Boy Abunda: "Sometimes all it takes to save a life is to listen."

ABS-CBN TV host BOy Abunda recently launched his own talk series called Boy R. Abunda Talk Series (BRATS).


Overwhelmed si Boy Abunda sa naging resulta ng kauna-unahang Boy R. Abunda Talk Series (BRATS). Ang BRATS ay daan o oportunidad para sa publiko na maibahagi ang kanyang kwento sa isang malayang talakayan na maaaring makapagbigay ng inspirasyon at pag-asa.

“Dito sa Brats, we would like to encourage people to tell your story. Tell your story. Share. Listen. Open your hearts. Change your perspective. Change yourself. Change of the world. I mean, the process becomes the best version of yourself,” panimula ni Boy noong makausap namin sa paglulunsad ng BRATS na ginanap sa Arts Above, West Avenue, Quezon City kamakailan.

Bakit niya naisipang itayo ang BRATS?

“Because, again, we want to remind people that you can tell your story. You can inspire. You can empower and you don’t need to ask anybody’s permission.

“When you want to become a better person, when you want the world to become better, when you decide to become a better person, a better child, you don’t need anybody’s permission.

“So, ang dami po naming pangarap dito sa BRATS. We want to go to schools. We want to go to companies. We want to go to communities, to organizations, and just, tell stories. And we will listen.

“So, this is very important to me because this is our first edition of Brats. And thank you for taking this journey with us.

Saan nagmula ang idea na gumawa siya ng sariling talk series?

“Inspired ako ng TED Talks. Inspired ako ng mga talks around the world. Iba-iba ‘yan, e. I’m a fan of talks." 

Ang TED ay short for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Isang media company ang nagpo-post ng talks online for free distribution.

Pagpapatuloy ni Boy, “May tinatawag na, may Gel Conference [a New York-based conference series], Ignite, merong Big Think.

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“In Canada, there is Ideas City. Iba-iba yun. Iba-iba ang mga speaker. Meron nga ano, I think it’s Ignite. It’s a talk series kung saan you make to use 20 slides. Yung slides habang nagsasalita ka only stays for like five seconds. Kailangan ka magkwento in 60 seconds. So, iba-iba.

“Inaral ko ‘to at pamilyar ako sa iba’t ibang talks. Merong 99U, that’s used to be I think, 99%. Basta mga talk series ‘to.

“Meron pa’ng Gel Conference. At higit sa lahat, pamilyar ako sa Ted Talks kung saan I’m one of the speakers.

“Ano ang inspirasyon?

“Gusto ko yung karanasan na kapag ako ay nakapanood na ng talks na ‘to aalis ako na hopeful. Na inspired at empowered. Na parang ang lakas-lakas ng loob ko. Pagkatapos nang pinagdaanana nila, parang kaya ko rin yun. At saka hindi lang pala ako mag-isa.

“Kaya nga sinabi ko kanina we will cover stories yung from pain to wisdom, talo na panalo ka. From being a failure to becoming a success. Yung from being a victim to becoming a victor. From being a big shit, to becoming a big shot.

“Gusto ko yung mga ganung kwento kasi nanggaling ako doon. I can identify with their stories. So, that’s what BRATS is all about.

“Nais naming umikot sa mga eskwelahan. Gusto naming umikot sa kung saang lugar na may makikinig. The speakers can come from them or from other places. Pero sasalain namin.

“Pagkatapos ng gabing ‘to, aaralin namin ano ba ang tamang ginawa natin? Ano ba ang maling ginawa natin? Masyado bang mahaba? Maikli?

“Actually, ngayong gabi it was just supposed to be an experiment. Pero sinabi ko, andun na rin lang tayo. So, napakaganda naman at na-touch ako.

“Ano ang pinanggagalingan ko?

“I’d like to encourage people to do conversations. To continue the conversations. To talk to each other.

“Hindi lahat text. Hindi lahat chat. Iba ang karanasan pa rin kapag nakikita mo yung ngiti.”

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ON KATE SPADE AND ANTHONY BOURDAIN. Sa magkasunod na pag-suicide ng international celebrities na sina Kate Spade at Anthony Bourdain, paano papasok ang Brats sa mga taong tulad nila na dumadaan sa depression?

Ani Boy, “Nasaan ang BRATS, ang Boy R. Abunda Talk Series?

“Gusto lang naming ipaalaala sa mga tao po...okay naman po yung technology. Okay naman po yung gadgets. But they should be treated as tools. Pero nais lang naming ipaalaala po na, huwag po nating kaliligtaan that it’s a wonderful experience to see people reacting to you.

“Ngumiti, yung squirm, yung squint sa mata, yung hawak, yung handshake, yung halakhakan na live? Yung hug? Yung personal na interaction?

“Huwag nating kalimutan ‘yan dahil doon natin mababasa kung ano ang pinagdadadaan ng kapwa especially sa depression because we have to look for signs. We have to identify signs, na hindi natin mahawakan at hindi natin maiintindihin sa emoticons o sa exclamation points.

“There are things that we have to do face to face. And BRATS is about celebration the human relationship as it was, and as it is, and as it should be.

“Dito parang, sabi nga namin, as we are telling our stories, yung mga ideya, yung mga paguusap, yung mga insights. Dapat mag-merge ito with inspiration and passion.

“Parati kong sinasabi, you want a better life, you want a better conversation, you want to be a better son, and you want to have a happier family. Do anything you  want to do to make you better and don’t ask anybody’s permission. Do it.

“That’s what Brats is all about. Tell your story. Share. Listen, listen and listen. We have to listen.

“I just attended a seminar: Understanding Grief. Talagang sinasabi nila, assess and listen. Sometimes all it takes to save a life is to listen. And tonight, as we premiered the Boy R. Abunda Talk Series, yun ang aking natutunan, makinig. I will continue to listen.

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“We want to go around, sa schools, and like for example, I wanna do bullying, verbal violence, depression, and how they move beyond the challenges. Yung ganito lang kasimple.

“Actually, gusto ko lang nung una sampu lang ang tao. Kaya ang sabi ko, nandoon na rin lang tayo, e, di mangumbida na tayo ng ilan. Ang susunod namin ay LBGTIQA, yung ating roundtable conversations. We already found an expert.

"If you know of some millennials, yun ang ating gagawin para once and for all, pati ako, maintindihan natin ano ba talaga ang LGBTIQA.

“Meron nga ngayong bago na naman. Yung hetero-flexible.

“Palagay ko kailangan nating ibukas ang puso at isipan natin to understanding new things. Ibangga natin doon sa ating mga kinagisnang paniniwala at tingnan natin, kung papano tayo mapapabutio sa mga bago na lumalabas, di ba?”

May plano ba siya na gumawa ng libro para sa BRATS gaya sa advocacy rin niya na ‘Make Your Nanay Proud?’ O di kaya ay ipalabas din sa telebisyon gaya ng iba pa niyang talk shows?

“Wala pa,” iling ni Boy.

“Malayo yun. Hindi ko alam.

“Sabi ko nga kanina. Where this is gonna go? I don’t know.

“Pero alam ko lang ang pupuntahan nito mabuti. Where this is gonna go is a good place. Alam ko yun.”


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