Honored to meet the first ever Happiest Pinoy, Winston Maxino! A very inspiring and resilient man, indeed. “Happiness is a choice; true happiness is when you share it with others”
was declared the Happiest Pinoy by Cebuana Lhuiller 10 years ago
I agree with them when he was chosen for exhibiting an optimistic outlook on life, a cheerful disposition, the ability to rise above life’s challenges and having a positive impact on the life of others.
The search for the Happiest Pinoy is launched with the goal of rekindling the values of optimism, resilience and hope in the Filipino nation.
The search went around the country with more than 800,000 nominees from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Maxino is battling a degenerative bone condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Almost at the same time he was diagnosed with the disease he discovered that his daughter Brina Kei suffers from Down syndrome.
Instead of allowing the setbacks to get him down he used them as motivation to help others.
He said: “My daughter with Down syndrome, Brina Kei, frequently declares ‘I love my life and I love my future!’ I realize that she is right: This is what happiness is really all about I look forward to the day when a cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis will have been discovered but I have graciously accepted that this is my life now. I am grateful for everything I am and everything I have. I am not less of a person because my body is broken and I do not dwell on what I do not have. Happiness is a choice. No matter what the circumstances of my life are and will be, with God’s grace, I choose and will continue to choose to be happy.”
The true prize, according to Maxino, is the insight that he gained about happiness through this campaign.
I read somewhere that he said that ‘Happiness is rejoicing in the truth.’ Buddha taught that life is suffering. If we combine the two ideas, happiness is rejoicing even if the reality of our lives is that we are suffering. We just rise above our physical pain and limitations to live full happy lives. Happiness is our daily therapy and positive outlook gets us through the most trying times.
May his story inspire you to believe that laughter truly is the best medicine because it is free. It has no expiry, it does not require a doctor’s prescription and it is internally generated so it never runs out of stock.