As I am carefully sipping my morning coffee in our space-crunched unit two weeks after I got back from this year’s outreach program organized by Apple Tree Integrated School, a question my grandmother often asked my cousins and I when we were kids every time we go to our favorite fast-food chain crossed my mind.

“Are you happy?”


I wondered if this thought was brought about by the exhaustion from a 12-hour trip from Ilocos to Manila, early call time (2:00am) for the outreach program some of my colleagues and I volunteered for, travelling from Manila to Zambales, a six-hour day of assessments, health education and providing activity/activities that parents and the special needs community of San Narciso, Zambales can implement according to the specific needs of the child who came for ABA consultation, from Zambales to Pampanga for a buffet dinner with the organizers and from Pampanga to Manila.

The question may seem simple enough, but most people would have difficulty discerning whether they are happy or not. For one moment, I was also reluctant to answer my own question. I shook my head as if to dispel this thought. Paused. Inhaled. And eventually entertained it.

“Am I happy?” I ask my self this while I type, my voice barely above a whisper.


I am happy not because I ticked all the boxes to the “happiness” checklist found online. But I am happy because it is a state of being I chose myself to be in. Consciously knowing the path I want to take, awareness of what my purpose in life is and working in alignment with these makes me truly happy.

My heart is full and it has been for quite some time now.

How about you? ARE YOU HAPPY?


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