Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BLINK meet.fun.people - Thank You :)

February 26, 2012 - BLINK meet.fun.peopleThe lights! The party! The music! – Last night’s scene at the Bowler bar and restaurant was definitely queen. Blink, hosted by The Love Yourself Project was a charity event nothing short of amazing. With surprise guest Mr. Gay World Philippines 2012 to kickstart the party, the night was bursting with laughter and excitement. From body shots off of mouth-watering abs to the infamous “Blink speed dating game”, meeting new people everyone was having crazy fun. 


The LoveYourself Inc. would like to thank all of those who attended our post valentines benefit party at Bowler Restaurant. The speediest speed dating ever!!

Special thanks to our sponsors:

by: Javi Bermejo
photos by: Paul Montinola

Are you SEXy? then its TIME. - SEXYTIME a SafErotic (safer/erotic) sex summit!

Loveyourself Inc. in partnership with RITM (Research Institute of Tropical Medicine) presents: SEXY TIME: a SafErotic (safer/erotic) sex summit! Fun Sex Talk, plus FREE HIV Testing.

The Loveyourself Project would like to thank everyone who participated and everyone who helped made the event possible!


Then it TIME

have a SEXYTIME  with loveyourself Inc.

The love month may be nearing its end, but we lovers really know how to end things with a bang!

February 26, 2012 marked another love yourself moment as we conducted SEXY TIME, a saferotic (safer and erotic) sex summit for men who like men at the Tayuman Commercial Center.

Spearheading the pack is TLY Director for Counseling and Education, Chris Lagman and the rest of the TLY-RITM boys who are now conferred the title Change Agents by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or RITM. Assisting the group are Rossana A. Ditangco, MD (head of the AIDS Research Group of RITM), renowned trainor Rita Bantigue, PHD and the medical team 
from RITM.

Aside from lectures about HIV-AIDS, various means of being sexy, intimate and erotic without exposing one’s self to the risk of getting HIV were also discussed. The aim of such forum promotes safer sex, without compromising intimacy. And as we so fondly call it—keeping the fire alive without getting burned. An assessment of various sexual behaviors among MSM’s (males having sex with males) were made through focused group discussions so as to make them more aware of the things they need to do to keep them away from HIV.

A total of 48 participants agreed to get tested during the summit, and each participant was assigned to a particular Change Agent to guide them in making sure one will be HIV free until the end.

The night ended with not just with new learning and new friends, but it also paved the way for some of the participants to join the advocacy in spreading the love while keeping away from HIV. 

Some of the participants have already agreed to join the next Self Empowerment Training (SET) which is scheduled this coming March 3&4 and March 10&11. SET is the first level training for would-be Peer Educators for HIV/AIDS and those profiled to be Peer Counselors or Change Agents will be endorsed to the next level training.

by: Erick Frago & Philip Tanpoco
photos by: Harrel Paycana

Saturday, February 25, 2012

WELCOME LOVERS! Loveyourself HIV Summit

Februaruy 24, 2012, Makati City - is a new dawn, as Loveyourself Inc. in cooperation with Makati City Health Department Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. and Philippine National AIDS Council had our first ever HIV SUMMIT (Peer Educators Workshop) spearheaded by Ian Felix Alquiros (TLY Director), Dexter Secosana (TLY Makati Project Head), Dr. Jonathan Fontilla (TLY Consultant) and TLY Counselors & Peer Educators.

Welcome new LOVERS
(Registration with Borj Borja, Oliver Buiser, Jerwin Sumayo & Phillip Tanpoco)

(Our Host, Paul Montinola)

 ( Ian Felix Alquiros, TLY Director)
(Plenery with Dr. Jonathan Fontila, PSFI, Master Counselor)
(Break up groups with TLY counselor Lawrence Villegas) 
(Group Presentations)
 (TLY Lovers, (L) X, Rene Martinez, Paul Montinola, Trina, Lawrence Villegas, Philip Tampaco, Oliver Bruiser (R) Dexter Secosana, Jeoff Solas, X, Jon Fontilla, Borj Borja, Ivy Krystel, Jerwin Sumayo, X)
 (TLY Counselors and Peer Educators, Makati City Health Department & Dra. Susan Gregorio, OIC PNAC)

Friday, February 24, 2012

BLINK meet.fun.people

This Love Month
Loveyourself Inc. brings you

February 26, 2012, SUNDAY 7 PM ONWARDS
The Bowler Restaurant & Bar, Valero corner Sedeno St. Salcedo Village, Makati
Fee: Php300.00 inclusive of 1 drink if you register thru our registration page (Php500.00 for Walk-ins)

While this is a fun and enjoyable environment, only those who register and reserved online will be given discounted tickets.

