By Mary Grace Li Enriquez, Ф2019, Class 2023
The Phi Lambda Delta Sorority, in partnership with the UP Manila Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, brought back the Sorority’s Gynecological Mission to Calatagan, Batangas, after three years. The Gynecological Mission is an annual project of the sorority where it adopts different communities with little or no access to healthcare. This project aims to help women empower themselves by providing public health lectures (PHL) on basic feminine hygiene, breast examination, and free cervical cancer screening through visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA).
In preparation for the event, sisses from LU3, LU4, and LU5 attended a lecture and skills training workshop guided by Dr. Doris Ribudal Benavides, Φ1991, Class 1996. This provided sisses with the basic skills needed for the gynecological mission, and proved to be a great foundation for the youngest sisses who had not yet been exposed to the experience before.
On March 16, 2019 at around 4:30 AM, a bus loaded with excited sisses left for Calatagan, Batangas from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). After more than three hours of travel, the sisses, headed by Dr. Joanne Karen Sarmiento Aguinaldo, Φ1997, Class 2002 finally arrived at the Enrique Zobel Technical Center (ENZO Tech). Volunteers from ENZO Tech and UP Manila Ugnayan ng Pahinungod had already started setting up the beds and partitions in the examination room. With a few more preparations, everything was in place and ready for use.
But there was a huge challenge – there was only one doctor (Dr. Aguinaldo) and a long line of patients waiting to be examined. Normally, there would be several doctors and sisses from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Unfortunately, there was a conflict in their schedule, and the other doctors were to arrive later in the afternoon.
“It is possible, and I have done this before,” said Dr. Aguinaldo as she gathered the sisses. Despite the pressure of being the sole doctor to see the patients, Dr. Aguinaldo remained calm and delegated the tasks systematically. She was to be assisted mainly by the two clerk sisses present, Ana Beatrice de Vera Constantino, Φ2016, Class 2020 and Gianne Rosales Pagulayan, Φ2016, Class 2020. The current ICCs, PHIreflies (Φ2017), were assigned to do take the patients’ history and vital signs. The younger sisses, DiversiPHI (Φ2018A), UniPHIed (Φ2018B), and WildPHIre (Φ2019) were tasked to do history taking, take vital signs, and facilitate the registration and flow of the event.
Everyone went to their respective posts, and the event officially began. The mothers first registered, then were led to the waiting area where they were given a series of PHLs. PHIreflies, DiversiPHI, and UniPHIed taught the mothers about feminine health and hygiene and breast examination.
An interactive PHL for the children was also prepared by WildPHIre. This centered on the proper way of handwashing and tooth brushing. This PHL was not only informative for the children present at the event, but also entertaining as the sisses acted, sang, and danced with colorful props and costumes.
The Gynecological Mission was a huge learning opportunity not only for the patients but also for the sisses. DiversiPHI and UniPHIed eventually took over the job of history taking as the PHIreflies went on to perform breast examinations and VIA, guided by Dr. Aguinaldo and the clerks. WildPHIre shadowed the process and eventually were able to interview the patients and take vital signs as well.
Fortunately, by 3:00 PM, four residents from the PGH arrived at the venue. Dr. Louie Baldomero Caluban, Dr. Viktoria Ines Matibag, Dr. Kimberly Maniulit, and Dr. Priscilla Alameda took over the examination of patients while Dr. Aguinaldo finally got to take a break. By 5:00 PM, a total of 61 patients were examined.
The event finally came to an end. Challenges and obstacles to the event were conquered through patience and cooperation. After packing up, the sisses, together with the other doctors, headed back to Manila with numerous new learnings in tow.
Coming back to the community after three years, the Gynecological Mission remains true to Phi’s brand of service – sustainability. There were former patients coming in for a follow up from the last Gynecological Mission, as well as new ones. The community was receptive to the lectures, and many attendees said they appreciated all that they learned through these lectures. Despite the long and arduous day, it was rewarding to know the impact the project has created on the people. It may be a few years until the Gynecological Mission comes back to this community, but the empowerment it has taught the people will surely remain for a long time.
