7 out of 10 Filipinos don’t have dreams—this summit is determined to change that!

Words by Kathlene Masilongan
Photos by Jemina Mission 

We’ve all heard about it by now. A recent survey by The Dream Project PH said that 7 out of 10 Filipinos don’t have dreams and, shockingly, poverty is only the fifth reason why this occurs. The number one reason why this happens is because of discouraging words young people hear throughout their lives from the people around them. The other reasons in between are lack of self-esteem (most likely because of the discouraging words), lack of passion, and lack of opportunity.

Isn’t it sad to think about? That most of our young people feel that they cannot dream because of the people around them who discourage them from doing so? I’m all about being realistic and working within your means, but I believe that people need their dreams because dreaming gives them hope, even life.

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First plenary panelists Dr. Gia Sison, Gretchen Ho, and Rezza Custodio Soriano
with Viviamo! Inc. President Darlyn Ty-Nilo

Enter: The Freedom to Dream Summit

The Freedom to Dream Summit is a movement headed by Viviamo! Inc., the creators of the Belle de Jour Power Planner, that aims to encourage young Filipinos to search within themselves for their biggest dreams and act on them. The first summit was held on April 13, 2019 at the Shangri-La Plaza and was a whole day event filled with music, enlightenment, and yes, tears.

The first plenary session was “Raising Self-Worth” which aimed to target the discouraging words factor. Its panelists include Dr. Gia Sison, a mental health advocate and host of “G Talks” on CNN Philippines; Rezza Custodio-Soriano, a life coach and transformologist; and Gretchen Ho, sports and lifestyle news anchor. The three shared their personal stories and advice on raising self-worth in order to achieve dreams.

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“Dream Numbers” presented by Prim Paypon of The Dream Project PH

The second plenary session was called “Igniting Your Passion” which encouraged the participants to look within themselves to find what they’re passionate about and act on it. The panelists for the second plenary session were Prim Paypon, a Filipino Dreamagineer and founder of The Dream Project PH, and Aimee Hashim, a lifestyle consultant and founder of LoveLuxe Trading Inc.

Lastly, the third plenary session called “Making it Happen” is the culmination of the movement–quite literally making your dreams happen by putting action into them. The panelists for the third plenary session were Sherill Quintana, an entrepreneur, educator, and advocate of the Filipino brand; and Jessica Lopez, Maningning Miclat Art 2018 awardee who created art out of milkfish bones.

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Aimee Hashim talking about finding your passion in the second plenary session “Igniting Your Passion”

In many ways, the summit is a call to action for those of us who belong in the 7 of the 10 Filipinos who did not feel like they could dream. Again, the number one cause of this is discouraging words, so in turn, the summit was a safe haven of encouragement and inspiration. The speakers talked not only about their dreams for themselves but their dreams for others. There were moments of laughter and tears, but mostly of awe. It gave the summit attendees brand new perspectives and they didn’t leave the venue without something to look forward to, without even a hint of a dream in their eyes.

ALSO READ: This is why we should let people have dreams and be optimistic

A Possible Solution to a Serious Problem

According to Cinderella, a dream is a wish your heart makes. Dreams are things we want but we feel we could not have. But I think dreams are basically goals, but because of a blanket of negativity that’s placed on us, they revert back to unattainable fantasies in our minds. In the Philippines, we love blaming crab mentality for everything, but we do nothing to change this. Instead of lifting each other up we’re constantly pulling each other down and now a whole generation is faced with a dilemma of not having dreams, goals they want to achieve for themselves because they are discouraged from having them.

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The first Freedom to Dream Summit participants

The first Freedom to Dream Summit was quite literally the beginning of a movement to inspire young people to dream, that their dreams are valid no matter how big they are. It is a possible solution to a sad and potentially serious problem. If we don’t have dreamers in the country, there will be no progress, and without progress, there will be no change. And we need change now more than ever.

ALSO READ: This is why we have to stop asking ourselves what others will think about us

What do you think? Tell us in the comments!