the Philippines | Happiness in the simplest thing

What makes you happy?

One friend who works in the hospital said that facing cancer patients every day makes her feeling miserable, she wants to know that back to the natural life, what is the real happiness?

Baseco is the biggest slum of Manila, the Philippines, people live in shabby houses and live on picking up trash and peering garlic, everyone is complaining about their poor life, as what they said, we have nothing here.

Im curious about what make these slum kids who grow up in an environment of nothing happy? What is happiness for them? So on 25th Nov 2017, with the support of Slum Tour volunteers, we organize an art workshop and around 30 kids from 5 to 10 years old drew about their happiness.


Happiness is to be surrounded by flowers 3

Happiness is to enjoy an ice-cream

Happiness is to eat a big mongo and orange

Apple and Carrot will make me happy too!4

Happiness is to find a butterfly or a fish

or a flower or a tree

is about everything from nature19

Happiness is to sleep on my bed18

Happiness is the rainbow on a sunny day

is to swim in the sea and ride a bicycle

is to take a nap in a hammock13

Happiness is to be with my family

Happiness is to swim in a big swimming pool
and bring my pretty bag7

Happiness is to swing with my friends5

Happiness is to with my best friend1

Happiness is that I like you and you like me too!

This 11-year-old girl drew a boy’s face on the paper, I asked her,”Is him who make you happy ?” She said yes with a bashful smile,  I asked her where is the boy, and she pointed a boy nearby, I felt sweet so ask them to take a photo together, then the girl run away. happy

Then, when the boy showed me his drawing, suprisely, he drew a girl’s face, I was a bit nervous and asked him carefully “Is she the same with that girl who drew you? ” And he said yes.

I was screaming, it’s sooooooo sweeeet ! Is this the feeling of first love ? And these two kids are so generous to share with me their happiness and love.

“I wish you two happpppy and enjoy the time with each other !” I told them.


Happiness is such a simple and pure thing in life from these kids eyes, a flower, an ice-cream, a sunny day, a family and a person who I like.

Later, I did a painting based on their happiness.


I listed down those things and people that make me happy, then washed a red apple, when I bite the red apply, I found a feeling of happiness in the red apple, which I didnt notice for a long time. Thanks to these kids who remind me what is simple happiness from life :)


Special thanks to

Partner:  Smokey Tours

Volunteers: Janet, Tessa

Photographer: Ugin 

and all donators


Mowen Li 

Nov 2017
Manila, the Philippines


the Philippines | Happiness in the simplest thing”的一个响应


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