Athletes share stories on webinar
(The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 12,000 have recently gathered online in PLDT-Smart’s first-ever mental wellness webinar dubbed Better Today Conversations. The first in a four-part series, Better Today Conversations connected like-minded Filipinos with the goal of combating the rise in mental health issues due to one of the world’s longest lockdowns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the theme “Passion,” the first storytelling session was about how the speakers pursued things that made them better today. TV personality, host and woman in action Gretchen Ho, Philippine Daily Inquirer journalist and Hallyu expert Ruth Navarra-Mayo, Metro Style Beauty and Wellness editor Kate Paras-Santiago and actor and youth advocate Richard Juan are the pioneering squad of the Better Today Conversations series. It was hosted by beauty queen and former athlete Michele Gumabao.

Partner schools across the country such as the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Laguna and the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in Calamba shared that the honesty and vulnerability of the storytellers amplify the messages of empathy and kindness.

“We loved the honesty and openness of the speakers. We appreciated being told that it is okay to feel stressed and anxious during the pandemic, but there are things we can do to help ourselves,” said Lyceum of the Philippines University Center for Innovation and Development director Dr. Neil Balba.

Meanwhile, Pauline Cayaban, a marketing officer from the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, is excited to learn more from the storytelling series on mental wellness. “We are looking forward to the next Facebook sessions, and hopefully Better Today can teach and help us more,” she said.

The four-part mental wellness series will feature more storytellers and inspiring conversations about things that make people better today. The next sessions will continue to tackle mental wellness through topics such as physical fitness with the theme of “Strength” today, the culture of empathy with the theme “Community” on Oct. 23, and the inspiring stories of mental health survivors and change advocates with the theme “Hope” on Oct. 30.

Volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez, PLDT and Smart Omega Mobile Legends professional athlete Haze and NLEX Road Warrior Kiefer Ravena are featured on today’s session, trying to inspire as they explore the true meaning of strength.

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