And we just launched. Haha. So many things to improve on, but it was such a great start. I thought the typhoon would dampen the spirits of everyone, but no, we were full house and it was such a success.

I opened the event and I’m posting it here. Haha.

Thank you, JJ!

May pa background pa eh no, haha, pero hindi po ako speaker. (I will not be speaking). haha.

Anyway, first things first, good afternoon everybody and I’d like to welcome you all to Transcend: Faces, Places & Spaces.

When Myka told me last week: “Ate, you should do the opening remarks because it’s weird if Roy introduces himself, haha.” I said, fine, fine and I was taken back to a year ago, when Roy told us of plans to bring #MentalHealthPH to Cebu.

We were thrilled and at the same time apprehensive of the whole idea because:

1. I was not from Cebu & I had a shallow network (Ilonggo ko ya nga daan), that’s despite me having been working here for quite a while already, and

2. We really did not know how and where to start.

So from one coffee meeting to another, to small chat groups (we were five then – Myka, me, Ms. Lai, Vee & Doc Chin) that faded in and out of existence, to Roy telling us two months ago about Transcend Manila and the possibility of Transcend Cebu, to calling for volunteers, and looking for speakers & performers, and sponsors, to having the first MHPH Cebu Volunteer meeting, which later became weekly plannings & meetings, to forming a bigger chat group, to cancelled plans & adjustments, and very last minute changes, to the real threat of bagyong ompong, to today, finally, at this very moment of me welcoming you all, I’d have to say that the whole plot (plus the twists) of the Transcend Cebu Story is, grabe, way beyond me.

I guess the grand plan really is for all of us to be here today to finally see each other in the eye and assure ourselves that we are doing something for one another.

One little step at a time.

I have surmised too, that the process of bringing people together for a cause is a long and tedious one, BUT, it also is, and it continues to surprise me, a process that highlights the beauty of the human spirit – one that is selfless and full of compassion.

And it gives me hope, and it makes me want to believe more that it’s not just a common cause – “Mental Health” that draws us here today, but a common story that we share, which is actually a very personal story.

Your story, my story, our story.

A story of you battling your own demons, a story of you trying to reach out to your family for support & love & acceptance, a story of you struggling to makes sense of a world that is too complex to understand sometimes, and a story of you and me wishing and striving to be a better person than yesterday.

Your story, my story, our story.

Today, I tell you, my heart is full and overflowing. 😅

And yeah, let me not make this long, haha, we have the whole afternoon to talk.

So in behalf of MentalHealthPH Cebu (special mention to Myka, who is at home in Mindanao for her lola’s birthday), our very wonderful volunteers, ASpace Cebu, our generous speakers & performers, and all of you who came here this afternoon, it is with great honor and JOY that I welcome you all to Transcend Cebu 2018.

I’ll write about the event in the days to come.

Good night,



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