Mental health, volunteerism at ‘mad talks padayon’ event

In its continuing mission to bring the Filipino youth together through volunteerism, as well as spread the gospel of servant leadership and the culture of bayanihan amid challenges, nonprofit organization I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference) is reviving its Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards-recognized MAD Talks event.

Titled MAD Talks Presents Sa Ngayon, Padayon. (Kwentuhan. Kantahan. Kabayanihan.)and created in collaboration with digital creator and witty shirts brand Linya-Linya, this gathering on volunteerism happening on 22 October at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City, will highlight the spirit of resilience and positivity that comes from purpose. Padayon is a term in several Visayan languages (including Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Waray), which means “to move on,” “carry on,” or “move forward.” Regardless of how challenging the situation is, there will always be a reason to bounce back, move forward, keep going, and continue helping and making a difference.

Taking the center stage at MAD Talks Padayon is mental health, just in time for the celebration of the World Mental Health Month in October. With the pandemic having a considerable impact on people’s mental health, I am M.A.D. hopes to raise awareness on this prevailing issue, especially among the Filipino youth and young adults. It will also open a discussion on the positive impact of volunteerism on mental health, especially how it can bring meaning and purpose to one’s life while improving self-esteem and well-being.

“The pandemic has spurred an important conversation about the need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others, too. At I am M.A.D., we hope to address mental health issues in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping everyone feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and create lasting change through our MAD Talks Padayon event,” said Christian Marx Rivero, co-founder and chairman of I am M.A.D.

Rivero, who is also a recognized United Nations Youth Leader and is one of the speakers, added that the theme, “Sa Ngayon, Padayon,” reminds everyone to push through their journey in life and continue believing that they can do something meaningful even in the face of uncertainty.

Headlining the event to share their personal experiences and anecdotes are: H.E.L.P. Pilipinas founder Dr. Mildred Vitangcol; peace and development champion and counter-terrorism operator Capt. AJ Ramos Celestial of the Philippine Army; women empowerment advocate and I am M.A.D.’s chief of volunteer operations Ruth Butad; multi-awarded Global Youth Ambassador and ASEAN Youth Advocates Network founder Mirus Ponon; Outstanding Volunteer-recipient and I am M.A.D.’s co-founder and chief executive volunteer Maco Ravanzo; and mental health advocate Ymari Kristia Pascua whose story was featured on ABS-CBN’s Maalaala Mo Kaya program.

Besides the talks, expect a grand musical treat from Jose Rizal University’s Teatro Rizal that includes GMA’s The Clash alumnus and ABS-CBN’s Tawag ng Tanghalan contender Kyle Pagsajol and a special performance from Tawag ng Tanghalan four-time defending champion Vanessa Celestial.

Regarded as “Your Ultimate Hugot Event,” MAD Talks welcomes everyone, whether part of the volunteering community or not, including students, leaders, educators, and young professionals.

The event will be at 12:30 p.m. at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza in Makati City. Reserve seats at Ticket price is P249 inclusive of a bottle of coffee, tote bag, and donation to I am M.A.D. programs. Student rate is P149.

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