SM Cares – Walk For Life

Thousands of Senior Citizens are set to participate in various activities lined up from October 1 to 7, as the nation observes the annual Elderly Filipino Week Celebration. Some of the week-long events will be held at select SM Supermalls, and will be led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affair (OSCA), in partnership with SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

This annual observance falls under Proclamation No. 470 issued on September 26, 1994, which aims to increase public awareness on the different issues concerning the sector. Elderly Filipino Week 2019 will have the theme: “Healthy and Productive Ageing Starts with Me.”

This year’s celebration will kick-off with the annual “Walk for Life” event, which is expected to gather more than 3,000 senior citizens at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Walk for Life, which promotes the good health and well-being of the elderly, is scheduled on October 1 and will have a parade of seniors around the MOA complex at 6:00AM. The walk will be capped by a program that will feature performances by, and entertainment for the elderly.

On October 2, hundreds of senior citizens will have a chance to relive beautiful memories and enjoy the nostalgic music of the Rockin’ 60s band, at “Seniors Prom”, an event that shows no one is ever too old to dance and have fun in the mall. This will be at the Skydome of SM City North Edsa, and is expected to begin at 4:00PM.

Capping the celebration is the annual, “Talakayan”, a forum that informs the Filipino elderly about legislations concerning the sector. This includes discussing the various benefits that seniors can take advantage of. Talakayan will be led by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

“SM supports the cause of the Filipino elderly, by hosting activities and projects that promote their good health and well-being. Through our CSR Program on Senior Citizens, we wish to let our elderly know that SM will always be their second home, and that there is life after 60 at SM. We also thank DSWD and OSCA for partnering with us for this advocacy,” said Danilo Chavez, Head of SM Cares Program on Senior Citizens.

Apart from mall events, and to further promote their social inclusion, SM offers a Community Service Program for Senior Citizens which invite the elderly to become project participants and do weekend jobs in the mall. This project is in partnership with OSCA.

To know more about SM Cares, you may visit www.smcares.com.ph, www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares, or send an e-mail to smcares@smsupermalls.com.

World Vision launches 1,000 Girls campaign with young actress Bianca Umali

World Vision in the Philippines, together with World Vision Ambassador for Education Bianca Umali, launches “1000 Girls,” a campaign that aims to give girls a better future and help them to reach their potentials and achieve their dreams.

Globally, millions of girls do not have the chance to go to school because they are forced into child labor, child marriage or child pregnancy. According to a survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, 63.3% of the Filipino out-of-school youth are girls. It was also revealed that the main reason for the high percentage is marriage and family matters.

In response to this alarming problem, World Vision is introducing the “1000 Girls” campaign, a global movement that intends to help 1000 Filipino girls through the organization’s Child Sponsorship program. The project will pave the way for the celebration of International Day of the Girl on October 11.

“Each girl deserves to be in school, overcome poverty, reach her full potential, and eventually, be a valuable member of the community. I encourage everyone to help us reach our goal and help these girls fulfill their dreams,” shared World Vision Ambassador for Education Bianca Umali, a staunch advocate of women empowerment.

“We decided to adapt the ‘1000 Girls’ campaign in the Philippines because Filipino girls share similar struggles with girls who live in poverty in other countries. There are so many challenges in fulfilling their dreams. If no one will help them and stand for them, how can they attain their goals?” said World Vision Executive Director Rommel V. Fuerte. “We implore everyone to join our cause in helping Filipino girls who are suffering from circumstances brought by lack of access to their most basic needs. With everybody’s help, we can reach more children.”

Running to empower girls’ dreams

In support of the campaign, business mogul Victor Consunji and his race partner Enrico Menichetti pledged to join and finish the 2019 Fire + Ice Ultra Marathon, which will take place from August 26 to 31 in Iceland. The duo has set up a fundraising page where people can pledge their support not only to cheer Victor and Enrico on but also to empower the dreams of girls still living in poverty.

“When we join a marathon, we have a specific goal in mind and that is to reach the finish line. We overcome obstacles and push ourselves to the limit to reach this goal. The same can be said for the thousands of Filipino girls who also have their own goals, dreams and aspirations. Sadly, not everyone has the means to do so because of poverty,” Victor explained. “We believe child sponsorship can help change this.”

“Enrico and I are dedicating this race to these girls because we want them to know that reaching their dream is possible. We want to empower them through this fundraising run. I hope that you can support Enrico and I as we run another race for children,” Victor added.

