Filipinos puzzle foreigners with our ability to smile through just about anything and actually it became our trademark. Despite any difficulty and calamity, we can still grin from ear to ear as if nothing bad has happened. We continue to rise and go on with life.
And for Solenn Heussaff’s Argentine husband Nico Bolzico, our smile is “the strongest Filipino weapon.”
Nico who’s known to his 1M Instagram followers alone for being hilarious turned serious today, June 3, as he shared, also via IG, how one taho vendor in their village, Mang Henry Leonardo, became his idol because of his infectious smile and his overall sunny disposition.
Nico uploaded a picture of them together—both all smiles for the camera— while he, for posterity, carried Mang’ Henry’s taho container for him. The photo was captioned: “SERIOUS POST ALERT
“Meet Henry Leonardo, 39 years old, he wakes up every day at 4 am, commutes 2 hours and arrives in our village by 6 am. He walks with his Tajo equipment all over the village for 6 hours, he does this to provide for his wife and 2 kids since 1998. Every time I run in the village, or walk #Pochola, I see him, and every time I see him, he always gives me a massive smile and a happy good morning, he also greets Pochi if she is with me!”
After introducing the taho (which he spells as tajo) vendor to his followers, Nico began talking about the hardships and sacrifices each Filipino, like Mang Henry, goes through everyday just to earn a living.
“This is one of many stories of Filipinos that are fighting every day,” Nico went on on IG. “Doing long commutes and sacrificing a lot of time with their families to be able to provide or fulfill their dreams, and they all have a common factor: they all smile.
“I have been in the country for 8 years already and I can tell that the smile is the strongest Filipino weapon, it is something that never stops to amaze me, how most of the Filipinos irradiate happiness not matter what!”
Nico also mentioned that there are a lot of “Henrys” around us, we just have to really look around and if one is lucky enough, you might just find the motivation and inspiration you’ve been trying to look for in another Henry.
Added Nico: “We are always looking for people to motivate us, inspire us, we are always looking up to idols; in my view, life is about discipline, hard work, perseverance, honesty and love; and we can find that in most of the people around us, Henry is just one example of all that, but there are many. I encourage you to just look around, be aware of that and return that smile, maybe you are one of these examples! If that is the case, this post is to encourage and celebrate you!”
Nico concluded: “The capability to smile no matter the circumstances is what makes this country invincible. There is only one idol in this picture, and it is definitely not me.”
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