A few days ago, I spoke at the "iCHANGE: Winning Disciplines for Change" event in Bacolod featuring Francis Kong with Alex Lacson, Lois Yasay and Me

It's inspiring to hear Francis, Alex and Lois speak on stage, but to be in the same room or to share a meal with them is another learning experience I'd remember.


Francis Kong is the most sought-after speaker in the country. He has authored 10 books. He has a newspaper column and a radio show. He has received numerous awards. He has been invited to speak in the US, in Europe and all over Asia. On top of that, he is also a business owner. 

And yet, Francis would open the door for us, would take the back seat in the car, (even though we insisted that he take the front seat) order the same food, or even laugh and tolerate our (not-so-funny) jokes. Francis doesn't expect any kind of special treatment.

Me and Francis Kong

It's his 232nd time to speak this year. Over Inasal, I asked him "Do you still get intimidated as a public speaker?" He replied with "Oh, yes" and told me stories. You have no idea how comforting it feels to hear that. 

My Takeaway:  No matter how successful you are – remain humble and be of service to others. The purpose of "Success" is not entitlement or personal gratification, but it's to serve more people.

Us eating at Nena's – Manukan Country

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Just like Francis, Atty. Alex Lacson is also down-to-earth. (a bit surprising for a lawyer) He is the author of the best-selling book "12 Little Things You Can Do For Your Country." 

Atty. Alex sees the good in the Filipino. Listening to him has increased my appreciation for our country. 

Lei Patalinghog of One Awesome Company, Alex Lacson & Me

What most people don't know –– the income from his books is used to fund the schooling of 38 scholars. 

On stage or off-stage, Alex would say the same thing, even when nobody else is listening – there's something you can do for your country – even a small change can make a big difference.

My Takeaway: Instead of complaining, do something... even if it's a small thing. 

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Lois Yasay is the co-founder of the award-winning travel blog "We are Sole Sisters.She's into traveling, surfing, and speaking. And while working, she's able to do all three. [see here]

Lois Yasay danced the "Americano" with 3,000 people 

We were already on the plane going to Bacolod when we first met Lois. My wife and I immediately felt comfortable with her. Somehow, she has a way of asking the right questions. (She's like Oprah stationed on a plane)

By disembarkation, she already knew the story behind my book, how I became a speaker, or even my wife's future travel plans.

While we were in Bacolod, Lois randomly met Jose Mari Chan, and somehow was able to chat with him (interview) about his passion as well. (See here)

Six months, six cities, three countries. Lois was passionate enough to quit her day job to travel the world – something people won't even dare do.  

Now I understand why Lois travels a lot. Lois is curious. She's a passionate learner. And I believe that makes her not only an effective speaker, but also an interesting one. 

My Takeaway: 
Learn from the people you meet, the place you are in, or the experiences that you go through. Live Curious. 

iCHANGE Speakers and Organizers

Alex Lacson, Francis Kong, Lois Yasay, David & Emily Go Villanueva (awesome organizers!)  Mimi Chua & Me. 

Me speaking to at least 2,500 people. "Start Something!"

Special Thanks to Lei & Russel Patalinghog of One Awesome Company (They are really awesome)

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