Without passion, there is nothing: An organizer's experience in the first ever Student Media Congress

10:38 PM

(I look so horrible and stressed on this picture but please don't judge... I was up at 4am. HEHE)

I first heard of the Student Media Congress from a pub on Facebook. They were recruiting people to organize the event, and I immediately signed up to be part of the organizing team, just because. It was basically just because I wanted something to keep myself preoccupied with outside my acads - and what better way but to help organize an event dedicated to educating students about the changing media landscape? But I never really thought that time that it would impact me in ways unimaginable.

Day 1 - July 26, 2013
Calltime for Day 1 was at 5am. I woke up really early, excited to get to work. I was assigned to be the PA for some representatives from one of the sponsors, The Philippine Daily Inquirer. I was nervous, since I've never had prior experience in being a PA for a bigtime speaker - and especially not TWO. There were two of them assigned to me, and they were bringing in a team of 6 people as well, with 4 cars. It was really stressful and tiring since the parking space given to them was located at the other end of the campus, very very far from the venue where the congress was being held. But it was really worth it, not just because it was fun, but because they somehow really liked me that they gave me a notebook, ballpen, notepad AND 6 tickets to Wolverine!!!! Only regret though: I wasn't able to get a picture with them :(

Day 1 had a lot of great speakers too - Maria Ressa, Val Victa, Jaemark Tordecilla, and so much more! Although I wasn't able to hear all the talks they gave because I was too busy accommodating my own speakers, I did get to catch short glimpses from each speech. It was very informative and interesting to know so many new things about media. After the event, we had a meeting with the team, and prepared for Day 2. I got home a little early (relatively, anyway) 8pm. I only ate a hotdog for the whole day, I spent all day running around the campus to fetch my speakers, and I lacked sleep - BUT I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT :)

Here's a full photo recap of my Day 1! :)

Day 2 - July 27, 2013
Calltime for Day 2 was a little later - 6am. While Day 1 was a whole day event of full of talks, on the other hand, Day 2 was filled with individual workshops, either competing or non competing. I was assigned as workshop head for 3 workshops. Day 2 was a little less tiring than Day 1 since I didn't have to run around the campus, but pretty stressful nonetheless. I didn't get to eat lunch (again), I had to deal with a lot of mad people who didn't like waiting, I had to meet and converse with speakers who were somehow pretty intimidating - but I learned so much! :)

Full photo recap! :)

Top right: Red Tani, founder of Filipino Freethinkers. Bottom right: Mark Madrona, instructor at TIP and an award-winning blogger.

With the hardworking and passionate team! Incomplete though :(

UNVEIL - July 27, 2013 NIGHT
We also organized a party called UNVEIL, the cap off event and awards night for the winners in the competing workshops. This was the FIRST ever college party I went to, and ironically, I got sick afterwards. Oh, sick as in headache, cough, cold... not wasted-sick. True story. I didn't really do anything at this party, except shoot a standupper for our television production class (We had to cover an event for our news show), so I was pretty much the loser in the event dragging her camera, tripod and mic around. Oh, and the core team also treated us to pizza, so I spent the latter half of the night sitting inside the backroom eating pizza. How cool and badass am I? ;)

Full photo recap of the night! :)

Top left: Me with Toni. Top Right: Via, Toni, Me. Bottom left: Toni, Me, Sienna

And of course, my OOTN! :)

The Student Media Congress was a pretty successful event. We had more than 1000 delegates, a lot of credible and BIGTIME speakers (Ted Failon, Boy Abunda, Juana Change, Joyce Ramirez, Maria Ressa +++) and of course generous and rich sponsors! 

Look, I even got free Havainas because of the SMC! :)

From left to right: Tin, Via, Sienna and Me

It's been almost a week and until now, I'm still on an SMC hangover. I still can't believe that we spent 5 months planning this event, and now it's all over in just 2 days! :( I couldn't be any more proud about being part of the Student Media Congress, and of course, the Events Team. It feels so empowering to be surrounded by so many passionate people - it actually rubs off on you! :) The SMC has also made me more passionate about media, and more serious about my future in that industry. I am looking forward to the 2nd Student Media Congress - hopefully next year or 2015! :) 

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