“Bakuna now na” PAPO kicks off Unity Statement to increase vaccination uptake.

The Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO), representing 38 patient groups in the country, today launches the “Bakuna, Now Na” campaign in a bid to increase vaccination uptake and decrease hesitancy to help curb the pandemic. The campaign is also in partnership with the Department of Health and is supported by the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Medical Association.

The Bakuna, Now Na campaign, an information and education advocacy to increase vaccine acceptance, also kicks off with a Unity Statement with partner groups urging Filipinos to get vaccinated against CoVID-19.

The patient-led campaign also aims to support efforts towards vaccine equity through various initiatives and collaborations with governments, manufacturers and the COVAX facility among other platforms.

“The pandemic has made Filipino patients more vulnerable to sickness and hardships. We urge all Filipinos, including patients and their families, to get vaccinated against CoVID-19 to protect ourselves and others from this potentially life-threatening illness. We also support initiatives to urgently address vaccine inequity and secure vaccine access for Filipinos, including those belonging to priority sectors like patients,” said PAPO President Ms Ma. Fatima Lorenzo.

“The Bakuna, Now Na is a campaign for Filipino patients and by Filipino patients. We aspire that through this campaign, we would help in informing the patients and the public that vaccines are safe and effective having gone through regulatory approvals and scientific research. We are stronger and healthier together, which is why we are calling on everyone to get vaccinated,” said Ms Karen Alparce-Villanueva, PAPO Treasurer and Campaign Project Lead.

A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found that only three out of 10 Filipinos are willing to be vaccinated even if they were free and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Efforts are also underway to identify barriers for the non-vaccination of a number of senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, belonging to the A2 and A3 priority sectors.

Seeing the vast number of Filipinos who are hesitant to get vaccinated, PAPO recognizes the necessity to address the people’s concerns through the Bakuna, Now Na advocacy. The campaign will center on frequently asked questions about CoVID-19 vaccines and dispel myths with verified medical facts. The Bakuna, Now Na is an effort to translate complicated medical terms into easy-to-digest content that will help educate the public.

“The Department of Health is pleased to partner with the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations in our effort to increase vaccine confidence and vaccinate more people as soon as possible. We continue to call on patients and our senior citizens to get themselves vaccinated because vaccines are one of the proven ways by which we could prevent this pandemic. Vaccines along with the wearing of face masks, hand washing, and physical distancing will help us move forward safely from this pandemic. Vaccines are safe and effective kaya Bakuna, Now Na,” said Department of Health – Health Promotions Bureau Director Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho.

Dr. Nina Gloriani, chairman of the Department of Science and Technology – Vaccine Expert Panel, is also present during the campaign launch as the advocacy will feature verified information coming from the country’s medical and vaccines experts.

The Bakuna, Now Na campaign is being led by PAPO in partnership with the Department of Health, the Department of Science and Technology, the Philippine Medical Association, the Philippine Pharmacists Association and former Health Secretaries Carmencita Reodica, MD, Esperanza Cabral, MD, Manuel Dayrit, MD, and Janette Garin, MD and 50 other organizations and growing.

According to Rey Sarmenta, the former Chairman of HAPLOS, the Hemophilia Foundation, he got vaccinated because he wanted to protect his family, and getting vaccinated is his chance to enjoy his life with his loved ones.

For Ara Lanorio, President of the Neurofibromatosis Friends Philippines, proper education about vaccines should take priority. She shared her initial concerns about the vaccine and how knowing the facts helped her decide to get vaccinated.

For more information about the campaign or to sign the PAPO Unity Statement, please visit www.papo.ph and PAPO’s FB page.

