MANILA, PHILIPPINES — PLDT and Smart, in partnership with TikTok, launched the #BetterTodayAffirmations Challenge to invite the public to share their stories that champion mental health and resilience. To date, the TikTok Challenge has garnered over 14 million views.
The top five winners of the TikTok Challenge will each receive P10,000 cash and a matching donation to their chosen mental health advocacy group.
The winners include 32-year-old Kayleen Ortiz, a movement artist and an international pole champion, who shared that her piece PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS represents her movement journey. “It is in the darkest of times when we appreciate the warmth of light. As the storm passes, we realize that in the most unique of ways, there is beauty in the storm,” said Ortiz.
Certified fitness instructor, 24-year-old Sam Corrales shared how movement has been a huge part of her life. “During the pandemic, I tried to stay disciplined and found a deeper sense of purpose. Having a set routine helped me find my rhythm during these difficult times,” Corrales said.
For fitness coach Gabriel Zarraga, the #BetterTodayAffirmations campaign is about spreading positivity. “I wanted to inspire my clients who are also battling mental [health] issues, to continue their fitness journey no matter how hard it can be,” Zarraga said.
For fitness enthusiast Carmila Tuazon, someone close to her who is battling depression and anxiety inspired her to join the challenge. “I wanted him to see that he is not alone in this fight,” Tuazon said.
26-year-old Kyla Gancayco, a fitness instructor and aspiring powerlifter, said that it “seemed like a great way to share my story and my views on mental resilience, and it would be a way to let people who might be in a similar situation know that they are not alone in the battles they face.”
The chosen mental health organizations of the winners include Communitails; UP Diliman Psychosocial Services; Youth for Mental Health Coalition; Mariveles Mental Wellness & General Hospital; and the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services.
“Better Today” is part of a broader PLDT and Smart program which seeks to uplift and improve the overall physical and mental wellness of Filipinos through initiatives that ensure food security, improve nutrition, and create awareness online.
These initiatives emphasize the commitment of PLDT and Smart to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being.