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Baron Chuahiong
Manila, Phillipines

"What motivates me is that innate feeling that I have to do something. I feel that everyone has been given so much, but it’s about what you choose to make out of it. Since I was a kid I have been very concerned about why am I here, what am I doing – I had an existential crisis since I was born. I can’t just sit around and watch TV and eat popcorn, I’m not that type of person.

When I was 12, my dad basically forced me to go alone to China to study there. I was sent to a foster family. I felt like my parents were just abandoning me. I thought, “why are you guys sending me here?” I should be playing and sh*t. But my dad was firm saying you’re a man; you have to be independent and learn Chinese. After crying for a month, I finally stopped and put everything behind me. I made it a point to assimilate into life there and learn as much as I could from my ancestors' culture and traditions. Once I went back home to the Philippines, I realized how that experience changed me as a person. I was so thankful for that experience because if not for that I don't think I’d be as independent as I am today.

After China, I went back to the Philippines onto my life in high school.

I grew up in a Jesuit school. We wore uniforms, and they taught us all the religion sh*t ‘you can’t do this, it’s a sin to do that.’ Everyone is almost built a certain way. I felt like I was just a cookie-cutter product of that school. Then coming to college, I was realized, wow, everyone here has their own personality, and is their own person. So, I started diving into NLP – neurolinguistic programming, and astrology, as tools for me to learn about myself and develop my unique identity. I became a NLP master practitioner in the summer of 2014 and now a certified life coach. After all the experiences and insights I’ve had in the past 5 years living independently, I definitely know who I am. I figured out what I want to do, what I’m good at, what my weaknesses are, and what I have that I can provide to other people. I’m a hybrid. I am studying architecture and digital innovation. I want to mix architecture and technology in a way that has never been done before and eventually make micro robots that can self assemble into like a table, or make them disintegrate, and then reassemble again into a house. This is what I want to be known for. I am going to direct my energies towards this and hopefully make a difference in the world.”