On 19 October 2016, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the first ever Pinay and Proud Summit by Human Nature in cooperation with De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (CSB). It was held at CSB’s School of Design and Arts Theater in Manila. The Pinay and Proud Summit is Human Nature’s tribute to Filipinas in all walks of life. Ten ‘Pinay and Proud’ honorees were chosen for going beyond pursuing their personal dreams to cultivate goodness in people around them.
I have long been an advocate of Human Nature not only because they produce effective products, but also because they make natural and safe products accessible to Filipinos. And of course, it’s proudly Filipino made. It was founded by two Filipinas. And this time, Human Nature tries to inspire people not only with their products and story, but also by featuring other successful and inspiring Pinays. As a social entrepreneur wannabe, I was so excited to attend the summit that I immediately registered the moment I read about it.
Although it was a whole day event, I was only able to attend the morning session, but it was definitely worth it! I woke up and left home early to avoid the traffic in Manila. I was actually the first guest to arrive. Yes, I was that excited! For the morning session, there were two main speakers. After each speaker, there was a short panel discussion.
I learned a lot from all the speakers and panelists, but Ma’am Sabs or Ms. Sabrina Ongkiko’s story inspired me the most. Ma’am Sabs chose to be a public school teacher after graduating from Ateneo de Manila, one of the top private universities in the country. People usually expect private university graduates to go corporate, or work somewhere where they can hold a higher position and earn more. However, Ma’am Sabs chose a different path. For her, quality education will give a chance and a better opportunity to every child, so she chose to serve these children to help them improve their lives.
She talked about having the courage to continuously give and to never give up on people. She also shared a quote, which her teaching experience proved to be true: “Those who are hardest to love need it the most.” Ma’am Sabs is definitely one rare gem who keeps on giving and sharing through her passion for teaching. We need more Pinays like her who ensure a better future by helping others and who endure the hardships of her profession. Passion and perseverance, especially when shared to others really goes a long way.
After Ma’am Sabs’ talk, there was a short panel discussion. The moderator, Ms. Joana Deladoga of Human Nature raised some questions and topics for the panel to discuss. One of the interesting topics was this newly coined term “adulting.” This word is used to talk about doing adult stuff, especially adult responsibilities, which is usually a struggle for young adults nowadays. One of the panelists advised young adults to align their real job with their advocacy. This would make adulting less of a struggle.
Ms. Hindy Weber, another panelist and co-founder of Holy Carabao, also pointed out that instead of saying growing up, we should call it “growing out.” In able to reach our dreams we do not only look inside us and depend solely on ourselves, instead, we connect ourselves to something bigger than us. We connect outside us—to other people and to a bigger community, to realize our purpose. Indeed, adulting should not be seen as just boring adult tasks and responsibilities. In order to do this, we should work for our dreams and work with other people to make our adult life more meaningful.
The next speaker was Ms. Anya Lim of Anthill Fabric Galleries and the next panelists were young social-entrepreneurs and advocates. Ms. Lim’s talk and the panel discussion inspired me more to work on realizing my dreams to empower not just myself, but other people as well. These young entrepreneurs and advocates showed courage in pursuing their dreams with huge goals but limited capital. Again, passion and perseverance never fail to create change and innovation.
The first Pinay and Proud summit was definitely a success. It showcased Filipina talents and potentials. The summit is indeed timely to inspire and guide young adults to aspire and realize their dreams. And true to Human Nature’s advocacy, the summit also showed that we should not only push for our own goals, we should also care for our environment — and our community. This post is really a show of gratitude to Human Nature and to all the Pinay and Proud honorees. May all of us be prouder of being Pinay — and may we all work harder for ourselves and our communities.