In the face of natural disasters, violent conflict, poverty, and a number of deep-seated societal issues, the common Filipino’s “resilience” has constantly been held up as a shining character trait. However, a growing number of people are seeing “The Filipino Resilience” as a glorified coping mechanism, seemingly resigned to just powering through adversities with a mindset to live just to survive each day.
Optimism in Action: Giving people a reason to smile about the future
Colgate aims to reinstate the optimistic spirit behind Filipino smiles, but in such a way that galvanizes them into 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.
Everyday many people are putting their optimism in action, mostly flying under the social media radar until now: Colgate’s #SmileStrong campaign highlights and celebrates the remarkable efforts and achievements of such people, while encouraging the optimist in everyone to take action with a bright smile and win the hearts of others in the process.
#SmileStrong spotlights three exceptional individuals, or Muses, whose Optimism in Action sparked positive change among their respective communities and social spheres. Arizza Nocum, Candy Pangilinan and Brina Maxino share the same bright smile, born out of their own individual hardships and the strength they mustered to achieve what convention told them they couldn’t.
Muses of positive change
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.
Enacting #SmileStrong initiatives through media events and activities
Colgate champions these three muses who smile through uphill battles, who challenge the status quo with a positive outlook and shape the future with their confidence.
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.
“While a lot of Filipinos may just smile their troubles away, there are those who silently do what they can, with the circumstances they are dealt with, to make their lives, and lives of other people better. And they do all of these with a smile!” says Ari Mandelbaum, Marketing Director of Colgate- Palmolive Philippines. ”[The muses] live the spirit of Optimism in Action every day, each with their own unique stories and struggles, but manage to rise above their challenges to serve as inspiration to society in their own ways.”