This is not the first time Victor and Enrico are running for the benefit of World Vision children. In 2018, the race partners successfully finished the Marathon Des Sables, also known as ‘the toughest foot race on earth.’ The funds raised from Consunji and Menichetti’s run were used to support World Vision’s nutrition project in Batangas, provide school supplies for children in Malabon, give water facilities in West Misamis, and build a new water system in Bohol.

World Vision’s “1000 Girls” campaign is also supported by its major partners Shopee Philippines, UL Skin Sciences, Tupperware Brands Philippines, and Elev8 Media.

To know more about “1000 Girls,” visit www.worldvision.org.ph. You may also follow /worldvisionph on Facebook and @worldvisionphl on Instagram for updates.

About World Vision

World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Discover and nurture your child’s talent at Promil Four iShine Talent Camp 7

Each child is born with a talent that can appear in any form. Various activities can unlock their potential which is just waiting to be discovered. From singing to acting, and anything in between, your child’s gift can be nurtured through Promil Four’s i-Shine Talent Camp 7, a summer talent development program in partnership with experts to help kids 6-11 years old become their very best.

Get ready to discover and develop your child’s talent and passion as Promil Four launches the newest season of its talent development program, thei-Shine Talent Camp 7. As the brand stays true to its mission of nurturing the gift, the next generation of awe-inspiring kids will be guided to reach their full potential in the fields of performing and visual arts through mental, physical and social stimulation workshops.

Kids ages 6 to 11 can enjoy a whole new level of fun and experience interactive learning with Promil Four’s i-Shine 7 featuring Art, Music, Dance camps, and its two new camps, Theatre and Ballet. These camps are managed by the finest experts/mentors of the country. Teachers Robert Alejandro and Kara Escay from Papemelroti will coach the Art Camp, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab returns as the camp master for the Music Camp, while Teacher Georcelle Dapat-Sy of the G-Force Dance School leads the Dance Camp. Furthermore, Audie Gemora heads the Theatre Camp, whereas Lisa Macuja-Elizalde guides the Ballet Camp.

All six mentors were presented during the launch of i-Shine 7, which also featured a talk by Dra. Leticia Penano-Ho, the President of the Philippine Center for Gifted Education. Dra. Ho talked about the importance of documenting the child’s journey to further help them develop their skills.

Also lending her skills and talent during the launch was a self-taught freelance photographer and “Promil kid” Shaira Luna who shared some photography tips during her Creative Documenting & Scrapbook Making Workshop. Meanwhile, the launch was hosted by seasoned actress Dimples Romana, who has been hosting the i-Shine Talent Camp ever since its beginning.

Promil’s philosophy is to instill the importance of not only proper nutrition, but also proper parenting and guidance to fully support a child’s proper growth and mental development. This is in line with the brand’s advocacy of actively involving parents in helping nurture the gift of their child.

Promil Four i-Shine 7 Camps will run from April to May 2019, and will be administered not only in different cities around Metro Manila, but also in more locations around the country like Batangas, Cebu, and Davao to allow kids outside Metro Manila to experience what i-Shine has to offer. As it is important to hone and encourage kids’ talents at a young age, there will be a grand recital after the camp duration to showcase what kids experienced and learned during the camps.

Past i-Shiners include Lucas Magallano of season 2 and Yesha Camile of season 3 who, after the camp, went on to let their talents shine through special performances in various events.

Know more about i-Shine and reserve a camp slot for your child now! Visit www.promilnurturethegift.com.ph/ for more details.

Gumtect for a Maginhawa Food Trip This Holiday Season

Filipinos love to eat, and the holidays are definitely no exception! With Christmas get-togethers and parties dotting our calendars, are our teeth and gums ready to take on the challenge of non-stop eating and drinking?

At a fun-filled Food Crawl called the Gumtect Food Trek: A Mouth-full Adventure, Doug and Chesca Kramer posed the same question as they enjoyed exciting food challenges and tasted delicious dishes from the different restaurants in Maginhawa.

As oral healthcare advocates for Gumtect, Doug and Chesca Kramer shared how important it is that they take care of their teeth and gums so they don’t miss out on any foodie moments when they celebrate the holidays with their friends and family.

