Monday, March 25, 2019

Batch Bitoon - The Stars in the Making

By Vondraye


Batch Bitoon
LoveYourself White House has welcomed a new batch of volunteers to join its stronghold in the HIV Advocacy in the heart of Cebu City, located in Fuente Osmeña. Batch Amuma now has additional 31 new brothers and sisters in the LoveYourself Family – Batch Bitoon  who shared their passion for volunteerism. LoveYourself Whitehouse has been hard at work with its Metro Manila co-founders Vinn Pagtakhan and Chris Lagman to further fortify its services in preparation for its opening in late April 2019. Batch Bitoon has been equipped with basic knowledge of HIV transmission, and HIV counseling skills.

The remarkable Batch Bitoon accomplished their training in HIV 101 and operations on  January 12 held at the Learning Lounge - Qualfon Education Cebu IT Park. Co-founders  Vinn and Chris, graced their presence at the HIV Counselling Training on January 26, 2019 held at SMEAG Capital Campus, set to open in late April, Batch Bitoon has now been equipped with basic knowledge of HIV transmission, and HIV counseling skills.


Batch Bitoon indeed translates to stars as they were the most diverse set of volunteers. LoveYourself Cebu has caring trans women and cis men and women. It doesn’t end there as we have members as young as Senior High to retired nurse, from different parts of the Philippines, or of the world rather as people coming from as far as Chicago,Illinois, USA and India to Bacolod, and Tacloban came together in reaching out to different key populations of Cebu.


Chris Lagman, LoveYourself's Director for Learning and Development, facilitating the HIV Counselling
LoveYourself’s signature values “Dare, Care, Share” are shared by everyone in the organization. The dream of building a community that has enriched, nurtured, and inspired change in Manila, has now lit a beacon of light in Cebu.


Batch Bitoon logo, created by VJ Ratilla, Jan Rabsinth, Xavier, and Roger
Love Locale!

The word Bitoon is translated to star or bituin in Tagalog. Batch Bitoon will be the guiding light for the Cebuanos in these times of darkness of the epidemic. Welcoming Batch Bitoon, LoveYourself Cebu aims to shine through the stigma, wrong information, the rising HIV incidences, and people living with HIV (PLHIV) who weren't connected to treatment in Cebu. The pioneer group of LoveYourself that started 5 years ago composed of Jan Estrada, Rabsinth dela Cruz, Xavier Gonzales Solis and Roger Ramos wanted to use the letters of the Visayan Alphabet to name the batches of volunteers, the letter A for Batch Amuma, and the letter B for Bitoon. 

"Volunteers are the light and will be the guiding light for their clients as well for others in serving the community, educating the people and sharing their time and love with each other through volunteerism." - Jan Estrada, Head of LoveYourself Cebu

'Gi-Atiman, Gi-Ampingan, ug Gi-Asikaso'

Mitch Paca who joined Batch Bitoon will also head LoveYourself Cebu as program officer and will look after LoveYourself WhiteHouse. He was sent to Manila for two weeks to attend trainings, meetings and immersed himself on how the different LoveYourself headquarters in Manila functions and bring back to Cebu all that needs to be learned, share his learning with the rest of the team, and provide the best care to clients with the signature service “Inaalagaan, Iniingatan, at Inaasikaso” or in the local language"Gi-Atiman, Gi-Ampingan, ug Gi-Asikaso."

Batch Amuma, Batch Bitoon and the rest of the LoveYourself Pioneer Members are all excited to Dare, Care and Share the love from Manila to fellow Cebuanos. LoveYourself Cebu is here now. Padayon LoveYourself Cebu!

Feeling inspired? Join us in the advocacy by clicking here.
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Vondraye works in the morning like a zombie because he was born nocturnal. An everywhere and everything kind of guy who was born and raised in Laguna, worked in Manila and now found new meaning in Cebu and LoveYourself.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Celebrating and Recognizing Trans-Pinay Rights

By Nicole Silvestre

Women's month is a celebration of women’s success and contribution to our society. Inclusion has been a long standing issue in the movement towards equality, and for LGBTQIA+ women it is a bigger struggle to remain visible. During dictatorship in the 1980’s, the lesbian community struggled to be visible to the public due to subsumption of their rights between women’s rights that were previously heterosexual in nature and gay movement that previously regarded them as female version of homosexual men. It is already 2019 and the same struggles can be seen happening in the trans community.


