By: Katrina Diane B. Puguan, Class 2024, Φ2020
Staying true to their advocacy, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held their 6th annual Children Fair last February 29, 2020, entitled Children’s Fair: A Galactic Affair. In partnership with Alay Kapwa Kilusang Pangkalusugan (AKAP), around 70 children from the community of Brgy. La Paz Makati experienced an exciting, space-themed, learning activity combined with fun, games and delicious snacks.
The event kicked off with opening remarks from Sophia Amabelle Fajardo De Chavez, current Sister Caritas of Phi Lambda Delta Sorority. Children were then able to explore different booths put up by our partner organizations, pledgers, and volunteers: U! happy events, Little Hands UP, UPM-OMAKE, UP College of Public Health Student Council, Sibol PH and Phi Lambda Delta Sorority. There were various fun educational booths such as a dental hygiene booth where children learned the proper way of brushing their teeth, a coloring booth that gave opportunities for the kids to express their creativeness, and an Ano-to-my booth where children learned about basic body parts. Other game booths added to the excitement such as the Face Painting booth, Rocket Blast game booth, and the popcorn and cotton candy booths.
In the middle of the event, a theatrical performance of "Ang Paglalakbay ni Juanita: Leprosy, 'Di Mo Ako Kayang Talunin" also taught the kids social awareness and the value of acceptance, humility, and braveness. As the event came close to its end, a series of games were hosted: “Paalis na ang Rocket ship”, Calamansi Relay, and Jack and Poy war. The children were ecstatic as each winning team won a coloring book of their own. This enthusiasm was carried through a dancing session that highlighted the kids’ talents. Closing remarks were given by Ana Beatrice De Vera Constantino, current Superior Sister Exemplar. Later on, loot bags and food were distributed as the event ended with happy faces painted on the kids and volunteers alike.
By Pauline A. Alibin, Class 2023, Φ2019
Last November 20, 2019, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority celebrated the Golden Foundation Ball – the Sorority’s 50th anniversary at the Rigodon Ballroom of The Peninsula Manila. Sisses from all over the world came and celebrated the Sorority’s momentous milestone.
The program was hosted by Eri Neeman and the Sorority’s very own Lalaine Samson Quinan, Φ2018B. Two of the eleven founders, Dr. Zenda Biano Garcia Lat, Φ1969 and Dr. Anita Tuason Velasco-Paves, Φ1969 together with the Sorority’s first adviser, Dr. Eva Poblete, graced the Ballroom with their presence and launched the program with their Founders’ and First Adviser’s Walk. This was followed by Dr. Zenda Biano Garcia Lat, Φ1969’s moving speech about how Phi has grown from a group of eleven courageous women to a premier sorority with more than 900 members.
As the sisses enjoyed the sumptuous dinner, Ana Beatrice de Vera Constantino Φ 2016, SSE 2019-2020, introduced the 50th Executive Council and showcased how the Sorority continued to uphold its core values of Excellence, Leadership, Service, and Sisterhood during the golden year. Each member of the 50th Executive Council also shared their past projects and current plans with the sisses to keep them updated about each office. The presentation was followed by a number of performances by talented sisses across various batches. The Phi Band and the Phi Choir serenaded the sisses with lovely songs while the Phi Tao Rin Pala Core (TRP Core) stunned the audience with their electric dance number.