Batangas kindergarten students received learning materials through World Vision’s Abutin Na10

The Department of Education (DepED Undersecretary for External Partnerships Service Atty. Tonisito M.C. Umali, ESQ recently turned over 18,000 sets of printed learning materials for students in Batangas through through the “Abutin Na10” campaign in partnership with child-focused NGO World Vision.
This ongoing campaign for the benefit of learners residing in poor and remote communities is World Vision’s initiative to respond to the government’s call to support its Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BELCP).
“I want you to know by heart that no less than our constitution mandates that quality education be made accessible to all learners,” explained Usec. Umali while referring to the provision in the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines Article XIV Section 1 which states that “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.”
Under the BELCP, schools are mandated to adopt various distance learning modalities appropriate for the learners. Whether through online learning, activity sheets or a combination of both approaches, children are able to enjoy their right to education at the safety and comforts of their homes.
World Vision national director Rommel V. Fuerte shared during the turnover event, “Today is a milestone that we want to celebrate for the most vulnerable children especially for thousands of Kindergarten students here in Batangas who will receive learning activity sheets printed by ‘Abutin Na10’.” Fuerte also commended DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones for consistenly promoting continued learning among students despite the health and safety challenges brought by the lingering COVID-19 crisis.
‘Abutin Na10’ lead and World Vision’s education technical program manager Geomel P. Jetonzo hoped that more and more organizations and individuals support Filipino learners through this campaign.
“Together let us give children opportunities for learning and development by skillfully and prayerfully adapting to this ever-changing education landscape.”
For those who want to support children’s education through providing learning materials through Abutin Na10’, visit https://www.worldvision.org.ph/abutin-na10/.
To know more about World Vision and its other initiatives, you may visit www.worldvision.org.ph or follow World Vision’s official social media pages /worldvisionph on Facebook, @worldvisionphl on Instagram, and @worldvisionph on Twitter.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, their families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by its Christian faith and values, it is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people. It serves and collaborates with all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Maxime celebrates first birthday with discounts and vouchers on Lazada and Shopee

Celebrations are one of the most important and fun activities we remember in our life. Any celebration automatically gives us this feeling of joy, love, and memories to keep forever. We recognize milestones, achievements, anniversaries, and birthdays to remember the good things that happened for us, with us, and with the people, we want to be with.

A doggo’s birthday is just as special, and many of us furparents enjoy spoiling them with extra treats and attention. Joyous occasions and heartwarming moments like these are the events that we should cherish as a way of thanking our dogs for the unconditional love and joy they bring to our lives.

For its first birthday, Maxime is giving a special treat for doggos and their owners who live their best moments everyday. Pet parents can enjoy up to 25% off on all Maxime products when they purchase during Lazada and Shopee’s sales this month, shoppers can also redeem store and shipping vouchers worth P50 with a minimum spend of P500:

May 20
Shopee Groceries Sale: 15% off

May 25
Shopee Groceries & Pet Care Fair: 15% off

May 28
Lazada Payday x Clearance Sale: 15% off until May 30
Shopee’s Pilmico Store Anniversary Brand Feature: 25% off

Maxime’s line of premium dog food contains essential ingredients such as pre and probiotics, DHA, and Omega 3 and 6 that give doggos the best care possible.

Maxime comes in four variants for puppers and doggos:

Maxime Standard Adult Prime Dog Diet is made with the best ingredients to form a complete and balanced diet. Probiotics are added to give adult doggos a stronger immune system, and DHA for a sharper mind. Maxime Standard Puppy Prime Dog Diet is boosted with prebiotics to improve a pupper’s nutrient absorption; strengthen their heart, bones, and teeth; and help build a healthier tummy.

Maxime Elite Adult Prime Dog Diet is enhanced with high levels of prebiotics, antioxidants, and optimized omega 3 and 6. These improve nutrient absorption for the immune system and to give them a shinier fur and coat. Other choice ingredients include yucca extract to control stool odor and multi-animal proteins to reduce possible food allergies. Maxime Elite Puppy Prime Dog Diet has added DHA to accelerate brain development and to provide a strong immune system, healthy skin, and a shiny coat.

Maxime’s mix of essential ingredients ensures better health and a sharper mind. Aside from showering them with love and affection on their birthday, giving them the proper vitamins and nutrients they need every day is key to living the best life, together.

To purchase Maxime products, visit Pilmico’s official store on Lazada and Shopee. For more information about Maxime, visit @MaximePhilippines on Facebook.

About Pilmico

Pilmico Foods Corporation & Gold Coin Management Holdings are the integrated agribusiness and food companies of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV). Gold Coin is now fully-managed and owned by Pilmico International and to date, it is the largest investment in the Asia-Pacific region in their shared history.

