New Year, Fresh Start & Endless Opportunity: Continue To Fight The Stigma (Welcome Letter for 2018)

A very happy new year to everyone! Cheers to a wonderful 2017 and an even better 2018 ahead.

Talang Dalisay had an amazing 2017 by partnering with many non-profits and businesses and being able to attain media features on website platforms and in television. We were able to witness many awesome individuals who have expressed their support in mental health in the country. We would have not have had the opportunity to attain these without all of your constant support. Thank you all very much!

A new chapter has begun, and the fight for mental health awareness continues. We should all remember to collectively shake the stigma that is present in the Philippines. Wether it would be through simple word of mouth or concrete actions like volunteering, every act matters. Every voice matters. Every one matters.

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Earlier this January, I was truly able to witness the importance of a person in a conference I attended. The people there were so passionate for what they stood for. Their advocacies shined through and their love for learning was deeply influential.

Here are a few important words I was able to share to an audience and I’d like to share it here in Talang Dalisay:

Every voice matters. Ever heard of that saying? I’m guessing we all have. But do we all believe it?

Growing up, I had a very hard time finding my voice. I didn’t believe in my capabilities and how my views and opinions can positively impact the world.
I thought my voice did not matter. However, I knew that I had my own set of strengths I can share with others and the rest of society.

I just didn’t know what kind of platform I needed for it to be heard.

After luckily getting a scholarship to this year’s conference, HMCA has been my voice. It is my beacon of light in every aspect possible.

This experience was able to give me opportunities to go out of my comfort zone and speak on matters that are timely, important and completely substantial.
HMCA inspires us students to become advocates for our beliefs and create social transformation. Aside from it fostering essential skills for us to be knowledgeable, it makes us more empathetic people.

In our “countdown generation” that we have today, HMCA taught us how to pace and slow things down. We were taught how to think critically and choose the best choices not only ourselves but for the benefit of the majority as well.

The Harvard Model Congress is undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life. It is so enriching to the mind and uplifting to the soul. The whole experience made me the best version of myself by letting me carry out independence, initiative, positivity and love for learning. It was if my heart were lit up and my enactment for change was fired up even more. Getting the chance to actively engage about the US government and economics not only widened my view on those select topics, but they also made me open minded and empathetic to those people indifferent to me and to those who have opposing views as mine. This was an opportunity not to divide people but to unite us along with our unique quirks and personalities.

The undergraduate students from Harvard, faculty, staff, students from HKU and my fellow delegates were the main ingredients into making my experience extremely memorable. I would like to add a special mention to my amazing “faculty advisor” Lyndon, and my two awesome chairs, Ben and Caleb, for being so patient and open throughout the last couple of days.

All of these people are the building blocks of HMCA and have continuously inspired myself and others throughout the duration of this conference.

Thank you all for making these past few days unforgettable.

To end, I want to instill something in all of you. Your voice matters. It is significant. It can be a chance for you to entice the change you want to see in the world.

Obama was once told by an old lady to be “fired up and ready to go”. No matter what kind of situation you may be in, good or bad, keep that fire in you. Move forward and go for what your heart  truly desires.

I hope that all of you before leaving this conference have burning desires to shine in your own way.

Continue your endeavors and most importantly, find your voice and use it.

Please, I implore you all to stay passionate and to continue to be kind, smart and open minded individuals.

We the youth are the future. And I know it will be a very bright one for all of us.

This year, Talang Dalisay will continue to expand and open its doors to so many more opportunities. I hope that you and many others are able to take part in our organization. Absolutely anyone is welcome and may join the family!

You are special. You have a set of traits and talents that no one else has. I hope this year, you use it for the better.

I hope that you will turn your weaknesses into strengths and embrace yourself fully.

Most importantly, I hope that all of you love yourself and everything in between.

Like I’ve said in the latter part of my speech, please please use your voice and don’t be afraid to go out and venture into what the world awaits for you.

Live the life you’ve always imagined. It isn’t bad to at least try.

This 2018, help yourselves. Love yourselves. Make yourself grow and become even better than yesterday.

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This year, surrender things you can’t control to God and steer your days with endless positivity.

Praying for your joy and hope this year. Lots of love and light always. God bless you!


Margaret Lee

Founder & Executive


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