Monday, November 28, 2011

Love Yourself Open Shoot on Dec. 18

The Love Yourself Open Shoot Part 4 is now scheduled on December 18, 2011. Register here!


You are invited to participate in Ian Felix Alquiros' fourth batch of the charity photoshoot for the benefit of The Love Yourself Project. All profit generated will be used in the training of new HIV counselors who will help and assist the youth and key population affected by HIV/AIDS. Photoshoot participants donate Php1,000 which entitle them to (1) one Love Yourself t-shirt or singlet; (2) grooming services for the shoot; and (3) one digital photo layout, in the style of "Love Yourself." They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- in this special charity photoshoot, it's worth a thousand pesos and a lot of love, for yourself and for a society we envision free from the scare of HIV/AIDS.


This photoshoot is open to all generous souls and beautiful people who have the heart to help. It will be on Sunday, December 18, 2011, from 12 NN to 8 PM, at #88 Panay Avenue, Quezon City [location map]. Get a priority shoot timeslot that's most convenient for you, register here.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Free HIV Counseling and Testing on Dec. 11



Have you been thinking of getting tested? Perhaps you are not ready yet for testing but you want to talk to someone about it? Here's the event for you. First, you will find here friendly, professional, and well-trained HIV educators and counselors. And, secondly, the event is scheduled on a Sunday! And very importantly, it will be held in a private (not in a government clinic) and discreet location, for your own privacy and convenience.

What: HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing - it's FREE! No charge!
When: Sunday, 11 December 2011 (10am to 4pm)
Where: Playroom - 35 West Avenue, Quezon City

Some frequently asked questions (FAQs):
1. I am afraid to go for testing, I think I'm not ready yet. Can I still go and just talk to someone without getting myself tested?
Absolutely. There will be trained HIV educators and counselors there that you can talk to. They will respect your feelings, and if you feel you are not ready to go for your HIV testing, that's okay. There is value in just talking things out, so come. 
2. How much does it cost if I go to this event?
The HIV counseling is free of charge. The HIV testing is also free of charge. You do not need to pay for anything. Love Yourself is subsidizing the conduct of this event, and if you want to help by donating, you are free to do so. Otherwise, everything is free. 
3. What should I bring?
You are not required to bring anything. You will not be asked for an ID.
4. Since it will be a blood test, should I not eat anything before? Is there fasting involved?
It is a blood test, yes, but there are no prerequisites such as fasting or no-alcohol diet, etc. The test will look for HIV antibodies in your blood, and eating food or drinking anything will not affect the results.
5. This is my first HIV test. I do not know what will happen during the test. How will the HIV testing process go?
Congratulations for making the brave decision to take the test. Read the following: What to expect during your HIV test.
6. I’m a girl. May I go?
Of course. This event is open to all.
Other questions? Email help@loveyourself.ph

Location Map:


View My Saved Places in a larger map

How to get there:


From EDSA via MRT: alight at the North Edsa station. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From EDSA via bus: alight at the corner of Edsa and West Avenue. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From Espana or Quezon Avenue (Banawe, Sto. Domingo, Pantranco, etc.): take an FX or jeepney towards SM North/Trinoma. When you reach West Avenue, you will see Kowloon House West on your right, and very soon after, Mister Kabab on your left. The venue is on the side of Mister Kabab, the 2nd building after.

(The venue is inside a discreet building complex between Quezon Avenue and Del Monte Avenue. Between the restaurants 'Mister Kebab' and 'Mang Inasal'. The front of the building complex has an establishment called 'Renrich'.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We'll be at Distrito Makati on Nov. 25



DISTRITO - the weekday lifestyle market located at the Amorsolo Open Parking lot (beside Makati Med) is opening on Nov 25 (Fri)! Enjoy great food, fun, and friends. Love Yourself folks will be there to sell shirts and singlets to raise funds to support education and counseling programs we provide for HIV affected youth and key population.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On the Photoshoot Round 4

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: the Love Yourself Open Shoot 4th Round, originally scheduled this Sunday Nov.20, 2011, has been postponed to December (exact date TBD). We were not able to receive the ordered t-shirts from our supplier, and our current inventory has dried out due to unforeseen demand. Apologies to all for any inconvenience caused. We shall announce a new schedule in December within next week. Thank you for your understanding.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Balloon Game

As of Nov. 13, 2011, Love Yourself has 30 DOH-certifed HIV counselors and 52 trained educators/agents of change.

How do you bring them together in a fun but meaningful exercise?

We played the balloon game during the first ever Love Yourself General Assembly.  Here's a snippet of the experience.



Video by Ian Felix Alquiros, editing by Jedd Rommel.

The Limited Edition Love Yourself Singlet

Introducing the Limited Edition Love Yourself Singlet! Grab them during the Open shoot on Sunday, November 20, 2011. Details here.



