One Life to Live, One Legacy to Leave

by Haifa Carina

“One life to live, one legacy to leave” was the phrase I wrote on my college year book when I completed my Computer Science degree in 2011.

I was a student leader juggling community projects left and right while balancing my academics to keep my scholarship. When I wrote the phrase I was in our university library at a desk for a single person – focused and undisturbed.

A huge factor for me in the process was all the John Maxwell books I devoured those years. One book exercise was to imagine yourself in your deathbed and think what will people remember about you.

The idea of “growing yourself and others” resonated with me well. Thus, if I die, I wish to be remembered as someone who helped him/her grow one way or another. That’s the kind of legacy I was doing and intend to further pursue.

Its almost 8 years since I wrote the phrase. Where am I now and where am I heading?


  • College org & projects transitioned to well experienced and mentored leaders
  • Ran DEVCON, a national nonprofit who in 4 years doubled chapters from 3 to 6, audience reach from 5,000 to 50,000 and set-up its volunteer structure that organically trains leaders
  • Co-founded Philippine Tech Community Leads, a union of tech community leaders who meet monthly to help each other grow its own organizations
  • Seed organizers and facilitators for Techstars Startup Weekend across the country
  • Experimented with leadership succession at small scale with tech communities in MNL

Tech community is the area where I have most exposure and a bit of influence thus its my key focus on bringing value. Sometimes I wonder if all these pro bono work really matters. But when we see the results (ex. career growth for developers) of our contribution, its hard not to push even further. I still have so much space to grow and limitless opportunities expand.

This year, my focus is succession at large. Excited to see how it goes!

What legacy do you want to leave in your life?

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