Pilmico comprises four divisions: Flour, Feeds, Farms, and Trading; enabling growth to its partners through its consistent quality products and unparalleled supporting services. Meanwhile, Gold Coin is a pioneer in animal nutrition and the manufacturing of scientifically-balanced animal feed in Asia.

Pilmico and Gold Coin represent one of the largest privately-owned agribusinesses in the region, with over 2,900 partners throughout the multitude of production facilities across 11 countries in Asia. Armed with the mission of feeding humanity, they aim to take a leadership position in innovating the food value chain in the Asia Pacific.

Know more about Pilmico at pilmico.com/.

About Maxime

As pioneers and experts in animal nutrition, Pilmico and Gold Coin launches its pet food brand, Maxime.

The integrated food and agribusiness company, with a longstanding history of providing scientifically balanced animal feed, understands the strong bond between pet parent and their dogs. This is why Maxime is formulated with high levels of prebiotics for better absorption of nutrients and DHA for brain development. It is also fortified with omega 3 & 6 for a healthy heart and shinier fur and coat.

Using only high-quality ingredients and nutrients, Maxime ensures that pets maximize their full potential and help them become happy, active, tough, and smart (HATS).

PascualLab supports World Vision in empowering the most vulnerable children through Chosen™

MOA Signatories photo caption: From left to right, top to bottom: PascualLab Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Jose Augusto “Jappy” Pascual and VP for Corporate HROD and DSCC Mia Pascual Cenzon and World Vision National Director Rommel V. Fuerte and Resource Development Director Santos N. Godornes, Jr. during the MOA signing event held via Zoom.

Pascual Laboratories, Inc. (PascualLab), a top-of-mind partner for health products and manufacturing services known for its unwavering passion for health and life, has partnered with World Vision in bringing hope to the most vulnerable by empowering them to choose through the non-profit organization’s new child sponsorship campaign, Chosen™.

Last January 2020, World Vision officially introduced in the Philippines a new approach towards child sponsorship that has changed the lives of both donors and sponsored children since then.

Through Chosen™, children living in World Vision’s assisted communities are given the opportunity to impact their better future by empowering them to choose. This time, potential donors are invited to sign up and be chosen by a child to become his or her sponsor. Amazingly, this has turned into a memorable experience that is shared between the donor and the child.

In celebration of PascualLab’s 75th anniversary, the Pascual family decided to give back by doing something meaningful for their hometown, Malabon. Through this partnership, their employees will get to experience being chosen by children from World Vision’s assisted community in Malabon.

“When the World Vision team initially proposed the idea of their charity program CHOSEN, we thought it was something that could give a ray of light to those in need especially during these bleak times. For PascualLab, and fittingly so during our 75th anniversary, it would enable our Family Members to reach out to underprivileged Filipino children given the situation we were and still are in, and the challenges that we continue to face” PascualLab President and CEO Mr. Jose Augusto “Jappy” Pascual said.

PascualLab and World Vision did a ceremonial MOA signing via Zoom. Those present were signatories World Vision National Director Mr. Rommel V. Fuerte, PascualLab President and CEO Mr. Jose Augusto G. Pascual, World Vision Resource Development Director Mr. Santos N. Godornes, Jr., and PascualLab Director for Corporate HROD, Design Services and Corporate Communications Ms. Anna Maria Lourdes “Mia” P. Cenzon. This generosity and kindness from PascualLab and their 140 employees will be giving over 75 kids from Malabon the chance to improve their lives through Chosen™.

“Corporate social responsibility has always been part of the PascualLab Family culture. My grandparents, founders Isosceles and Leonora Pascual, always believed in the value of helping others, of caring for others, and of education. Through the years, we have been honoring and continuing their legacy through our CSR initiatives such as this collaboration with World Vision”, added Pascual.

“Thank you very much, PascualLab, especially to your volunteer employees, who are now sponsors to the most vulnerable children. With your support, children and their families can have access to healthcare, quality education as well as programs on livelihood, safety and spiritual development. Partners like you make this ministry more meaningful and sustainable”, World Vision National Director Rommel V. Fuerte shared.
To know how you can change a child’s life by signing up to be Chosen™, you may visit https://www.worldvision.org.ph/chosen/.