Photo by Raine Cortes
History of Trans Women in the Philippines

Contrary to popular belief, transgender women or trans women did not just pop-up in the 20th century. Several accounts in Philippine history prove that trans women had played important roles in our society even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines. The most popular of which are the Babaylans or Visayan Shamans, who were respected by the community because of the belief that they have the ability to heal and the authority to speak with divinities.

In Luzon, we also have the Lakapati of Tagalog mythology, who is known as the Transgender Goddess of Golden Rice and Fertility in pre-colonized Philippines. Our ancestors believed that personification of Lakapati as intersex has been attributed to the indigenous view that an intersex shows the 'balance deemed by nature'. This may be the reason why Lakapati became the second most loved deity by the people, next to the supreme deity Bathala.

In efforts of spreading Catholicism in our country, priests made the people believe that the gender-crossers were witches, which led to prosecution for some. As a result, our beliefs of pre-colonial deities gradually faded and seemed to have become myths.

Fast forward to today, Filipinos are fascinated by the beauty of trans women. Difficulty in distinguishing trans women from cis gender women has been a point of pride for trans women - being called“passable” or “babaeng babae (so girly), walang bahid (passable), walang buking (no trace of being a man)”.


Photo by Nicole Silvestre
It is also to this fascination of their beauty that pageants became the typical platform for trans women to showcase their beauty and talents, which has also become the main source of income to some. Filipinos undeniably love beauty pageants. As specified by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, it is one of our 3 B’s along with basketball, boxing. But does this mean that Filipinos have already accepted trans women and recognized their rights in our society? Or is it mere tolerance and not necessarily acceptance?


Photo by Bubbles Rosos

What makes a woman a woman?

When Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen was asked about the essence of being a woman, she answered, “Just being a woman is God’s gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman. She shows a man, what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman.”

This answer has been hailed as one of the best answers in the history of Miss Universe pageant but has also become the basis for the usual argument of people who refuse to regard trans women as “real women”.

It is important to note that both cisgender and transgender women have estrogen, or female hormones in their bodies. In this sense, both can be identified female even before genitalia was formed inside their mother’s womb. Also, even the bearing a child argument cuts off cis women who are unable to bear children. With the arguments being considered, it is not really a physical matter at this point. Perhaps, we should consider looking at the definition of a woman in terms of gender, which is a cultural and social construct.

Thus, being a woman is more than having female genitalia or having the ability to give birth, it is more of how one identifies herself. Lack of in depth understanding of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) is usually the root cause of apathy towards trans women’s fight for recognition. By definition, transgender women are women whose identity, expression, behavior, or self-perception do not conform with the assigned sex at birth.

Becoming Politically Recognized

Some trans women have made their mark and became popular in mainstream media. We witnessed the coming out and transitioning of BB Gandanghari and Angie King, listened to the TED talk of Geena Rocero, elected Heart Diño in USC of UP Diliman and Geraldine Roman in the Congress, and tuned in to the stories of Rica Paras in Pinoy Big Brother and Mela Habijan in ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’. While their contributions can be regarded as a step forward, their presence at the limelight still cannot invalidate the horror stories that normal trans women are still experiencing.


Photo by Raine Cortes
It is not uncommon to hear stories of trans women experiencing harassment and discrimination on a daily basis. In seeking for employment, trans women are often forced to choose working in sub-standard labour conditions due to discrimination that prevents them from accessing formal employment. Some universities and companies enforce dress codes that are restrictive of trans women’s choices.

In 2018 alone, the following ignorant incidents against trans women happened in the country:
  • A trans woman was asked by two security guards to leave the courtesy lane designated for women, elderly and persons with disabilities at the Ayala station of MRT-3 as “boys” are not allowed in the said lane.
  • A trans woman was disallowed by an H&M staff from trying on swimsuits because men are not allowed to fit women’s swimwear.
  • Impersonator KaladKaren Davila was denied entry at a bar in Makati for being “gay”.
Aside from these occurrences, there are  trans women who do not have the opportunity to learn about their SOGIE and available services such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). The country also still lacks a specific law or policy for providing legal gender recognition for transgender people in general. In fact, RA 9048 (Clerical Error Law of 2001) makes it effectively illegal for transgender persons in the Philippines to change their first name and sex in their birth certificates.

