Success Story: Marie Alexis Baldia, ‘Happy Soles’

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

No matter how young or old you are, what matters most is the time you’ve spent doing something for good, not only for yourself but for others. Alexis Baldia, co-founder of Happy Soles is a young and vibrant lady fromCagayan de Oro,Philippineswho knows for sure how to help out despite being young. It didn’t prevent her from going out in the community to understand the needs of the children around her community, thus Happy Soles is born.


Today, she shares her story behind her advocacy and I want you to realize that no matter how old or young you are, it is never too late or too early to start something that will make great ripples for the good of many.


Here is her story:

AMS:  Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.


Alexis: I’m Marie Alexis R. Baldia, 20 years old; I graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Xavier University- Ateneo de Cagayan last March 2012. I am currently preparing for my Nursing Licensure Exam before I take up my medicine course.


I am currently involved in Happy Soles: CDO Funds for Little Kids, which is a youth organization we started last June 2011. It is composed of youth volunteers from Cagayan de Oro City who advocate in education for marginalized children in our city, specifically in the far flung areas. Our projects include daycare improvement, tutorials for the children, provision of teaching and learning resources, youth empowerment and other projects that help children have better access to education. There are now 180 children whom we serve and who continue to inspire us in doing more in the service of their community and over 25 youth volunteers who dedicate their time and effort to help these children.


AMS:  Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its mission?



Alexis: It all started last June 2011, when I, my sister, and four of my friends went to a far flung area for a school project. We saw a lot of children and decided to go back to give out slippers, which is why we called our project “Happy Soles”. When we went back to the area, we heard from their parents that the children were not in school because their teacher was sick for several weeks so we decided to pinch-hit every Sunday to give them tutorials and primarily to encourage them to still continue going to school. We raised funds, sold cookies, and anything that will help us provide learning kits for the children. After several months I saw Mr. Jay Jaboneta’s article in reader’s digestasia and I sent him a message in facebook to express how he has inspired us to continue our desire to help. Amazingly he replied and supported us all the way. Through him I was able to meet truly inspiring and influencing people like Dr. Anton Lim and Mr. Josiah Go and many others who really contributed a lot as to why we continue to push ourselves to be involved, to take part and to take action in initiating projects that create social impact.


AMS:  What is your vision of these projects?



Alexis: We are looking towards helping more and more communities in our city especially the children to have better access to education and to help them receive the quality of education they deserve.  We aim to empower more youth leaders to take part and be involved in nation-building through initiating projects that create social impact. We want to inspire them with our story that our movements, may they be small, are always bound for greater things if we just put our heart and passion into them.




AMS:  Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?



Alexis: My family, friends, mentors and the people who support me have inspired me in so many ways. I am blessed to grow up in a family who became my first teacher and I am surrounded with friends and mentors whose commitment to serve and passion towards leadership is amazing.  The children we serve in the communities are my ultimate inspiration. They are the reason why we committed to do what we do and to put our heart and passion to them.


AMS:  What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?



Alexis: For me to continuously give the best I can in everything I do, I always consider myself as still young and there is still so much that life can bring. Let’s just say, that for my greatest achievement, I’m still trying to get there J


AMS:  Who are/were your motivators?



Alexis: The volunteers of Happy Soles whose commitment and love for the children is overwhelming. The amazing people who believed in our group, to mention some of them, Mr. Jay Jaboneta, Dr. Anton Lim, and Mr. Josiah Go, they are the ones whom I consider my models and mentors. And most especially, the children of the communities we serve and we will be serving, they are our number one motivators who really push us to do more and to continue our movements.



AMS:  If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?



Alexis: Two latin words. MAGIS and SATIS.


Magis means never settling for less and always striving for more.

Satis which means knowing when to say you have done enough.


These are the two meaningful words in the spirit of St. Ignatius that I carry with me and I strongly believe will help us pursue our desires. In life, in order to be successful, we must always give our best in everything that we do and to do more for Christ and for others.


AMS:  What are your next goals for yourself?



Alexis: I want to live life to its fullest by appreciating what I have now and making the best out of it. J



AMS:  What is your definition of success?



Alexis: Success for me is being able to discover your passion and pursue your desires. It is not every day that people realize the meaning of our life and actually lives up to see that purpose being followed. Success is being able to have the faith in ourselves and God, courage to seek what we truly want, wisdom to realize our potentials, and the determination to do what we aspire.



About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily and be friends with her on Twitter @identitysolved.