“There are some things success is not. It’s not fame. It’s not money or power. Success is waking up in the morning so excited about what you have to do that you literally fly out the door. It’s getting to Work with people you love. Success is connecting with the World and making people feel. It’s finding a Way to bind together people who have nothing in common but a dream. It’s falling asleep at night knowing you did the best job you could. Success is joy and freedom and friendship. And success is love.”
Cenen N. Milan, Jr. Also known as “Kuya Mac” or Happy is a Filipino long distance runner with a huge heart for many advocacies. He runs not only because he is passionate about running but because he supports causes that are dear to his heart. In his most recent walk in December 2012 he ran for seventeen straight days from Davao to Manila he ran into many obstacles but the outcome was great! Because of this run, he was able to donate 60,000 books to children and was able to open up more connections to other networks that are eventually supporting his advocacy in education and environment.
You can check out his website at http://irunmacmilan.wordpress.com/
This is Happy’s happy story:
Alpha: Tell me the story of your latest project/occupation.
Happy: After I did not finish in BDM 160km last January, I first told my dream of running from Davao to Manila to Bianca… “Moh, I will run from Davao to Manila on December.” I got the sweetest smile – answer ever ”Train hard…focus…and learn to CRY, PRAY and LOVE more this one…passion of running.” From that time on, I kept on training slowly and at the same time looking for the reason why am I… and will be doing it. Not until, I saw two important ultra-races that Sir Jovie staged this year – the September – 102 KM National Championship and the November – West Coast 200KM. I saw it as an opportunity to see how my training regimens are. These two ultra-races taught me a lot of things that I am now using in this Davao – Manila Run.
Now, why did I start running? Simply because I just wanted to end the year doing something for a cause through my running. Last year, I wrote a concept about my dream foundation that will lead every child to PRAY, READ, EAT and PLAY. After so many months of waiting for a kind – hearted person to help me to get through the Securities and Exchange Commission, last October 10, 2012 a group of people helped to acquire necessary license to operate. I took it as a sign then, to run for a good reason, not only for myself but for those who will benefit from the organization. From that time on, people are coming to help me, one after another willing to assist me to put everything into reality, from my training, to my daily nutrition and so on. Until I have decided that December 1, 2011 will be the day of an epic run.
So in December 1, 2012 I started my long epic journey for a cause from Davao City to Manila. The journey was indeed very challenging. It was one of a kind journey. The run and walk defines me who really am I as a person. It really taught me that the longest distance really that I am going to take to, is the distance between my heart and mind. The distance between my heart and my mind is incomparable to the distance of Davao to Manila. It is all about the conquering the real me in my run. The run and walk to Manila took me 17 long days. It was a run for about 85 KM to 135 KM a day. It was a run and walk for my advocacy on education and on environment. The run and walk gave an opportunity for me to receive 60,000 books from an international non-government agency. From this on, another opportunity opened to me and that is to run from Manila to Brazil to support ten different foundations under the SWITC2SAVE.
I am also involved with the PRAY.READ.EAT.PLAY, INC, a non-profit, non-stock and non-government organization that seeks to transform the lives of every Filipino families through education and life sustaining environmental livelihood program. The organization works closely in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments. It aims to develop literacy skills particularly reading in the primary school, supports scholars and provide livelihood program for the mothers. To put this dream in a reality, the organization aims to put – up a free public library, preparatory school for the indigenous children and a livelihood environmental program for the mothers in Barangay Malangag, Antipas, North Cotabato. As well as to raise ONE MILLION TREES by building a nursery for the reforestation program of the said community and the nearby communities.
Alpha: Tell me about the biggest successes and failures in your life. What worked, what didn’t, and what did you learn?
Happy: Being the eldest in the family, I have the responsibility of taking good care of my siblings. Part of it is to send them to good schools. Part of the family journey is to be the bread winner also and a good role model to my siblings. For me, my family was actually the biggest success I ever had. It is in this family that I started to learn what real love is. It is through them that I learned to share more to others without asking anything in return. Compared to my run, my family journey is indeed a sweet run. In every journey, my family will always be there no matter what. No matter what it cost, they will always be there to love and support me.
It is in love that I became what I am now and at the same time it taught me to rise up from the obstacles or failures in my journey as well. Indeed it was a bumpy ride. Failures are failures if I didn’t learn anything from it. There were several lessons that I have along the way. Such as lessons in romantic relationship that defines my perspective in love. The not “happy – ending” story of my past romantic relationships taught me to believe and see the good things in others. It made me realize that everything happens for a reason. It taught me to see the brighter side of the world. It taught me to believe in “fair”.
Alpha: What do you want to achieve in:
Happy: the next week: I wanted to finish the preparation of my next run – “Manila to Brazil.” The said advocacy run will benefit the other ten foundations under the SWITCH2SAVE.
the next year: I am looking forward to finish my advocacy run from Manila – Brazil fruitfully and may it give more hope not only to the ten foundations under the SWITCH2SAVE but also the Filipinos that we will be passing by.
the next 10 years: I would like to see my foundation PREP a big one and extending its resources internationally. At the same time, seeing myself still running, happily married at that time, and being able to fulfill all my dreams.
Alpha: What was your most inspiring moment?
Happy: When I was running from Davao to Manila, particularly in Mindanao area there was this couple who waited for me for about two hours as I passed their area. They were both ice cream vendors in the area. As I passed by, they handed over six cups of ice cream to me. They also told me that I have to keep running and must finish the race. The very reason? They simply believed on my advocacy for the indigenous people in Mindanao. Whenever there are people who believe on my cause and advocacy, it brings me hope and passion to go on. It fuels me to move and never say it’s enough. Small incident it may be, but in the road and in the real world the simplest thing inspires me a lot. These were the incidents in my life that at times I ignore.
Alpha: 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?
Happy: It’s about living the spirit of “never-say-die” attitude. I always believe that everything happens for a reason. Disappointments and failures are part of the cycle of life. It teaches me to become wiser and stronger the next time that I encounter the same incident all over again. Simply BELIEVE in one self that I CAN! Simply TRUSTING oneself in all aspect! And being HUMBLE at all times. Life is beautiful!!!
Alpha: How would you define Success?
Happy: For me, I would define success as, “There are some things success is not. It’s not fame. It’s not money or power. Success is waking up in the morning so excited about what you have to do that you literally fly out the door. It’s getting to Work with people you love. Success is connecting with the World and making people feel. It’s finding a Way to bind together people who have nothing in common but a dream. It’s falling asleep at night knowing you did the best job you could. Success is joy and freedom and friendship. And success is love.”
Alpha: Lastly, what are your favorite things?
Happy’s list of favorite things:
Movie: Nothing Hill
Book: Tuesdays with Morrie
Place on earth: Oscariz, Ramon, Isabela
Travel: Anywhere basta white sand beach
Quote: LIFE is BEAUTIFUL
To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.
Alpha Sanford is the creator and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed! a personal development website which aims to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life through its bi-weekly articles. She interviews and features inspiring individuals whose extraordinary work impact the lives of many people in the community. You can contact her via facebook, twitter, email or pinterest.