TEDxXavier 2014: What Makes You HAPPY?

by Adrianne Rilloraza, EIC, ET Pen Pushers
taken from jairuz menia

Each one of us has his/her own definition of happiness. Happiness may be our family, friends and so many things to mention that surely makes you feel light and bright all the day. Seeing people around you happy would automatically make you smile as well. I was lucky to be a participant of TEDx Xavier School for this year 2014 with a theme “Inspiring Happiness.”

Students, teachers, and other prominent individuals from different fields shared their own experiences in life on how they expressed happiness, how they found it, and how they literally faced situations in life. All these fall under the word happiness. The chosen speakers truly inspired the audience to see each little thing around us as special things that can bring joy to us.

The event was fortunate enough to have been graced by their own student, Mark Tan, who opened the whole occasion by sharing a very personal talk about his roots, his race, his love for his family, his journey towards finding happiness through knowing his origin. It was so moving for a young man like him to have been already realizing what his happiness means – his beginnings, humble beginnings.  “Every story is just waiting to be written, read and lived,”  as what he said.

The audience was also pleased to have the presence of a known personality from the Xavier Community, Mr. Mike Cuepo, a Filipino teacher who has inspired a lot of younger people in the crowd on how to face bullying in a positive way. It was beyond inspiring, to say the least, to have seen how Mr. Cuepo dealt with this unending concern in schools by thinking it as a matter to be taken as a constructive one. Further, to make us realize that bullying reminds us that we have limitations and weaknesses that we should accept and we need to change as well.

Then there’s another recognized individual with an advocacy against human trafficking, Mr. Kip Oebanda. He is also the moderator of the school’s debate team and he showered the audience with a substantial and very informative talk.

A very formal talk was transformed into a comedic stint when Mr. Paolo Trinidad shared his whereabouts on laughter. He demonstrated it to the whole crowd, encouraged everyone to participate in doing the HAHAs of life. Cliché as it may sound, but really, laughter is the best medicine.

Understanding the magic of learning was the main point of Ms. Rosanna Lopez, the founder of SparkleLab.

All of them were certainly inspiring. They really left a great impact on the listeners. However, amongst all the speakers in the event, one person has truly made a remarkable mark in my soul.

To impart something with you, I would like to share what Ms. Michelle Dayrit-Soliven left with us. Ms. Soliven is a writer. She’s not just any ordinary writer but she’s also a survivor. Survivor of what? She’s a cancer survivor — twice. If there is a great thing about Ms. Soliven, that would be being optimistic in life. When we arrived at the venue, she was the first person who caught my attention. In her all over pink poodle dress with matching poodle bag, she was there interacting with the people. At that point I already felt the smile painted on my face. It’s not because of how she dressed but rather her aura. You wouldn’t really recognize that she had experience a tremendous amount of surgery.

With her joyful smile and a little bit of being funky, she stands as a healthy person in the sight of people. At the event, she said that when she knew she had cancer, she remained calm. She even said that she treated the therapies as parties. Parties of what? Don’t you think it’s ironic? No, it’s not. For her she saw it as a party for her not to be depressed in that position she was in. It’s not easy to have such a disease. But for her, this disease has given her a new outlook in life. This disease did not pull her down. This disease did not make her frown.

This disease turned sadness to happiness. It was her choice. It was her decision.

She chose joy.

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