By Leslie Cathleen T. Lim, Ф2019 Class 2023
Last February 26, 2019, the Phi Lamba Delta Sorority once again shared its advocacy regarding HIV/AIDS awareness in the Philippines through EmpoweRED: An HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign. This year, its first talk was held in the Araullo High School, wherein Grade 11 and 12 students listened to two speakers, namely Dr. Christine Penalosa-Ramos from the Philippine General Hospital and Nanay Elena Felix, an HIV/AIDS warrior. The speakers both shared their knowledge and experience with regards to HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Penalosa-Ramos shared that an individual infected with HIV will be infected for life, as a cure is yet to be discovered. An individual with HIV can later on have AIDS as the latter is described as “the severe and end-stage of HIV infection.” However, as of today, there are antiretrovirals that control HIV/AIDS.
Unfortunately, the severity of HIV/AIDS has worsened over the years. From the year 2009 to 2018, the cases of HIV/AIDS per day increased from 1 to 32 wherein 90% of the affected individuals are males. Globally, 37 million individuals are experiencing HIV, wherein 3.5 million of these cases are found in Asia alone. Though there is only 1% HIV cases found in the Philippines, the problem in the country is the rapid rise of new cases also termed “pandemic”. Among the 63,000 cases in the country, young working individuals are the most affected as they are the ones who exhibit the riskiest behavior.
Though the disease is deadly, it is not something to be afraid of. Dr. Penalosa-Ramos shared that HIV/AIDS is not directly transmitted via water, air, saliva, sweat, tears, or even kissing, as the virus dies immediately. However, it can be transmitted via sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, organ transplantation, from a mother to a baby, or when needles are shared. Amongst all the transmittable factors, the highest form recognized is sexual transmission via anal sex.
Nanay Elena Felix further added that children or young adolescents should not be confident that they will not get the disease. To avoid the rising pandemic of AIDS/HIV cases, one must not discriminate affected individuals. One must be compassionate to these affected individuals for the latter to learn how to talk about it.
The more affected individuals talking about their experience, the more the stigma against HIV/AIDS will end. It is time to take action through public health lectures, free HIV/AIDS testing, and voluntary reading to broaden one’s knowledge. Advice given by the speakers include keeping oneself informed, practicing safe sex, practicing abstinence at a young age, and being brave enough to get tested.
At the end of the day, as Nanay Elena says, “a person living with HIV is also a person living with dignity.” Hence, stop the stigma with the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority—be informed, be aware, be empoweRED.
*EmpoweRED is an event under the Office of the Sister Caritas for the yearly Service Month of the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority.
By Xianthe Dianna Gomez, Ф2018B Class 2022
EmpoweRED is an awareness campaign started by the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority on October 2014 which aims to remove the stigma surrounding HIV patients through a series of talks. Since then, the campaign has been brought to different medical schools in an effort to inform more people about the disease and empowering individuals living with HIV.
On August 21, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority launched its first attempt to bring EmpoweRED to senior high school students by partnering with the Manila Science High School. The event was held at the Manila Science High School Auditorium, and was attended by over 200 senior high school students. There were two speakers who shared their knowledge and information regarding HIV to the attendees.
The first speaker was Dr. Winlove Mojica, a dermatologist, who lectured about SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) and the clinical aspect of HIV. He talked about the ways by which HIV can be transmitted other people and debunked myths about HIV/AIDS. Dr. Mojica also emphasized the need for protection against HIV and taught the students what they could do to lower their risk for acquiring it.
The second speaker, Nanay Elena Felix, recounted how she was diagnosed as HIV positive in the 90s, when HIV was highly stigmatized and there was not cure yet for it. She shared how the diagnosis affected her and her family, her occupation, and her day-today life after receiving the diagnosis.
EmpoweRED is one of the events of the Phi Service Month under the office of the Sister Caritas, Alyssa Louise Aquino Uy Ф2017 Class 2021. The event was headed by Czarina Ann Baydo Baptisma Ф2018A Class 2022, Sophia Amabelle Fajardo de Chavez Ф2018B Class 2022, and Xianthe Dianna Fabian Gomez Ф2018B Class 2022, and was sponsored by McDonald’s.