To know more about World Vision, visit www.worldvision.org.ph. For updates, follow /worldvisionph on Facebook and @worldvisionphl on Instagram.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, their families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by its Christian faith and values, it is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people. It serves and collaborates with all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Uratex Group launches #GetUProtected vaccination program

The RGC/Uratex Group of Companies launched #GetUProtected, a corporate-wide COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, ensuring enough vaccines to cover all its workforce.

The campaign is led by the Uratex Pandemic Response Team (PRT) formed to create and implement adaptive measures and programs to assure the safety and wellness of the employees. Headed by Uratex COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Engr. Heminigildo “Bong” Ducusin, the team will launch synchronized massive vaccine awareness communication activities and will facilitate the immunization program.

“Our employees’ welfare is our top priority. The campaign is in line with the company’s value of protecting its people and improving their wellbeing. We want to give them the best options to stay protected from COVID-19,” said Ducusin.

Vaccination is not mandatory but the company has enough doses to cover employees from Uratex Foam Group, Uratex Monoblock, Uratex Automotive Seating, Roberts Automotive and Industrial Parts Manufacturing Corporation (Roberts AIPMC), Inoac Philippines Corporation (IPC), RGC Textile Manufacturing Corporation, and Uratex Ready-wrap Containers.

The company will be supporting the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 through delivering messages on vaccine safety and efficacy to its employees. The PRT will coordinate with the assigned Implementing/Reporting Unit mandated by the COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center for the vaccination proper.

World Vision empowers children to change their future through Chosen™ campaign

World Vision, an international Christian NGO, has been instrumental in changing children’s lives, and their communities, in the Philippines for more than 60 years. Through holistic programs, innovative and child-focused campaigns, and strategic partnerships, thousands of children continue to receive the opportunity to live their lives to the full, most especially as the world goes through a health crisis.

Last year, the Chosen™ campaign was launched in various World Vision offices changing lives around the world. Though the pandemic has affected the launch last January 2020, World Vision in the Philippines was still able to have 263 children sponsored.

Through World Vision’s Chosen™ campaign, children are empowered to contribute in changing their future by giving them the power to choose their sponsors. This new and effective way in child sponsorship is also transforming the lives of the sponsors and supporters.

Nikki Gil supports Chosen™ Relaunch

Though the pandemic has tremendously impacted individuals, corporations, institutions and even the government, World Vision stays committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable Filipino children are healthy, educated, safe, and protected.

This year, as World Vision relaunches Chosen™ with Celebrity Nikki Gil, the organization is hopeful that through this partnership, more individuals with hearts for children will know about the campaign and be willing to sign up to be chosen.

“The fact that I got to where I am today is a series of moments of being chosen first and foremost by God. I think that’s such a beautiful display of how powerful God’s love is for us. There are times in our lives where you are in a situation where you have limited choices in life. For you to be given this to choose who will journey with you to a brighter future, that’s such a big deal,” shared Nikki Gil.

Protecting the most vulnerable children from the coronavirus is World Vision’s priority today. With the support of local partners, preventive health measures have always been a vital part of its child sponsorship programs.

“When you sign up to be #Chosen, you are empowering kids to take the first step in changing their future. Together with thousands of individual and organizational partners, World Vision welcomes you to this ministry that looks after the welfare of the most vulnerable children. Thank you for being a channel of God’s blessing today”, said World Vision National Director Rommel Fuerte.

To know how you can change a child’s life by signing up to be Chosen™, you may visit https://www.worldvision.org.ph/chosen/.

To know more about World Vision and its other initiatives, you may visit www.worldvision.org.ph or follow World Vision’s official social media pages /worldvisionph on Facebook, @worldvisionphl on Instagram, and @worldvisionph on Twitter.

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.