“Despite our busy schedules, we enjoy the gatherings and reunions to relax and catch up over food,” shared Doug. “I have a really sweet tooth, and I enjoy having conversations over dessert, but for me to be able to just enjoy the food, I also ensure to make these -ber months care months for my gums and teeth so there’s no hassle of gum problems”.

Doug advocates oral care with the use of Gumtect Gum Care toothpaste, which works to promote healthy gums, protects against harmful mouth bacteria, and moisturizes and strengthens the gums.

As for Chesca, her already hectic schedule as a mom can only get busier with holiday activities with her kids on the horizon. She shared that with her sensitive teeth, she needs to take care of her gums so pangingilo doesn’t get in the way of her indulging in her favorite holiday dishes with her loved ones.

According to a study in 2011 by the National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental Survey, 48% of Filipinos suffer from some form of gum disease. Receding gums are often accompanied with tooth sensitivity.

Commonly caused by wearing of the thin outer covering of the tooth (enamel), over-brushing, acidic food, and gum receding, pangingilo or dental hypersensitivity begins when the inner part of the tooth is uncovered. This results to an oh-so-familiar brief yet sharp sensation of tooth sensitivity.

“I want to maximize my bonding moments with my family, especially enjoying food together like ice cream and buko salad. I want to be able to indulge in my favorite holiday dishes without having to think about pangingilo,” Chesca said.

For Chesca, she recommends using Gumtect Sensitive toothpaste and Gumtect Sensitive mouthwash as they are specially formulated with Dynamic Desensitizing System to be able to help relieve tooth sensitivity.

Dr. JV Jaurigue, External Vice President of the Philippine Society of Periodontology, talked about the connection of gum health with overall health and stressed the importance of proper oral care. “Oral care is essential to our health. Rather than dealing with complications and difficulties of gum diseases, it is better to prevent them from happening,” he shared.

Gumtect Brand Marketing Manager, Atria Casidsid also talked about how Gumtect Gumcare and Gumtect Sensitive are especially formulated to help promote healthy gums so that gum problems won’t get in the way of holiday fun.

Gumtect Gumcare is the only gum care toothpaste with GUMSHIELD+ which contains Allantoin, which improves the condition of the gums, Vitamin E, which moisturizes gums and Triclean, which reduces the formation of plaque and shields against harmful mouth bacteria while Gumtect Sensitive has a Dynamic Desensitizing System that helps relieve sensitive teeth. Both Gumtect Sensitive and Gumtect Gumcare also have Active Anti-Cavity Protection that ensures fresh breath and strong teeth enamel.

As guests at the Food Crawl enjoyed hot bowls of ramen, desserts like lemon squares and keylime pie, sipped coffee and competed in food challenges like the Mais Con Hielo relay and Sip the Noodle challenge, the Kramers reminded them to “make the ‘Ber months Care months for our oral health, especially for our teeth and gums. With the help of Gumtect, we won’t miss out on a single foodie moment this holiday season!”

To know more about gum health care tips, visit www.facebook.com/Gumtect.

The power to choose the number, timing and spacing of children can bolster economic and social development, new UNFPA report shows

The global trend towards smaller families is a reflection of people making reproductive choices. “The historic transition to lower fertility has emerged through people claiming their right to make choices about their reproductive lives, and to have as few, or as many, children as they want, when they want,” according to The State of World Population 2018, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.

Family size is closely linked with reproductive rights, which, in turn, are tied to many other rights, including the right to adequate health, education, and jobs. Where people can exercise their rights, they tend to thrive. Where these rights are stifled, people often fail to achieve their full potential, impeding economic and social progress, according to the new report, entitled, “The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition.”

When a woman has the power and means to prevent or delay a pregnancy, for example, she has more control over her health and can enter or stay in the paid labour force and realize her full economic potential.
The report found that there is no country that can claim that all of its citizens enjoy reproductive rights at all times. Most couples cannot have the number of children that they want because they either lack economic and social support to achieve their preferred family size, or the means to 17 October 2018

United Nations Population Fund 15/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan cor United
Sts., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550 Philippines
philippines.unfpa.org Tel.: +63 2 902 9131 Email: phl.co@unfpa.org
control their fertility. The unmet need for modern contraception prevents hundreds of millions of women in the world from choosing smaller families.