By Jian Kristine D. Sarsagat, Ф2018A Class 2022
Last August 4, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held the first ever Big Sis Lil Sis Day at Barangay Santol, Quezon City. The event was headed by Alexis Desamparado (Ф2017 Class 2021), Fershell Siao (Ф2017 Class 2021), Patricia Lota (Ф2018A Class 2022), Patricia Sy (Ф2018A Class 2022), Jian Sarsagat (Ф2018B Class 2022), and Cheska Rosas (Ф 2016 Class 2020). Present in the event were sisses from Ф 2016 (PH16ht Club), Ф 2017 (PHIreflies), Ф 2018A (DiversiPHI), and the newest batch, Ф 2018B (UniPHIed).
Prior to the event, sisses were grouped into five teams based on the Big Sis-Lil Sis pairings. The program, hosted by Patricia Sy, Ф 2018A Class 2022, started with booth games, specifically Donut Drop, Pass the Message, Cookie Face, Guess Who, and Taboo. Each team was able to play all five booth games that provided not only opportunities to get to know more about each other but also opportunities to discover more about individual talents, maximize every member’s strengths, and work as a team.
For the second part of the program, all the teams were gathered together to play relay games and charades. The last game, Human Tic Tac Toe, was played only by Team 2 and Team 3, the two teams with the highest points. Team 3 emerged as the overall winner of the event.
Although only one team was announced as a winner, all the sisses won prizes – treasures in the form of sisterhood and fun memories! Big Sis Lil Sis Day will surely be remembered not only as an afternoon that filled the hearts with laughter and joy, and the stomach with food but also as a great new way to start the school year.
The success of the event would not have been possible without our gracious hosts, Editha Carlos Yap-Legaspi, Ф 1982A Class 1985, and Katelyn Edelwina Yap Legaspi, Ф 2018A Class 2022.
By Danielle Colleen D. Tiu, Φ2018 Class 2022
There was no better way to celebrate the end of the school year and kick start the summer than by spending it with the sisses of the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority.
Last June 11 to 12, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority, together with the Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity, went on their annual Phi Dagupan trip. Despite the gloomy and somber weather, the sisses and brods had a delightful and wonderful stay in Pangasinan. Moreover, we were able to craft friendships and memories that will surely last a lifetime.
After three to four hours on the road, the group finally reached The Medical City Pangasinan. Upon arrival, Brod Juan Antonio Maximiano “Maxi” Regalado Escano, MD Φ 1992 toured us around the hospital. As our shoes clattered and echoed through the long halls and corridors filled with patients and locals, Brod Maxi showed us the new facilities and advancements that the hospital has achieved through the years. Likewise, he shared to us the future direction- plans, vision and aspirations- he desired to attain for the betterment of the hospital.
Immediately after the tour, the sisses and brods went straight to Mamalols to enjoy the delicacies of Pangasinan. The sumptuous lunch was hosted by Sis Maeva Guinang dela Cruz-Lalas, MD Φ1969, Class 1972B, Brod Juan Antonio Maximiano “Maxi” Regalado Escano, MD Φ 1992, Brod Jason Rafael “Raffy” Aspuria Maddumba, MD Φ2004B, and Brod Jeffrey Michael Viloria Wong, MD Φ2006. While waiting for the food to be served, the sisses and brods gleefully conversed, took pictures and caught up with the alumni sisses and brods. The amount of food served was more than one could imagine. Our hearts were content as we filled ourselves with Mamalols’ famed ham, lumpia and turon.
Upon reaching El Puerto Marina Resort, the sisses walked around the resort, explored its facilities and took pictures with the resort’s picturesque and scenic spots. It was still early in the afternoon and despite the melancholic and downcast weather, we were able to enjoy ourselves in the beachside. Some sisses and brods played a friendly match of dodge ball and volleyball, while others spent the whole afternoon exploring the waves and unspoiled sands of Lingayen’s coast. A handful, not feeling athletic, daring nor adventurous, opted to stay indoors, played card games and cheerfully chatted the whole afternoon away.
