Saturday, January 18, 2020

LoveYourself Works With PETA and The Red Whistle for Under My Skin

By Asha Gutierrez

With the aid of LoveYourself, The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) in its 52nd Theater Season responds to the ongoing HIV epidemic in the Philippines by launching the #ActingOnHIV campaign with Rody Vera’s anthology drama Under My Skin, directed by Melvin Lee, as the frontliner. Together with LoveYourself, its long-time advocacy partner, The Red Whistle, also support this movement in the theater community.


The #ActingOnHIV campaign reaches out to audiences through art, as an immersive experience that promotes the importance of HIV treatment while debunking myths and misconceptions about the virus. It focuses on the empowerment of Persons Living With HIV through workshops, exhibits, an online EduSeries, and learning outcomes with HIV experts back-to-back with every show of Under My Skin, the campaign serves to not only enamour, but to educate as well.

The play features authentic characters whose struggles the audience can resonate with even they do not live with HIV. They are brought to life by a stunning cast featuring Cherry Pie Picache, Roselyn Perez, Eko Baquial, Miguel Almendras, Mike Liwag, Gio Gahol, Anthony Falcon, Gold Villar-Lim, She Maala, Mico Esquivel, Bene Manaois, Lotlot Bustamante, Kitsi Pagaspas, Dylan Talon, Ekis Gimenez, Erold Enriquez, Jarred Jaicten, Joseph Madriaga, Jason Barcial, Dudz Teraña, Rachelle Gimpes, Reggie Ondevilla, Roy Dahildahil, and Csai Habla.

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LoveYourself’s response to the HIV epidemic has been not only informative but inspirational as well. By knowing one’s worth and loving one’s self, people can be empowered to take charge of their sexual health by learning about, preventing, getting tested, and getting treatment for HIV.

For LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin Pagtakhan, LoveYourself it is with the vision of creating a caring community that understands the importance of proper support people, ‘reproductive’ safe sex education, and medical care. “Values like empathy, love, and respect are essential to create a positive impact to the other—to fully understand this is the way to remove stigmas about HIV,” he explains.

“The arts can act as a bridge for people in the midst of crisis,” says Pagtakhan. “The country has been testing approximately 35 individuals with an HIV infection per day, and this number gives us two related perspectives: The cases are rising, but we are reaching more people to get tested and initiate their treatment. These situations call for more awareness. The arts, particularly theater, can come into play.” Ronnivin explains, “It has been part of our people's discussions, and we should take advantage of it as a bridge to the HIV advocacy, and enable people to act on it.” Acting on HIV’s frontliner, Under My Skin is also supported by UNAIDS and Unilab. 

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Witness PETA’s 52nd Theater Season finale, Under My Skin from February 7 to March 22, 2020 (Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays/Sundays at 3:00pm and 8:00pm) at the PETA Theater Center, #5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City. For tickets and showbuying inquiries, contact PETA at petatheater@gmail.com and 725-6244, You can also get tickets through TicketWorld, 891-9999.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Go No! For Gonorrhea

By Ryan Q. De Torres and Carlos Diego A. Rozul

Ever had that burning sensation when you pee? Has there been odd smelling discharge staining your underwear recently? That could be a sign of gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections according to the World Health Organization in 2016. But worry not, because there are ways to prevent, detect, and cure gonorrhea infections, so we can all Go No! For Gonorrhea.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria responsible for Gonorrhea. Image retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neisseria_gonorrhoeae#/media /File:Neisseria_gonorrhoeae_PHIL_3693_lores.jpg
Cause of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea (also known as urethritis, urethritis, or tulo) is an infection of the mucous membrane surfaces caused by the gram-negative bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. N gonorrhoeae can be spread through sexual contact (oral, anal, and vaginal) and vertical transmission during childbirth.It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum and throat.

For men, symptoms can include painful urination, green or yellow discharge from the penis, and swollen tender testicles. On the other hand, women can experience vaginal discharge, painful intercourse and urination, intermenstrual bleeding, and mid lower abdominal pain.

Ryel in LoveYourself Uni conducting EGASP consultation
Going No For Gonorrhea with the Triangle of Self Care

Living in a triangle of self care, we can prevent gonorrhea infection through timely testing and treatment, safe and satisfying sex, and the correct and consistent use of condoms and lubricants.

