Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ramen for Sarah

I was 12 and she was 10 then.

No, this is not a love story but this post is definitely full of love for a dear friend who I have never seen for almost 18 years.  A classmate from high school posted a note about her and was delighted to read about it only to find out an unexpected  news.

Well, let me introduce her first.  She is Dra. Sarah Moral.  Actually, it was only my sister Connie, her classmate in high school for 4 years, who informed me that she did become a doctor which is not a surprise to me.  She is a smart little girl who loves to collects medals in our school, Niño Jesus House of Studies (NJHS).

Back in high school, I was sort of his kuya.  Our school is not really big so students can really make friends from other grade levels.  I can’t remember how many times I was assigned as their class "big brother for a day” every time their adviser was on leave.  She made my task easier because she is a natural leader who would take over the group initiating educational games and activities rather than spending time in one corner of the blackboard and making a list of who were noisy and standing.

She was also a co-member in our dear Cultural Club in NJHS.  It is in that group that I discovered and developed talents I never knew I had. One proud moment was when beat the colossal Rizal High School (RHS), that time was the biggest high school in the world as per the Guiness Book of Records, in the Sabayang Pagbigkas category, a city-wide competition that RHS ruled for years.

I also had the privilege of being an officer of the Student Council of our school where Sarah was also elected.  Meetings were fun, makulit but productive.  After I left NJHS in 1993, I never heard of her until I was introduced to Ramen for Sarah.    

Ramen for Sarah was created out of our compelling desire to bring together all of Dra. Sarah Moral's family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues to rally behind her and support her in her fight against cancer.*

The word "ramen" originated from the Chinese (Mandarin) word "la miàn" meaning "pulled noodles." Noodles, according to Chinese belief, symbolize longevity and are often served during Chinese New Year and birthdays. It's is widely believed that eating noodles signify long life to the person consuming them.

Sarah is in need of our prayers and financial support. We will be organizing a series of fundraisers in the coming weeks and months to raise the money needed to subsidize her hospital care and treatment. For those who wish to contribute financially, you may make a deposit to any BDO branch:

Account No:1420055044 (BDO Rockwell Ortigas)
Account Name: Philip Lance A. Liu OR Miranila E. Hernandez (for check donations, please address to either person)

Please send an email to once you've made the deposit so we can acknowledge its receipt. Any amount is very much appreciated!

Thank you for who ever will be touched of this post and would support her.  Let's continue to pray for Sarah's full recovery. She has saved lives for years.  Now it's time that we help her save hers.

*Dra. Sarah Moral was diagnosed last June 28, 2011 with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Do you have a great idea promote health and wellness in communities?

United Laboratories, Inc. (UNILAB) calls on the youth to help improve the health and wellness of the country, one community at a time, through its Unilab Ideas Positive, an idea-generation contest on social marketing programs that address health and wellness issues in communities.

Now on its second run, Unilab Ideas Positive program was launched as a response to the increase in community issues in hygiene and sanitation, nutrition, disease prevention and intervention, and environmental care and protection. Unilab believes that these concerns are more effectively addressed when two or more groups or organizations are working together in true Bayanihan spirit, the Filipino trait of working together to achieve a common goal.

Unilab is thus partnering with the youth to tap into their creativity, idealism and sense of social purpose to find fresh and innovative solutions to emerging and recurring health and wellness issues in communities. Unilab is not just providing youth groups a venue to be heard, but more importantly, empowering them to turn their ideas into reality.

A seed fund of Php100,000 is awarded to the winning team to implement their social marketing program for their chosen community. Two runner-up groups are given Php75,000 each to do the same for their programs.

Last year, Team Biggkas of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) bagged the grand prize for its farm-in-the-city concept, teaching hydroponics gardening to mothers in Barangay San Joaquin in Pasig City so they have their own sustainable source of vegetables within the community. Mothers made their first harvest of lettuce and kangkong in April this year. The local government of Pasig City has expressed a desire to replicate the same program in other barangays.

Due to the successful run last year, the program has now expanded from Metro Manila only to include nearby provinces like Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, and Rizal.

Interested students can form a team of five and submit their idea through until July 18. Ten semi-finalists will be chosen to undergo a 3-day camp in August where social marketing thought-leaders led by 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida and social marketing guru Dr. Eduardo ‘Ned’ Roberto will help teams to firm up their social marketing plans.

Five finalists teams will be chosen to defend their plans on Sept 18 before a multi-sector panel of judges that will pick the team that wins the seed money from Unilab.