As the sun set, the sisses and brods headed to Silantro, one of Dagupan’s popular and sought-after restaurants, for dinner hosted by Sis Maeva Guinang dela Cruz-Lalas, MD Φ1969, Class 1972B, Brod Juan Antonio Maximiano “Maxi” Regalado Escano, MD Φ 1992, Brod Jason Rafael “Raffy” Aspuria Maddumba, MD Φ2004B, and Brod Jeffrey Michael Viloria Wong, MD Φ2006. Initially flustered and overwhelmed by the amount of food we had to ingest, we ended up indulging ourselves with nachos, quesadillas, chicken and burritos. Our cravings for Mexican food were satisfied by the tables were overflowing with food and drinks. Furthermore, the mood of the dinner was light and merry as laughter and smiles were evident on everyone’s faces.
After filling our stomachs, we headed back to the resort, excited and thrilled for what the evening would bring. Countless bottles of cold beer were served and the games commenced as soon as each had a bottle in his/her hand. The rest of the night was filled with chatters, jokes and music as the sisses and brods savored the cool and brisk Pangasinan air. Indeed, we were able to experience sisterhood as friendships were strengthened and new ties were formed. It was a definitely a night to remember.
The second day was as eventful as the first. We made good use of the resort’s facilities by swimming in different pools, walking along the shore, and playing in the sand. As we delighted ourselves in the beach, we took several pictures to capture the memorable occasion. Before returning to the busy city of Manila, we took a mental image of the serene, breathtaking shore and inhaled the fresh and invigorating Pangasinan air that we would certainly miss.
For lunch, the renowned bangus of Dagupan did not disappoint as the rich flavor of the city’s well-known fish melted in our mouths. The succulent and luscious sizzling bangus, together with other distinguished Filipino dishes such as binagoongang pata, pinakbet, and fried crablets, were served at the lunch table. The last meal of the trip, which took place in Dagupena, was hosted by Sis Jennifer Ann Reyes Mendoza-Wi, MD Φ1972 Class 1976, SSE 1975-1976 and her husband, Brod Zenaides Tactay Wi MD, Φ1972, SE 1975-1976. Before heading back to Manila, Sis Jennifer shared her advocacies and anecdotes about her medical practice. We concluded our outing by singing the Sorority’s song.
Phi Dagupan 2018 was deemed successful for we had a pleasurable time, sent-off our clerks for their internship, visited the alumni, fostered camaraderie and celebrated sisterhood. ‘Till the next trip, sisses and brods!
Patricia Marie M. Lota, Φ2018 Class 2022
Last March 15, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held a career talk on Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Paz Mendoza Building in UP Manila. The alumni speakers, Dr. Doris R. Benavides Φ’91, Class ‘96 and Dr. Maria Lora P. Garcia-Tansengco Φ’87, Class ‘92 shared their journey from basic sciences to residency, fellowship, and consultancy. Together with the resource speaker, Dr. Valerie P. Tiempo-Guinto Φ’91, Class ‘95, they were able to tackle the highs and lows of trying to find a balance between practice and family life. The talk was attended by the resident sisses who were able to learn more about Obstetrics and Gynecology as a career path.
Dr. Doris Benavides started the talk with sharing her journey during medical school and internship where she discussed her influences into choosing Ob-Gyne as a practice. She shared what she learned about herself, her strengths and weaknesses, that helped shape her into the doctor she is today. Dr. Doris also mentioned how important her batchmates in Phi are to her because through the sisterhood they shared, they we able to strive through medical school together. She also gave importance to knowing yourself enough to decide what residency program to take as this will determine your future — because the rollercoster ride that is residency is filled with highs and lows as you share a great number of years with your co-residents, all fully devoted to the practice and your patients. After completing her residency, Dr. Doris undertook her fellowship, first a subspecialty in Gynecological Oncology and another in Advanced Gynecological Laparoscopy outside the country. She stressed the importance of continued learning in medicine. Additionally, Dr. Doris also pursues endeavours not related to Ob-Gyne — she is part of the academe in UP Manila, particularly in research ethics, clinical ethics, and PHREB GCP Training of Trainers. Ultimately, Dr. Doris shared that in Ob-Gyne, “burnout” is a reality but it will always depend on how you spend your time — try to find the balance between family, friends, and work.
