Breaking barrier and misconceptions key to sustain acceptance and utilization of modern contraception

As the government intensifies the implementation of its family planning program in the next four years, much more needs to be done to educate Filipinos about the importance of reproductive health and to correct the misconceptions about modern contraception.

Despite the availability and accessibility of different types of contraceptive methods, accelerating the acceptance and utilization is still hindered by misconceptions and lack of knowledge on modern contraception.

“Following the launch of the first World Contraception Day Philippines in 2018, we want to continue the conversation to empower and educate Filipino women and couples to make informed choices about their reproductive and sexual health,” said JunIl Kim, Country Division Head, Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

Among the types of modern contraceptives, the pill, Intrauterine System (IUS), female sterilization, contraceptive patch and injection are the most effective types of interventions with ~99% efficacy, when administered correctly and used with 100% accuracy. However, male condom, fertility awareness trackers and withdrawal method remain to be the most commonly used with approximately 72-82% efficacy. [i]

Earlier, the government has announced the implementation of an intensified family planning program nationwide targeting 11.3 million women over the next four years. This is to increase the usage of contraceptives among Filipinos from 40 percent to 65 percent.


Via Antonio, actress and comedian, talked about her own experiences in pursuit of better reproductive and physical health, “In this day and age, reproductive health remains to be a taboo topic, even among women. Many are using contraception for various reasons yet no one is openly talking about it. The stigma on birth control is alive.”

Dr. Amity Casurao-Trono, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center Q.C and Rizal Medical Center, shed light on the myths and misconceptions about modern contraceptives during her “Pillowtalk” session held in Makati City.

In 2018, an estimated 25.8% or 7.1 million Filipinas aged 15-49, are using modern contraception, an increase of 1.2 million since 2012.[ii]

Oral contraceptives or the pill remains to be one of the most effective and preferred form of modern contraception among Filipinas because they are convenient, non-invasive and reversible. It comes in two types — the combined oral contraceptive (COC) pill, which contains both progestin and estrogen hormones and the Mini Pill or progestin-only pill (POP).

Progestin is the main contraceptive ingredient that prevents ovulation, thins out the uterine lining and thickens cervical mucus such that sperm cannot pass through. Ethinyl estradiol, the synthetic female hormone, stabilizes the endometrium and enhances the action of progestin.

Dr. Casurao-Trono clarified and put sense into the most prevalent myths about the use of COCs.

Pills do not cause birth defects: No adverse effects were observed when COCs were accidentally taken during early pregnancy. Past COC use is not associated with an increase in spontaneous abortions.[iii]

Pills do not increase cancer risk: Studies have not established strong and direct links between breast cancer and pill usage. In fact, the risk of cancer lowered with COC use. It reduces risks for certain cancers such as ovarian cancer (~40% lower), endometrial cancer (~50% lower) and colorectal cancer (~20% lower)[iv]. However, it does not protect from sexually transmitted diseases.

Pills do not make you infertile: 21% of women get pregnant after one month of stopping taking COCs and 79% get pregnant after one year of stopping.[v]

Pills, depending on the formulation and indication, also treat a variety of hormone-related conditions and imbalances such as hyperandrogenism, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe and debilitating form of PMS. Over 88% of women receiving COCs report no adverse effects.[vi]

Aside from preventing unintended pregnancies, selected COC pills offer added benefits beyond contraception such as reducing estrogen-related fluid retention and bloating because of its anti-mineralocorticoid property. It regulates hormonal problems such as acne, facial hair and hair loss due to its anti-androgenic quality. Some COC pills also come in a 24/4 regimen that promotes user compliance. Despite its additional benefits, OB-GYNs highly recommend women to go on a healthy diet and take regular exercise to achieve the desired results.

Like any other medication, it comes with some common side effects such as nausea, breast tenderness and headache, which are tolerable.[vii]

Some contraindications to taking the pills are presence or history of Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic stroke, Transient ischemic attack, angina, Severe liver disease, DM with vascular disease, Migraine with aura, Breast cancer, Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, known or suspected pregnancy, smokers > 35 y/o, severe lipid disease and uncontrolled hypertension.[viii]

Dr. Casurao-Trono reiterates that, “It’s time for women to take a more active stance in taking control of their reproductive and sexual health. We should be able to normalize these discussions, without the fear of being shamed or embarrassed.”

To learn more about contraception and reproductive health, visit or visit

Actress and host Via Antonio shares her life-experience during a media roundtable on what made her ask her doctor on how she can further take control of her body with the help of oral contraceptive pills – whether it is for planning her family or keeping her hormones balanced.

