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Vico Sotto urges Ateneo’s Class of 2021 'to listen to people from outside our echo chamber’

By Hannah Mallorca Published Oct 27, 2021 6:03 pm

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto urged Ateneo's Class of 2021 to never forget the importance of venturing outside outside one's echo chamber, especially now.

Ten years after his own graduation at Ateneo, the 32-year-old politician recognized the formidable challenges brought by the pandemic that now face the crop of Atenean graduates.

But Sotto remained hopeful about the graduating batch or in his words, “the new generation of catalysts.” Even so, he reminded the graduates about the weaponization of social media and how it can limit discourse. 

“Kung hindi tayo nag-ingat, hindi natin namamalayan, 'yun pala na-stuck na tayo sa isang echo chamber kung saan wala na tayong nakikitang ibang perspektibo,” Sotto said. “Let’s make an effort to listen to people from outside our echo chamber.”

Sotto also urged the graduates to actively listen and respect opinions outside their echo chamber. Even if social media has the ability to connect with others, he believes that it creates “divisiveness” if it’s placed in the “wrong hands.” 

“A time to fight will never come before a time to listen. I’m not saying to be neutral. We shouldn’t be. (However), we should always act and speak in accordance with our values,” he added.

In February, Sotto was recognized by the US Department of State as one of the recipients of its International Anti-corruption Champions Award. 

Be inspired by Sotto’s commencement speech below: