To many people, happiness is a destination, something they’d attain when, let’s say, they reached all of their goals and turned their dreams into a reality. That when they’d be successful, they’d be happy. But they are totally misguided. Because this is wrong.
“What I want people to realize is that happiness is a choice,” said Winston Maxino, a corporate executive who was diagnosed with a degenerative and incurable bone disease called Ankylosing spondylitis. He was declared the first Happiest Pinoy grand winner in 2010.
During the #CebuanaLhuillierHappinessDay in celebration of International Day of Happiness (a worldwide every March 20 conceptualized to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement) it was shared by Maxino through his inspirational talk that happiness isn’t a destination at the end of one’s journey. Happiness isn’t something we chase to get to it. Instead, you can choose to be happy and that we have the ability to create real and lasting happiness for yourself by sharing it to others.
We’re always making choices and doing things to be happy — choosing what to eat, what clothes to wear, who to love, where to work. Some of our choices are good and others may not — but they’re all based on our deep and impelling desire to be happy.
There are many happy people around (and yes they were the successful ones too, just like Winston Maxino). They were happy because they had made the conscious choice to be happy – and they repeated that choice every single day. And many of these happy people can be found in the Philippines.
Spreading the “Happydemic”
Over the past two decades, the Philippines has endured a total of 274 calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country. Despite these catastrophic events, the Filipinos remain one of the most resilient and optimistic people in the world, ranking third happiest country according to a 2018 global survey by US-based firm Gallup International.
To rekindle the values of optimism, resilience, and hope in Filipinos amidst different life crises, the country’s largest microfinancial services company Cebuana Lhuillier launched in 2009 the nationwide campaign Search for the Happiest Pinoy.
The Search for the Happiest Pinoy aims to find a Filipino who has positive outlook in life, proven ability to rise above life’s challenges, and positive impact in the lives of others. It has since been broadcasted and recognized in various print, radio, TV, and online publications, with series of roadshows were rolled out in key cities in the country, encouraging more people to share their story. Because of the campaign’s unique and relevant advocacy, various award-giving bodies both local and international have also recognized and honored the Search.
According to Melanie Suzon, Cebuana Lhuillier Head of PR, the latest edition of the competition garnered close to 800,000 applications from various localities nationwide, making it the biggest in the Search’s ten-year history. Now down to 20 finalists, 10 category winners will be named, representing the youth, senior citizens, overseas Filipino workers, lingkod bayan, professionals, manggagawang Pinoy, entrepreneurs, employees, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ community. They will each receive P50,000 in cash prizes. The 10 category winners will go through a panel interview to determine this year’s Happiest Pinoy grand winner who will take home P1,000,000 tax free.
For the latest updates and special announcements, follow Happiest Pinoy on Facebook or log on to www.happiest-pinoy.com.
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