International Women’s Day With Hershey’s

Happy International Women’s Day! I cried when Hershey’s Philippines sent me the final package design of the campaign they asked me to join.

When I started my mental health advocacy in 2012, it was a different time. There were hardly any celebs or influencers talking about mental health on local TV or social media back then. I found refuge with other MH advocates, but our voices were stifled. When we uttered the terms suicide and clinical depression back in 2012, we faced so much stigma. I remember the eye-rolls and sneers.

Thank you, Hershey’s, for giving us a safe space and helping the MH community cast a wider reach in the Philippines.

Reposting from the press release:

“This 2022, The Hershey Company’s award-winning #HerSHE campaign, which originated in Brazil in 2020, comes to life in the Philippines and six additional international markets, aimed at making inspiring invisible women visible.

In the country, the company will transform its iconic Hershey’s milk chocolate bar wrapper into a celebration of female cultural icons, featuring their accomplishments and the impact they’ve had in their respective countries.

Meet our sheroes, four incredible Filipinas whose efforts are helping create a better world for the lives of the people and animals they touch. They inspire us to be more, do more, and hope more.

Hershey’s Philippines has partnered with four women: Malou Perez of the PAWSsion Project, Kate Alvarez of SOS Philippines – Survivors of Suicide and Depression, Sabrina Tamayo of Project Smile, and Fredeswinda Gaspar Samonte of the PGH Cancer Survivors Organization, to highlight their stories and represent women who are still overlooked and dismissed, with their achievements remaining unrecognized.”

Hershey’s asked:
What can you tell other women who want to make a change in society?

My answer:
Advocacy comes from the heart. It often starts from a place of pain, loss, an unaddressed need or emptiness, and maybe a helpless situation that tugged your heartstrings. If you’re frustrated that nobody is doing anything to help, then perhaps it’s time for you to make the first move. Don’t be afraid to address difficult topics and ask difficult questions.

The limited-edition packs are now available on Shopee and Lazada.

Proceeds will go to the partner orgs, including Girl Up, a nonprofit committed to advancing girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities to be leaders.

My group SOS Philippines (Survivors of Suicide and Depression) will organize events for our members in collaboration with Hershey’s. Follow our Facebook page for updates.

Click here for my master list of mental health resources.

Cheers to the women who, despite feeling unheard and unrecognized, continue to fight for their advocacies!