LoveYourself Uni offers free gonorrhea testing for males assigned at birth experiencing gential discharge. Currently, the service is being done under the supervision of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) through the Enhanced Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Program (EGASP). 

When results turn out reactive, the consulting doctor will prescribe the appropriate medicine and administer it as soon as the client has purchased the prescription. It is important to consult a doctor when treating the gonorrhea infection to avoid recurrence of symptoms, complications, and antibiotic resistance through inappropriate medication.
Image retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yogendra174/4833656613
Gonorrhea is also easily preventable by choosing safer yet satisfying sex options which can include the correct and consistent use of condoms and lubricants. Don’t let the fear of gonorrhea prevent you from enjoying a healthy sex life! We can all Go No! For Gonorrhea.

Monday, January 13, 2020

LoveYourself Holds First HIV Caravan with Pilipinas Shell in Cebu

By Niño Villalino
LoveYourself volunteers together with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. employeesduring the HIV Caravan at Shell Cebu Regional Office
Mandaue City — LoveYourself Cebu partnered with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) for HIV awareness and screening at its Cebu Regional Office in Mandaue City on January 11, 2020. This is the first caravan organized by LoveYourself Cebu for this year.

“It’s only apt that we start our caravans with Pilipinas Shell, one of our main funders,” said Dennis Tagamolila, head of LoveYourself University (LoveU) in Cebu, the training arm of LoveYourself.

Jan Estrada, head of LoveYourself Cebu, said that the organization will continue to partner with several companies and organizations this year to reach more people. “We are happy that several companies and organizations join us in our advocacy. We have several caravans in the pipeline, and there are several who already expressed plans of inviting us.”

In 2019, LoveYourself Cebu worked with 38 companies/groups and held 47 caravans in total, serving over 2,000 clients.

Phil Jaramillo, a LoveYourself volunteer under LoveU, discusses the HIV Prevalence
in the Philippines

Recent data from the Department of Health shows that there are 35 new HIV cases in the Philippines. Central Visayas has the fourth-highest number of cases, with 93 new ones in July 2019. From January to July last year, there are 567 HIV cases in the region.

LoveYourself opened last April 2019 its first-ever community center outside Metro Manila, named LoveYourself White House, which located at 40 Don Julio Llorente St, Cebu City. This paved the way for the organization of expand its reach and mobilize its volunteers in Cebu to create ripples of positive change in the community, including business and academic communities through the LoveYourself Caravan.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

5 Types of Sex Partners That’ll Surprise You

By LoveYourself Communications

Sex positivity is a hallmark of LoveYourself’s message when engaging its audiences. It empowers them to discuss and take charge of their sexual health - an almost untouched topic even among the "bestest" of friends, and more so in a family’s dining setting.

Nonetheless, LoveYourself believes that sexual pleasure is one of the many exciting pursuits in adulthood. It’s a pursuit that will take anyone on a roller coaster of emotions and experiences with a lot of colorful characters.

With the technology available today, hookups are as easy as swiping right and saying “hey” on your smartphones. Considering that the Philippines is a densely populated country, you will surely meet a whole lot of interesting people in your pursuit of sexual pleasure.

Here’s a list of really fascinating types of sex partners you might meet as you live it up.
Lead the dirty talking with a chatterbox. 1
The Chatterbox

The chatterbox is the type who has one too many things to say. They never run out of thoughts to blurt out and willingly share them, even during intercourse. They may start with some romantic talks, lovely poems, or erotic stories then shift into the most random of things that can make your excitement die down and eventually kill your mood. 

But then again, it takes two to tango. Chatting with your partner about sexual health is also a good alternative starter to ride with your partners’ talkativeness. After which, you may lead the conversation into a more sensual one, and stick to the idea of “dirty talk.”

Talking dirty can heighten sexual tension, increase passion during sex, and strengthen the connection between you and your partner. There are those who are especially good at talking dirty, and you’re lucky if you find them at the onset. But if it happens that you come across a chatterbox who talks about anything, lead the conversation to make both your “wang” excited with sexually oozing dirty talks. You may never know, you’re already conversing “ohs and ahs” with a chatterbox. 
It's okay to moan at the top of your lungs. 2
The Moan Machine
This type is probably the hottest on the list that you must look out for. They are usually uber-sensitive and super responsive; pleasuring them is quite a treat, especially if you’re well-equipped with tricks and skills that make them moan at the top of their lungs. 

Moaning is a sign of sexual satisfaction leading to climax. Your partner’s moaning is their way of telling you that they are enjoying your intimate moments together, that you’re doing it right, and that you can be a bit more playful and daring.

With a moan machine’s ability, the “musex” they create can enhance the way you perform, since both of you can groove to the rhythm of each other’s orgasmic sounds. Lost in the melodies of your banging, you’ll feel like you’re floating in heaven while grooving to the hottest dance craze of the decade.
Keep in mind that you can satisfy yourself all you want. 3
The Solo Laner
This may be one of the most unsatisfying partners you can have in your lifetime. As soon as they get off, they leave it all up to you to finish your deed, whether you like it or not.

They may hit all the pleasure points you have that they might not even aware of, since they seek the most pleasure they can get for themselves. The solo laners might also doze off after their first orgasm or don’t even bother to have a round two.

As the solo laner leaves it up to you after reaching their climax and you’re still yet to be satisfied, remember that you have all the means to satisfy yourself afterwards.

But if you happen to chance upon a second encounter with the same solo laner, you make sure to converse about having not just safe, but a real satisfying sex. You could arrange with him to get yourself done first (wink) with all the pleasure you might receive, and continue pleasuring them after, since you’re not the soloist type, right?
Aspire to be the sex bomb, and nothing less. 4
The Stink Bomb
Some witty netizens would classify this type of partner into two variants: the body and the room. They both have poor hygiene practices that will make you think twice before going down and dirty with any of them.

The body one exhibits an ungodly smell that may make you do a quick step backward instinctively. Some, though, find this more appealing, especially when they’re ruggedly attractive to them. But if you’re into making out with the body one, you can instead have a bathroom fun to lather off some smell while water sensually drips down your bodies.

The room one is kind of a surprise. Until they bring you to their place, you won’t know how unhygienic this person can be, which might make you take a quick leave. If you don’t, just find the best spot, or start learning to love the standing position.

We know that you might encounter the stink bomb once in your lifetime, so just keep not only your “wang” and your booty hole safe, but your senses as well. If you choose to be with the stink bomb, it’s all good. Let the smell of cupid explode, because all is fair in love.
Only you can build pure safety for yourself. 5 
The Purist
This type of partner is one who believes that their body is a natural wonderland. They might claim to be clean, virgin and untouched, so they can’t be bothered to use condoms during intercourse.

They’re also probably proud of their bodies so much, that they will try to reason their way out of wearing protection with words like “pure pleasure comes from going raw,” “this isn’t what our bodies are made for” or something along those lines.

Always consider that when wearing condoms, you’re not only protecting yourself, but your partner as well. So, keep your guard up and stay protected! Remember, you are also pure in loving yourself by engaging in “safe and satisfying sex.”

The world may be rife with opportunities for interesting and thrilling encounters, but make it a point to keep yourself protected whether you find pleasure with a chatterbox, a moan machine, a solo laner, a stink bomb or a purist. PREMIERE Condoms can serve you with both pleasure and protection. You can easily buy them at the nearest convenience store or drugstore. They’re also available at leading online shopping sites. 

You can also download the Safe Spaces PH app on App Store or Google Play Store for free condoms and lubricants at participating establishments near you, especially if you already have “matches” or “taps” nearby. It pays to be always prepared for these sexual “surprises.”

Photo References:

Friday, January 03, 2020

LOOKING BACK 2019: LoveYourself Events and Engagements, A Yearender Special (Part 3 of 3)

By Carlos Diego A. Rozul

Complementing the operations and communications efforts of LoveYourself are its engagement activities for both its internal and external stakeholders. It is with the volunteers that LoveYourself maintains its place in the public’s consciousness as an affirming place to start loving themselves. Truly, the volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization.
As such, LoveYourself goes out of its way to show its appreciation and enrich its volunteers. They’re after all the heart and soul of the advocacy.

Enriching Volunteers
The year began with Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) training for volunteers, especially in Victoria by LoveYourself to be more sensitive to people of different SOGIEs. LoveYourself recognizes that even though its volunteers are allies of the LGBTQIA community, that not all may be fully aware and knowledgeable about SOGIE.

Trans Deaf LoveYourself volunteer Disney Aguila enthusiastically shared her knowledge on Basic Filipino Sign Language with fellow hearing volunteers to equip them with skills on how to communicate with deaf clients.
In further developing an inclusive community, Basic Filipino Sign Language training was conducted with the help of Pinoy Deaf Rainbow president Disney Aguila to ensure Deaf clients are comfortable and understood when availing services in the community centers. LoveYourself realized this initiative for the Deaf community when Disney had a crucial role of encouraging Deaf clients during the “This is Me: Brave and Free National HIV Testing Day” in May 2018. Ever since, the organization has worked hard to make its community centers accessible to all Filipinos.
Counselor volunteers joined the LoveU Ripple to refresh and equip themselves with best practices
in counseling, peer education and other concerns raised by clients during a session.
The LoveYourself University or fondly called "LoveU," the organization's learning and development arm, held a LoveU Ripple in June. It's a program for LoveYourself counselors and life coaches, where they can share best practices and experiences in client management. Through this, volunteers learn from each other on how to better handle clients in various situations.
Former communications head Micheal Paolo Jamias conducted a News and PR Writing training to his fellow communications volunteers to beef up the organization’s capabilities in this area. Similarly, creatives consultant Geno Maglina and creatives lead Ria Briñes held a graphic design and video editing training, respectively; meanwhile, community relations lead John Eric Torres spearheaded the social media management training.
In August, the LoveYourself Communications team held a training series for essential skills in their sub-committees. Open to all volunteers, participants were able to learn about news and public relations writing, graphic design and video editing, and social media management. These trainings equipped participating volunteers to be more involved in the communications team, who are the ones making campaigns for the organization.

Celebrating Volunteers

LoveYourself celebrates all of its volunteers. The organization had grown exponentially this year by welcoming seven new batches. In Metro Manila, the organization welcomed the Batches Kauna Kai, Isetu, and Caim, which were all inspired by mythical creatures, symbolizing self-love. While in Metro Cebu, the organization had the Batches Amuma, Bitoon, Kalayo, and Dasig, staying true to the Cebuano language and its metaphoric meanings. These fresh faces now engage themselves in different facets of LoveYourself as counselors, life coaches, and committee members, going through multiple training sessions spearheaded by Jose Mari Maynes, LoveU chancellor, and his counterpart in Cebu, Dennis Tagamolila.
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray visited LoveYourself Anglo for her advocacy day
during her homecoming event in February.
In February, LoveYourself joined the 104 million Filipinos in welcoming back Miss Universe 2018 and LoveYourself Batch Meraki volunteer Catriona Gray. The organization even held a special HIV testing event in March 2019 dubbed as “This is Me: The Silver Lining HIV Screening day, which was inspired by a previous campaign. With Catriona ending her reign as Miss Universe, she now looks forward to creating more projects and campaigns to further help the HIV advocacy.
The events team held another summer camp activity, which was inspired
by the popular reality TV show - Amazing Race.
LoveYourself made sure to keep its volunteers engaged and motivated, and high morale is such an important aspect in doing so. Long-time head of LoveYourself events now Ministry of Fun, Francis Dacanay and his team never fainted their burning passion to ensure that volunteers are active and involved. Hence, they tirelessly create events, either for internal and external clients to reconnect and have fun, while making meaning for their social affairs. In March, volunteers signed up to join the Amazing Race where they split off into teams for a friendly competition to win prizes and show off their winning faces. 
Internal packet events were initiated through the Kiki Nights to gather around volunteers
and acquaint with each other, among other worthwhile purposes they may have.
April 2019 marked the very first Kiki at LoveYourself White House, a monthly themed night where volunteers gather for various activities held at different LoveYourself community centers. These theme nights, which included classic Filipino movie, drag queen, pre-loved sale, homecoming parties, and quizzes, enabled volunteers to have fun after hours of volunteer work. In September, LoveU held the LoveU Fair, which is a school-fair themed party for volunteers.
After a jam-packed year, LoveYourself gathered around for the year ender party
held at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
LoveYourself celebrated this year its eighth anniversary, during the Circle of Love: Illumin8 last July. This event is also an avenue, where the organization celebrated its years of successful existence, and paid homage to volunteers who have made these achievements possible. In December, the volunteers and staff took the spotlight once again at the Kink: The LoveYourself Ball 2019, during the first-ever LOVE Awards.

Engaging Others

LoveYourself community centers aim not only to be a safe space for HIV testing and treatment, but a place where volunteers and friends can be with each other as a community. LoveYourself Welcome had their own events this year, opening it to the public. Headed by former center coordinator Mark de Castro, an open discussion about coming out was held over coffee. In February, the events team invited the Voice Philippines Season 2 third placer Lea Patricio, who filled LoveYourself Welcome with her outstanding voice. In Cebu, volunteers for LoveYourself White House held a LitFest in May, and a writing workshop with Januar Yap, and a graphic design workshop with Joyjoy Carpio Pacursa in November.
LoveYourself Welcome opened its doors for intimate external events to showcase talents
and discuss topics concerning the community.
As a mover in the HIV advocacy, LoveYourself through its events and communications teams staged, once again, the Asia’s premier charity and awards gala dubbed as Love Gala: Courage Amplified. The gala gathered around hundreds of HIV advocates from around the Philippines for an exquisite night of glamour, performance and causes. As one of the biggest events for the advocacy, it is rightful for the gala to confer the second Ripple Awards to five individuals, three organizations, and a project. Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and the Philippine concert king Martin Nievera graced the event, surprising everyone with a special duet. The gala is also a fundraiser, which features the DC Bayong line by renowned designer and volunteer Don Cristobal, and the Wear Love for More Love shirt campaign with Inspi store and Shopee.
LoveYourself executive director Ronivin Pagtakhan, together with celebrity stylist Fanny Serrano and UNAIDS Philippines country director Dr. Lui Ocampo, conferred the Ripple Awards to Gat-Joriz Alatiit during the Love Gala: Courage Amplified.
LoveYourself joined 70 thousand people during the largest Metro Manila Pride March last June at the Marikina Sports Center. Among the community allies, LoveYourself and its volunteers walked for equal opportunity, not only for the LGBTQIA community, but for people living with HIV as well, embracing everyone to be #PartOfOurWorld in our shared advocacies.
LoveYourself volunteers joined the community in resisting together the stigma attached to the LGBTQIA community and the people living with HIV, and rather spread love more than anything else.
Making a buzz in the central Philippines are LoveYourself Cebu initiated events as part of its launching series. LoveYourself gained the support of young and talented local designers, and their  models for ETUF - Cebu’s premier fashion auction for HIV & AIDS. This star-studded event was headlined by social media stars Alem Garcia and Deedee Villegas singer-songwriter Karencita, Queen Universe 2019 Bee Urgello and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific Pia Wurtzbach. The event wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of LoveYourself Cebu head Jan Shaltiel Estrada, communications lead Ralph Tamayo together with Raychie Lomongo, and the rest of Cebu volunteers.
Pia Wurtzbach donning one of Harley Ruedas’ creations for the ETUF fashion auction.
Cove Manila in Okada Manila - the biggest indoor beach club and nightclub in Southeast Asia  supported LoveYourself during their Gays, Lesbians, And Many More (GLAMM) events held in the months of July and October. Showcasing loads of spectacular performances, party-goers had fun all night, bearing the spirit of advocacy, pride and unity.
The guests raved the dance floor as Sarah Geronimo impersonator Bench Hipolito
performed the pop star singer’s dance anthem Tala.
It is but prudent to acknowledge the support given by LoveYourself partners. Their trust and support of the organization has enabled us to start and attain what it can do today, and what it can further execute in the future. The volunteers organized in August the Constellation: LoveYourself Partners’ Night. It is a way to celebrate LoveYourself’s partners in championing initiatives geared towards the eradication of HIV and the stigma surrounding it, not only in the Philippines, but even abroad.
Danvic Rosadiño, LoveYourself program manager, presented how LoveYourself has evolved through the years
with the help of its ever-supportive and dynamic partners.
As part of the global community, LoveYourself commemorates the World AIDS Day (WAD) with no less than the global HIV awareness ambassador Pia Wurtzbach. The WAD celebration in Metro Manila was held through the Spectrum Color Run for HIV, which was spearheaded by the Parañaque City government and the Department of Health-NCR, in partnership with LoveYourself and many other front-runners in the HIV advocacy. Building upon the theme “Communities Make the Difference”, the color run was participated in by celebrity advocates Dionne Monsanto, Kitkat, Miss World Philippines 2018 Katarina Rodriguez, Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa, and Miss Universe Philippines 2019 and LoveYourself ambassador Gazini Ganados through promotional videos, while Pia run and delivered a heartwarming speech during the event.
Global HIV awareness ambassador, Pia Wurtzbach strut a pose after finishing a five-kilometer run,
during the Spectrum: Color Run for HIV at ASEANA City.
LoveYourself Cebu, meanwhile, organized a free show during the WAD celebration, featuring KYS and Play campaign for a special HIV screening, the short films from CineSpectra, a fashion show, poetry reading, and musical performances. This commemoration event was a blast that we owe to the zeal and tenacity of our Cebuano volunteers for the community.
Performer Paul Caca showcased his talent during the LoveYourself Cebu’s WAD celebration
at Robinsons Fuente in Cebu City.
Looking back, if we were to describe LoveYourself in 2019, it would be EXPANSIVE.  With new and expanded programs, projects, community centers, volunteers and partners, campaigns and events, 2019 was truly a year where passion and love for the advocacy snowballed for leaps and bounds, expanding the organization’s capabilities beyond its limits.

Coming into 2020, the organization will continue to be ever compassionate, innovative, and creative in mobilizing the community, to better take care of themselves, and further propagate the message of self-worth, as we dare to reach more, care to serve more, and share with more stakeholders the LoveYourself brand of service: Iniingatan, Inaalagaan at Inaasikaso.

Cheers to a year that was, and onward to a more exciting 2020!

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

LOOKING BACK 2019: LoveYourself Campaigns, A Yearender Special (Part 2 of 3)

By Carlos Diego A. Rozul

LoveYourself in 2019 has been ever present on almost all media platforms, name it - social media, radio, television, out-of-home and even podcasts. The dedication of the volunteers to spread awareness on our shared causes is truly remarkable. When it comes to the HIV advocacy, it takes creativity and ingenuity to break away from the social stigma surrounding sex and its related topics. Let’s take a look back at how volunteers and staff have spread LoveYourself’s message of nurturing one's self-worth.

The Online Space

LoveYourself’s main channel of communication is the Internet. With Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the social media team of the communications committee are always on it to promote services and events, engage audiences, and answer queries. Former communications head Paul Junio has been crucial in implementing the organization's online strategies. Starting the year off with the Humans of LoveYourself series, Paul was able to show quick snippets of volunteers’ reflections about themselves.
Mga Batang Poz cast - Awra Briguela, Fino Herera, Paolo Gumabao and Raven Molina,
used their voices to amplify LoveYourself's efforts for the community.
Adapting the Segundo Matias Jr. novel, the iWant series Mga Batang Poz quickly gained popularity in July of this year. The series ended with a roundtable discussion about HIV affecting the youth and featuring LoveYourself. With the public’s immense response, the communications team tapped the actors for a video series to promote LoveYourself services, including free HIV testing and treatment, as well as the Safe Spaces PH.


PrEP'd to be Safe video campaign featuring key populations who choose to be on PrEP
In line with the launch of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in the Philippines in June, the communications team released last August the first video campaign for PrEP in the Philippines, anchored to its overarching messaging of PrEP’d to be Safe. The video series has thus far featured key populations to introduce the use of PrEP as a prevention method for HIV infection.
#MenOfPrEP utilized their online influence and charisma to spread awareness
about the new HIV prevention pill called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
Augmenting the initial PrEP campaign was a photo series released in October called Men of PrEP. This campaign features hot studs who want to help the advocacy in promoting the importance of investing in an additional layer of protection as a form of self-love. Spearheaded by now LoveYourself's digital campaigns consultant Paul Junio, the photo series reached online communities where people quickly began inquiring on how to access PrEP.
Flourish Circle ambassador Alaiza Malinao together with LoveYourself volunteers became the face of the first-ever campaign of the organization on mental wellness dubbed as #IAmOkay campaign.
Despite only starting in August, the Flourish Circle has been in full swing with its online campaigns. It started with the video series #IAmOkay, featuring LoveYourself volunteers alongside program ambassador Alaiza Malinao. Sharing insights on what “okay” means, they were asked with three simple questions: 1) When do you feel okay? 2) What do you do when you’re not okay? and 3) What do you do when your friend is not okay?. The answers they produced were able to spark discussion on varying personal meanings to a fairly common word. 
Making your playlist more meaningful and inspiring, follow now the #FlourishFriday on Spotify.
Flourish Circle also took to Spotify, creating a collaborative playlist called #FlourishFriday where people can build and share music that has helped them get to a better place. Initiated by volunteer Kris Guico, the Flourish Circle features a song every week on social media for people to discover new soundtracks.
The cast and crew of the first-ever episode of Love BRO entitled Summer Fling- Big Boys and their Balls.
Gay social network app Blued partnered with LoveYourself to create an online live talk show  called Love BRO (Bold, Real, Out), featuring the ever-friendly Peachy Roberts as host. Produced by LoveYourself volunteers, Love BRO covered a variety of topics from HIV, sexual health, mental health, drag, and so much more. The series ended with its 12th episode on October 2019.

LoveYourself volunteers in Cebu make waves as they ventured in podcasting to increase awareness
on the causes of the organization and many other community concerns.
The LoveYourself Cebu team also started a podcast available on Spotify called Spit and Swallow, where volunteers moderate the discussions about a variety of LGBTQIA and sex-positive topics. Moving into 2020, the team has more in store for their listeners.

National HIV Testing Day

Ever since This is Me: Brave and Free in May 2018, LoveYourself has partnered with fellow community-based organizations (CBOs) around the Philippines to provide fast, free, and confidential HIV screening. The communications team continuously share campaign materials and strategies with fellow CBOs to create a unified voice for the National HIV Testing Day.

Volunteers on duty at an offsite testing venue in SM Aura in Taguig Cityduring the Hot Nurses of Pinas - National HIV Testing Day held in June.
First National HIV Testing Day this year was the This Is Me: The Silver Lining HIV Screening with Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. Following up from November 2018’s Hot Doctors of Pinas, LoveYourself executed the Hot Nurses of Pinas campaign for the second National HIV testing day this year. Following the same vein, it gave professional nurses the chance to be more involved and more knowledgeable in the HIV advocacy, while encouraging others to take charge of their sexual health.

Volunteers at Victoria by LoveYourself are all smiling after a successful turnout of the second National HIV Testing Day, which is entitled Know Your Status (KYS) and Play last November.
Partnering with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), LoveYourself campaign for the November 2019 National HIV Testing Day was called Know Your Status (KYS) and Play. As a prelude to PETA’s upcoming production Under My Skin, PETA actors turned advocates to raise awareness on the importance of knowing aspects of ourselves, including our HIV status.

Press Conferences and Partnerships

Together with EON Foundation and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, LoveYourself engaged with talented aspiring directors mentored by the Directors Guild of the Philippines Inc. to create 5-minute short films featuring stories about HIV and related topics. It all culminated in August at CineSpectra 2019, where the films were screened in Ayala Malls Trinoma, and Cinematheque Centre in Manila.

CineSpectra 2019 is the first of its kind short film festival in the country, where volunteers of LoveYourself, together with its partners, spearheaded the selection, mentoring, and even execution of the nine screened films.
In September, friends from different media channels were invited to the Spectrum: The LoveYourself Perspective at My Cinema in Greenbelt 3, Makati when LoveYourself formally launched three of its pioneering services. First was LoveYourself's transgender health services offered at Victoria by LoveYourself. Program manager for trans health Yanyan Araña led its launch together with Theo Lacson, who shared his experience in transitioning safely with the help of the center. 


Program Manager for Trans Health Services, Yanyan Araña giving her speech
during Spectrum: The LoveYourself Perspective
Second was PrEP service delivery of LoveYourself Centers, and its partners. LoveYourself volunteer Marvin Natural, who is also a participant of the PrEP demonstration project in 2017, shared his experience in taking PrEP, and why it is important in curbing the HIV epidemic in the country. Lastly was the introduction of Flourish Circle, which is a community driven initiative to facilitate resilience and wellness. Ambassador Alaiza Malinao shared the importance of breaking the stigma and provide non-judgmental discussions on mental health issues.

Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados, together with LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin Pagtakhan and the program host, took the centerstage to rally for the HIV cause in her hometown of Talisay City.
Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados was formally launched as LoveYourself ambassador for HIV awareness in the Visayas, during a collaboration project with Talisay City government and Bangaw Federation in October. The event culminated with her visit at the LoveYourself White House to meet and greet with the volunteers in Cebu.

When it comes to stigmatized discussions, LoveYourself prides itself in changing the dialogue to a more compassionate place. As a thought leader in promoting self-worth in its advocacies, the volunteers are LoveYourself’s lifeblood in creating campaigns that resonate with the community at large. It is in this awareness where people can make a change and take better actions for themselves. Hence, the organization never faltered in creating and innovating activities and events to further engage the community.

(End of Part 2)