The Davao Young Leaders Congress Camp was held on October 27-28, 2017 at the D’Leonor Inland Resort and Adventure Park in Davao City. With the theme “Unlocking Leadership Potentials and Blazing the Trail for Youth Development and Empowerment,” the event aimed to inspire the young leaders of the city to become instruments of positive change and nation-building. The participants were treated to 2 days of entertainment, teambuilding activities, and inspirational talks from some of the country’s finest Filipino motivational speakers.
Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales was one of the speakers on the first day of the camp, who spoke about “Passion-Driven Leadership”. As an internationally-awarded youth advocate, Pocholo has been recognized for his efforts to inspire and empower the Filipino youth through his advocacy organizations such as Voice of the Youth Network, Society of Young Filipino Speakers, and Youth Entrepreneurship Academy. During his talk, he spoke about his journey of being a youth advocate – from being a young broadcaster in DZMM at the age of 16, then becoming one of the youngest delegates of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) in the year 2000. He shared about his travels and participation in various youth programs here and abroad, and how he used his learning to further his advocacy for youth empowerment in the Philippines.
Pocholo also talked about National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, whom he considers to be the epitome of Filipino greatness and excellence. Pocholo shared little-known historical events in Rizal’s life that he believed to have a huge impact on Rizal’s principles and ideology. He challenged the participants by making them realize that Rizal has done great things for the country, despite not having enough money, the latest technology, or even freedom.
The discussion about Rizal was the perfect transition for Pocholo to ask the participants to write a letter to their “future self.” In their letters, the participants were to predict their success and the realization of their aspirations in the future, to inspire them to pursue a life of meaning and purpose.
Pocholo then talked about passion-driven leadership. To him, being a leader is not about being in a position of power, but being in a position of having an innate desire to serve others, the community, and the country. He shared the important elements of leadership such as influence, passion, vision, conviction and purpose. Pocholo redefined leadership in the minds of the young participants by emphasizing that being a leader is more about serving than it is about leading.
Pocholo shared the stage with fellow Filipino motivational speakers, Mr. Awesome Al Ian Barcelona, and Pambansang Inspirasyon Lloyd Luna.
The Davao Young Leaders Congress Camp 2017 is a joint project of the City Mayor’s Office, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Movement of Young Legislators, and the Sangguniang Kabataan.