Next, Dr. Lora Garcia-Tansengco discussed how she tried to find that balance. Dr. Lora first shared how she was influenced into entering Ob-Gyne — her mother and surgery. She described herself as someone who was always ready to take on a challenge and thats exactly what she did during her residency in Ob-Gyne — this paved her way to become team captain, chief resident, and eventually to winning several awards including Most Outstanding Resident Physician by POGS and International Young Fellow Awardee by FIGO. She received an acceptance letter from King’s College in the UK for fellowship training but declined and decided to work in the country instead. She worked as a Clinical Associate Professors without compensations in UP-PGH for 7 years, as Nationwide Statistics Committee Chair in the Philippines Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (POGS), and even as a columnist in the Manila Times. Despite all the distinctions and high positions in practice, she still considers her family to be her greatest achievement. However, all that she has achieved didn’t come easy, she faced a lot of hardships in starting a family and working. Looking at her life in a nutshell, she was very satisfied with her work life but not so with her family life. She had a loving husband and a beautiful daughter amidst her busy work life but she realized that she wasn’t spending as much time with them as she would like — so she finally decided to focus more on her family and private practice. She found balance in being the best doctor she can be and being the best mom to her family. Dr. Lora also said that she found time for herself to start focusing on her hobbies in fitness, as she joins marathons, triathlons, and Iron Man races in and out of the country with her husband. Dr. Lora shares that there is more to life than just working — that finding your own happiness in work life and family life is of great importance.
As far as the academe and private practice goes, the resource speaker, Dr. Laire Tiempo-Guinto is able to enjoy the best of both world. Dr. Laire kept her ties with UP-PGH while working in her private practice. She also continued her education by taking a Masters Degree in Clinical Medicine in the Philippines which includes research, teaching, and administration. She shares that after her fellowship, she started focusing on her family and is happy to watch her kids grow up. Similar to Dr. Doris and Dr. Lora, she also emphasized finding the right balance for life in general.
After hearing the speakers, an open forum was held where the resident sisses were able to know more about the profession and about finding the right balance in life. Other alumni sisses, Dr. Serines Virian D. Decano Φ’08, Class ‘13 (Chief Resident), Dr. Maria Carmina L. Santiago Φ’09, Class ‘14, and Dr. Germaine Angela C. Ursabia Φ’11B, Class ‘16, who are currently taking their residency program in PGH, also dropped by the event. They were able to share their experiences during the open forum and how they are able to cope with the challenges in med life.
All the speakers and sisses that shared were able to open the opportunity of choosing Ob-Gyne as a profession. The resident sisses were able to learn the importance of finding the right balance of work and personal life and the importance of knowing onself well enough to find the most appropriate career path for the future. Truly, Phi excellence was exemplified in all the women present in the Career Talk and the warmth of sisterhood was felt all throughout the afternoon.
Lara Marielle L. Castillo, Ф2018, Class 2022
On March 10, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority, in partnership with UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, held a Gynecological Mission at the Skills Training Center of Sitio Pingkian, Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas. The Gynecological Mission is an annual event organized under the guidance of sisses from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The sorority seeks out communities in need and provides lectures on maternal & child health, along with free cervical cancer screening through visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA), bimanual pelvic examination, and breast examination. This year, 35 mothers from nearby barangays were able to benefit from the services offered by the sorority. On this day, the spirit of service and sisterhood was reignited in the hearts of all those in attendance.
Prior to the event, Dr. Ira Dominique Tabada Alatraca-Malonzo, Ф2004, Class 2009 gave the LU 3, LU 4, and LU 5 sisses a brief lecture on gynecological history taking, pelvic exam, and VIA on March 2, 2018. A skills lab training for bimanual examination of the pelvis then ensued. This workshop greatly helped the resident sisses prepare for the gyne mission.
On the day of the event, bleary-eyed and groggy sisses assembled at the PGH flagpole as early as 4:00 AM. After receiving a short pep talk from Dr. Joanne Karen Sarmiento Aguinaldo Ф1997 Class 2002 and loading needed materials and equipment for the day, sisses excitedly boarded the bus, and set off on their journey to Sitio Pingkian, Batangas. The resident sisses were joined by Dr. Clarissa Lim Velayo Ф1997 Class 2002, Dr. Reysa Omay Autentico Ф2008 Class 2013, Dr. May Bugagao David Ф2008 Class 2013, Dr. Serines Virian Dela Cruz Decano Ф2008 Class 2013, Dr. Patricia Marie Tan Fernandez Ф2011B Class 2016, and Dr. Raisa Pecson Butalid, Ф2013 Class 2017.