Celebrating women on top: How these female leaders made their impact

Despite gender biases in the workplace, especially for industries traditionally dominated by men, women are now rising to the top and showcasing their unique brand of leadership.
Eastern Communications, a premier telecommunications company in the country, believes in diversity and inclusion and with two women at the helm, the company’s success is a showcase of what women leaders can do in the workplace. Moreover, its key partners, Plantation Bay and Australian – New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, also led by powerful women, can also attest to the effectiveness of having women at the top.
How have these women made an impact in their respective fields? Here are some insights on their experiences.
The power of positive influence
Being in the industry for 15 years, Plantation Bay General Manager Cherry Allego says that believing in the power of influence within an organization can greatly impact people’s behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions.
Because to her, “Greatness is not measured merely by how long you served or by your gender. It is how you influence others to do great. With this, we grow together in our field of expertise and take pride in the learnings we acquired through the years.”
Allego also continues to emphasize the importance of understanding what the organization needs and trusting the capabilities of your group in order to prosper together. Moreover, she is driven by the power of giving and getting full support through influencing others to strive for growth and excellence.
“The secret is to serve with all your heart. There is nothing to fear when you know you have the full support of the group.” she added.
Unwavering perseverance
For the executive director for Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Maricar Gonzales understands the challenge of proving yourself as a woman worthy of a higher position while steering a company in the middle of a pandemic.
“It’s just ingrained in me that failure is not trying. I focus on what needs to be done, and more importantly, the why. Also, when things don’t work out, I see it as a step closer to success and just keep progressing” she stated.
The year 2020 might have been a rough year for most industries but Gonzales said that the last year has been the best year for the chamber since it began 40 years ago. Her ability to lead the company towards success in these taxing times can be attributed to her consistent persevering attitude.
Fostering employee wellbeing
Eastern Communications not only takes pride in their personalized customer service but as well as their prioritization over their employee’s wellbeing. For the company’s co-coordinators Atty. Aileen Regio and Hermi Hizon, although there were challenges in creating a better environment that could improve the management practices of the company, the duo were able to power through.
As they transitioned to a more refreshed company culture that promotes a strong connection between staff and executives, this matter began to disappear.
“While we continuously distinguish ourselves as a telco with personalized customer service, we also make sure that our employees’ needs and concerns are being attended just as how we do it to our clients,” shared Atty. Regio.
Despite the pandemic bringing great challenges to the company, the combined teamwork of Atty. Regio and Hizon together with their diligent employees has helped Eastern Communications thrive during this time.
According to Hizon, “The pandemic is one of the biggest challenges we faced as a company and as leaders, we have to be agile and be on top of everything to be able to adapt to the new environment. We appreciate the coordination of the whole company and for trusting us in this trying time.”
As people observe more women competently serving as leaders, it will no longer seem strange that a woman is in charge. But there still is a long way to go. A great and fearless leader is defined not by their gender but by how they rise to success together with their people.

Significance of family well-being discussed in first-ever Filipino Family WellBeing Virtual Conference

In true bayanihan spirit, the first-ever Filipino Family WellBeing Virtual Conference was convened to steer a multidisciplinary and multisectoral discussion of family wellbeing as the central component of mental health and psychosocial services to build stronger Filipino families.
The two-day Conference placed emphasis on the urgent and most pressing needs of Filipino families in the face of C0VID-19 pandemic. Attended by more than 2000 families and reaching more than 190,000 individuals, the event became their safe space to express their questions and concerns, while receiving practical solutions from a multidisciplinary panel of experts with the goal of co-creating a better normal for all.
Organized by the Bayanihan for WellBeing (BWB) collaborative, the conference tackled financial, economic, psychological, and social challenges faced by Filipino families. As defined by the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) in 2013, family well-being refers to the “safety, health, and financial security of the whole family”, which encompasses both physical and mental health.
On Marital Struggles & Family Dynamics
The pandemic significantly altered how we live our lives and this includes our life at home. Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan shared, “The declaration of community quarantine and physical distancing restricted the mobility of people. Business operations were suspended, establishments closed, alternative work arrangements, classes transformed into online systems, public transportation stopped, and unnecessary travel was banned. All these and other impositions intended to stop the spread of the virus wreaked havoc on the lives of people, especially families.”