If you would like to join this event, express your interest by filling out the form at this link (http://tiny.cc/xa9j9)

Sneak peak of our next Loveyourself Inc. item:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Let’s Talk About Sex in a Positive and Non-Judgmental Way. Possible?

A sex summit for us men who like men: SEXY TIME is a fun but substantial meeting of like-minded men (People Like Us), gathered to talk about sex in a positive and non-judgmental way. It is free-of-charge, discreet, and confidential. Free HIV testing will be offered too to all registered participants. COME! Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 in a secret location near SM San Lazaro in Manila. Register here: http://tinyurl.com/hct123

What to expect during your HIV Test

Here’s a primer on what to expect when you go for a proper HIV testing process.

Step One: The Form. When you arrive at the testing venue, you will be asked to fill out a form. The form is shown below.

Most people’s first question is — should I reveal my real identity? The official answer is YES, because all information written in this form will be handled in strict confidence. My personal, non-official answer is this: it is up to you. When you fill out this form, the name you write will not be cross-checked with any other identification documents (passport, IDs, etc.) This means, whatever name you write in this form is taken as is. If you so decide to put an alias or fake name, just be sure you remember it so there is no confusion during the time you are given your results later on.

Regarding other demographic-related questions in the form — here are some of my personal thoughts:

Permanent Address/mailing address: not important, you may specify only your area and city, e.g. Sampaloc, Manila; or South Triangle, Quezon City.
Contact Number: VERY IMPORTANT, please specify here your personal mobile number that you use most often. This is critical because it will be used in case there is an urgent need to give you important information regarding the results of your test.
Other demographic information (birthday, sex, age, etc.): fairly important, used for statistics keeping of the DOH — I suggest you put your real information here just to help the DOH-NEC to capture accurate statistics. These information will not be used to identify you.

For the rest of the form (employment history, travel history, history of HIV test, etc.), you may or may not be asked to fill these all out. A counselor may help fill this out with you during the next step of the process. The information you give here will be used to assess your risk, which will help your counselor in providing life-saving information and recommendations appropriate and customized to you and your situation. I recommend that you be “honest-to-the-bone” when you answer these questions, as this will directly impact the recommendations that will be given you for your own well-being.

Step Two: The Pre-Test Counseling. After filling out the form, you may be asked to wait for a little bit, depending on the number of people who have come to the testing venue ahead of you. When it is your turn, a friendly HIV counselor will approach you and lead you to a private area for a one-on-one counseling session. The counselor will look at the form you have filled out and will help you complete it. He or she will also, in the most sensitive, friendly but honest and direct way, ask you questions that will help him or her assess your risks in contracting sexually transmitted infections and most specifically HIV. My recommendation: be totally honest. You may share with your counselor how you feel about the situation, perhaps your fears and inhibitions, and he or she will help you to the most of his ability. An HIV counselor is trained to listen and handle such conversations with complete confidentiality and sensitivity. S/he is there to help you.

In some cases, the Pre-Test Counseling is preceded by a short HIV/STI class (10-15 minutes long) wherein a Peer Educator will provide a small group of people some important information about HIV and STI in an interactive lecture format. This is done mostly to help the individuals get critical information even prior to the one-on-one counseling. When this HIV/STI class is not given, the counselor will provide the same set of critical information to the individual embedded in their one-on-one pre-test counseling session.

Towards the end of the pre-test counseling session, the counselor is required to verify that you are willingly and in your own volition, submitting yourself to go through the HIV test. To ensure that you are indeed voluntarily going for HIV testing, he will ask you to sign the following Informed Consent form:

If you have even an iota of doubt about having the test, it is alright to say no, and say you’re not ready yet. The counselor will understand and respect your decision. It is important to understand that no one is forcing you, and that the process will proceed only if you want it to. If you decide to proceed with the test, you will be asked to use an alis, a code, for further confidentiality and privacy. This alias will be used in the official records of the process (labeling your papers, results, etc.), to further protect your identity. Again, each step of the way, the process ensures the confidentiality of all information given.

Upon verification of the counselor that you are indeed voluntarily submitting yourself for an HIV test, he will lead you to the medical technologist.

Step Three: The Actual Test. The medtech will draw blood from a vein in one of your arms. About 5 ml of blood will be drawn. After the blood is drawn, you will be asked to stay in a waiting area.

Step Four: The Waiting. It is important to note that while you are just waiting, this is a very critical step in the process. This is the most excruciating and stressful period in the whole process. Even if the wait is only 15, 20, or 30 minutes — it may feel like the longest period in your whole life. When I went for my very first test, I thought I was going to faint! So, my recommendation is this: while waiting, don’t forget to breathe. If you’re alone, go to a quiet corner and practice deep breathing. If you are with a companion, you may want to converse about something totally different, or whatever topic you feel will help you relax. Whatever you do, try to relax. Easier said than done, but I insist, try to relax. Stressing about the upcoming results will not change anything, and will just further your emotional distress. So, do what you need to do to relax.