The Sorority also recognized sisses who exemplified its core values of Excellence, Leadership, and Service. Sisses who went above and beyond their call of duty were awarded the Excellence award. Among those awarded this prestigious honor were Dr. Jennifer Co-Vu, Φ1996B, Dr. Marie Paz Anette David-Rubio, Φ1982A, Dr. Maria Antonia Esteban-Habana, Φ1984, Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan, Φ1991, Dr. Eileen Malapaya-Manalo, Φ1985, and Dr. Geraldine Tong Zamora, Φ2005. The Leadership award was awarded to pioneers, founders, and catalysts of change who paved the way onto greater things. This award was given to Dr. Maria Luz Casimiro-Querubin, Φ1984, Dr. Charlotte Chiong, Φ1981A, Dr. Maria Angela Medina-Lavadia, Φ1978, Ma. Corazon Wilhelmina Kasilag Ochoa-Strattan, Φ1972, Dr. Lisa Prodigalidad-Jabson, Φ1989B, and Dr. Zenda Garcia-Lat, Founder of the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority. Next, the Service award was given to those who continue to selflessly provide sustainable service to the Filipino people. This award was given to Dr. Rhodora del Rosario Ocampo, Φ1983, Dr. Lourdes Inciong Publico, Φ1973, Dr. Josephine M. Carnate, Φ1985, Dr. Josefina Isidro-Lapeña, Φ1977, and Dr. Belen Lardizabal-Dofitas, Φ1983B. Lastly, sisses from the UPCM Class of 1994 were called on stage and were recognized as the Silver Jubilarians, having celebrated 25 years as alumnae from UPCM.
At the end of the program, Ana Beatrice de Vera Constantino Φ 2016, SSE 2019-2020’s gave her closing remarks, which was followed by the sisses' renewal of rites. To conclude the night's festivities, the sisses sang the Phi Lambda Delta song in unison to honor the sisterhood that will always be deemed timeless and boundless in our hearts.
By Leslie T. Lim, Ф2019, Class 2023
Last October 11, 2019, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority had a career talk on surgery and anaesthesiology entitled “Phi in the OR”. The event was held in PGH’s RCB OR Conference Room and was graced with four speakers from the Department of Surgery and Anesthesiology namely: Dr. Esther Alinsunurin Saguil (Ф1986, Class 1991), Dr. Jeryl Anne Silvia Roxas Reyes (Ф2000A, Class 2005), Dr. Maria Teresa Sabas Flores-Paelmo (Ф1990, Class 1995) and Dr. Arlene Dejera Jimeno-Hernandez (Ф1990, Class 1995). Apart from these, resident sisses from these two departments also shared their stories.
The speakers talked about their life as medical students, interns, residents, and as successful doctors. Tips and advice were given as well. Moreover, how to have a love live and how to build a family despite the toxicity of becoming a doctor was also tackled.
The career talk also began with snacks from Amber’s and Sushi Nori sponsored by the alum sisses. Truly, the event was a success as more sisses in the resident body were inspired to take surgery, and even anaesthesiology as their specialty in the future!
This event was headed by Aurora Nakpil (Ф2017), and co-headed by Leslie Lim (Ф2019).
By Maria Antoinette M. Valdez, Ф2019, Class 2023
Milk Matters, the flagship project of the Phi Lambda Sorority, holds milk drives concurrent with public health lectures (PHLs) in partner communities so as to educate mothers about the importance of breastfeeding, how to properly express milk, as well as give them the opportunity to donate their breastmilk to the babies of the Philippine General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PGH NICU). For this year’s Service Month, another Milk Drive was held last October 5, 2019, at the Risen Christ Parish Church, Silang, Cavite, in the spirit of Phi’s commitment to this advocacy.
The day started on an energetic note as a PHL for the mothers on breastfeeding and immunization was hosted by Marie Pauline Adame Abilin Ф2019 and Nicole Rose Inos Alberto Ф2019. Proper latching for breastfeeding was first taught to the mothers through the acronym “G.A.T.A.S.”, after which mothers were encouraged to actively participate in synthesizing their learnings through a fun-filled game of pictures of latching to which they shout “Tama” o “Mali” to indicate a proper or improper latch. Next was the demonstration of the different breastfeeding holds, namely the cradle hold, cross-cradle hold, football hold, and the side-lying position by Isabelle Rose Inos Alberto Ф2019.
It was also important to clear up any misconceptions the mothers may have regarding breastfeeding, which was achieved through active participation of the mothers in another round of ‘Tama o Mali’. Most of the statements centered on when or when not to breastfeed, as well as debunking traditionally held beliefs such as avoiding breastfeeding when tired or sick. Next up, the entirety of WildPHIre, Batch Ф2019, touched on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. Each member held up a poster as a visual aid as they expounded on each.