The Philippines is the second largest country among the 10 ASEAN members, and its population is fast growing with the highest total fertility rate in the ASEAN. Over half of Filipinos are 24 years of age or below. “For this youthful country to reap a demographic dividend, there is an imminent need to invest more in health, education and employability of young people and on gender equality,” said Iori Kato, UNFPA Country Representative in the Philippines. However, many Filipino adolescents and youth have been left behind. Challenges include that 49 per cent of unmarried, sexually active women and 17 per cent of married women have an unmet need for family planning, as the 2017 National Demographic and Health survey revealed. And one in five girls age 19 is either pregnant or has given birth.

“Millions of Filipinos would benefit from having the power to choose whether and when to have children, and how many children to have,” said Kato. “If you can plan your family, you can plan your life,” he added.

Choice can be a reality everywhere

The report classifies all countries in the world by the current dynamics of their populations’ fertility. It makes specific recommendations for policies and programs that would help each country increase reproductive choices.

In the Philippines, UNFPA looks forward to continued partnership with the government and all stakeholders through the newly approved 8th Country Programme for 2019-2023, in ensuring that all Filipinos, especially those furthest behind, have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and thereby make choices on some of the most significant and intimate aspects of their lives.

The UNFPA Country Programme will continue to support the acceleration of universal access to quality reproductive health care, particularly modern contraceptives, as well as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in accordance with international standards. Technical assistance will also be

United Nations Population Fund 15/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan cor United
Sts., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550 Philippines
philippines.unfpa.org Tel.: +63 2 902 9131 Email: phl.co@unfpa.org
provided towards dismantling those barriers—whether economic, social or institutional—that inhibit free and informed choice.

***

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in 155 countries and territories, including the Philippines.
For more information, please contact:
Mario Villamor: Tel.: +63 917 302 6699; villamor@unfpa.org
You can access the report at https://www.unfpa.org/swop
Follow UNFPA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Pan-Asian insurer FWD and non-profit Humanity & Inclusion to help hundreds of young people with disabilities in Asia find employment

FWD Life Insurance, the most exciting insurance brand in the country, together with its partner Humanity & Inclusion (formerly known as Handicap International, an independent international aid organization), celebrated the beginning of the Forward Together project, helping young people with disabilities find employment opportunities in the Philippines and beyond.

Through the regional partnership initially announced by the insurer in the first half of 2018, both
organizations will work towards advocating equal opportunities and empowering people with
disabilities in Asia. With FWD Group investing USD 1million, the Forward Together project will train
at least 380 youth with disabilities in the Philippines and Indonesia and help them secure sustainable
employment or business opportunities.

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“FWD Life Philippines aims to end the stigma that disability corresponds to inability,” FWD Life
Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said. “Through our partnership with
Humanity & Inclusion, we hope to provide a platform for people with disabilities to showcase their
strengths and abilities. We want to encourage everyone to help create a future with a difference for
people with disabilities with opportunities to become valuable and equal contributors to the
community.”

“Developing countries are encouraged to invest in youth, but unfortunately, young people with
disabilities are usually overlooked in employment and entrepreneurship opportunities,” said Bryan
Andrew Marsalis, Humanity & Inclusion Regional Operation Coordinator. “That is why we are very
delighted to have such strong support from FWD Group in our advocacy of improving the lives of
youth with disabilities. Through this project, we will work with selected employers – including FWD
Group – across the two target countries to improve their capacity to employ youth with disabilities.”
“At FWD, we are committed to promoting social inclusion and active participation of persons with
disabilities, and are very excited to kick start our work with Humanity & Inclusion,” said FWD Life
Philippines Head of Marketing and Community Care Country Lead Roche Vandenberghe. “With the
Forward Together project, we are enabling businesses and organizations such as ours to become
catalysts for quality job creation.”

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FWD Life Philippines and Humanity & Inclusion celebrated the beginning of its Forward Together
project with a media event, an interactive visual language activity, and escape room challenge
participated by volunteers from both organizations as well as members of the media, held on
October 17, 2018 at Century City Mall in Makati City.