Bayer marked Women’s Month by reiterating the need to educate women about modern contraception and provide access to credible and scientific information on its added benefits. Also in the photo are (left to right) Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ Business Unit Head Michael Cabangon, Via Antonio, Dr. Amity Casurao-Trono and JunIl Kim, Country Division Head.

Dr. Amity Casurao-Trono, an obstetrician gynecologist at St. Lukes Medical Center Quezon City said that there is no better time than today to normalize the conversation about women taking control of their sexual and reproductive health.

[iii] The Global Library of Women’s Medicine. Contraception and congenital malformations
[iv] 1Hannaford et al. BMJ 2007; 2 Beral et al. Lancet 2008; 3 Ness et al. Am J Epidemiol 2000; 4 Tworoger et al. Am J Epidemiol 2007; 5 The Cancer and Steroid Hormone Study of the CDC and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. JAMA 1987; 6 Kaufman et al. N Engl J Med 1980; 7 Hulka et al. JAMA 1982; 8 Jick et al. Obstet Gynecol 1993; 9 Vessey & Painter. Br J Cancer 2006; 10 Appleby et al. Lancet 2007; 11 Bosetti et al. Hum Reprod Update 2009; 12 Fernandez et al. Br J Cancer 2001
[v] Shulman & Westhoff. Dialogues in Contraception 2006; 2 Barnhart et al. Fertil Steril 2009; 3 Cronin et al. Obstet Gynecol 2009
[vi]1US FDA 2004; 2Endrikat et al. Contraception 1997; 3Hernádi et al. Contraception 2009; 4Hite et al. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care 1999; 5Kaunitz et al. Contraception 1999; 6Palacios et al. \\ J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2010; 7 Parsey & Pong. Contraception 2000
[vii] 1Thorneycroft IH. New Pills/new progestins. In Shoupe D, ed. Contraception. In Diamond MP, De Cherney AH, eds. Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America, 2000;
[viii]Fritz, M and Speroff, L. Clinical Gynecological Endocrinology and infertility, 8th ed

Rebisco’s Topps Sarap is looking for the next batch of Toppstars

Is your child the next big TV star?


Topps Sarap, a favorite cupcake brand from Rebisco, is once again looking for a new breed of talented Filipino kids via the Topps Sarap Toppstar talent search.


Started in 2016, Topps Sarap Toppstar was created as a platform to discover young Filipino talents and celebrate the “topps” factor in each kid. Parents are encouraged to showcase their kids’ talents in singing, dancing, or acting by having them join the nationwide talent search.


Winners of the talent search receive the ultimate prize—a chance to audition for TOPPSTAR TV.


Airing weekends on GMA 7 and GMA News TV, each half-an-hour episode features performances from the kids, interviews with celebrity guests, unboxing videos, comedic bits, Pinoy games, and product reviews. Viewers also get a chance to join in on the fun through interactive activity bumpers.


Journey to stardom


The talent contest is open to all kids from anywhere in the Philippines, aged four to 10 years old. To join, parents or guardians must create a maximum 30-second video showing their child’s chosen talent. Videos must be uploaded on the entrant’s Facebook account and must tag or mention Topps Sarap.

ToppStar TV kids.png

Once video has been posted, the link of the post must be copied and included in the entry form, which can be downloaded here: Participants can submit another entry 24 hours after the first submission. The last submission received will be considered the final entry to be judged. A confirmation e-mail will be sent within two to three days of submission. Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM on March 31, 2019.


From all the valid entries, the top 50 will be chosen based on talent and performance (50%); star quality (45%); and online votes (5%).


An online voting will be held from April 5 to 7, 2019, 11:00 AM. A special award will be given to four entries with the highest number of votes, with one each from Luzon, Greater Manila Area, Visayas, and Mindanao.


The top 50 will undergo a talent workshop-audition which will determine the top 25 who will advance to the final stage. The top 25 will compete in the Grand Finals on May 5, 2019. The final 10 Topps Sarap Toppstar winners will be announced on this event.


Each winner will receive P50,000 in cash and will be featured in the Topps Sarap Facebook page. They will also participate in talent workshops and a chance to audition for TOPPSTAR TV’s next season.


For detailed mechanics, rules and more information, visit


Sarap of Topps Sarap


Topps Sarap cupcakes are soft, mouth-watering cakes with rich, creamy filling, and thick frostin. Experience the ‘sarap from bottom to top’ goodness of Topp Sarap in 4 flavors—Choco, Cookie Monster, Yema, and Choco Peanut.

Belle de Jour Inspires Filipino Youth to Dream with Freedom to Dream 2019 Summit


Viviamo! Inc., makers of the Belle de Jour Power Planner, is spearheading the first Freedom to Dream Summit on April 13,2019 at the Red Carpet Cinema, Shangri-La Plaza. The event is meant to inspire and encourage the Filipino youth to discover their dreams, pursue their passions, and make a difference.


7 out of 10 Filipinos do not have a dream—study

The Dream Project PH, a non-stock and non-profit organization, conducted a survey among teenagers across the country. According to the study, 7 out of 10 Filipinos do not have a dream in life. Reasons include discouraging words from others, a lack of self-esteem, lack of passion, lack of opportunities, and poverty.

Is it any wonder why many Filipinos don’t know who they are and what to do next? Darlyn Ty-Nilo, president of Viviamo and creator of Belle de Jour Power Planner, hopes to change this. “We want to take action,” she shares, “by creating positive conversations on dreaming.” Through this initiative, Darlyn and her team hopes to make lasting change among the Filipino youth by giving them the freedom to dream.

Addressing the needs of Filipino youth

The Freedom to Dream summit will have three plenary sessions, addressing the barriers that contribute to the lack of dreaming.

The first plenary, “Raising Self-Worth,” aims to address the discouraging words spoken against the Filipino youth, and the self-esteem issues that resulted from this. Raising self-worth means having faith in oneself and believing that they are worthy of living the life they want.

Participants will hear from Dr. Gia Sison, a mental health advocate who hosts “G Talks,” a talk show in CNN Philippines. Rezza Custodio Soriano, a life coach and “transformologist,” will be one of the speakers on raising one’s self-worth.

The second plenary session, “Igniting Your Passion,” will encourage participants to find the purpose and passion that excites them and invite them to have the drive to stand up and persevere despite experiencing day-to-day challenges.

Prim Paypon, Filipino Dreamagineer and founder of the The Dream Project PH, and Aimee Hashim, lifestyle consultant and founder of LoveLuxe Trading Inc., will be speakers for “Igniting Your Passion.”

Finally, attendees will know how to put their dreams into reality with “Making it Happen,” the event’s third plenary session. Participants will learn how to maximize their resources and act on their goals, despite the lack of opportunities and abject poverty. Multi-awarded entrepreneur behind Oryspa Spa Solutions Inc., educator and advocate of the Filipino brand Sherill Quintana; and Jessica Lopez, Maningning Miclat Art 2018 awardee who created artworks out of milkfish bones will be speakers of this plenary.

Multi-awarded singer-songwriter Jose Villanueva, better known as “Quest,” will be one of Freedom to Dream’s keynote speakers. He envisions creating a culture of sharing positivity, harnessing his talents and influence to uplift the nation.

Apart from the plenaries, there will be fast talk conversations with successful women entrepreneurs and artists who’ll share personal stories on dreaming big and getting over discouragements.

Advocacy expo and mini concert

Participants will have access to an advocacy expo, to raise awareness on a wide range of advocacies that Viviamo! Inc. supports. In fact, 100% of the net proceeds will go to their chosen charity organizations. Apart from this, eventgoers are in for a musical treat with a mini concert after the plenaries. The concert is to be led by Quest and other special guests.

Through this event, Viviamo! Inc. aims to spark positive conversations on dreaming, break barriers, and empower the Filipino youth to live their dreams.

The summit is co-presented by The After Six Club and BraveWorks. For more information on the Freedom to Dream 2019 Summit and how to purchase tickets, visit

JoshLia drawn by the irresistible langhap-sarap Jollibee Yumburger

Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto know all about being irresistible.

In their newest commercial for Jollibee, the country’s leading fast-food brand, the popular love team delivers kilig once again alongside their favorite Yumburger.

Playing to the irresistibly delicious aroma of Jollibee’s best-selling burger, Joshua uses a freshly cooked Yumburger to draw in Julia for a special date he prepared. Guided by the mouthwatering scent wafting from the burger, Julia walks into a Jollibee store filled with rows of balloons and roses.


Ang napaka-unique na katangian ng Yumburger ay ‘yung amoy pa lang, alam mong masarap na,” Joshua shared. “Kapag nalanghap mo, talagang hindi mo mahihindian at mapapakagat ka talaga!”

 “The aroma of the Yumburger is truly something unique. There’s no mistaking that it’s a delicious burger,” Julia agreed. “Unwrapping the Yumburger and breathing in that smell then taking a bite is an experience both me and Joshua will never say no or get tired of.”

 Irresistibly beefy langhap-sarap

The secret behind this time-tested, unmistakable aroma is the Yumburger patty which is made with 100% pure beef. Satisfyingly meaty and seasoned to suit the Pinoy palate, the Yumburger patty is carefully cooked to achieve beefy and savory flavors and aroma.