With families confined to the home during the lockdown, conflicts between couples have become much more common. Shiena Base from Educo Philippines advised couples that disagreements are a part of married life and that communication is key. “Listen. Appreciate little things. Minsan dahil confined tayo sa isang bahay, hindi na natin nakikita ang mga simpleng ginagawa ng ating ka-partner. (Sometimes, because we’re confined in our homes, we stop noticing the simple things our partner does for us.),” Base said.

Dr. Aida Gines, President of the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association also stressed the importance of proper communication between parents and their children especially if children have been exposed to their parents’ arguments. There is a need to explain the conflict to children once they have calmed down but as much as possible, parents are advised to keep and further resolve arguments in closed quarters. “Minsan, hindi maiiwasan ‘yan, dala na rin siguro ng pag-aalala ng ating mga magulang. Pero kung maiiwasan ng ating mga magulang ang pag-aaway, gawin na lang sa kwarto na hindi naririnig ng ating mga anak (Sometimes, arguments cannot be helped possibly due to anxieties of parents. But if it can be helped, keep arguments inside the room where the children will be unable to hear),” shared Dr. Gines.

Base also reminded parents, teachers, and all adults to never disregard the voices of children: “Sa konteksto ng wellbeing, tingnan din natin ang boses ng mga kabataan and take their opinions into account. The collective family wellbeing should also include the voices of children.” This was seconded by Dr. Carolina Uno-Rayco, National Executive Director of the Philippine Mental Health Association, who shared, “Let’s maintain a positive, loving, and respectful family atmosphere where family members can open up about their concerns without fear of being ridiculed.”

On the Shift to Digital Learning
With classes moving online, the conference offered tips on how families can support online learners. Dr. Rhea Concepcion, President of the Philippine Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, advised parents to ask help from all members of the family like asking ates or kuyas to teach the younger siblings. “It’s a matter of delegating roles and responsibilities among children and members of the family lalo na kung abala sa paghahanap ng ikabubuhay ang ating mga magulang (especially if the parents are busy finding sources of livelihood)”, says Dr. Rhea.
For parents worried about children spending too much screen time or being exposed to excessive use of gadgets, Dr. Kenneth Javate shared that bringing the outdoors in by caring for plants or by trying fun workout routines are some ways to help kids become active inside the home while turning these into fun family bonding activities at the same time.
Collaboration is Key
Finally, the conference reminded everyone that in order for the Filipino family to progress, collaboration in the community is important. “Ang trabaho ng pagsulong ng pamilyang Pilipino, lalong lalo na ngayon sa panahon ng pagbabago ay hindi gawain ng isang tao lang or isang pamilya lang, rather it’s a collaborative effort of an entire community (The job of progressing the Filipino family, especially during the pandemic, lies not just on one person or one family but rather relies on the collaborative effort of an entire community),” shared Unilab Foundation Heads Up PH Program Director Dr. Shake Hocson.
Putting a premium on collaboration and bayanihan, Unilab Foundation convened BWB as an initiative of its mental health program, Heads Up PH. It aims to continuously provide a multidisciplinary, multisectoral and all systems level approach in the provision and delivery of mental health and psychosocial services in the Philippines for prevention, intervention and postvention.

The program was made possible through its partners who are represented by experts from the Philippine Psychiatric Association, Psychological Association of the Philippines, Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association, Philippine Pediatric Society, and Philippine Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Holding the first-ever Filipino Family WellBeing Virtual Conference last February 12-13, 2021, BWB envisioned mental health and family wellbeing to be holistic, inclusive, and empowering as it encouraged economically-challenged families to join the discussion.
Executive Director of Unilab Foundation Lilibeth Aristorenas then emphasized, “It is in uncertain times like this that mental health and wellbeing must be put at the forefront to address these stresses. Forming healthy familial relationships do not only help the youth cope with the effects of crisis but are also essential in helping them feel loved and secured, which impacts their brain development and sense of self, and helps them grow up to become confident and resilient individuals.” Adding to this, Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo quotes, “The path to healing and acceptance among Filipino families begins with openness and empathy.”
BWB has indeed displayed foresight in bringing to the public eye current and relevant issues on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Filipino families. The two-day conference kicked-off with a session entitled “Mga Hamon at Lakas ng Pamilyang Pilipino sa Panahon ng Pandemya” which referred from a strength-based model relevant in overcoming the different challenges of Filipino families in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the second session entitled “Kaya Kung Sama-sama: Pagpapatibay ng Filipino Family Wellbeing” tackled the different levels of care involved in establishing family wellbeing, such as in terms of Handling Family Conflicts, Building A Healthy Family Culture, Parenting During The Pandemic, and Youth Formation and Leadership. Lastly, the conference ended with the third session entitled “Kwento ng Pamilyang Pilipino” focused on sharing inspiring stories of the Filipino families and how they overcame the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

What’s Next?

