What Drew Me to HAPI? | Reflections

Posted by Contributor | Posted on May 25, 2022

What Drew Me to HAPI?

Reflections from two members across two HAPI regional chapters


Francine Abalayan

I can still recall the first time I was introduced to Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI); it was almost five years ago in 2017 when my friends and I were invited by HAPI-Bacolod to join their meeting. We were just a bunch of student leaders from Bata National High School given an opportunity to be a part of HAPI. At first, I had no idea what I was joining, but that quickly changed: I was introduced to HAPI, its advocacy, and what humanism is. So, I gave myself a chance to be involved and not long afterward, I joined the organization. From then on, I was recruited as one of the HAPI Juniors and got elected as the treasurer of that special department. Looking back, I can say that it was the start of my humanist journey and one of the best leadership platforms I had the chance to experience. HAPI became an integral part of my well-being as a youth leader and a humanist.

As I continue to be a part of HAPI and meet people who have the same interests and the spirit of volunteerism as I do, I’ve learned to explore various advocacies, discover my capacities, and improve my critical thinking and reasoning in life.

Fast forward three years, I was recruited once more to become a part of HAPI-Bacolod where I was elected as a Finance Officer, successfully managing our budget and resources. Aside from that, I also helped in implementing programs and projects in our community. As I continued to be a part of HAPI and met people who have the same interests and the spirit of volunteerism as I do, I’ve learned to explore various advocacies, discover my capacities, and improve my critical thinking and reasoning in life. And now, I realize why I became a HAPI member to begin with: not because of the label of being a member or to become famous, but because of the experience, the service to help other people, and the journey of being a humanist. HAPI affirms my worth as an individual and my dignity; as I stay here, I grow to become more ethical, compassionate, and a humanist with a mindset filled with curiosity and eagerness. Thanks to HAPI, I’ve allowed myself to define my values rather than others. Furthermore, my life has been anchored on the idea that I have an ethical responsibility to live a life that is fulfilling while also contributing to the common good for all people as a HAPI member.

My life has been anchored on the idea that I have an ethical responsibility

HAPI serves as a great platform where I could be myself and where I could help people and promote community development. As a humanist who sees potential in people at all levels of society, HAPI has influenced my life by encouraging me to participate in and help the vulnerable areas in our home, school, community, and institutions, and I do believe that prejudice has no place in this setting. As a member of HAPI, I see every opportunity to promote equality in the economy. Indeed, HAPI is not just an organization that I took part in, somehow it became an avenue and part of my life that molded me to become a person who is open-minded, kind, rational, hardworking, responsible, and an advocate of humanism, education, environment, health, and well-being of individuals. It has provided me with some wonderful opportunities, experiences, and guidance in becoming the best version of myself. And I am proud to say that I am happy to be part of HAPI.


Krizel Ferrer

My mom is such a kind-hearted woman: she’s always been there to lend a helping hand. This is probably where my passion for volunteering comes from.

It was Feb 6, 2021 when the HAPI-Bicol Youth Camp was held. My older brother and I joined while our Mother herself was a volunteer. My mom is a very good childhood friend of Janice, the HAPI-Bicol Lead Convenor. I could say that the four-day camp was life-changing for me. All throughout the months and days volunteering at HAPI-Sorsogon, I learned that we are the architect of our life, the artist of our own destiny through work, commitment, and determination. Not with God. Every route taken or not taken will somehow impact our existence and leave a trail like a shooting star in the night sky. (How beautiful this trail ends up becoming depends entirely on the nature of our actions in life.) HAPI somehow helped me calibrate my purpose in life. I am an optimist but realistic. I have dreams to fill the world and I am willing to do the necessary efforts to attain those dreams. I consider myself strong and determined. I often go above and beyond to help those around me succeed and be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.

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About The Author

Francine Abalayan

Francine Abalayan is a member of HAPI-Bacolod.

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