Last month, we tapped six individuals who have made a mark in their respective fields. Despite their varied backgrounds and career paths, we reached out to them for our shared advocacies in mental health awareness. We presented them with the prompt:

“What is your mental health philosophy? How do you use it to navigate different mind matters alongside your career?”

In case you missed it, here is a recap of what each of them shared with us.

Cam Rodriguez

Philippine Women’s Football Team


“I believe that there is great value in intentionality and giving meaning to what we do. This belief allows me to participate in the journey I’m on as a human and as an athlete.

As an athlete, my life is usually organized around routines and schedules. When this is repeated across long periods of time, the feelings of jadedness and passiveness start to creep in. It is especially during these long stretches of sameness when I find it important to be intentional in what I do. I remind myself that what I do matters. I make time for rest and recovery. I savor joyful moments. I ground myself with who I’m doing it for. All these small intentional steps add up and allow me to truly live a meaningful life. The best part is we can all work towards living a more intentional and joyful life.”

Akiko Thomson-Guevara

Three-time Olympian swimmer and seven-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medalist, Chairperson of Special Olympics Pilipinas


“I am very conscious that we are made up of mind, body and spirit, and that health and well-being encompasses caring for each. This translates to me being conscious about how/what I “feed” these parts of me, getting sufficient rest etc.
Mental health is no different from physical health and needs TLC. Self-care can be different for everyone, but it’s the idea of maintenance and care to avoid bigger issues in the future.”

Iza Calzado-Wintle

Actor, Host, She Talks Asia Co-Founder, Mental Health Advocate


“Through my lived experience, I know how deeply mental health issues can impact individuals and families. I believe that promoting mental health awareness and access to resources should be a top priority in our society, so that everyone can live their best and healthiest life.

Through my platform, I get to highlight the importance of mental health and make others, hopefully, feel seen in their own struggles. I do so by being vulnerable in sharing my own breakdowns that eventually led to breakthroughs.”

Sofia Padilla

Explorer and Sharer of Stories, Founder of Fiasfud


“I was diagnosed with severe bipolar depression and it was the lowest time in my life. I thought of ending it despite so many good things around me. It’s just really so difficult to get your body going, see a brighter day ahead, and not have those thoughts stab at your own self worth. But I swear, hold on, surround yourself with good energy, approach a professional, and it will get better.

The times I didn’t take care of my own mental health have caused me to neglect my work —and fiasfud is about putting my passion in food. They say “healed people can heal others,” so by reminding myself to take those cold showers, morning walks, daily stretches, and allowing myself to cry — it enabled me to take care of myself and to take care of others too.

Allow yourself to just be and feel everything, with the guidance of professional who can guide you through those ups and downs and see the value in your mental health.”

Macy Castañeda Lee

Photographer, Journalist, Public speaker, Curator, Founder of Talang Dalisay & My State of Mind


“I've learned that it is so important to occupy a certain space for yourself that holds solitude and to a certain extent, oblivion. There are so many nuances to our everyday challenges and it's important to consciously choose time for this to have a healthy mind.

I find that oftentimes, people push themselves to the brim, especially with careers. I think that this is dangerous because it contributes to the cyclicism of predictability and dispensability of people. If we want to free ourselves from being our own drudges, we must make this space.

The older I get too, the more I realize that it is okay to live a life that other people do not understand.”

Zara Carbonell-Near

Entrepreneur & Chief-Operating-Officer of the Manila Flag Football League


“Embracing the essence of “tomorrow” has worked wonders for my mental health, my relationships, and my career.

When you’re passionate about what you do, the hours never seem to feel enough - ever. You’re constantly chasing after change and doing more for the people you try to serve and run the risk of over-stretching yourself.

Reminding myself na “May bukas pa” allows me to step back and take a breath. To do something that helps me decompress and feel alive. I make “deposits” into my self-love jar by going to the gym, earthing, reading a book, and reminding myself that the world will not collapse if I push my tasks back a little to take care of myself.

Being an entrepreneur requires you to constantly juggle many hats while solving problems creatively - and you can only do that when your mind is at ease, so I’m learning to prioritize that.”

We’d like to thank all of our subjects again for their candidness and generosity in sharing their mental health philosophies with us. Although Mental Health Awareness Month is over, we will carry these words of wisdom with us each and every day.

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