The conference may be over but the fight for a healthier Philippines continues. Those who missed the event can still watch the sessions at the Bayanihan for WellBeing Facebook page.
The said conference was also held for the benefit of the Resiliency Play Bags Donation Drive in partnership with the Department of Education – DRRMS.

These play bags aim to spark hope, harness creativity, and develop resilience and coping skills among Filipino children, who were not only strained by the presence of the pandemic, but were also victims of the calamities that struck our nation in the previous year.

Each resiliency play bag is composed of toys and arts and crafts materials such as (1) sipa and kickball which are intended to help children release tension and stress, (2) plain cape and mask which children can incorporate their designs, allowing them to identify their strengths and make them feel like superheroes, and (3) writing and coloring sheet to encourage their creativity and help them express their emotions. The resiliency play bags are made to complement the Remote Psychosocial Support Through Play, A Teacher’s Activity Guide/Module authored by ULF, in partnership with the Department of Education. As of December 2020, 1000 resiliency play bags were already distributed. With your support, we can help build resilience in thousands of children who will not only be able to survive but also be able to thrive and reach their full potential in life.

For further donation details and inquiries on partnership and sponsorship opportunities you may visit the Bayanihan for Wellbeing Facebook page at facebook.com/BayanihanForWellBeing. You may also contact Jefferson Hilario, Project Officer of Heads Up PH, at 0917-326-2092 or at headsup@unilabfoundation.org

Through the Bayanihan For WellBeing, we are encouraged to reflect that if one can, we can and that together, we can cope and thrive in the spirit of Bayanihan.

World Vision former sponsored child leads outreach activity in Aeta community in Zambales

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), led by Commodore Armand Balilo and actor/ Lieutenant Commander Gerald Anderson of the PCG Auxiliary, recently conducted an outreach activity in Zambales, reaching out to about 300 families living in an Aeta community also known as the Lupang Pangako Resettlement Area in Barangay San Agustin.
Lupang Pangako used to be a massive project assisted by child-focused agency World Vision through its relief, child sponsorship and community-based programs in the aftermath of the devastating Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 which displaced over 20,000 Aeta highlanders in the Central Luzon province.
“Even though it has been three decades since the volcano erupted, its impact to those permanently displaced remains until today. But what is good is that blessings continue to pour,” shared Commo Balilo, also the spokesperson for PCG.
Commo Balilo also said that many institutions like PCG Public Affairs, PCG Logistics Systems Command, PCG Station Subic, and World Vision Development Foundation Inc., and supportive individuals such as Lt. Cmdr Anderson who generously spent his birthday for the activity and contributed to the initiative.
The visited Aeta families who have been challenged by the current Covid-19 pandemic, received basic food and non-food commodities such as rice, canned goods, and hygiene supplies among others. The visited Aeta community was also prayed over by World Vision team which also distributed Christian literatures including Bibles and other faith-based materials for spiritual nurture.
A heart for the most vulnerable children
Balilo, a former sponsored child of World Vision, shared that children especially the most vulnerable have a soft spot in his heart.
“I remember years back when I learned that a family was willing to support me as a child. It was a gift that made a lot of difference both for myself and for my whole family,” said Commo Balilo.
“Now that I am able to pay it forward, I make sure that others can also experience the joy of serving children in whatever way they can,” he added.
World Vision National Director Rommel V. Fuerte said the organization is proud of what former sponsored children like Commo Balilo have done to give back and help many other children.
“It is amazing how God uses each of us to become instruments in transforming lives of children,” Fuerte shared.
World Vision, for almost 65 years, has been promoting child sponsorship and implementing community-based programs to promote sustainability, empower communities, and help improve lives of children and families for the better.
In 2020, World Vision has directly served over 254,000 children in 31 Area Programs (APs) in the Philippines through various interventions and advocacies promoting education, health and nutrition, WASH, child protection, emergency response, disaster resilience, and livelihood development.
To also experience the joy of making a difference in child’s life, visit https://www.worldvision.org.ph/sponsor-child
To know more about World Vision, visit www.worldvision.org.ph. For updates, follow /worldvisionph on Facebook and @worldvisionphl on Instagram.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, their families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by its Christian faith and values, it is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people. It serves and collaborates with all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Three Months On: World Vision assisted 64,000 people affected by typhoons Rolly and Ulysses

