travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Optimism in Action #SmileStrong

October 29, 2020
Optimism in Action #SmileStrong

One of the traits that make us truly Filipino is our resilience – being able to smile despite challenges, poverty, natural disaster and conflict. 

Colgate aims to reinstate the optimism behind every Filipino’s smile into a progressive action. Optimism in Action means people making an effort to enact positive change, tackling challenges and issues head on with a strong smile, fully believing in the bright future they aim to create.

We encounter individuals everyday with  Optimism in Action stories that we may have never heard. During the launch of Colgate’s #Smilestrong campaign, we got to listen to empowering stories  whose Optimism in Action sparked positive change among their respective communities and social spheres. Arizza Nocum, Candy Pangilinan and Brina Maxino. 

Optimism in Action #SmileStrong

It was an empowering afternoon and I am happy to have the opportunity to hear their stories.  Although we may have different circumstances, I feel like I can understand and relate to the challenges they faced in dealing with differences. Sharing their background and inspiring stories below: 

Arizza Nocum is a peace advocate, leader, and entrepreneur who co-founded KRIS, a non-profit organization promoting peace through education. Operating as libraries/educational centers for disadvantaged youth in conflict-ridden areas, KRIS is the manifestation of Arizza’s hopeful vision that people of different faiths can better understand each other through shared learning.

Actress Candy Pangilinan is a single mom to 16-year old Quentin, who has ADHD. Candy admits to her difficult experience in raising a child with special needs, but finds that experience as rewarding as any other parent would. She wrote a book, “Mommy Dear: Our Special Love”, which details her journey on overcoming her fears and dealing with her son’s condition, and continues to challenge the stigma of being a single parent using whatever platform she can.

Brina Maxino has Down Syndrome, yet went above and beyond what was expected of her, she is now an Assistant Teacher at PEAN Integrated School and Special Olympics Global Youth Ambassador for Asia-Pacific. Brina credits her bright and positive attitude to her parents, who fully believed in her abilities and shaped her convictions that her disability was not a barrier to living a normal life.

Colgate’s #SmileStrong campaign seeks to demonstrate the inspirational power of these remarkable individuals through a series of short videos. These videos highlight how each muse’s optimism can be transformative, their smiles powered by the belief and the drive to effect meaningful change.

Optimism in Action #SmileStrong

I am smiling while listening to the 3 muses’ inspiring and empowering stories. It is true that there are some who just smile and accept their destiny; while there are others who take action to improve their lives and create a positive impact to their community. I hope that we will all realize that we can do amazing change in our lives, and from then we can #SmileStrong. 

To know more about this campaign and Colgate’s muses, you may check out:

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