With soft buns and a special burger dressing that complements the savory notes of the beef patty, the Yumburger delivers an incomparable experience with every bite.

“I think this combination of a really masarap aroma and delicious ingredients have made Yumburger irresistible not only for me and Josh, but also for other burger-loving Filipinos,” added Julia.




Kaya nga sa commercial namin, ‘di agad napansin ni Julia ‘yung romantic decoration! Ganun din siya sa totoong buhay, basta masarap ang pagkain, ‘di na niya napapansin ang nasa paligid,” quipped Joshua.

“Science has proven that the senses of smell and taste always go together, which is why it’s really important that food must smell and taste good,” said Cathleen D. Capati, Assistant Vice President for Jollibee Marketing. “The Yumburger delivers on both fronts—more than just a catchy slogan that rhymes, langhap-sarap is a product truth that we can prove with every bite.”

Indulge in the irresistibly beefy langhap-sarap Yumburger today—available in all Jollibee stores nationwide for dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-thru transactions. Prices start at P35.00 (Solo).

For more information on Jollibee’s products and promotions, like Jollibee Philippines on Facebook, subscribe to Jollibee Studios on YouTube, and follow @Jollibee on Twitter and Instagram.

* Prices may vary across locations

Mega Prime and Masflex come together to serve more Filipino homemakers

In a mutual interest to serving the Filipino homemaker, leading canned food  manufacturer Mega Prime has partnered with kitchenware giant Masflex. Recognizing the need for affordable and quality products for their consumers, this partnership will allow both brands to continue empowering Filipino families when it comes to their kitchen needs.
“Mega Prime has always been committed to turning everyday dishes into extraordinary meals through our full line of premium products. We are always looking for companies like Masflex that share our goal of enhancing the kitchen experience by helping moms to become savvy homemakers. Through this partnership, we can continue to provide activities and offerings that will benefit our consumers,” remarks Mega Prime’s Sales and Marketing Head, Marvin Tiu Lim.
Before Masflex, Filipino consumers were forced to buy very expensive global brands which majority couldn’t afford, and some were forced to deal with the lower-quality locally-made recycled scrap material cookware that posed a health risk. Masflex recognized these extremes in the market and decided to provide a range of affordable products that still had a standard of quality for homemakers. To answer the needs of the Filipino homemakers love for their cooking, the Masflex brand was born.
Now, Masflex has become the country’s leading provider of affordable, easy-to-use, and high quality kitchen and dining solutions, and has been supportive of the same cause as Mega Prime.
“We are looking forward to this partnership with Mega Prime and are very excited about exploring different sales and marketing initiatives and advocacies that will further enhance our consumers’ brand experiences,” explains Ram Mirchandani, Masflex’s VP for Sales and Business Development.
For more information and updates on the partnership, visit Masflex’s and MegPrimes official websites.

5 Stunning Outdoor LA Venues to Throw Your Next Event at

Outdoor events and ceremonies provide a natural atmosphere and ambiance that
makes a wedding or any event truly memorable. There’s nothing that calming like the sounds of chirping birds, the soothing sounds of trickling water in a water fountain, and leaves dancing in the wind. These relaxing views and sounds can all be part of your wedding or birthday party when you choose an outdoor venue.

The best time to hold an outdoor event is in summer or spring but in LA where the
weather is balmy almost all year round, you can have an outdoor wedding or event almost all year round. Get a party rental Los Angeles to help you organize your outdoor event to take some of the stress off you. You just have to leave certain things to the professionals. It will certainly be money well spent when you experience the awesomeness of your special day that will leave you and all your guests awed.

Outdoors are scenic and beautiful. This makes it a perfect backdrop for photographs and your event. You won’t need elaborate décor in outdoor events – perhaps some flower decals around the arbour area, chairs covered in white sheets with a chair bow and some twinkling lights.

First things first. You have already decided that you want an outdoor venue over an indoor. The next task is to find the most stunning outdoor venue for your event. If your event is going to be held around LA, these are 5 stunning outdoor venues in LA that’s
worth considering:

Avila Beach

Laguna Beach

Malibu Rocky Oaks

Perch, LA

Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills

After you have settled on the outdoor venue, you will need to rent wedding chairs, lightings, backdrops, furniture, tables and perhaps throw in a little WOW factor that’s Instagram worthy for you and your guests.

An outdoor wedding reception will be remembered by you and your guests for a long time. Even when you are older, you will have the beautiful love story to share with your children and grandchildren. Nature’s wonderful bounty has a huge impact on our emotional state, and that’s what makes these events lifetime experiences. You can make your wedding a truly unforgettable one by planning an outdoor wedding just the way you want it.

How to Rep Your Racing Team Off The Track

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