Three months since typhoons Rolly (international name Goni) and Ulysses (international name Vamco) ravaged Luzon, World Vision in the Philippines continues its emergency response in partnership with the local government and like-minded agencies to help families bounce back from the succeeding calamities. To date, World Vision has reached over 64,000 people, including 23,000 children.
“Our timely intervention in the Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Isabela and Cagayan provinces has helped children, who are at the heart of what we do, to cope from the impact of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses,” shared Rommel V. Fuerte, World Vision national director who recently visited and witnessed the situation of affected families in Albay.
Emergency essentials provided to affected families include food, hygiene kits, water containers, kitchen sets, emergency shelter kits and other non-food items for protection like blanket, mosquito nets and plastic mats.
Recognizing the need of the most vulnerable especially mothers and babies, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund in the Philippines and World Vision provided for the needs of pregnant and lactating mothers through cash assistance, maternity and dignity kits. In Catanduanes, where the typhoon damaged a number of rural health units (RHU), an emergency maternity treatment facility (EMTF) which serves as a temporary birthing clinic, and tents for women-friendly spaces were set up. Generator sets were also provided.
“We are thankful for your prompt support. You were there right after the typhoon. There is a huge need not only because of COVID-19. Our basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (bEmONC) was badly affected [by the typhoon] so the EMTF and generator sets will help us continue our services for pregnant women. This also boosts the morale of the community, knowing that they are not left behind,” said Dr. Elva M. Joson, health officer of Virac, Catanduanes.
Early Recovery
Meanwhile, World Vision now shifts from relief to early recovery interventions. With funding from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), teams on ground commenced distribution of shelter repair kits containing GI sheets, marine plywood, hammer, saw, sets of two kinds of nails and metal wire. Cash-based programs have also been implemented for families who lost their homes and families hosting them. Embedded in this initiative is the Build Back Better and Disaster Risk Reduction Principle orientation for families.
Young couple Joseph and Maricris are among the families who received shelter assistance in Albay. Their family was left with just a cement flooring and a wooden column. Joseph built a makeshift house but was still afraid for their safety, especially his one-year-old child, Ella Joyce.
“We will use these shelter materials to build a stronger home. This will keep us safe and it will help our children cope,” Maricris said. 
World Vision is grateful for the generous support of the following partners: 1590 Energy Corp, Adarna House Publishing, Agusan NHS Student Government, American Wire & Cable Co, Bank of America, Atlassian, Cebu Pacific Air, Civicom, Colgate-Palmolive, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, Delta P, Inc., DTCC, Emerson, GCash, Insular Foundation, Isla LPG Corporation, Jesus Christ the Cornerstone Ministries – Caloocan, Johnson & Johnson, Living Word – Masbate Placer, Living Word CCCII, Living Word Metro North, Living Word Silverdale, McKinsey & Co. (Phils.), Merck, Mileage Asia Corp., Momee PH. Nexus Technologies, PayMaya, Phoenix Publishing, Procter & Gamble, Royal Christian Church, SFUC Group of Companies, Singapore School Cebu, Viber, Victory Fort, Visa, WeWork, Willis Towers Watson, and Word for the World Mandaluyong.
To know more about World Vision, visit www.worldvision.org.ph. For updates, follow /worldvisionph on Facebook and @worldvisionphl on Instagram.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, their families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by its Christian faith and values, it is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people. It serves and collaborates with all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.