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Girl Power: Lea, Hidilyn, Robelin on Project: Steady Zoom Call

How did you spend your Monday night?
by Yvette Fernandez
Just now

The star wattage on Project Steady: Asia’s Zoom call last night was stunning.

Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and two-time world pool champion Rubilen Amit were deep in animated discussion about working hard, doing things well, winning, and mental health with Project: Steady Asia founder Gang Badoy Capati, when another champion dialed in.

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

The two panelists suddenly turned into fans. Salonga described how it was the first time she had ever wept while listening to the Philippine national anthem. Amit thanked Diaz for inspiring athletes all over the country to continue to dream big.

Diaz drops in regularly on these weekly mental wellness Zoom calls that are open and free to those who register. She’s been working closely with Capati since the Rio Olympics in 2012, and with Project: Steady since 2018.

“We’ve been meeting with her thrice a week since March 2020, para samahan siya till Tokyo,” said Capati.  “Now we are all prepared to go to the World Games with her in December.”

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Project: Steady looks after the mental wellness of our nation’s athletes via the Philippine Olympic Committee’s athletes’ commission.

What started as a mental health program of RockEd Philippines for inmates inside maximum security prison has since expanded  to the world outside and seeks to normalize trauma recovery. Project: Steady uses visual, literary, performance art, and sports to remove the stigma of mental health issues.

“The goal is to make Filipinos more and more comfortable with mental health support,” said Capati.

The Monday evening Zoom sessions are safe spaces where participants are encouraged to share their feelings. Last night’s emotions happened to be mostly joyful.

“I was actually really nervous coming in because I didn’t know what to expect. But I enjoyed, I really enjoyed tonight and I learned a lot,” said Amit.

“It’s great that there is a space like this where we can share joy and not feel guilt and be unapologetic in keeping ourselves in a space where it is safe to be confident and happy and joyful,” said Salonga. “Given how tough these times are and that we’re going into lockdowns again in various parts of the country  this kind of joy isn’t always the easiest thing to come by.”

To join Project:Steady Asia’s free mental wellness sessions or if you need a brain break, e-mail [email protected]

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