Category Archives: Advocacy

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Five years ago, a cousin succumbed to breast cancer complications. I thought of sharing a brief story about her cancer journey in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My cousin was newly married and starting to build a family when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy to remove the early stage of cancer from the affected breast.

Photo by Klaus Nielsen from Pexels

But two years later, her oncologist disclosed she had stage IV cancer. The cancer cells from her breast were not contained but had spread to her brain.

Despite the pains and rigors of cancer treatment, my cousin remains positive through her battle. Even up to her few remaining days, we know that she is holding on to her life. She loves her family so much that despite being sick, she still thinks of their welfare. I remember her saying, “Kailangan maging malakas ang loob ko para sa pamilya” (I need to be strong for my family).

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

She may be terminally ill, but nothing prepared us for her passing.

My cousin died peacefully at the hospital four days before Christmas. She was only 46.

Our extended family welcomed 2016 with a heavy heart. She was laid to rest after a long, painful fight with cancer.

My cousin, Cecil

The observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the Philippines highlights the importance of regular self-breast examination and the early detection and treatment of breast cancer among Filipino women.

A breast self-examination (BSE) is a method to detect any noticeable changes in one’s breast. Early detection of any changes in the breast and seeking immediate consultation will increase one’s chances of successful treatment.

The 2020 Global Cancer Observatory showed that breast cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the Philippines.

The high global incidence of the disease paved the way for the popular movement called Pink October in the 1990s. Source: DOH

We Are Vaccinated!

Have you had your Covid19 vaccine yet? I hope you did. Getting vaccinated the soonest possible time protects yourself and the people around you.

Covid19 vaccines will give you an extra layer of protection against the severe effects of the virus.

Taken at a vaccination site inside a mall in Quezon City

My family was able to register with the LGU-supported registration site online. We finally got our doses separately a few weeks later.

Hubby, myself, and our daughter are fully vaccinated now. Our son will have his second dose a few days from now. I’m glad that we were allowed to get the vaccine at the right time. Many are still waiting for their vaccine schedule in our area.

Taken inside a public school in Quezon City

Three of us are on the priority list being in the A3 category or those with comorbidities. Health experts said Covid19 vaccines prevent possible hospitalization and emergency room visits due to severe illness.

As for the vaccine side effects, what we experienced were all the common ones. These include pain at the injection site, mild fever (for me), the feeling of weakness or fatigue, and headaches for a couple of days.

Get the available Covid19 vaccine if you are not vaccinated yet. Protect yourself, the people you care about, and those you meet outside your homes.

Even when you are vaccinated, health experts remind the public to observe the minimum health protocol. Wash your hands frequently, wear a face mask, practice social distancing in public or crowded places.

Here at home, we wear face masks when we do not feel well. We do not know what afflicts us, so we wear face masks to be safe. We do not eat together, keep our distance when talking to each other. And we sleep in separate rooms.

Finding My Own Place in the Blogging World

I started blogging more than ten years ago to share bits and pieces of information about HIV/AIDS.

My husband encouraged me to set up a blog to post the news and feature articles I wrote for a daily publication. Those articles were mostly about People Living with HIV/AIDS or PLWHAs. During those times, fewer materials about PLWHAs are available on the Internet due to privacy issues.

Because I was a newbie in the blogging platform, I searched for other blogs/bloggers who may share the same interests. While lurking, I stumble on mommy blogs. One blog features photos of kids following a weekly theme. I thought it was cute and decided to join the “meme” by sharing my kids’ pictures on the blog. I had fun because I look forward to interacting with fellow mommies every week.

Earn online

While interacting with other bloggers, I’ve learned that I can earn online. So I started signing up for various companies that pay bloggers for writing articles.

In 2010, I bought my first domain to earn more online. New friends were supportive to help me set up a blog with a nice layout. I’m still thankful to them for all the help they’ve extended to me. The other mommy friends helped me with the technical stuff and offered a hosting service for my first blog.

They’re the same friends who shared referrals to paying sites and direct advertisers. I was able to generate funds from the passive income. It was a big help for a single-income family like mine.

Brand ambassador

In 2012, I became part of a campaign that assists people to lose weight. Thanks to mommy friends who recommended me to join the weight loss challenge. Overall, it was a nerve-wracking but productive experience. I believe it was the peak of my blogging journey to date. I’ve met a lot of interesting people behind the blogs.

I guess I share the same sentiments with influencer Amy West when she recalls her experiences with brand partnerships. Amy travels a lot. She promotes brands and writes blogs while traveling to various places.  

I didn’t win the weight loss challenge, but I learned to take care of my health. I continue to exercise and mind my food intake.

Blog coverage

The blog exposure somewhat allowed me to cover events. I was lucky to attend a few, a Family Day in an exclusive school for girls; green social enterprises in a municipality in Metro Manila; and an art exhibit by human rights activists. The coverages brought back the memories I had as a reporter.

There were opportunities to review certain products. The good thing about blogging is that you can express your honest opinion about the product. For me, blogging plays a significant role in the promotion of new merchandise in the market. Potential consumers can easily access product reviews online and decide if they will buy the product or not.

Blogging onward

I have been in this business for more than a decade now. I can’t say I’ve made a mark in the blogging world because I’m an ordinary blogger with no accolades or large following. I’m happy enough to share the side of an introverted mommy blogger.

What keeps me motivated to continue blogging these days is a personal goal. You see, my son is in the last two years of college, and I rely on the income I get from blogging and online gigs.

Advocacy

I have mentioned sharing about PLWHAs stories in my other blogs. I believe the stories of real people living with HIV/AIDS will help raise awareness about the public health threat among vulnerable populations.