Harassment and discrimination can be harmful to one’s self-esteem, especially to those with trans identities who become targets just for showcasing who they are on a daily basis. The continuous refusal of the government to pass laws and policies, such as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (SOGIE Bill), that recognize the rights of trans women, paves the way to a more non-accepting Philippines.

In today’s society where being different is still considered being less of a human, the women of the LGTBQIA+ community are not asking for any special treatment. What the community hopes to achieve is having an equal opportunity and treatment from everyone. Passage of the SOGIE Bill will not only achieve this, but will also give way to a more inclusive, understanding, and respectful environment. Perhaps by then, everyone will be able to understand what it means when someone say, “Trans women are women”.
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Nicole is an openly transgender woman who works in the BPO industry. She is an HIV counselor and an advocate of Trans-rights. She promotes SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression) awareness for everyone to be more gender sensitive most specifically in the LGBT+ community.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pia Wurtzbach Amplifies Everyone’s Courage at Love Gala 2019

By Love Gala Secretariat

(Manila, Philippines). More than four years after winning Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach has remained committed to her causes, especially on HIV awareness campaign as she headlines “Love Gala 2019: Courage Amplified” – an event powered by the LoveYourself, Inc. 

The Love Gala, the Asia’s premier charity and awards event that supports HIV awareness and education campaign, will be held on May 11, at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent, Quezon City. 



Wurtzbach, a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific, will also be joined by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who is a volunteer-ambassadress of the LoveYourself – a non-government organization that promotes HIV awareness and education campaign in the Philippines. To join Wurtzbach and Gray on this cause, tickets for the Love Gala are available at www.lovegala.org.


LoveYourself founder and Executive Director Ronivin Pagtakhan said that Wurtzbach was chosen to be one of the Love Gala ambassadresses along with Gray as they both have the strong passion and desire to use their voices on the HIV advocacy. 

“The Love Gala is an opportunity for people to be brave and show their support on the cause. We can all do our part to help minimize the cases of HIV by showing that we are united in our advocacy, and by taking actions to make a difference,” Pagtakhan said. 

The Love Gala continues the global movement by uniting individuals and organizations in a night of exquisite musical entertainment and worthwhile fundraising and a perfect venue for people to learn more about what they can do to support the cause. 

The gala night will also honor outstanding advocates who have greatly contributed to their communities at the second Ripple Awards: five (5) individuals, three (3) organization and one (1) project of the year. 

Institutions and organizations supporting Love Gala are Absolut & Olmeca, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, Business Mirror, Cognizant, Department of Health, Durex, Gilead Sciences Inc., F1 Hotel, Inspi Store, Mass TV, MP School, Mont Albo, PhilHealth, Philippine National AIDS Council, Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc., Rotary Club of Quezon City, Save the Children, Shopee, The LoveYourself Incorporated, UNAIDS, Victoria Court and World Health Organization.

Wear Love for More Love

As part of the fundraising activities, Wurtzbach is also one of the faces of the “Wear Love for More Love” shirts – a limited edition tops released by the LoveYourself in partnership with Inspi and online shopping ‘Shopee.’

Comedian and impersonator Kaladkaren Davila also supports the cause. 

The “Wear Love for More Love” merchandise has two distinct designs: The LoveYourself Black Shirt and The Love.Fight.Cure. Red Flip Shirt – these are made of premium cotton, while the shirts' designs are silk-screened with a straight hem. 

For only PhP249.00 you can already help the good cause of the LoveYourself. The shirts come in XS to XL sizes. 

A huge portion of the sales from the LoveYourself merchandise will be used to support the organizations’ free and confidential HIV testing services, awareness programs and community movements like the Love Gala 2019: Courage Amplified. 

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry! Add to cart and purchase the shirts NOW, as it will only last until May 1. The shirts will be shipped at your doorsteps wherever you are in the Philippines. With Diego Rozul and Gian Geronimo

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

WEAR LOVE FOR MORE LOVE: Official LoveYourself Merchandise now available on Shoppee

LoveYourself releases Limited Edition shirts to Wear Love for More Love! 

In collaboration with Inspi, this T-shirt for a cause campaign is made available anywhere in the Philippines through online via Shopee. There are two distinct designs: The LoveYourself Black Shirt and The Love.Fight.Cure. Red Flip Shirt

A huge portion of the sales of the shirts will support LoveYourself's free and confidential HIV testing services, awareness programs, and community movements like the Love Gala this May 11, 2019.