About FWD Philippines

FWD Life Insurance Corporation (“FWD Life”) is the first life insurance company licensed by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines under the new Insurance Code. FWD launched its commercial operations in September 2014. By March 2017, FWD Life is the highest-capitalized life insurer in the Philippines with PhP 2.3 billion in paid-up capitalization.1 Base on premium income data published by the Insurance Commission2, FWD Life now ranks 10th in the insurance industry in
terms of weighted new business premiums.3 FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance, and employee benefits across a number of its markets. Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business arm of investment group, Pacific Century Group. In the Philippines, FWD has 12 business hubs located in key cities nationwide with its headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD aims to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.
For more information, please visit fwd.com.ph
1 www.insurance.gov.ph> Statistics > 2017 > Based on Paid-Up Capital
2 www.insurance.gov.ph> Statistics > 2017 > Based on Premium Income
3 Weighted New Business Premium Income: 100% of first-year premium on regular-pay plans + 10% of single-pay premiums

About Humanity & Inclusion

Founded in 1982 in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity &
Inclusion (the new name of Handicap International) is an independent and impartial organization working in situations of
poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster.

We work alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to
respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental
rights.

Outraged by the injustice faced by people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, we aspire to a world of solidarity
and inclusion, enriched by our differences, where everyone can live in dignity.

At present, Humanity & Inclusion works in 59 countries globally, with additional offices in 8 high-income countries.
For more information, please visit www.handicapinternational.ph.

Rise Against Hunger Shows the World That it is Possible to End Hunger

The country’s beacons of joy come together to launch Rise Against Hunger’s ‘This is possible.’ Campaign in the Philippines

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief non-profit organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. In line with the celebration of their 20th year, the organization has launched “This is possible,” a global movement to end world hunger by 2030 — a vision aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2.

On August 31, Rise Against Hunger Philippines officially launches this campaign with “Beacons of Joy,” a gathering held at the Conrad Hotel Manila to shine the light on those who have made extraordinary efforts in rising against hunger and bringing joy and relief to communities across the country.

The event included messages from Rise Against Hunger’s various partners and stakeholders—government representatives, corporate partners, impact partners, and beneficiaries—the beacons of joy to the Filipinos in need. Outside the event, hundreds of passersby witnessed the campaign’s launch with a video display at the Mall of Asia Globe on Friday evening.

“Our mission is to end hunger in our lifetime, and the first real step is to activate a worldwide movement,” said Tom Barbitta, Chief Marketing Officer of Rise Against Hunger. “It will take the help and support from the global community to accomplish this goal, but with participation, financial contribution, volunteerism and heart, each person can change the life of another and put an end to suffering from starvation.”

Around the world, just over 815 million people lack adequate food. One in nine people go to bed hungry each night. Rise Against Hunger works to meet immediate nutritional needs today and empower the ability to build strong, resilient communities tomorrow.

Rise Against Hunger Philippines is the latest in the organization’s twenty-five U.S. and five international locations to take part in the “This is possible.” campaign. In 2014, Rise Against Hunger opened a dedicated location in the Philippines, led by Executive Director Jomar Fleras, following the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Since its inception, Rise Against Hunger Philippines has packaged over 252 million meals. In 2018, the organization established the Good Food Grocer, the country’s first food bank sells nutritious food at discount prices, as well as distributes food to informal settlers and children in daycare centers.

“Rise Against Hunger, its donors, volunteers and beneficiaries join the global community in ending hunger by 2030. With the ‘Power of We,’ 2030 is possible,” said Fleras.

The “This is possible.” campaign was first launched in February 2018 in New York City, where thousands of people joined together in Times Square to sign pledges to end hunger. The campaign was created to build awareness and drive a global movement to end hunger by the year 2030. So far, the initiative has also been launched in Italy, Malaysia, India and South Africa.

is Possible to End Hunger

The country’s beacons of joy come together to launch Rise Against Hunger’s ‘This is possible.’ Campaign in the Philippines

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief non-profit organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable. In line with the celebration of their 20th year, the organization has launched “This is possible,” a global movement to end world hunger by 2030 — a vision aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2.

On August 31, Rise Against Hunger Philippines officially launches this campaign with “Beacons of Joy,” a gathering held at the Conrad Hotel Manila to shine the light on those who have made extraordinary efforts in rising against hunger and bringing joy and relief to communities across the country.

The event included messages from Rise Against Hunger’s various partners and stakeholders—government representatives, corporate partners, impact partners, and beneficiaries—the beacons of joy to the Filipinos in need. Outside the event, hundreds of passersby witnessed the campaign’s launch with a video display at the Mall of Asia Globe on Friday evening.

“Our mission is to end hunger in our lifetime, and the first real step is to activate a worldwide movement,” said Tom Barbitta, Chief Marketing Officer of Rise Against Hunger. “It will take the help and support from the global community to accomplish this goal, but with participation, financial contribution, volunteerism and heart, each person can change the life of another and put an end to suffering from starvation.”

