Halfway around the world from her loved ones and the life she’s built for herself, in search of her mother’s grave, and with a US visa that’s on the brink of expiring, Leah Olivar could’ve given up, packed her bags, and returned to the Philippines—but she didn’t, choosing to soldier on and find ways to survive and succeed in America. Her daily adventures (with or without Clark) have made us more happy than sad because of her inspiring strength and courage. Here are our favorite life lessons from Nadine Lustre’s character on On the Wings of Love, on not just surviving, but carpe diem-ing in a foreign land:
Always bring a dose of sunshine wherever you go. Leah’s optimism and determination enables her to triumph over whatever obstacle life throws her way—while she doesn’t always win, her decision to look on the brighter side of things makes her a winner in her own way.
Have presence of mind and learn to defend yourself. You never know what danger might be lurking out there, so it’s crucial to be equipped with basic self-defense tactics (and have pepper spray handy). The night Leah almost got abused in some alley, she did not succumb to her fear and busted some moves to try to defend herself against her attackers.
Keep in touch with your loved ones back home. It may be hard to just hear their voices and not get to see them or hug them, but maintaining constant communication with your family and friends like Leah does, will help you keep things in perspective. Knowing that they’re there cheering you on and being updated about how they’re doing will not only give you comfort, but strength, to carry on.
Don’t be afraid to try again… and again… and again. While all odds were stacked against Leah and her dreams, she just kept on going and going, looking for more opportunities, never giving up in her quest to find her mom’s grave and fulfill the latter’s goal of living the American dream, while helping to provide for her family back home.
READ: Yes, You Can Look Sexy and Classy At the Same Time—Nadine Lustre is Living Proof It’s Possible
Photograph courtesy of Nadine Lustre’s Instagram account