These limited edition T-shirts are made from premium cotton. The shirts' design is silk screened, and have a straight hem. 

The shirts have a variety of sizes from XS to XL, which only cost for PhP249.00. 

Hurry! Add to cart now and purchase for this will only last until May 1, 2019. The shirts will be shipped to you wherever you are in the Philippines!



Click the images below to order yours now!

The LoveYourself T-Shirt in Black

Love. Fight. Cure Flip Shirt in Red

Friday, March 15, 2019

Batch Amuma: Taking its First Leap in Battling HIV and the Stigma that Comes with It

By: Rabsin De la Cruz

Batch Amuma serves as LoveYourself’s newest set of Cebu-based volunteers and counselors in the HIV awareness and prevention advocacy.

A few years back, LoveYourself reached out to open a community center in Cebu. Due to the unforeseen factors, the plan was delayed and went back to the drawing board. Now, after years of colloquy comes the realization of a dream as LoveYourself returned with a stronger mission and a long-term vision. On the day of the batch orientation - 10 November 2018, this set of spirited Cebuanos knows that this is the start of something more than just volunteerism. It was the beginning of a legacy coming into a reality. 

A batch of 18 aspiring volunteers went through ‘HIV Counselor Training’ with the help of our Manila representatives: Kahel Sta. Maria and Danvic Rosadiño, together with LoveYourself's pioneer Cebu-based counselors. The trainers proudly produced competent counselors and fire up their burning passion for volunteerism.

A BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE
Amuma, a Cebuano word which means ‘to nurture’ is a perfect reminder for the volunteers that they are not there just to educate or spread awareness, but also as a support system for individuals or families who are struggling with fear and coping due to the stigma.

Our aspiring warriors listening to Danvic Rosadiño discussing HIV Testing (Counselor Training)


LoveYourself emphasizes the higher level of empathy, patience and support. The organization also highlights the consistency of providing a safe space for everyone who want to learn more about the cause and related topics.


THE LOGO: LOVE and SUPPORT




Batch Amuma's logo reflects simplicity and elegance, highlighting two hands that support someone's heart - indeed a demonstration of utmost care.

Vincent John Ratilla redesigned the original logo created by Jan Shaltiel Vincent Estrada. “I thought I can contribute something so I decided to redesign it… The heart symbolizes love which is essential in caring. I shaped the heart like someone is hugging to symbolize genuine care. The hands carrying the heart means volunteerism,” Vincent John said.

LoveYourself WhiteHouse, which is the organization's community center in Cebu, will be opened officially on 27 April 2019. For HIV screening schedules and other inquiries, kindly contact: 09985459823 (Jan) or 09989996247 (Vondraye).

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Rabsin de la Cruz, an enthusiast of life and the outdoors. Originally coming from the blogging community, media and fashion roots, he is starting to love a simple life, while trying to give back to the environment and the community.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Pia Wurtzbach Headlines Love Gala 2019

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and text



MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Now more than ever, we need to be brave in expressing our love.

Staunchly proving this is Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who headlines the Love Gala 2019: Courage Amplified.

Love Gala is Asia's premier charity and awards event that supports HIV awareness and education, which will take place on 11 May 2019 at the ASB-CBN Vertis Tent, Quezon City.

Following on the success of the first Love Gala in 2017, this year’s gala night is set to produce an even louder voice for the HIV advocacy. To join this movement, tickets are available here.

Pia is a prominent and vocal advocate of HIV awareness – She is the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia & the Pacific and was also named as an HIV Prevention Ambassador for non-profit organization Aid for AIDS.

Pia is also joined by reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray for the Love Gala. Catriona also champions the HIV-AIDS advocacy by volunteering at LoveYourself, who recently encouraged the women to brave the HIV test in an Open Letter.

Love Gala continues the global movement by bringing together individuals and organizations, all united for a one cause, in a night of exquisite musical entertainment and worthwhile fundraising. It is an event for people to learn more about what they can do to support the cause.


No photo description available.

The gala night will also honor outstanding advocates, who have greatly contributed in their communities at the 2nd Ripple Awards. This will honor five (5) Individuals, three (3) Organization and one (1) Project of the Year.

“The Love Gala is an opportunity for people to be brave and show their support on the cause. We can all do our part to help lower the cases of HIV by showing that we are united in our advocacy and by taking action to make a difference,” he said.

LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan hopes the 2019 Love Gala and Ripple Awards will create an even more powerful platform for furthering the HIV advocacy.

The Love Gala 2019 is powered by LoveYourself, which is a group comprised of passionate volunteers who conduct free HIV screening, counseling, and education. The organization's mission is to help others embrace and nurture their self-worth in order to create positive ripples of change in the community. You can also support the event by buying merchandise from here.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Catriona Gray’s Open Letter to All Women

By Bet Domingo


Over the years, the world has become a more gender inclusive realm, seeing an increase in women’s recognition and contribution to the modern society. In observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD) every 8th of this month, the Philippines celebrates the National Women’s Month every March. Its battlecry since 2017 up to 2022 is “We Make Change Work for Women.”

In support for this movement, LoveYourself aims to empower and give a stronger voice to our sisters, mothers, nieces, grandmas and granddaughters as well as our transgender women friends, who can definitely make a great impact in the development of a more accepting and progressive society. We believe that the women, particularly the Filipinas, can surely give the appropriate perspective to the pressing issue of HIV and AIDS, not just in the country, but to the world over.

This calls for a great discussion, since women account for 51% of the total global number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) or about 17.4 million individuals, according to the latest data of the World Health Organization. While it’s still low in the Philippines, the HIV epidemic is slowly making a dent on our female population with 599 total reported cases in 2018 alone.

Leading this crusade in stopping the HIV epidemic and inspiring every woman and Filipina on the planet is no less than Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray. An advocate and ambassador of LoveYourself for nearly three years now, Catriona seizes this opportunity through a personal letter to bring forth the conversation on empowering women in the face of HIV.

8 March 2019

To all the women of the universe, Happy International Women’s Day.

Although today, messages of community, reflection and empowerment will fill your feeds and timelines, I want to add a message that, as a woman you may have thought doesn’t really apply to you. But it does. HIV/AIDS knows no gender, sexual preference or lifestyle. It can affect anyone and it does. But, the message I want to share today is not one of fear. In writing this, I want to create a safe space of learning, acceptance and empowerment - for all women on the front of HIV/AIDS.

This subject is one that strikes a personal cord for me as I have lost a friend due to AIDS-related health complications who was only 26 years young. Now writing this, age 25 myself, I can’t imagine having my life, or a life of someone close to me taken by this health condition. It’s heart breaking. To the women reading this, I do not want your life to be taken or defined by HIV/AIDS. To change and uplift the world for women and all people, we need to be around to make change happen. So say that we’re in this together. Let’s protect and love ourselves.

The first step is to get tested. I know it can be daunting. I’ve been there too - so I recorded the whole experience to show that if I could do it - so can you (the video is on my youtube channel). Take my lead as you brave your first HIV test, and the succeeding ones, until it becomes a normal part of your health routine. Whatever the outcome may be, I want to emphasize that HIV is just a status: it doesn’t define you as a woman, more so as a person.

Apart from the fact that you can protect yourself from contracting HIV with the available methods, you should know that HIV is a manageable condition. If you are HIV negative, keep that status by practicing a safe and healthy lifestyle and by continuing with your HIV testing; and if you are diagnosed HIV positive, you can avail of free counselling and HIV treatment given by your government and/or even non-government organizations who are active in this cause, and of course, further take care of yourself. You have to remember that there is life after HIV if you regularly take the appropriate medicines. You can still live a normal, happy and active life.


I’ve often been asked what’s the best part of being a woman in 2019, and my answer is that we (women) are beginning to come together in communities and build each other up - because it’s really when we combine our voices together that we begin to break barriers. But it doesn’t just end at looking after ourselves, we need to gain further support from well-off countries to help our generation fight off this epidemic. Let’s do our part. I’m optimistic that if we raise our voices together, we can create change, because every one of us is affected by HIV. Let the power of women create the ripples of positive change in our larger community and transpire all over the universe.

As I end this letter, let me share you the words of one of the most inspiring ladies on this advocacy – Elizabeth Taylor once said, “It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance.” Let’s continue to educate ourselves, our communities and one another, as we move forward to champion this cause.

As we endeavor a new beginning together this Women’s Month, I hope that my fellow Filipinos, Catrionians and supporters from all corners of the universe could help me spread more awareness, not just about HIV, but to all the causes that concern all women. Together, let’s uplift their spirits – for whatever journey they choose to pursue.


