Miss Maria A. Ressa, Rappler Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor and former CNN Southeast Asia News Bureau Chief and then ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Chief, served as the guest speaker during the 89th Founding Anniversary Convocation Program of the Visayas State University held on August 10, 2013 at the VSU Gymnatorium.


In her message before thousands of students, faculty, and staff of the VSU System, the eloquent speaker posed a challenge to the audience to “Dream Bigger Dreams.”

Ms. Ressa expounded her message by sharing three ideas that would lead to the realization and fulfillment of dreams. These are: 1) Education – that provides individuals the wisdom to learn and apply the knowledge to the real world since education now is global; 2) Internet – that gives people opportunity to connect to a global audience; and 3) Social Media – that give individuals an immediate voice to join in global conversation from all walks of life.

She revealed that through the internet, people will learn many things. “You will read, you will have access to ideas, you can change the way you think, and more than anything, you will now have information to apply scholarships and fellowships that Filipinos didn’t have before,” Ms. Ressa exclaimed.

However, according to Maria, those three huge ideas will not change our system of education. “They will just change every business you work for, they will change the way you farm, they will change the way you bank, and they will change the way we are connected,” she stressed. Maria also mentioned three things in social media that the people can do. She pointed out that you have to: 1) Be yourself – don’t worry if others are judging you because people will always judge you. Treat social media that you are talking to your friends. You don’t have to be formal anymore because we are moving from the age of authority to the age of authenticity and that is the power of your generation; 2) Be prepared – people may be reacting positively, in general, but they may be also reacting negatively and you have to look at that as an opportunity. Share your action, share your ideas, share your dreams to your friends; and the last one will make the social media a potent tool, 3) Do not let injustice flourish. When you see something wrong, if somebody is bullying your friend, or if somebody is lying, stand up on social media.

Ms. Ressa elucidated that if a lot of people are believing in a single lie, all it takes is one person to burst the lie. “In your area of influence, in your social networks, among your friends, do not stand for injustice,” she added.

To concretize her idea, she borrowed the words of Edward Burke saying, “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” She believes that this is the good time for the Philippines since many things are changing. “It is the time to dream bigger dreams, and those dreams are within your reach,” Ms. Ressa quipped.

Rappler is a social media network coined from the two words “rap” and “ripple” that has the power of letting people know and has the power of transparency that we learned firsthand.

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