About 200 students filled the covered court of Marinduque State College for a Youth Empowerment Summit held last February 16. The audience were a mix of Communication and English majors in MSC’s School of Arts and Sciences, as well as some Senior High students. The summit’s goal is to hone the youth to become involved and empowered in creating positive social change.
The whole-day event was graced with the presence of Voice of the Youth Network – the volunteer youth media organization that informs, inspires, involves and empowers the Filipino youth through radio broadcasting and ICT. There were a total of 4 speakers during the event, led by its founder, Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales.
After the opening ceremony, the VoiceMaster came onstage with his energizing, entertaining, and inspiring talk. He started off with an icebreaker, and went on to tell the story of how he became a youth advocate at the young age of 16. He talked about the challenges that he faced as a young professional voice artist, and his defeat in the Sangguniang Kabataan election, that led him to establish VOTY. Pocholo wanted to give young people a voice on issues that affect them, and to give them an opportunity to inspire and empower their fellow youth.
The VoiceMaster then entertained the audience with a series of hugot lines, and his voice impersonation of famous characters and celebrities, dead and alive! He also did the voices of the cartoon and telenovela characters he has voiced, including Cyborg Kuro-Chan and San Cai’s father in Meteor Garden. After which, the VoiceMaster went on with his inspiring message, as he challenged the young people to discover their purpose and live a life of greatness and excellence. He ended his talk with a powerful message to “claim” one’s desire, as he gave away a copy of his book, “Gusto Kong Maging Voice Talent,” to one of the participants.
The afternoon session was also filled with fun and inspiration as 3 more VOTY members took the stage with their own motivational talks. First up was VOTY’s Head Secretariat, Ada Cuaresma. In her talk, Ada shared how she gave up her quest for money after spending over a decade in the corporate world, to pursue her calling to become a motivational speaker. She emphasized what the VoiceMaster has shared earlier about finding one’s passion, and gave the participants more time to reflect on the questions that would lead them to discover their purpose. Ada also talked about nurturing one’s relationships, on how trust is very important in order to build personal and professional relationships. Lastly, she talked about developing one’s abilities in order to succeed in pursuing their passion.
Kelvin Lomibao was the next speaker. Kelvin is a voice artist, motivational speaker, and the host of Voice of the Youth Radio, VOTY’s flagship radio program. He talked about how to have a positive mindset, and gave the students tips on how to develop one. Kelvin talked about gratitude, and “positive mental foods” to help the students raise their consciousness and have a positive perception in their life. Kelvin got the crowd going wild as he did his own repertoire of voice impressions of more than 20 characters. He also shared the stage with fellow VOTY broadcaster and voice artist, Jomel Wequiz, who shared his own experience as a VOTY member, and impressed the crowd with his talent as a “human echo.”
The Youth Empowerment Summit ended with a putong for the guest speakers, Marinduque’s traditional song and dance for welcoming visitors to their hometown.