Last Sunday, March 30, 2014, HealthJustice Philippines, in partnership with DAKILA Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, and Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) held an event entitled the High5Life Fair and Fun Ride at Mercato Centrale, Bonifacio Global City, with the theme: “Healthier, Happier Philippines through Health Promotion!”
The Fair and Fun Ride event featured the five different themes of Health Promotion, namely – Healthy Diet, Physical Exercise, Alcohol Control, Tobacco Control, and Road Safety. The Department of Health and the Metro Manila Development Authority were also tapped as partners, while collaborations were made with other groups that share the health promotion advocacy, including Manila Water, ROX (Recreational Outdoor eXchange), Timbuk2, Beyond Yoga, 360 Fitness Club, Perfectform Sportswear, and various healthy food and drink vendors.
The event featured a 10-kilometer fun bike ride around BGC with 100 participants from the West Crame San Juan Thumbikers, West Rembo Cycling Club, Project 3 Quezon City Bikers, Folding Bike Pilipinas, Angkla, Bambike, cyclists from Makati, Pasig, Taguig, Pasay, Taytay, and many more! The 360 Circuit Training Demo by Coach Chappy Callanta served as a very good warm up for some of the bikers. For hydration, a water station was provided by Manila Water, while medical assistance was ready for emergencies by Philippine Red Cross.
For participants that were simply looking to sit back and enjoy, healthy food, drink, and artisinal booths were present at the fair. There were a total of 19 food vendors including: Pipino Vegetarian, Greens Café, Tri-Mona Healthy Dining, Juice Barista, Rawlicious, and Nyogi coconut water; and 14 non-food booths with Rags2Riches, Anthill Fabric, Hey Kessy, Muni Collaborative Community, Tala Luna, Pompyang, and Yadu/Khumbela Bags.
Throughout the day, the Sandugo drummers, an out-of-school youth group that taught themselves how to play percussion, provided entertainment and added excitement; tobacco control ambassador Yosi Kadiri wandered about to welcome guests; and gift items from Beyond Yoga, ROX, and Perfectform Sportswear were given away to partipants that answered health-related questions posed by the host, Marybeth Nave.
The closed tent of Mercato was the venue of the parter booths, the lifestyle assessment booth with doctor volunteers from the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital and student volunteers from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (Eskwela Organization), the photobooth where participants epxressed their health pledges, and the enthusiastic and thrilling Zumba Dance Demo by Beyond Yoga.
To talk about the High5Life campaign and the 5 themes of health promotion, a press conference took place that featured the following speakers: Atty. Debby Sy, founding member of HealthJustice, Dr. Eric Tayag, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary, Engr. Emer Rojas, President of the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), and Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, SEATCA Project Director for the Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax.
“HealthJustice believes in the importance of Health Promotion (HP), which aims to encourage people to have healthy lifestyles in order to avoid non-communicable diseases,” says Irene Reyes, Managing Director of HealthJustice Philippines “This High5Life campaign launch has hopefully put a spotlight on why the Philippines needs to support and invest in health promotion. Sixty-one percent (61%) of deaths in the country is caused by non-communicable diseases and this number is expected to increase unless the country takes action to prevent premature deaths from NCDs. It is time that we join together to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos.”
Influential ambassadors who practice healthy lifestyle behaviors are advocates of the High5Life campaign. Ambassadors present at the event were: DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag, Engr. Emer Rojas (NVAP), Coach Chappy Callanta (360 Fitness Club), Jen Horn (Muni Collaborative Community), Mansy Abesamis (Hey Kessy), Miko Aguilar (Dakila), NItyalila Saulo (Dakila), and Anna Oposa (Save Philippine Seas). Other ambassadors and staunch supporters of health promotion include Senator Pia Cayetano and Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan.
According to Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo of SEATCA, “The Philippines has yet to establish a sustainable and sufficient funding for Health Promotion. A proven strategy is to fund HP through sin taxes, which increases the prices of tobacco and alcohol, as well as provide sufficient funding for effective HP interventions. Like our neighboring countries (Vietnam, Lao, and Thailand) we should see the value of investing in Health Promotion and explore ways to focus on prevention rather than cure.”
“Through the High5Life Fair and Fun Ride event, we hope to have brought awareness about the value of encouraging Filipinos to be healthy, convincing them to increase control over their health and empowering them to make healthy choices,” continues Reyes. “Health Promotion is not the work of the health department alone, we need to involve different sectors, agencies, and each individual as well for an intersectoral and collaborative effort.”
The event ended with a grand raffle featuring prizes from ROX (Recreational Outdoor eXchange), Timbuk2, Beyond Yoga, Perfectform Sportswear, and Khumbela bags.
For more information on our High5Life campaign, kindly view our promotional video at: http://bit.ly/Oxlhzm and like our page at facebook.com/High5LifePH.