Around the world, just over 815 million people lack adequate food. One in nine people go to bed hungry each night. Rise Against Hunger works to meet immediate nutritional needs today and empower the ability to build strong, resilient communities tomorrow.

Rise Against Hunger Philippines is the latest in the organization’s twenty-five U.S. and five international locations to take part in the “This is possible.” campaign. In 2014, Rise Against Hunger opened a dedicated location in the Philippines, led by Executive Director Jomar Fleras, following the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Since its inception, Rise Against Hunger Philippines has packaged over 252 million meals. In 2018, the organization established the Good Food Grocer, the country’s first food bank sells nutritious food at discount prices, as well as distributes food to informal settlers and children in daycare centers.

“Rise Against Hunger, its donors, volunteers and beneficiaries join the global community in ending hunger by 2030. With the ‘Power of We,’ 2030 is possible,” said Fleras.

The “This is possible.” campaign was first launched in February 2018 in New York City, where thousands of people joined together in Times Square to sign pledges to end hunger. The campaign was created to build awareness and drive a global movement to end hunger by the year 2030. So far, the initiative has also been launched in Italy, Malaysia, India and South Africa.

Mental Health Matters

With successive incidents of suicide among notable celebrities here and abroad, there is now a strong call to promote good mental health among people suffering from various mental health disorders. Now, it is not just enough to provide emotional support, belongingness, understanding and compassion. There is also a strong need to spread enough information, how to know if one is suffering from mental issues, especially those undergoing various amounts of physical and emotional stress that can be too hard to handle, much more ignore.

To stress further the need to spread more information about mental health issues, Mental Health Matters (MHM) recently celebrated its 1st anniversary through its “Mental Health Matters Fair.” The event, which was held at the Crown Spaces in Makati City and opened to the public, was organized by the group and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, herself an advocate of good mental health and who once underwent bouts with depression.

The fair featured several inspirational talks from guest speakers from the medical profession and the legislative sector, free psychiatric consultations, art exhibits, live performances, and interactive and imaginative booths and was open to the public. Priority access, however, was provided to the MHM Support Group and the Anxiety and Disorder Support Philippines (ADSP).

The whole-day affair started with psychiatrists from the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPS) and Talang Dalisay, a nongovernmental organization, who jointly provided professional psychiatric advice for free to select attendees. Both are partners of MHM.

The afternoon started with a talk by Senator Risa Hontiveros, author and principal sponsor of the bill that became Republic Act 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte recently. She said mental health struggles among Filipinos are very complex. “Today and every day, you are not alone,” she assures those present.

She said the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is now being developed under the Department of Health, particularly on seeking increase in access to services up to the community level, a progressive “referral” system, on-campus anti-discrimination and anti-stigma program, and inclusion of non-medical interventions to health and healing.

Verzosa, a strong advocate of mental health since her reign, said she organized the event for the benefit of everyone who has been struggling and who has survived. She also called on people undergoing depression to not be afraid to seek help. “Get help by talking to someone. Let’s speak up about mental health before it’s too late.” Dr. Gia Sison, a breast cancer survivor and a Youth for Mental Health Coalition national adviser, meanwhile, provided invaluable advice, particularly on developing mental strength to help overcome failures.

There were also other speakers who shared their mental health advocacies. UST student Reymark Simbulan, a member of the LGBTQ community who also suffered from depression, shared many important things about finding one’s anchors, not giving up because it will get better, and knowing that God will make us stronger. He also noted that “members of the LGBTQ community are almost three times likely to experience mental health problems like depression,” he said.

Diet coach Nadine Tengco, meanwhile, said food has a profound effect in addressing one’s mental health while Mariella Tung, a pastry chef, shared her story of resilience and recovery. “I finally came out to people about depression and became strong because of my son, my anchor. Every day, I remind myself of that one person.” Kates Ante, head of operations at ADSP, explained how “laughter yoga” works, and said the art pieces in the exhibit were masterpieces of people with mental health problems. Rachelle Jardin, a former media researcher, filmmaker and poet, meanwhile, said her team is working on an idea of a social enterprise for mental health.

Mental Health Matters is an online support group established for people experiencing various forms of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders. The group also offers seminars to spread awareness about mental health in many universities nationwide. For more information about the group, go to www.Facebook.com/mentalhealthmattersbykylieverzosa.