Much love and light,

Catriona


After years of helping LoveYourself as a celebrity-ambassador, Catriona became a bonafide volunteer of LoveYourself as part of Batch Meraki, a word hailed from the Greeks for “doing something with soul, creativity or love.” The Miss Universe embodied that meaningful phrase in her “open letter,” addressing women to make bolder steps in taking care of themselves and their sexual health. Now more than ever, Catriona serves as a role model for the youth and the women as well as men all over the universe – indeed, the epitome of a true queen.

Photos by Ria Brines

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

M. Butterfly Takes Center Stage in Cebu on March 14-17



Tony and Grammy award winning producer Jhett Tolentiono and FRONTROW Entertainment proudly bring the multi-awarded revival play M. Butterfly to Cebu City this March 14-17, 2019. The story revolves around Rene Gallimard, a member of the French embassy in China. Rene is mild mannered and considers himself to be poor with women. When he meets Chinese opera star Song Liling, he falls in love with her and thought of her to be the embodiment of the perfect woman -Madame Butterfly.

This breathtaking story of love, power, and deception has been certainly brought to life by its amazing cast. Along with 2018 Aliw Award Best Actor RS Francisco reprising his role as Song Liling, the cast includes Philippine theater royalty Jenine Desiderio to play Helga Gallimard, Oliver Borten as Rene Gallimard, and Norm McLeod as Manuel Toulon.


You can catch the performances of M. Butterfly in SM Seaside City Centerstage, Cebu City on the following dates:

March 14, 2019 (Thursday) - Opening Night 7pm
March 15, 2019 (Friday) - 7pm
March 16, 2019 (Saturday) - 2pm and 7pm
March 17, 2019 (Sunday) - 2pm and 7pm

Tickets can be purchased through any SM Mall or smtickets.com.

The M. Butterfly National Tour 2019 will benefit ten charitable institutions including Iloilo Prima Galaw, Philippine National Red Cross Iloilo Chapter, The Children of Cebu Foundation, Siliman University Culture and Arts Council, the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Halfway Home for the Boys and St. Louis University Culture and Arts Center.


The Manila Tour of M. Butterfly in 2018 benefited LoveYourself in funding its daily operations, projects, and programs to provide free and confidential HIV testing and treatment. With a portion of the proceeds going directly to the organization. To support LoveYourself, you may donate directly through Paypal.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray Leads HIV Mass Screening


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – After Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray visited LoveYourself, Inc. on Wednesday (27 February), the Filipina beauty queen invites everyone to get tested on 2 March 2019, Saturday  at LoveYourself community centers and its partner community-based organization.

Dubbed as THIS IS ME: The Silver Lining HIV Screening Day, the purposeful event is a simultaneous HIV testing in Metro Manila, Cavite, Pampanga, Palawan, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga.

Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up at http://go.loveyourself.ph/ThisIsMeCatriona.

Joining LoveYourself on this endeavor are Decent Image of South Signal Association from Taguig, Juan AVES Love and Light, Cavite Positive Action Group The JCH Advocacy Inc., Posi+ive Movement and Project H4 in Luzon, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines – IloIlo in the Visayas, and Kagay-an PLUS - Preserving Life, Uniting Society Inc., Olympus Society of Davao, Inc., and Mujer-LGBT Organization in Mindanao.

This HIV screening day is led by Miss Universe Catriona Gray, who is a bonafide LoveYourself volunteer and ambassador. See her encouragement video here:


                                                                                           
Latest data from Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau, an average of 32 HIV cases were reported every day. In December 2018 alone, a total of 877 Filipinos were diagnosed to contract HIV. For the entire 2018, a total of 11, 427 was diagnosed person living with HIV.

In response to this rising epidemic, LoveYourself employs a differentiated care apporach to look after the needs of various segments of the society.

LoveYourself welcomes all clients from various walks of life to get tested to its five (5) community centers:


  • LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City
  • LoveYourself Uni along Taft-Gil Puyat Avenue in Pasay City
  • LoveYourself Welcome in Bluementritt near Welcome Rotonda
  • Victoria by LoveYourself in Libertad, Pasay City
  • Lily by LoveYourself x DIOSSA in Paranaque City across Waltermart Bicutan.

In addition, LoveYourself will expand its reach in the Visayas with its first provincial site, the LoveYourself White House near Fuente Circle in Cebu City.

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