Life is full of challenges and obstacles. If we want to grow and succeed, we must overcome these hurdles. However, the weight of these struggles can become too much to bear at times, leading some to consider giving up on life altogether. Whether it is personal or professional difficulties, the hopelessness can be overwhelming as if there is no way out. But the truth is, there is always a path forward. It may require a change in perspective, seeking help from others, or simply persevering through difficult times. Our challenges are not meant to break us. It is meant to build us into more assertive, resilient individuals.
Last March 16, 2023, the PATTS Audio Visual Room (AVR) was filled with excitement as students gathered to attend a free Mental Health Awareness Seminar by Manila Genesis, organized by the Guidance, Counseling and Testing Unit (GCTU) and the Senior High School Department. In line with the event’s theme, it was an excellent opportunity for the students to learn how to strengthen their mental health and reflect on their experiences.
The event began with an opening remark delivered by Engr. Joy Cosme G. Amores Jr. (VP for Academic Affairs). "Even though only 300 students are here, by sharing what you learned here today to others […] learning can exponentially grow day by day," he stated as he expressed his gratitude to the organizers and the participants. Dr. Catherine M. Camposano (SHS Principal) then introduced the event's guest speaker, the famous “Mr. Pure Energy” Gary Valenciano. Dr. Camposano also shared details about the Shining Light Foundation, which Mr. Gary V. established in 1989 and is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year.
Mr. Gary V. shared his family's separation, his diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes, and his experience of losing his home to a fire. He went through three major trials in his life and during that time, he questioned God's plans for him. He started losing hope and wanted to give up on his life. However, he has learned that those ugly colors in his life were part of a beautiful masterpiece that God created for him. He found his strength in making music, and through his journey, he discovered that he was meant to be somebody more than what he was.
During the event, Gary Valenciano also answered questions from the students such as how to fulfill their dreams and overcome obstacles. His responses to the students' questions were filled with wisdom and personal experiences as he emphasized the importance of having a solid support system. He also encouraged the students to surround themselves with people who believe in them and their dreams. He also spoke about the value of resilience and perseverance and urged the students to never give up on themselves or their goals.
Of course, Mr. Gary Valenciano is no Gary Valenciano without showing off his soulful singing prowess to the audience. He first performed his song "Saranggola," reminiscing the time when his father taught him how to fly a kite. He was then surprised by the students waving paper airplanes during his performance, which he found unexpected and gladdening. It was followed by a tearjerker performance of "I Will Be Here" and "Warrior is a Child." The entire room vibrated with the energy and passion of his music, and the students were utterly caught up in the moment, lost in the power of his artistry.
The event concluded with Mr. Gary V.'s message of hope and perseverance that will certainly continue to resonate with the students, and inspire them to face whatever challenges come their way with renewed courage and strength. It is essential to remember that our struggles are not meant to break us but to build us up and shape us into better versions of ourselves. By adopting a positive perspective and seeking support from others, we can overcome even the most challenging obstacles. We must remember that someday we will find our purpose, and our struggles will be part of a beautiful masterpiece we were meant to create. So let us persevere through life's challenges, always considering the bigger picture and the potential for growth and greatness that lies ahead.