Monday, November 07, 2011

Introducing the Love Yourself Cafe

Have you at one time or another wished you had a venue to talk about love and relationships among men without having to fear being laughed at or smirked on by judgmental trolls? Gay and bisexual men also, if not very frequently, think about how we can connect intimately or romantically to another person. And because of the stigma, many go underground, looking for love in chatrooms that, more often than not, offer a quick-fix, a band-aid solution to our deep, profound desire to connect. Given this, we have little to no chance of substantiating our thoughts on questions like:
How do I find a partner?
How do I deal with my insecurities?
Is monogamy for me? Or open relationships, perhaps?
What do I do when I fall in love with a straight man?
What is the importance of sex in a partnership?
What do I do, I’m afraid of being alone in my twilight years?

Now, imagine having a cozy, casual conversation among friends about these questions — open, friendly, funny, yet substantial and enriching. This is what the Love Yourself Cafe is all about. A safe space for casual conversations, on topics that dare, with people who care, to question and share.
The first-ever cafe event is happening on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. The topic will be: Love & Relationships Among Men. It will be hosted by Migs the Manila Gay Guy and facilitated by the Fabcasters.
This is a private, by-invitation event that will happen at a discreet, secret location in Makati. If you are interested, request for an invitation via this link. Limited slots available.

Self-Efficacy Training for Agents of Change


On November 5-6, 2011, seventeen volunteers from The Love Yourself Project participated in the Self-Efficacy Training (SET) conducted by the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) at their Satellite Clinic in Leon Guinto, Malate, Manila.


The workshop is based on the principle that educators and counselors doing HIV advocacy work are essentially agents of change, and that the first essential step for one to be an effective agent of change is examining one’s own behaviors, attitude, and self-image. The SET enables the participants to (1) acquire motivation to embark on a personal behavioral assessment related to one’s susceptibility for contracting HIV; (2) learn knowledge and techniques related to changing one’s own behavior; and (3) come up with action plans to concretize the resolutions made during the training.


The training was facilitated by Dr. Rossana Ditangco, Head of the AIDS Research Group of RITM, and RIta Bantigue, Ph.D., Counseling Psychologist from De La Salle University and AVP/Head of Learning & Development at Meralco.

The Love Yourself Project Launches Assistance Program for People Newly Diagnosed With HIV

Ian Felix Alquiros, TLY Director of Education
and Counseling, explains the program details 
during the launch and press conference.
Pasig City, November 6, 2011 -- Love Yourself, a group of volunteer educators and counselors, together with the Mr. Gay World Organization and Ladlad Partylist, launched today the LAB (Laboratory Assistance Benefit) initiative, a new program to help people who are newly diagnosed with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The LAB initiative provides financial assistance specifically to pay for baseline laboratory tests that are required to initiate the lifelong treatment process for People Living with HIV (PLHIV).

According to the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health, the number of HIV cases in the Philippines continue to increase with unprecedented rates, now at 8 new confirmed cases per day. A critical strategy in decelerating the spread of HIV is to ensure that those who are diagnosed positive are immediately provided with appropriate treatment and care. One roadblock to treatment that HIV counselors have seen especially among the very young, newly diagnosed PLHIV is the lack of funds for their initial baseline laboratory tests.

“This one-time financial assistance may be considered small, but it can potentially save lives,” says Ian Felix Alquiros, Director of Education and Counseling for Love Yourself. The baseline laboratory tests are crucial in assessing the health of the newly diagnosed PLHIV. The tests give the health provider critical data used in determining initial treatment recommendations, and as such, can be considered the PLHIVʼs gateway to treatment. Many of these treatments and medicines can be accessed for free (e.g., anti-TB medicines, anti-retroviral drugs), provided that the PLHIV has undertaken the required baseline laboratory tests.

The LAB Initiative, together with the guidance from trained HIV counselors and educators of Love Yourself, enable and encourage newly diagnosed PLHIVs that are otherwise financially unable, to seek treatment, care, and support. The first three recipients of the assistance are PLHIV endorsed by Ladlad and volunteer HIV counselors of Love Yourself.

The Mr. Gay World Organization under its Red Ribbon Campaign is the first major sponsor for the LAB initiative.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Open Shoot Part 4!

More and more people are wanting to have their "Love Yourself" portraits! So we bring you: The Love Yourself Open Shoot -- Part 4!


You are invited to participate in Ian Felix Alquiros' fourth batch of the charity photoshoot for the benefit of The Love Yourself Project. All profit generated will be used in the training of new HIV counselors who will help and assist the youth and key population affected by HIV/AIDS. Photoshoot participants donate Php1,000 which entitle them to (1) one Love Yourself t-shirt or singlet; (2) grooming services for the shoot; and (3) one digital photo layout, in the style of "Love Yourself." They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- in this special charity photoshoot, it's worth a thousand pesos and a lot of love, for yourself and for a society we envision free from the scare of HIV/AIDS.


This photoshoot is open to all generous souls and beautiful people who have the heart to help. It will be on Sunday, November 20, 2011, from 12 NN to 9 PM, at #88 Panay Avenue, Quezon City [location map]. Get a priority shoot timeslot that's most convenient for you, register here.