25 October 2017

DJ Samantha Nicole entertaining the guests at Penshoppe's #IAmDifferent campaign launch

Bullying/Cyberbullying is very prevalent and dangerous these days. I know, because I have been a victim of it many times. This is a serious problem that shouldn't be taken lightly - it has caused anxiety, depression and even deaths to people, especially teenagers over the years.

Back in 2009 when I was a new student in high school, I have been bullied by some of my batch mates. It was honestly one of my toughest times. These bullies have literally pushed me around to the point where I almost fell off the stairs. I can still remember when we lost our house from fire that same year, one student randomly came up to me and said, "Buti nga nangyari sayo yun". Could you imagine her audacity to say that to my face when I was still grieving? I was so furious that I wanted to slap her, but since I was a new student then I didn't want to make an action that would cause me a bad record and disappoint my parents. But the fact that the idea of physically hurting somebody came into my mind, only means that I already had enough. That time, I couldn't do anything but to run to the nearest comfort room and cry. These are things that I only see happen in movies and never did I imagine it'd happen to me.

For months, I felt like I was their bait, until one day I decided to stand up for myself. I opened it up to my parents who was very supportive throughout the ordeal, they wrote to school authorities and informed them that they were ready to take matters to the court if these bullies don't stop. They were serious about it.

Having an open communication with our parents or anyone in our family or friends is important, because then they can speak for us in times that we can't deal with the distressing issue ourselves. My friends and family have been my shield ever since, and this was again proven in 2014 when I experienced cyberbullying from fans of an international artist. I never thought cyber bullying was as serious or even worse as traditional bullying, until I was the one subjected to it (you could read the whole story here).

There will always be bullies and cyberbullies, these are people who see it as a way to be in control, people who are insensitive of other's feelings or simply, people who just doesn't have enough love in their hearts. Their actions or comments may sting for a while but eventually you'll learn not to let these rule your life. If you're being bullied, know that at the end of the day as long as you stay true to yourself, these bullies won't matter. Don't let them mock, isolate and bully you for being different. Rise up! This is what local retail brand Penshoppe aims to communicate with the launch of their newest campaign #IAmDifferent.

With the help of international brand ambassadors Bella Hadid, Lucky BlueSmith, Kaia Gerber, and Sandara Park among many other big names, Penshoppe brings its focus to the widespread issue of bullying plaguing the Filipino youth. This campaign presents timely opportunity for everyone to start talking about the pressing issue of bullying in the country. A study report that 1 out of 2 Filipino students have experienced or witnessed bullying in their schools. It has also taken a new form especially with the advent of social media as it provides a more convenient avenue to spread hate and thrive on people's insecurities.

At the core of this campaign is Penshoppe's newest collection of tees and caps which emblazoned the campaign statement "I Am Different" and "Different is Good". Each t-shirt from the limited edition #IAmDifferent collection features construction from luxe fabric and with a special identifier: a unique serial number.

Penshoppe's Brand Director, Mr. Jeff Bascon

Proceeds from the #IAmDifferent collection will benefit development of a module that discourages bullying and encourages acceptance in public school children, in partnership with Teach For The Philippines.
Teach for the Philippines is a for-purpose, non-stock, non-profit organization that works to provide all Filipino children with an inclusive relevant and excellent education. The organization enlists some of the country's most promising young leaders to teach for 2 years in public school throughout the Philippines.

Penshoppe Ambassadors Karl Kramer and Tanner Matter with Penshoppe Models

Bullying is something I'm strongly against with, that's why I am honoured and thankful to be a part of Penshoppe's campaign encouraging the youth to be proud of their differences. You too can join the movement by visiting  and know more about how you can embrace what makes you different and take a stand against bullying. 

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