Saturday, March 03, 2018

You are Fit to Love: Yasmien Kurdi and the Ambassadors Tell All

We’re getting closer to Fit to Love: Love Your Body, Live Your Life on March 17 & 18, 2018 at The Upper Deck Sports Center, Pasig, Metro Manila. A photoshoot campaign for people who uphold their sexual, mental and physical health.

Yasmien Kurdi and the rest of the crew has shouted out how they are fit to love, and so can you! Still thinking about signing up? Well, let these fresh faces tell you more about how everyone is definitely fit to love.

Being Fit to Love

“Fit to love refers to an active and healthier lifestyle we could offer to ourselves and loved ones. It could mean the love coming from the people around you to make you feel fit in society regardless of your condition or status in life” -Yasmien Kurdi, Actress

More than anything, being fit to love is a mindset that we have to adapt. In a world where social media makes the ideal so accessible, it can be easy to be pulled in a spiral of self-doubt by comparing your current state with these perfect moments. It can be vicious at times, but it is important to remember that we have our innate worth despite the circumstances that we find ourselves in.

"Adopting a healthy lifestyle can lengthen your life regardless of your HIV status”   -Odelon Simpao, Fashion Designer and Crossfit Athlete

Once we realize that we are fit to love, then we can start to appreciate the love we receive from others and form healthy choices when it comes to our own and others’ wellbeing. It takes time to fully embody this mindset, there may be lapses from time to time, and that’s okay. We just have to keep in mind the little ways we show how we are fit to love.

“If you are taking care of yourself, then you are fit for love.” -Jay Pudadera, Blogger and Digital Influencer

Treating ourselves to an early bedtime after a tiring day, spending meaningful moments with significant people in our life, and even taking the time to know our HIV status are all simple things that prove we are fit to love. We may not realize it now, but it’s the small healthy choices that keep us going through rough times.

“Love doesn’t really have to be only fitness, with your family, or with work, it’s more of love for yourself. It has something to do with how you give importance to yourself, others, and the community” -Dayle Austria, HIV advocate and Digital Influencer

Living Your Life

There are times in our lives that we may have felt paralyzed in making a decision. May it be when we were thinking what course to take in college, or whether or not to apply for work abroad, we may all have hesitated because we have yet to see the outcomes of our decision. This can become a cycle that prevents us from living our lives freely. We may unnecessarily limit ourselves due to fear of deviating from the norm.

“It’s heartbreaking to know that stigma and discrimination persist against people living with HIV. Think people should step forward and move past old thinking of how people with HIV should be treated.” - Yasmien Kurdi, Actress

Especially when it comes to choices that are heavily stigmatized such as seeking testing or treatment for HIV, there may be people in your life that will discourage you from doing so. Even when we stand up for the rights of people that may not directly affect us, there may be some who would go out of their way to hinder our collective voices to be heard.

Our community should see that PLHIVs can live a normal life so I decided to come out publicly about my HIV status. I’ve been promoting HIV awareness through sports-related activities to encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle which is a great way to boost our immune system.” - Faustine Angeles Jr., Founder of Pedal for HIV, and Ripple Awardee

However, it is important that we never tire to live our lives the way we want, and not let others dictate how we ‘ought to feel or think about ourselves. Part of being fit to love is living your life with freedom that does not impede the freedom of others.

I have a cousin who is openly gay like me, he is HIV positive and he came out to me in the early 2000s, so it (HIV) is something that hits very close to home because I have someone close to me who has HIV. He’s been on medication since the early 2000s so he’s fine. So I know that if you have HIV and as long as you’re seeking medication you’ll be okay.” -Jigs Mayuga, Makeup Artist

Love in the HIV Advocacy

A simple act of love goes a long way; who knows this may actually save a million lives. The advocacy aims to promote love and acceptance of people with HIV. Together we can fight and conquer the virus. Remember, if we are not infected, we are (still) affected.” -Yasmien Kurdi, Actress

It takes commitment, care, and knowledge to truly love. With all three, we are motivated towards taking proper action that is sustainable for a lifetime. If we fail to commit, then the change that we strive for will only be short lived. If we fail to care, then we may not be able to take the first step in making the needed change in our lives. If we fail to gain knowledge, then we make misinformed decisions which can negatively impact our lives.

The message of love is very important because this will empower people to fully support the cause. If we love our advocacy, we will never get tired of helping. If we love people living with HIV, we will protect them from stigma and fight for their rights.” -Faustine Angeles Jr, founder of Pedal for HIV, and Ripple Awardee

Love is an important message that HIV advocates carry out when fighting the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS. Like the many changes that we want to start in our own lives, people in the advocacy have the dedication, drive, and correct information when it comes to communicating the change that they want to achieve. The message of love aims to empower not only ourselves in maintaining our sexual, mental, and physical health, but others as well to follow suit for their own well being.

“Support can only be given if you have genuine care and if you’re open to this matter” -Lee Bueno, Mr. BPO 2017

Feeling inspired? Log on now to sign up and upon registration, you’ll receive an email confirmation within 24 hours. We’ll also check up on you a week before the event as your ready yourself to FIT TO LOVE! Final reminders would be given a day before the shoot.


Join our ambassadors as they shout out how they are fit to love by sharing your best interpretation of “FIT TO LOVE” and how it relates to the HIV Advocacy by posting a photo on your social media (facebook, instagram, or twitter) and use the official hashtags #FITtoLOVE and #LoveYourselfph.

The winning three entries will get a limited edition LoveYourself fitted shirt in black to showcase your support toward the advocacy.

Criteria for judging:
50% Audience impact (likes, comments, shares, and retweets)
30% Originality and Creativity
20% Message relevance to HIV Awareness

FIT TO LOVE is co-presented by The Upper Deck and CASxFACEONE. Our official apparel partner, Blued. Special thanks to Chubs Chasers, Ernest Gatpandan, and InRush Event Management.

Photos taken by Mark Alverez
Photos edited by Franco Moje