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.
Patricia S. Sy, Ф2018 Class 2022
As part of Caritas Month celebrations which highlight the sorority's commitment of service to the Filipino people, the Phi Lambda Delta held its flagship project, Milk Matters, at the Canossa Health and Social Center, Silang, Cavite last February 16, 2018. This project centers on empowering women to know more about the importance of breastfeeding to enable them to take control of their own health and the health of their babies as well. It also encourages mothers to donate milk for the benefit of the patients in the Philippine General Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Upon arrival at the Canossa Health and Social Center, the sisses were gleefully welcomed by their very own sis, Sr. Maria Elena A. Adre, FdCC, Ф1986 Class 1991. The morning program started off with a public health lecture hosted by Patria Marie M. Lota Ф2018 Class 2022, and Jecelle D. Masula, Ф2018 Class 2022 for the mothers and mothers to be. Everyone could feel the energy in the air as the participants joined in a game of 'Tama' or 'Mali' that sought to clarify certain misconceptions about breastfeeding. Subsequently, Danee Coline E. Mangila, Ф2018 Class 2022 and Katelyn Edelwina Y. Legaspi, Ф2018 Class 2022 demonstrated the various positions that babies can assume while breastfeeding. They were able to show the mothers how to do the cradle hold, the cross cradle hold, the football hold, and the side-lying position. The fun fact that twins could be easily breastfed with the use of the football hold, with one baby on each arm, was met with resounding laughter.
Additionally, the hosts went on to discuss the pertinent information that mothers should always remember when breastfeeding, which was creatively presented through the acronym "G.A.T.A.S." The proper latch-on technique was also presented to the mothers. Another interactive segment ensued as mothers were asked to identify whether the images presented on screen depicted proper breastfeeding and latching practices. Everyone had their own opinion as they sought to analyze the images and correlate it with their own practice which created a space for mothers to share their own experiences about the matter.
In the next part of the program, everyone from DiversiPHI, Ф2018, pitched in to present to the mothers the many benefits associated with breastfeeding, with each benefit having a corresponding poster. Afterwards, therefore, the mothers were also able to run through all the amazing benefits associated with breastfeeding. Finally, common problems surrounding breastfeeding and the solutions to these problems were also discussed to help the mothers address these concerns more easily.
To cap off the event, a breast milk expression activity was led by PGH's NICU nurses. Through this activity, the youngest batch of sisses were able to experience first hand how to facilitate milk expression from mothers. The joy among the mothers were palpable as they felt truly grateful to be able to share something that they had in excess to those who they know were in need.
Vibiene Norma C. Bernal, Ф2018, Class 2022
Last February 13, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta sorority held Lifeline at the PGH corridor in front of the Health Service, from 8AM to 4PM. Lifeline is a yearly blood letting event of the sorority intended to benefit the UP PGH blood bank.
Lifeline is under the Office of the Sister Caritas, Gianne Pagulayan Φ2016 Class 2020 and was headed by Danee Coline Mangila Φ2018 Class 2022. There were also partner organizations whose members donated blood too. These were namely: Agham Youth UP Manila, CAMP Volunteer Corps, CAMP Student Council, UP Nursing Artists' Corps and UP Manila Junior Marketing Association.
This yearly project is always done in two venues and the this Lifeline at PGH was the first episode. All in all, thirty-four blood bags were collected and donated to the blood bank. This hopefully can alleviate in the hospital's problems regarding blood supply.
Katelyn Edelwina Y. Legaspi, Ф2018, Class 2022
On February 5, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority launched its exhibit to mark the beginning of this year’s Caritas month. The sorority holds service to be one of its core values, and the various events and projects during Caritas month are meant to be an application of Phi Lambda Delta’s understanding of service. The sorority believes that service projects should be sustainable, and be conducted in such a way that the community can learn to empower themselves through education, rather than being given empowerment from an external source.
The first project of the month is Lifeline, a blood drive that encourages people to donate blood for the PGH blood bank. There are two collections, one in PGH, and one in UP Diliman. Next is the breast milk drive held in partnership with the Canossa Health Center in Cavite on February 16 entitled “Milk Matters”. A short public health lecture on the benefits of exclusive breast milk feeding for the first 6 months of life is followed by breast milk donation by willing mothers for the babies in the Neonate Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). This is followed by EmpoweRED, an HIV-AIDS awareness campaign, where future medical professionals and health workers are invited to listen to a series of talks by doctors, people living with HIV-AIDS, and speakers from the organization Love Yourself Philippines.
Then there is the Children’s Fair, a day of fun, games, and sweet treats for children with special needs. Various booths featuring different forms of entertainment like face painting, carnival games, and tasty sweets were put up in the Children’s Playground in Rizal Park Luneta for them to enjoy. The Phi Lambda Delta sorority put up a story telling booth with members acting out an abbreviated version of “John’s Brave Adventure: Leprosy You Can’t Defeat Me!” in order to spread awareness and minimize stigma against those living with the condition. Caritas Month comes to a close with the Gynecological mission, which aims to provide knowledge and access to simple gynecological tests for women in areas where these services are difficult to access.
The exhibit is meant to be a preview of these events, as well as a show of the members’ creative skill. The exhibit’s attractive theme of a mother and child surrounded by flowers invited many to come look at the exhibit and read about the sorority’s many upcoming wonderful projects, and to perhaps join in us in our quest for service.