Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Where do Brave Hearts Go? Know the Metro Manila Community-Based Orgs Hosting This is Me: Brave and Free

By Raymond Martin Manahan

Hey, you! Are you a brave heart living in the Metro? Come celebrate with us as the first community-based multi-site HIV screening day takes place this May 26, 2018. This is Me: Brave and Free sets the stage for you lovers to showcase the beauty of self-love by knowing your status.

LoveYourself Inc., together with its partner community-based organizations (CBOs) brings fast, free, and confidential HIV screening all over the Metro. Sign up now!

Get to know how to get to the community-based organizations hosting this event of courage, liberty, and self-love.

“Let’s all do it the DIOSSA way: Be sure, be safe, and #BraveAndFree”

DIOSSA formally started in 2014 and has since took the commitment of working towards a more positive image for the transgender community; addressing their physical health, psychological well-being, and human rights issues. Through its efforts, it envisions a gender-fair and trans-friendly Taguig City.

Members of DIOSSA actively work with the Taguig Social Hygiene Clinic by organizing outreach activities that aim to spread information about HIV and AIDS in areas where key populations can be found most. DIOSSA endeavors to extend this volunteer work with other CBOs, and small groups of men having sex with men (MSM) and transgender persons in neighboring cities.

On May 26, you can visit the 9th floor of the SM Aura Tower in Bonifacio Global City to experience the multi-site screening day the DIOSSA way. From the MRT-Ayala Station, you can take a jeepney ride at the terminal just behind the Shell Gasoline Station. Take the jeep going to Market Market. Tip: ask the driver which drop off point is nearest to SM Aura Tower. After dropping off at Market Market, you just need to walk towards the large parking area and cross the 26th street. The building right across the street is where you want to go.

You may also visit DIOSSA in their district 1 site at the Taguig Social Hygiene Clinic in Tutukan, Taguig City, which operates on weekdays during regular business hours. DIOSSA also has a district 2 site at the Taguig Drop-in Center in Taguig District Hospital. This site is open on weekdays from 8am to 10pm.

Want to know more about the organization? Visit DIOSSAs facebook page or call them at 09262716671 (for the District 1 site) and 09286896422 (for District 2).


“Being #BraveAndFree is not about telling the world you are negative. Being brave and free is knowing your status and knowing what to do next, and doing what must be done next.”

Our partner CBO in Quezon City is a group that is relentless in their passion to provide age-appropriate and gender sensitive psycho-social support to MSMs and Transgender persons living with HIV.

HASH was co-founded by Desi Andrew Ching and Michael P. De Guzman officially in 2013. Ching and De Guzman were former volunteers in a telephone counseling line on HIV and AIDS.  The two friends decided to spearhead an organization that is geared towards promoting the well-being of people newly-diagnosed with HIV.

The organization initiates activities that mainly seek to enable the community to establish sustainable practices that contribute to the group’s goal of promoting the welfare of PLHIVs. These programs include Community-Based Screening (CBS) training, mentoring, and quality assurance; providing prophylaxis assistance to indigent PLHIVs; mentoring newly-established PLHIV support groups; community capacity building; and case management.

HASH will be hosting This Is Me: Brave and Free on May 26. HASH is just a jeepney ride away from MRT Cubao. Just take any jeep or public utility van going to E. Rodriguez and drop off at the white building right before T. Gener. You can ask the driver to drop you off at Happy Sauna since the building is just situated before it.

Need to reach HASH? Give them a call at any of these phone numbers (02)634-3938/0998-555-2475 or send them an email at @hashpilipinas@gmail.com. You can also keep yourself posted with their latest activities by visiting HASH’s facebook page.

LoveYourself Community Centers

A “healthy and vibrant” sense of self-worth – this is the heart of LoveYourself’s initiatives and values. LoveYourself believes that nurturing one’s self-worth greatly improves a person’s quality of life, which emanates to the community, inspiring people to do the same.

As such, LoveYourself is committed to its pursuit to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS through awareness, counseling, and education.

Ronivin Pagtakhan, together with his colleagues and friends, founded the organization in 2011. The social media clamor on STIs, HIV, gender and sexuality among the youth and MSMs inspired the advocacy and gave birth to the organization. It has since then exponentially grown as more and more people joined the cause.

LoveYourself - through its community centers, offers services that aim to promote self-care among its target members of the community. These services include free and confidential community-based HIV screening and HIV counseling.

Mandaluyong City: LoveYourself Anglo

Situated along the busy road of Shaw Boulevard, LoveYourself Anglo is your destination if you are in or near Mandaluyong City on May 26.

It is located at Unit 5, 3rd Floor, Anglo Building, #715-A, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. It is just a 3-minute walk from MRT-Shaw Boulevard station. From the southbound side of EDSA, you just need to walk along Shaw Boulevard until you reach the tail-end of the flyover. You’ll know you’re there when you see the Anglo hardware.

LoveYourself Anglo offers free HIV testing and counseling Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12nn-7pm, and Sundays 9am-2pm. LoveYouself Anglo can be reached through their hotline: 09278926611.

Pasay City: LoveYourself Uni


Stuck in traffic along Taft Avenue? Try stopping by at LoveYourself Uni to experience warm, friendly, and non-discriminatory HIV screening and counseling.

Visit LoveYourself Uni at 2028 Taft Avenue Extension, Pasay City. It sits conveniently near LRT1-Gil Puyat Station. You just need to look for the Mercury Drug along the northbound side of Taft Avenue, across the DLTB bus terminal. Then, proceed to the second floor.

For more information on how to get to LoveYourself Uni, click here.

LoveYourself Uni can be reached at (02) 256-9384. Uni operates Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12nn-7pm, and Sundays 9am-2pm.


As the first community-led transgender health center in the Philippines, Victoria by LoveYourself does not only offer free HIV screening and counseling; it is a community center that focuses on the needs of transgender persons. Its services include hormone management, pre-GAS (Gender-Affirming Surgery) assessment and counseling, and assessment and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI).

Visit Victoria by LoveYourself on May 26 at the 2nd Floor of Torres Building in 2442 Park Avenue, Pasay City. Coming from LRT1-Libertad Station, you can take a tricycle ride from the Victory Pasay Mall. Tip: You can ask the driver to drop you off at Torres Building along Park Avenue.

VLY operates Saturdays through Wednesdays from 12nn-7pm. You can reach VLY though their hotline: 09158318715


Come join us, lovers! Demonstrate that courage for self-love and acceptance, and witness freedom from stigma this May 26, 2018 at This is Me: Brave and Free. Visit any of our community-based organizations and community centers near you after signing up at bitly.com/ThisIsMe2018.
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Raymond is an aspiring neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, currently taking his Bachelor's Degree in Development Communication at the University of the Philippines in Los BaƱos. He takes it as his mission to be part of initiatives geared towards ending HIV/AIDS stigma and, in effect, help stop the spread of the virus through education and empowerment.