Step Five: The Post-Test Counseling. When your results are ready, your alias or codename will be called. This, or that your counselor will approach you and again bring you to a private area for one-on-one counseling. He will deliver the result of your HIV test and engage you in a conversational counseling session to help you map out next steps based on the results of your test. Whatever the result may be, remember that at this point, your counselor is your best ally. Ask him any question you may have. He is there to help you the best he can. After your counseling session, you may leave the premises.

Whatever the result of your HIV test, congratulate yourself for having the courage to go through the process. As you will discover, it is not easy, and it can be such a harrowing experience — especially if you let fear get the better of you. But as you step out of the testing venue, give yourself a pat on the back. You went through your test because you love yourself. You went through it because you care for your loved ones. Regardless of the result, for most of us, it will be like a thorn is plucked from your aching heart, or a huge baggage is lifted from your heavy chest. Now you know your status, you are in the best position to take care of yourself. Because you have dared to know, you can take care of yourself better, and share more the love you have for yourself and for others. Congrats!

If you have any questions regarding this process, there is always someone willing to help. Email help@loveyourself.ph — and expect a response within 24-48 hours.

courtesy of MGG

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank You SHELL Philippines - Loveyourself

February 13-16, Loveyourself Inc. in Partership with Shell Philippines, visited four Shell Branches in Luzon (Shell Solaris, Shell House, Shell SPEX Alabang, & Shell Refinery in Tabangao, Batangas) for the Benefit Openshoot and Voluntary Counseling & Testing.

Ronivin Garcia Pagtakhan
President, Loveyourself Inc.

Thank you Shell Philippines for the support!

Dare. Care. Share


Sunday, February 12, 2012


Calling our Makati and nearby city volunteers!

Loveyourself Inc. in partnership with City Health Department, Makati City & Philippines Business Sector Response to HIV announces the availability of volunteer opportunities as Peer Educator for the Love Yourself Project (TLY). Requirements are as follows:

1. The heart to help: all TLYP volunteers have the genuine heart to help, regardless of personal benefit or remuneration.

2. Actual experience or observable potential for skill acquisition related to teaching, facilitating, or training.

3. Commitment to being part of the Peer Educator Pool for at least 1 year.

100 selected candidates, from the registration will attend the Makati HIV SUMMIT (Peer Educators Workshop) on FEBRUARY 24, 2012 (Friday) - 9am to 5pm - Makati City Hall Session Hall. Register here

Peer Educator is first and foremost a peer -- he is the same and equal with his audience. As such, he is able to easily relate to his audience╩╝s specific circumstances, to intimately understand their challenges, and therefore more effectively facilitate not only learning but, more importantly, the application of such learning. In short, a peer educator is a very effective instrument to inspire, initiate and encourage behavior change among members of his audience. This workshop enables one to be a Peer Educator. In this workshop, one learns the following: (1) the fundamental body of knowledge on the topic of STIs and HIV/AIDS; (2) issues faced by people who are most at risk to be affected by HIV/AIDS ; (3) facilitation and teaching skills to effectively deliver a learning session among peers. A critical goal of this workshop is to raise the self-awareness of its attendees so as to rid themselves of prejudices that stand in the way of being a true peer to his audience.

From the 100 participants of the HIV101 Summit, 30 people will be asked to attend the 3-day HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing Counselors workshop on March 23, 24, 25 (Stay-IN at FRIENDSHIP SUITES)

If you are interested, we would like to invite you to register as a potential Peer Educator here

Registration ends February 19, 2012, or when all slots are filled up, whichever comes earlier.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Love Yourself Project Open Shoot (BATCH 5) at Makati City

Love Yourself Inc. in cooperation with Pilipinas Shell Foundation brings you

The Love Yourself Project Open Shoot by Ian Felix Alquiros BATCH 5





Valentine’s Day

You are invited to join the LoveYourself Photoshoot Batch 5.

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. Register here: LINK (http://theloveyourselfproject.blogspot.com/p/love-yourself-project-open-shoot-by-ian.html)

The photoshoot will be on February 14, TUESDAY - Shell Head Office (Shell House) Ground Floor Lobby, Valero corner Villar Street Salcedo Village Makati, Makati: 9am to 5pm

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

SEXY TIME: A Saferotic Sex Summit

The LoveYourself Project in partnership with RITM

Join the first-ever SEXY TIME, a safer/erotic sex summit! Fun Sex Talk, plus FREE HIV TESTING, confidential and in a very discreet, accessible location. To register please go to LINK (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5KbUphOTc1S0RGTFRQcE4zVlotR3c6MQ)

Loveyourself Inc supports the Red Whistle Campaign in Red Revolution: Channel V Philippines MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012

For more details, click the LINK