’ events as we move on to our monthly campus tours. See you there !
Look For Goodness
In everything, goodness is there, our goal is to find it. In every person, the best is there, our job is to recognise it. In every situation, the positive is there, our opportunity is to see it. In every problem, the solution is there, our responsibility is to provide it. In every setback, the success is there, our adventure is to discover it. In every crisis, the reason is there, our challenge is to understand it.
By seeing the goodness, we'll be very enthusiastic and our lives will be richer.