Sisses arrived at the Skills Training Center at around 7:30 AM, and quickly set up the venue with the help of the UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod volunteers. There were two rooms for use in the center: one where the public health lectures (PHLs) would be conducted for the women and their children, and another where the various examinations (VIA, bimanual pelvic exam, and breast exam) would take place. Making the most out of the resources at hand, sisses made improvised partitions out of bedsheets in between beds, using two tall stalks of bamboo to hold them in place.
At around 8:00 am, after the venue had been prepared, the Pahingunod volunteers fetched mothers and children from the nearby Barangays Papaya and Looc. They had previously been invited by their Barangay Health Worker (BHW) to participate in the event. Since the Skills Training Center is quite far from surrounding barangays, the Pahingunod volunteers used a van to fetch the mothers and their children.
Once at the venue, mothers and children first registered their names, then were directed to the PHL room for a brief public health lecture. At around 8:30 AM, the first PHL was conducted by Ф2017 (Phireflies). During this PHL, mothers were taught how to perform breast examinations on themselves, as well as an overview about cervical cancer, its various risk factors, and the basic principles behind VIA.
The mothers then started with history-taking and the examination proper while their children were left in the room for another PHL, conducted by Ф2018 (DiversiPhi). This PHL centered on good hygiene, including proper tooth brushing and handwashing practices. The children were treated to games, prizes, and a short dance number during this 30-minute lecture.
After the PHL for children, DiversiPhi then joined the other resident sisses and alumni. Phireflies were mainly in charge of taking participants’ gynecological history and vital signs, as well as performing breast exams; Phi Batch 2016 (Ph16ht Club), under the guidance of our alumni, performed the bimanual pelvic exam and VIA.
It was beautiful to see sisses passing on their knowledge to the younger batches. Our alumni were assisted by Ph16ht Club (Ф2016) sisses; Ph16ht Club, in turn, endorsed the proper breast examination procedures to Phireflies (Ф2017) sisses, and demonstrated how to do the bimanual pelvic exam and VIA. The youngest batch, DiversiPhi (Ф2018) was welcomed into the gyne mission by first observing how to take proper gynecological histories and vital signs before doing these on their own. They were guided by the Phireflies.
The event ended at around 4:00 PM. After packing up, taking lots of photos, and singing the Phi Lambda Delta song to wrap up the day, sisses headed back to Manila on a Phi High. It was indeed a day that exemplified service and sisterhood, and one that will be remembered in the years to come.
Jecelle D. Masula, Φ2018 Class 2022
Last February 24, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held an event as part of the Caritas Month entitled “Children’s Fair: A Magical Affair!” at the Children’s Playground, Luneta Park. Together with the children from different beneficiaries, the day was celebrated with full of fun and games dedicated and brought to them by our partner organizations, sponsors, pledgers, and volunteers.
Around 130 kids from the different beneficiaries, namely, Autism Society Philippines UP CAMP, Pasay and Sta. Cruz Chapters, La Sagesse Rehabilitation and Development Center, and Special Olympics Philippines NCR North Chapter, joined the event. The children explored and enjoyed playing at the various booths put up by our partner organizations: U! Happy Events, Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity, UPM-OMAKE, UP CAMP Association of Physical Therapy Majors, Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity, and Phi Lambda Sorority. There’s a storytelling booth on Leprosy to increase awareness of this condition, a card matching game booth, smash hit booth, balloon twisting and face paint booth, which was a hit to the kids. There’s also an ice cream stand and a cotton candy stand perfect for taking a break from all the games and activities. The children had passports that will be stamped every time they visit a certain booth. After collecting stamps from our partner organizations, a series of games such as obstacle relay, hep hep hooray, and the boat is sinking were hosted by our sisses from the newest batch, Patricia Sy Phi 2018 and Vibiene Bernal Phi 2018.
The event was concluded with the kids going home with their loot bags, lunch and of course, smiles on their faces. Thank you to our sponsors, U! Happy Events and Baon the Go, to National Parks Development Committee, and to our pledgers and volunteers!
