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How #WokeUST Inspired Five Students to Follow Their Passion and Start a Movement

Meet the movement behind movemen+.
IMAGE Myron Anarcon

The issue of UST's recent elections has caught the attention of many. Not content with the candidates that were running for their student council, a large portion of the student body chose to abstain instead of vote for someone. This whole movement, called the Abstain Nation, led to only two of the six positions—secretary and public relations officer—were filled, whilst the other four positions were not.

Both of the winning candidates were independent candidates, meaning they were not part of a party or a group. According to UST's official student publication The Varsitarian, the elections were held from April 18 to 21, only 66 percent of the entire student body voted, a visibly lower amount compared to last year's 68 percent. The rest had chosen to abstain.

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This stemmed from how a lot of the students were not happy with the candidates they could choose from, knowing that they deserved better students to trust with the rest of their school year. It was also because of how, when asked about controversial topics like the martial law, plenty were extremely unhappy with how the candidates handled the questions given to them. Abstaining served as a protest vote against people that have failed to meet the standards and expectations set for them. From this experience, the student body hopes that the candidates for the following elections will be more firm in what they are fighting for, and in what they believe in.

Here's how that movement—along with so many other ideas that influenced them—inspired five young students to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

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Wanting to spread a positive message, along with what they had seen during the elections, five Thomasians used this event to spread a positive message to the world, and with their newfound inspiration, they started movemen+. They are Melvin Dave Jordan, Nathan Hernandez, Ernest Macasil, Juan Lorenzo Rivera, and Kurt Tecson. With the italics representing progressiveness and the plus sign (+) showing positivity, they put these two together to spread a simple, yet powerful message:

Progress can only be attained if we are positive enough that it will.

After what happened in UST, movemen+ has seen their students stand their ground on something they believed in, wherein they chose to abstain instead of voting for a candidate that they knew wasn't exactly right for the position. This event is what got movemen+ together since they are, after all, in the same college building. To them, their building Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building (BGPOP) is like Pandora's Box but is instead full of creativity and talent, waiting for someone to open it and to unleash it into the world. Since their building holds the largest population within UST, they played a large role in the elections, and where movemen+ was born.

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They shared the idea that they had the power to choose, and these students made the powerful choice to make a change; these students chose to come together and wake up their political parties to produce more competent leaders, not just ones to fill up the vacant position slots.

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"The UST election is just one of the factors as to why we named our brand movemen+. We saw Thomasians, for the first time, take a stand on something, and it led to a movement," says Melvin, one of the brand's founders.

Another reason the group came to the idea of movemen+ is because of how they see the country's disdain for new ideas. The Philippines has grown to become very accustomed to the traditional "grow up, get a 9-5 job, settle down, die" mindset. Though there's nothing wrong with this, this idea often causes the younger generations to do what everyone is accustomed to doing. They grow up and live life as safe as possible because they are too afraid to simply try, because why try if you might fail, right? This is the way of thinking that movemen+ wants to break. Through their clothing brand, they hope to inspire other young entrepreneurs like themselves to pursue their dreams regardless of what others think or say.

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To this group, they are not just starting a fashion brand. They are starting a movement. They want to teach everyone—not only to just the Philippines, but to the whole world as well—that you don't have to fit into the mold that society has made for everyone to follow. You are allowed to try and, as a human being, you are allowed to fail. Nothing great can be achieved if you do not work hard for it.

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Since movemen+ has started, they have done everything with nothing but passion, love and determination in achieving the vision that they want to share with the world. There is not enough time for you to waste your life doing something that doesn't make you happy. The world desperately needs more creative minds and brave leaders in the world, and if you think you're one of them, why stop yourself from being so?

Follow your own dreams. Pave your own path. Leave your own unique legacy behind, and always remember to say #SalamatPanginoon!

With these positive, hard-hitting messages in hand, movemen+ just may help pave the country's way to a more progressive, more creative path.

The official release happened on May 28, 2017, after the group had taken their final exams. They have priced their shirts at P400 each, and their merchandise is available for either delivery or for pick-up. These five strong minds have yet to reach their full potential, and when they do, they hope that everyone will be ready for the movement that is yet to come.

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Gaby Agbulos
Candymag.com Correspondent
Gaby Agbulos is a strong, determined spirit that enjoys doing anything as long as the people she loves with her. She enjoys listening to music, writing stories, and meeting new friends, especially if by friends, you mean puppies.
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Serene Fae A day ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie A day ago

19 year old pharmacy student-businesswoman from Pampanga. I, Kimberly Chaile D. Ocampo, started planning my own business back when I was 18 years old. Despite being a student, that did not stop me to work and start up something for me to earn my own money. I was also influenced by my parents who are both hands on when it comes to the marketing world. I have decided to start my own mini restaurant/fast food restaurant recently (Feb 2020) and it was named as “Hungry Hubb”. From the word itself which is “Hungry” we thought of something that would give people the biggest hint that we sell food.

Because of the sudden quarantine, every store was forced to close for our own safety that is why there was a sudden decrease on our sales. But Hungry Hubb managed to survive by focusing on online selling and social media promotion. Our best seller would be Shawarma salad which is mediterranean style. We add authentic Garlic sauce to our shawarma (Which is available in Wrap, Salad, & Rice). Every product that we sell are very affordable and delicious. Our starting price is only 50php. (Shawarma Wrap). For Shawarma Salad (70php). We also have Milktea (60php) and Rice meals such as Lechon Kawali, Chicken barbecue, and Pork Barbecue for only 120 pesos.

And of course, I wouldn’t make it up this far without the help of my family and friends who have supported be from the very start. This is an open letter and inspirational especially to students that want to earn their own money. Nothing is impossible. You just have to be determined enough to turn your plans into reality.

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