A segment on vaccination was then added to this year’s PHL. Given the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases nationwide, it was important that mothers vaccinate their babies early and that they be able to recognize that vaccines are in fact, safe and effective. Thus, an active Question and Answer-type discussion regarding the different vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis was conducted by the hosts, along with educating the mothers about the life-threatening manifestations that each may have. Stephanie Isabelle Cruz Paredes Ф2019, and Mary Grace Li Enriquez Ф2019, then stepped in to discuss to the mothers the multitude of benefits that come with vaccinating their babies. During their discussion, cards containing the DOH Immunization Schedule were distributed to the mothers which they could conveniently refer to in making sure that their babies have been given the shots needed at particular ages.
Finally, the hosts also mentioned that although breast milk has the capacity to protect babies from certain illnesses, vaccination remains superior in terms of effectivity in protecting their children from life-threatening illness that cannot be cured once acquired—only managed. Thus, the PHL was then closed by asking the mothers to repeat the hosts’ chant of “Basta kumpleto, protektado!”, in the goal of emphasizing to the participating mothers the importance of practicing timely and complete vaccination for their children as an endnote.
The breast milk expression station was then opened to the mothers, with the PGH NICU nurses facilitating the milk expression. All sisses present during the event were also given the opportunity to facilitate milk expression firsthand. As the morning came to a close, a total of 2 liters of breastmilk were collected; around more than 30 mothers, with some carrying their babies, left with smiles on their faces; and the whole resident body, ended the milk drive with an intensified desire to keep on holding more in the sorority’s years to come.
By Christina Hedriana Baroña, Ф2019, Class 2023
Last October 8, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority held EmpoweRED: An HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign at the Gregorio Perfecto High School. Students from Grades 9 and 10 were given lectures on the different aspects surrounding the condition, namely, its medical and social aspect.
Dr. Winlove Mojica, a consultant of the Philippine General Hospital-Division of Dermatology, gave the lecture on the medical aspect of the condition—its prevalence, how one contracts it, how it is transmitted and how it can affect the body, as he clarified medical myths surrounding the disease. This part of the talk aims to dispel any misconception about the condition that could easily contribute to the stigma, thus effectively stopping it from forming in this particular set of young minds in the first place.
The speaker of the social aspect of HIV/AIDS, Mr. Manuel Labro, who himself is a Person Living with HIV (PLHIV), was introduced by first having Dr. Mojica show a video on the life of a PLHIV, which turns out to be him. Mr. Labro then emerged from the audience and continued his lecture. Through this unorthodox introduction and a moving speech, Mr. Labro was able to effectively demonstrate how people living with the condition look no different from those without it, whilst silently, but successfully fighting a fierce battle with one of the most devastating infectious diseases humanity has ever had to face.
This is but one of the many events in the EmpoweRED Talk Series that aims to break the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, by teaching correct information and raising awareness in the youth, the demographic most concerned by the subject given its rising sexual activity and thus, rising risk of exposure to the disease. With the help of the consultants who take part in educating the youth about it, and the PLHIV who share their experiences living with it, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority urges everyone to be aware, be informed and be empoweRED.
By Marie Angelica U. Marquez, Class 2023, Φ2019
The Phi Lambda Delta Sorority and the Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity, kicked off another episode of their annual joint bloodletting event, Bloodline, last October 1, 2019 at the 2nd floor of Calderon Hall, UP College of Medicine.
Bloodline, as part of the Sorority and Fraternity’s Phi Service Month, aims to help address the pressing needs of PGH patients for blood units. Throughout the busy day, several UP students, and other individuals passed by to support this important cause. A total of 14 blood bags were collected and donated to the PGH Blood Bank.
The Phi Lambda Delta Sorority and the Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity would like to thank the PGH Blood Bank, and all our blood donors for making Bloodline a success. We hope to see you again at the next installment of Bloodline.
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.