Pru Life UK fetes national cycling champs off to Prudential RideLondon 2018

Cycling national champions Jermyn Prado, Ismael Grospe, Jeremy Maraña, and Aidan Mendoza are all set to see action in Prudential RideLondon 2018, the world’s largest cycling festival, over the weekend of 28-29 July 2018 in the capital of the United Kingdom. They, together with other winners from the local cycling event PRUride PH 2018 which took place earlier this year and Pru Life UK’s employee representative, will form the eight-strong official delegation to represent the country.

Backed annually since 2013 by Pru Life UK’s parent company as the title sponsor, British financial services giant Prudential plc, Prudential RideLondon is expected to see more than 100,000 participants cycling more than three million miles in seven different events.

Headlining the delegation is Prado, who was named double-gold national champion for winning both of PRUride PH 2018’s Philippine National Road Race Championships Women’s Elite and Criterium Women’s Elite. She will be representing the country in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100-mile event.
Meanwhile, Grospe, who participated in last year’s Prudential RideLondon as a rising 18-year-old cyclist, is making a return this year, but now as a national champion for Philippine National Road Race Championships Men’s Elite U-23. He will join the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46-mile event.

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Rounding out the lineup are Maraña and Mendoza who are national champions for Individual Time Trial Women’s U-23 and Criterium Men’s U-23, respectively. Brompton Challenge winner Jun Minagawa is also with the group to represent the country in the exciting Brompton World Championship.

Pru Life UK employee and cycling hobbyist Ryan Lamayo will join other employees from Prudential’s business units in Asia to ride the Surrey 100-mile event. Also with the delegation are PRUride PH 2018 raffle winners John Kenneth Cruz and Bertrand Tepltixky.

“We are proud that aside from having our largest delegation from the Philippines to date – with eight strong and highly competitive cyclists ready to overcome the challenges of the long ride – they are the Filipinos’ champions in advocating cycling as a way of life,” said Allan Tumbaga, Pru Life UK’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, during the send-off celebration on July 19.

“Prudential RideLondon banners cycling across London to encourage healthier and more active travel, and this is what Pru Life UK wants to emulate here in the Philippines. We hope to help raise awareness on cycling as an alternative mode of transportation so we can all work towards having a healthy, safe and environment-friendly community for generations to come,” he continued.

This is the third year that Pru Life UK will be sending an official delegation to the Prudential RideLondon. The Company has been advocating cycling since its maiden cycling event in 2016. It eventually became the country’s largest cycling festival as PRUride PH 2018 where over 2,000 participants saw action over the two-weekend festivities in January this year.

The delegation will fly to London via the Philippine Airlines, Pru Life UK’s official airline partner.

Pairs run towards a healthy lifestyle

The 11th Fit & Fun Wellness Buddy Run kicked off at the parade grounds of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City with different types of running pairs—parents and kids, siblings, lolos and their apos, loved ones, officemates, best friends, even neighbors—competing in the 5K and 10K races.

“We are happy to provide an opportunity for people to start their wellness journey in a fun and one-of-a-kind event with their partners. After all, getting fit and choosing the healthier lifestyle is more worthwhile when shared with a buddy,” said Jody Gadia, Robinsons Supermarket general manager.

Presented by Robinsons Supermarket, the 11th Fit & Fun Wellness Buddy Run 5K race offered a top prize of a trip for 2 to Siargao with 3 days/2 nights hotel accommodation while 2nd and 3rd placers get Php8,000 worth of Robinsons gift certificates. For 10K race podium finishers, the top prize includes a trip for 2 to Hong Kong with 3 days/2 nights hotel accommodation while 2nd and 3rd placers get Php15,000 worth of Robinsons gift certificates.

After crossing the finish line with their buddies and celebrating fitness in a fun and exciting way, most of the participants also enjoyed exciting activity booths and took home big grocery loot bags that have been the trademark of the Fit & Fun Wellness Buddy Run through the years.

The loot bags contained lots of freebies from Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth Nutrition, Abbott Nutrition, Fonterra and Unilab.

The fun run is in line with Robinsons Supermarket’s wellness commitment to continuously encourage more people to choose and live healthier lifestyles. Find out more about the wellness commitment and other activities at their official website at www.robinsonssupermarket.com.ph or like their official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RobinsonsSupermarketofficial.