Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pia, Catriona and various artists' Rise As One' for the HIV and COVID-19 causes

MANDALUYONG CITY (21 April 2020) – Miss  Universe Titleholders Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray headlined the Rise As One: An Online Concert that happened last April 12 at the Champion Community Centers' Facebook page.

The Champion Community Centers, alongside the movers in the HIV advocacy, have banded together to send a message of hope and love to the country, amidst the COVID-19 and extended community quarantine situation.



Wurtzbach, also the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific, encouraged the people to prioritize their physical health. She advised to continue following measures to avoid COVID-19, and for people living with HIV (PLHIV) to keep a stock of their antiretroviral medicines to secure an undetectable status, since undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U).

Gray, an HIV advocate, empathized with the members of the HIV community for the medical assistance they need despite the ongoing enhanced community quarantine. She also advised reaching out and getting the needed assistance since the government and communities in the advocacy, such as LoveYourself, are here to support, and help is only a call or a message away.



Moreover, Gray also launched at the online concert the pioneering HIV self-screening program in the country of LoveYourself called SelfCare. Gray and Mga Batang Poz star, Paolo Gumabao are the ambassadors of the program. SelfCare is a demonstration study implemented by LoveYourself, in partnership with the University of the Philippines - Manila, the Department of Health - Regional Office 7, with support from various partners and regional agencies.

Fellow beauty queen and LoveYourself ambassador, Gazini Ganados, also graced the event with a reassuring message as the world endures the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She dedicated her message to those people affected by the virus, especially the front-liners and those with a compromised immune system like the elderly and PLHIV.

The online concert features a heartfelt rendition of Lean On Me by Bill Withers from Katrina Velarde and her vocalist friends: Angeline Quinto, Daryl Ong, Michael Pangilinan, Eumee Capile, Kim Molina, Lucas Garcia, Rhap Salazar, Yuki Ito, Monique Lualhati, Chloe Redondo, Jeniffer Catayong, Alvin Chea, Andre De Santanna, Dea Formilleza, Mike Shapiro, and Dessa Salazar.



A premier wedding band, 3rd Avenue, offered two songs, Heal the World by Micheal Jackson and Imagine by John Lennon. Filipino Drag Queens: Lady Gagita, Dee Dee Marie Holliday, JCourse, Viñas, Turing, Aries Night, Victoria Salt, and many more, showcased stunning lip synchronization performances of various artists.

Members of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Jimi Marquez, and Anna Fegi also sang Lean On Me, but at the same time, supplemented by the messages of love and hope of volunteers around the country for the HIV community and COVID-19 affected families.

In a video message, UNAIDS Philippines Country Director Dr. Louie Ocampo said, "Protecting the rights and the health of all people will, in fact, help control the virus. UNAIDS is urging people to act with compassion, not stigma, and discrimination." Ocampo also encouraged governments to provide a comprehensive health response in resolving the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics.

In respect to HIV prevention, 2018 Ten Outstanding Young People of the World awardee and LoveYourself Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Ronivin Pagtakhan, inspired that great strides were made in suppressing the spread of the virus, and save more people from it. "[HIV] It's not a death sentence anymore. You can live your full life even with HIV by taking your medications regularly."



He also informed of the available HIV combination prevention methods, such as condoms and lubricants, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or a pill an HIV negative person takes before being potentially exposed to HIV, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) or a pill an HIV negative person can take right after a potential exposure to HIV, and adherence to treatment of PLHIV that can result in undetectable viral load status or a condition where the HIV can no longer be transmitted to another person.
LoveYourself also launched at the Rise As One concert its telehealth program called, iCON or interactive consultation. This program enables clients to consult with a healthcare professional for their medical needs amidst the imposition of the ECQ. To schedule an appointment, clients can register at go.loveyourself.ph/iCON.
Also, the organization reiterated its LoveYourself Xpress Refill program that enables PLHIV clients and non-clients to restock on their life-saving medicines. To register, visit go.loveyourself.ph/XpressRefill. Clients may also call the Xpress refill hotlines at:
• Anglo (Mandaluyong): 0920 502 1007 | 0999 529 2330 | 0956 615 1230 | 0915 310 7336
• Victoria (Pasay): 09995292399 | 09153107339 | 0915 831 8715
• Lily (Parañaque): 0917 155 5955 | 0928 689 6422
• Welcome (Manila): 0967 207 1976
• Hero (Bacoor, Cavite): 0956 490 3747 | 0906 483 9040
• White House (Cebu City): 0961 573 6493

Rise as One: An Online is a collaboration of Sustainability of HIV Services for Key Populations in Asia (SKPA), LoveYourself, Inc., Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations (AFAO), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), Global Fund – Accelerating Community Engagement and Response on HIV/AIDS Prevention (ACER) Project, Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc., PhilHealth, UNAIDS-Philippines, and Champion Community Centers.


Champion Community Centers include Lakan Community Center and YCAP Community Center in Pampanga; AVES Community Based Organization and HERO by LoveYourself in Cavite; Amos Tara Community Center in Puerto Princesa City; Bagani Community Center in Bacolod City; Rajah Community Center and KnowTell Center in Iloilo City; Atma Prema Community Center, LoveYourself White House and Vibe Community Center in Cebu City, Mujer Community Center in Zamboanga City; Oro Pia Community Center in Cagayan De Oro; Olympus Community Center Society in Davao City; and HASH-HIV & AIDS Support House, Inc., Lily by LoveYourself in Metro Manila.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Lit Love: Community Quarantine

File:USMC-050117-M-1158H-040.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

TULA PARA KAY D
Rolin Migyuel Cadallo Obina

Nasa kalye ka na at nag-aabang ng masasakyan 
Habang lumalangoy pa sa kama ang karamihan
Kahit walang kasiguruhang gagaling ang mga may karamdaman
Ikaw ay naglilingkod ng walang pag-aalinlangan

Marami nang nakaratay sa iyong pagamutang pinagtatrabahuan
Ang iba ay nakikipagbunuan na kay kamatayan
Ngunit hindi mo ito kinatatakutan
Bagkos maari ka nitong mahawaan

Kubeta, lababo at lahat ng mga pasilyo ay iyong pinapaliguan
Upang mapanghawang sakit ay hindi na makadapo kaninuman
Pagod ay hindi alintana kahit sweldo ay may kababaan
Ang mahalaga sa iyo ay mapaglingkuran ang iyong mga kababayan

Diyanitor ang opisyal mong katungkulan
Tagalinis ng mga mesang pinagkainan
Ngunit sa panahong lahat ay maselan
Buhay mo ay sa iba inilalan

Paniguradong nangungulila ka na rin sa iyong pamilyang iniwan
Sa tatay mong sumpungin o sa nanay mong kailangang alagaan
O hindi kaya ay sa asawa mong mag-isang kumakain sa hapag-kainan
O sa iyong anak na nagtatanong kung kalian ka muling mahahagkan

Sa bawat segundong ikaw ay makita sa telebisyon o pahayagan
Inggit ang namumutawi sa aking kaibuturan
Sapagkat hindi ko nagagawa ang ipinamalas mong kabaitan
Dahil sa loob ng pagkatao ko ay takot ang nananahan

Ang tangi kong maipapangako sa iyo kaibigan
Ay ipanalangin sa Diyos ang iyong kalusugan
Sampu ng mga taong taos-pusong naglilingkod sa bayan
Kayo ay mga bayani na dapat pasalamantan

Kahit sa mga piling salita man lang ikaw ay maalayan
At ipangalandakan ang iyong kabayanihan
Upang sa mga susunod na salinlahi ikaw ay tularan
Tagalinis man kung ituring buhay mo naman ay sa iba nakalaan

HD wallpaper: bed, bed covers, bedroom, blanket, blur, indoors ...

Until Then
Ryel Hagoriles 

Just like the harshest ocean waves,
A calmer pace shall come. 
The moon may have many phases,
But it's light shines of Hope.

A beacon of strength for those afraid,
Will aid this battle with pleading might.
Until then, be brave and wipe those tears,
Until then, stretch a smile behind those shields.

The waves might be terrifying to see,
Like the mouth of sharks ready to engulf.
But then, I know the moon will pull,
A victorious tomorrow await.




Pandemya sa Maynila
AJ

Isa dalawa tatlo may taong umubo
Tatlo apat lima maraming apektado
Anim pito walo ang mga namatay dito
Siyam at sampu, nasaan na ang gobyerno?

Huwag makulit at huwag lumabas, ang sabi ng nasa itaas.
Paano na ang anak ni nene na wala ng gatas
Panakot nila'y pag ikay lumabas ay dahas
Kaya iiyak na lang sa gutom hanggang mawalan ng lakas

Isang malakas na palakpak sa ignoranteng tao
Sapagkat silay nabubulag ng kanilang pribilehiyo
Sa dami ng pera, di na nakita ang tunay na senaryo
At ang mga tao sa baba ay sinasapit ay kalbaryo

Kaya aking mga katoto gising na
Imulat ang mga mata para inyong makita
Ang sinasapit ng bayan sa pandemya

Tayo'y magkapit bisig at itayo muli ang bandera.

Image References
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/USMC-050117-M-1158H-040.jpg
https://c1.wallpaperflare.com/preview/351/625/299/bed-bed-covers-bedroom-blanket.jpg
https://motionarray.imgix.net/preview-518359-EloEtYncaMW85qEl-large.jpg?w=1400&q=60&fit=max&auto=format

Sunday, April 19, 2020

LoveYourself Partner for HIV advocacy, MACARE, brings cost efficient COVID-19 test kits in the Philippines

LoveYourself Communications Team
UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific,  and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, together with LoveYourself Founder and Executive Director Ronivin 'Vinn' Pagtakhan, toured around the laboratory in Anglo community center last February. The laboratory is partly sponsored by MACARE Medicals. Photo by Kobi Janairo
A collaborative partnership matters in times of crisis.

Amidst the threat of the novel coronavirus, LoveYourself, Inc. continues to provide essential services for its clients, particularly to people living with HIV (PLHIV). As a community-based, non-profit organization, it wouldn't be able to function at its full capacity in this time of crisis without its partners, like MACARE Medicals.

As its partner for many of its projects for the community, LoveYourself is pleased to announce that Macare thru its partner Cepheid developed a cost-efficient test kit for COVID-2019 dubbed as Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2. The test kits, which are compatible with the automated real-time PCR GeneXpert machine, have arrived in Manila on Friday. The Xpert Xpress test kit only costs PhP1,200.00, and one test is equal to one reportable patient result.
Pia and Vinn were checking on the GeneXpert machine, which is being used for hematology and serology diagnostic tests. Photo by Kobi Janairo 
For its HIV advocacy work, a significant part of LoveYourself's laboratory equipment is provided for free by MACARE. This support enables the organization to offer free viral load and other necessary testing requirements of PLHIV clients and clients' concerns for other sexually transmitted infections (STI). 

This partnership has upgraded the capacity of the organization to conduct basic laboratory tests, hematology, and serology. Around 20 clients a day per machine from LoveYourself Anglo in Mandaluyong, Victoria by LoveYourself in Pasay, and LoveYourself White House in Cebu benefit from the GeneXpert machines of MACARE.

Reigning Miss Universe-Philippines and LoveYourself ambassador, Gazini Ganados showing off the GeneXpert machines in LoveYourself White House, following her advocacy activity in Tasilay City in 2019. Photo by Ria Briñes
The partnership with MACARE also led to the establishment of LoveYourself White House in Cebu by offering its building for free. It also paved the way for establishing the organization's internal pharmacy, among other help.

During the Rise As One online concert, LoveYourself also commenced its demonstration project for its SelfCare program or its HIV self-screening service with no less than Miss Universe 2018 and LoveYourself Ambassador Catriona Gray, and Mga Batang Poz lead actor, Paolo Gumabao.

The SelfCare demonstration project, supported by Chembio Diagnostics, will run for six months, only covering Metro Manila clients. To avail of the self-screening kits, one must order it through the SelfCare Facebook page. The full implementation of the self-screening program will start after the project. 

Meanwhile, LoveYourself recently launched its telehealth program called, iCON or interactive consultation for its clients to consult with a healthcare professional for their medical needs. To schedule an appointment, clients should register at iCON sign up page.

Lastly, LoveYourself Xpress Refill remains operational for PLHIV, who needs to restock on their life-saving medicines. To register, visit Xpress Refill sign up sheet. Clients may also call the Xpress refill hotlines at:

• Anglo (Mandaluyong): 0920 502 1007 | 0999 529 2330 | 0956 615 1230 | 0915 310 7336

• Victoria (Pasay): 09995292399 | 09153107339 | 0915 831 8715

Lily (Parañaque): 0917 155 5955 | 0928 689 6422

Welcome (Manila): 0967 207 1976

Hero (Bacoor, Cavite): 0956 490 3747 | 0906 483 9040

• White House (Cebu City): 0961 573 6493

The Xpress hotlines are also open to assisting non-LoveYourself clients of their antiretroviral (ARV) medicine refill.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

We can RISE AS ONE on April 12

By Ben Quiaot

Amid the extended community quarantine, the Champion Community Centers have banded together to send a message of hope and love to the entire Philippines. After a week of reflection and mindfulness, it's the perfect time to lift our spirits up and Rise as One on April 12, 2020 5PM, live on Facebook.


The online concert features stunning performances by Flilipino Drag Artists such as Turing Quinto, Lady Gagita, Deedee Marie Holliday, J Course, Christian Vinas, Aries Knight, Victoria Salt and many more! Vocals from Katrina Velarde, 3rd Avenue, Anna Fegi, and Jimi Marquez are also set to inspire us to continue being a positive influence to the people around us. While Boys Can Trance of O Bar Philippines are ready to keep spirits up with their music.

Lastly, special guests will be sharing their messages of hope, love, and encouragement including Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados, and Mga Batang Poz star Paolo Gumabao. Truly, it's time for a change of pace. The fire in our hearts may have struggled to shine ever since the community quarantine started, but hopefully we can find the strength to keep the fire burning and strive to be a light for others.


Physical distancing won't keep us down, we can altogether, Rise as One. Together we can gain a better understanding of what we can amid the community quarantine. As we learn more about ourselves, we can take a more holistic approach to empowered protection.

Don't miss out on this FREE online concert by following Champion Community Centers on Facebook to catch the livestream at 5PM April 12, 2020 (Sunday). This event was made possible with partnerships from Sustatainability of HIV Services for Key Populations in Asia, Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Philippine Educational Theater Association, PhilHealth, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Accelerating Community Engagement and Response on HIV/AIDS PreventionCHEMBIO Diagnostic Systems Inc., and the Join United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. With Diego Rozul