Danielle Colleen D. Tiu, Ф2018, Class 2022
As part of this year's Caritas Month activities, the second installment of Lifeline happened in University of the Philippines Diliman last February 23, 2018. The event was held in AS Alcove, one of the busiest and most frequented place of student body in the campus. Several students showed desire and intended to donate for a good cause. The sorority was able to collected 17 blood bags and all were donated to the PGH Blood Bank.
The event was a heartwarming experience for it was pleasant to see good-hearted and magnanimous individuals, sharing their time and blood with those in need. It, indeed, restores faith in humanity. The event would not be a success without the donors and the sorority’s partners namely, PGH Blood Bank, Maroon FM, UP Flyers, UP Pre-Medical Society, UP PUGAD Sayk, Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity, UP Tau Lambda Alpha Sorority, and U.P. Tau Rho Xi Fraternity. We hope to see you again in the next episode of Lifelife!
Danee Coline E. Mangila, Ф2018, Class 2022
EmpoweRED is an event that brings forward the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority’s advocacy that aims to promote HIV awareness in the hopes of removing the stigma among individuals positive with HIV. It involves a series of talks conducted at different schools to increase HIV awareness. Last February 20, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority brought back EmpoweRED to PGH. The event was held at Room 215, Emergency Room Complex at PGH. There were 3 speakers who shared their insight and knowledge on HIV/AIDS and free HIV testing and consultation was also offered by Love Yourself PH, one of the event’s partners.
EmpoweRED is one of the events of Caritas Month under the office of the Sister Caritas, Gianne Rosales Pagulayan Ф2016 Class 2020. The event was headed by Kristel Iris Gollayan Tiburcio Ф2017 Class 2021, Isabel Kristine Malabag Valdez Ф2017 Class 2021, and co-headed by Czarina Ann Baydo Baptisma Ф2018 Class 2022. Students, residents, and other health care professionals from different departments were in attendance including Dr. Corrina Pambid Azarcon Ф2011B Class 2016 and Dr. Melissa Rose Olivarez Orteza-Sorra Ф2012 Class 2017 from the PGH Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
The first speaker was Dr. Marlene Mae Bermejo from DOH who talked about current epidemiological information on HIV. She mentioned that as of 2017, 31 individuals are newly diagnosed per day. This increase from previous years accompany the propagating stigma on being positive with HIV. She also talked about the importance of sharing strategic information on HIV to make the public more aware of the situation. The statistics presented by Dr. Bermejo highlights the need for dissemination of proper and informative knowledge on HIV to help remove the stigma.
Nanay Elena Felix shared a moving recount of her life as a person living with HIV. She was diagnosed as positive with HIV during a time when the stigma of the disease was very prominent. She experienced being denied of health care, mostly because of the fear of people regarding HIV. Despite all that, she has continued to live a life that helps change the lives of other people positive with HIV. Nanay Elena is truly inspiring with her courage to stand up for herself and fight the stigma.
The last speaker was Mr. Edgar “Kahel” Mutas Jr., a counselor at Love Yourself PH. Mr. Mutas shared his experiences as a counselor, talking about the different but equally challenging situations he faces as he helps people living with HIV. He talked about how a big role of his job was to build relationships and trust among those that he councils, which plays a big role in the success of what he does. Mr. Mutas and his dedication for what he does reminds us that more and more people, even those not positive with HIV, continue to join the fight against the stigma on HIV.
After the talks, people were ushered to the next room for the free HIV testing and consultation by Love Yourself PH. The testing consisted of filling out a form and extraction of a few drops of blood for the rapid HIV test. After 12 minutes, an individual’s control number will be called by a counselor. The councilor will discuss the results and general information on HIV with the councilor. Having been able to get the test myself, I very much appreciated the counselling. I liked how they started with asking with my current knowledge on HIV and how they built upon that to continue the conversation as well as add to my knowledge. I could see how knowledgeable and dedicated the councilors are in propagating proper information on HIV and AIDS.
I am looking forward to more EmpoweRED events because I believe events such as this should continue and be brought to more places. Events that aim to share proper knowledge and increase awareness on current health issues are what we need more today. Proper health education can have great impacts on public health concerns, because even just the right awareness on the transmission of HIV can improve the current situation and remove the stigma.