CAINTA, Rizal - Shining a beam of enthusiasm and hopefulness in a life where negativity can easily thrive is a mission people must undertake in pursuit of changing the world for the better.
This is among the life lessons learned by senior high school and college students of STI College Ortigas-Cainta during the university tour of ABS-CBN's "The Happinews Project" on Wednesday.
Vested with heartrending stories and broad perspectives, the speakers include a guidance counselor, a television network executive, an STI alumna, a book author, and a beauty queen.
The discussion was moderated by "Happinews" ambassadress Gretchen Ho who provided additional fun, not just through her entertaining quips and wits, but also with her zestful dance moves of the trendy "Switch It Up" challenge.
Commencing the series of uplifting discourse is guidance counselor Kristine Rose Cruz. She talked about the life-changing effects of a positive mindset for oneself and the surrounding people.
"Sometimes we take for granted the things around us. We focus on our faults," she said, underscoring the idea that mistakes should not hinder people to reach their full potential.
"Sometimes we question, 'bakit ba nangyayari ito?' instead of thinking what’s best around me. We forget to say, 'thank you, I learned from it,'" the guidance counselor added. "Happiness is a verb, it does not come to you. You have to make things happen."
She capped off her talk with a message that every action people do should be stemmed from sincerity -- a willful volition to act wholeheartedly because it gives happiness.
Finding the balance between the spiritual and practical was a topic highlighted by New York Festivals jury and ABS-CBN Integrated Creative Communication Management head Robert Labayen.
He anchored his talk in a Japanese self-development concept called the "Ikigai," a connection of various options in life which has an intersection in the middle where happiness and personal meaning arise.
The concepts include finding "what you love," "what you care about," "what the world needs," and "what you can get paid for."
Giving ways how to spread positivity within the school community was STI alumna Arielle Jasmin Llanes. She prodded students and alumni to cheer up each one in the community.
"Share your thoughts and experience in a way na makakatulong sa buhay [ng schoolmates natin]," she said. "Share positivity. Tayo ang laging nagkikita. As friends and classmates, we should encourage ourselves."
The ability to believe in oneself was a topic encompassed by the talk of Angela Martinez Yupano, author of the book "Chicken Sinampalukan for the Soul."
"Bakit nga ba tayo natatakot to share our true selves?" she asked the participants. "Let us be courageous enough to share our true selves. Don’t be afraid to be different. Be authentic."
She also put the spotlight on being grateful with all the experience people have had in their lives. "Hindi naman talaga lagi masaya. But I am in charge of what I feel and I choose to be happy."
"Think of [the] things you are grateful for. We can choose to be grateful," she said.
Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up and "It’s Showtime" judge Nicole Cordoves talked about the virality of positivity on social media.
The beauty queen also addressed the most common issue people might have experienced on the Internet: online hatred.
"I want you to realize how much influence you have [on social media]," she said to the audience. "Would you let the world change your perspective, or your perspective change the world?"
Cordoves then underscored that "everyone has the power to change the perspective of the world."
She also said that people can deviate from the negativity of people who throw under-the-belt comments online, or the so-called "bashers," by standing up for oneself and cling closely to one's principles.
"The world will try to knock you down. What you can do is control yourself [and] how you respond to it," she said.
She finished her talk by telling the students that "don’t let likes and following define them."
SPREADING GOOD VIBES
The Happinews Project is an ABS-CBN initiative that encourages Filipinos to share positive stories online as a way to counter the proliferation of bad news and negativity.
People everywhere in the world can also spread good vibes. Join this Facebook group where everyone is free to post their entertaining and inspirational stories.
"Happinews" has been to University of the Philippines-Diliman, University of Santo Tomas-Manila, and Far Eastern University-Manila.