As a high school student and volunteer staff member at the recent PN Conversations event, I had the unique opportunity to witness firsthand the power of informed dialogue and community engagement. Stepping into my role, I anticipated a day filled with logistical tasks and coordination efforts, but what I experienced was so much more than that—it was a journey of enlightenment and empowerment.

Ma’am Eaunice and Maam Chris of the Palawan National School- Humanities and Social Sciences Department assisted the students in their tasks as volunteer staff of PN Conversations.

From the moment attendees started arriving, there was an obvious sense of anticipation in the air. As I helped with registration and guided participants to their seats, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement for what the day would bring. Little did I know that I would be embarking on a transformative learning experience myself.

Speakers attentively listen to every question thrown at them.

Throughout the event, I had the privilege of listening to esteemed speakers share their expertise on constitutional amendments and their implications for our community. Atty. Florianne Aerika Relova’s insights into the structure and significance of the Philippine Constitution opened my eyes to the complexities of our legal system, while Mr. Orion Dumdum’s advocacy for economic reform sparked my interest in the intersection of law and economics.

Prof. Aileen Pactao emphasized the importance of forming informed opinions on constitutional reform. She cautioned against partisan views and encouraged participants to rely on facts and academic studies rather than social media for information.

Some students from PNS were also invited as participants in the PN Conversations.

But perhaps the most impactful moments for me were the discussions with my fellow volunteers and attendees during breaks. Hearing diverse perspectives and engaging in meaningful conversations about the future of Palawan filled me with a sense of purpose and belonging. It was in these moments that I realized the true power of PN Conversations—to bring people together, to foster understanding, and to inspire positive change.

One of the most significant takeaways for me was witnessing how pressing and controversial issues could be discussed in a civilized and humane manner. Throughout the event, participants engaged in thoughtful dialogue and debate without resorting to personal attacks, name-calling, or ad hominem arguments.

This demonstrated to me the power of respectful discourse and the importance of approaching contentious topics with an open mind and a willingness to listen to diverse perspectives. By fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding, PN Conversations showed that even the most polarizing issues can be addressed constructively and productively.

The men and women behind PN Conversations.

As the event came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel a renewed sense of hope for our community. I am inspired by the idea that meaningful change is possible when we come together with empathy, compassion, and a shared commitment to finding common ground. Through PN Conversations, I witnessed firsthand the potential for informed dialogue to bridge divides, ignite passions, and empower individuals to make a difference.

Moving forward, I am committed to continuing the conversation, to staying informed, and to being an active participant in shaping the future of Palawan. And as I look back on my experience as a volunteer at PN Conversations, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of something truly special—a movement towards a more informed, engaged, and empowered community.