Friday, October 07, 2016

Festival Mall's Pink October 2016 Campaign Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Unity in Pink

We now live in modern times and yet, despite advances in technology, 1 in 13 Filipino women is still diagnosed with breast cancer (BC), with most cases being discovered too late. One of the reasons for this is the lack of awareness about the medical condition.

women from the South supporting breast cancer awareness
This month, Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa is once more holding its Pink October campaign for the third year to help push for early detection and awareness of breast cancer, one of the top women's health issues in the Philippines

Since 2013, Festival Mall has partnered with breast cancer and women's health organizations such as the ICanserve Foundation, Stage Zero by Project Pink, the Asian Hospital Charities, and the Gender and Development (GAD) Office of Muntinlupa City to help promote women's health and early detection of breast cancer.  

representatives of partner organizations supporting Unity in Pink
Unity in Pink was launched recently at River Park, hosted by James Deakin who brought his famous Pink Panther along. This is a car he painted after his mom and aunt were diagnosed with breast cancer. It is one of the ways he helps spread the word about breast cancer awareness. He encouraged us to also write on the car to show our support for the campaign. Having two aunts who were also diagnosed with BC, of course I was more than willing to sign! Besides, how cool was that?! :)

Ms. Rose Nuqui, VP and Group Head for Marketing, Events, and Exhibits at Filinvest Alabang Inc., shared how they wanted "to give back to our community -- the shopping public. We want to help enlighten women on the best ways to combat breast cancer, which is early detection. It's a community building and support project." She added how they find fulfillment in undertaking the Go Pink campaign and to be working with new partners.

James Deakin's Pink Panther
According to Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dr. Magdalena Meana, breast cancer is the number one cause of women's death in the city thus their goal to increase the quality of life for patients through the implementation of the breast cancer program in all Health Centers in Muntinlupa through the GAD office.

I found it heartwarming to know from Ms. Trina Biazon, head of the Muntinlupa GAD, that they coordinate with out-of-school youths to create BC paracord key chains, key fobs, and bag tags for the Go Pink Awareness Merchandise fundraising activity for the benefit of ICanServe Foundation. These can be bought at the Carousel Court the whole month of October. She acknowledged that even with the amount given by the government to implement their projects, they still need support from the private sectors.

purchase of paracords helps in fundraising for BC awareness activities 
"We invite everyone to join our activities like October 21's Refueling the Cancer Journey and a fun run on October 30," appealed Ms. Melissa de Leon Joseph. For more details about these worthwhile activities, please keep updated by liking the Stage Zero by Project Pink Facebook page.

Ms. Lani Eusebio of ICanServe Foundation revealed how she is a living survivor of breast cancer and affirmed that the disease indeed affects a patient's family members and friends. She shared that their organization actively campaigns for early detection in barangays to teach women about proper breast self examinations. "We are all-inclusive in the fight against cancer. We should all come together because each of us need one another," she implored. "No one organization will be able to successfully fight this fight alone."

upcoming forum with various guest speakers
"Eliminating this health concern cannot be done overnight and not just by a few people," added Kris Yabes of the Asian Hospital Charities, which helps through subsidized screenings for the women of Muntinlupa. "Together, we can make a big difference in someone's life."

Everyone, not just women, is invited to take part in this worthwhile advocacy. Unity in Pink is a month-long event that features discounts, wellness activities, breast cancer awareness talks, free consultations, free zumba sessions, and other activities for women to promote health. There is also a Hope Wall where mall shoppers and diners can write messages of encouragement for BC patients and survivors. 

more reasons to shop at Festival Mall this October
This October 8 at 10AM, the ICanServe Foundation, in cooperation with the Muntinlupa GAD office, will have a BC awareness talk called Ating Dibdibin. Meanwhile, great discounts for women are available at the Shopaholic Goes Pink Sale while Mossimo partners with Festival Mall for a Fashionably Pink fashion show happening on October 23 at 3PM.

Notably, this yearly campaign has deservedly been recognized at the 51st Anvil Awards held in 2015 with a Silver Award in the Exhibits and Special Events category and another Silver Award for the External Consumers, Communities, Special Interest / Advocacy Groups category.

* Photos without watermark were borrowed from Stage Zero by Project Pink and Festival Mall's Facebook pages

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