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leovlauzon

leovlauzon

leovlauzon

Private Sector Representative on Women/Children/Youth/PWDs/Urban Poor for the Regional Development Council Eastern Visayas, International Journalist w/ Advocates for Youth, HIV/AIDS Advocate w/ YAFA, & Peer Educator w/ Y-PEER. Activist, Blogger, Psychologist, Traveler, and human :)
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It has nearly been four months since Eastern Visayas was ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) yet the situation of the people remains difficult and our future uncertain. No words can aptly describe of our situation in those trying moments. In just four hours, Yolanda destroyed our homes, offices, schools, and our source of livelihood. Along the rubbles that the mighty current of storm surge have carried are the lifeless bodies of our friends, neighbors, relatives, and loved ones – many of whom are still missing, …

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For me, the 4th Student Council Leadership Conference was the best experience to end my year 2009. It was year full of blessings that an emerging young leader like me can ever dream of. The year opened and closed with so many memorable moments and new friendships created. It expanded my horizons which enable me to take a look at a different perspective of life and the world. This was the time where I was first realized that I found myself being productive and active in different youth …

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Its been more than three months since I last posted a blog here in Amplify. Typhoon Haiyan really devastated my city, Tacloban that up to now, we do not have electricity in my subdivision and internet access. I am writing my first blog this year in Indonesia as I attend the Green Climate Fund 6th Board Meeting. I am here along with our friends in the climate movement to demand climate justice and climate finance. Typhoon Haiyan is a blatant example on why we cannot delay for …

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I am happy to be part of the pool of facilitators who facilitated the very first National Adolescent Health Camp that was held at the Fontana Leisure Parks in Clark, Pampanga from October 22-25, 2013 and attended by 300 young adolescents from across the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. I am also honored to have worked with my fellow Y-PEER siblings in this project by the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) and to mentor out-of-school youth delegates from Eastern Visayas who were awesome during …

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(Note: Katia Gomez is the Founder and Executive Director of Educate2Envision, an international NGO working with the children and young people of Honduras. Recently, her organization was recognized by the WomenDeliver as one of the 25 finalists for the WomenDeliver 25, an online competition to determine the top social enterprises that benefit girls and women around the world.  More than 13,500 votes were cast online to select Teen Revolt, New Incentives, Wedu, and the other winners. Each finalist will receive a scholarship to WomenDeliver 2013, where

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In the post-2015 development agenda, we must focus on reducing inequality, which has widened both within and between countries. Thus, it is important that we must also accelerate the social, political, and economic inclusion of marginalized groups, especially women and girls and young people – whom United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a nod to the importance of women, who “hold up half the sky,” and of young people, “the very face of our future.”

 

Still, one crucial ingredient went without mention: sexual and reproductive health and rights …

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In the post-2015 development agenda, we must focus on reducing inequality, which has widened both within and between countries. Thus, it is important that we must also accelerate the social, political, and economic inclusion of marginalized groups, especially women and girls and young people – whom United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a nod to the importance of women, who “hold up half the sky,” and of young people, “the very face of our future.”

 

Still, one crucial ingredient went without mention: sexual and reproductive health and rights …

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In the post-2015 development agenda, we must focus on reducing inequality, which has widened both within and between countries. Thus, it is important that we must also accelerate the social, political, and economic inclusion of marginalized groups, especially women and girls and young people – whom United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a nod to the importance of women, who “hold up half the sky,” and of young people, “the very face of our future.”

 

Still, one crucial ingredient went without mention: sexual and reproductive health and rights …

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After 14 years of struggle, the Reproductive Health Bill has finally been passed into law!

Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III quietly signed the bill into law last December 21, 2012, four days away before Christmas – for me the best Christmas gift for Filipino women and youth especially us RH advocates who were tireless in our efforts to lobby, dialogue, march on the streets and campaign for the passage of the RH Bill into a law. The new law will now be called as Republic Act 10354 or …

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As we celebrate the International Human Rights Day, let us hear from the perspective of a young writer of one of the progressive college newspaper in the country, U.P. Vista. Shermaine Corado is the Editor-in-Chief of the U.P. Vista, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines Tacloban College for two consecutive academic year. A talented writer and debater, she continued the legacy of her predecessors in utilizing print media and writing to expose human rights abuses in the country especially those that are happening in …

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If there is a place hotter beyond the 4 degrees Celsius increase in temperature of our world climate, it is Doha, Qatar. For the coming weeks, the governments of the world who are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, civil society organization, and constituencies will convene in this small but fossil fuel oil rich Arab state in the Middle East to decide on the future of the world dealing with the harmful effects of climate change. There is a daunting task ahead and …

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On the busy street of Juan Luna in Tacloban City, one cannot escape staring at the imposing Hotel Alejandro, one of the city’s hotels that is owned and manage by the prominent Montejo family whose American period ancestral house dominates the front portion of the said establishment, and is said to be one of the few best preserved Spanish and American period houses amidst a city of ever changing taste in architectural style and gusto – a sad tragedy of poor historical conservation and protection on the part of …

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To my amplifyyourvoice.org community, friends and followers, some of you are my Facebook friends (and my dear close friends). Some of you are my Twitter followers (@leovlauzon). You might noticed that my display picture is black and so are some of your Filipino friends and friends from all over the corners of the globe – especially those that are fellow activists, bloggers and online writers…

So why is our DP black?

Today is BLACK FRIDAY  in the Philippines for bloggers and it should be for everyone because we believe …

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THE DISSENTER
. Chief Justice Sereno has been regarded as a minority in the Supreme Court, not only in decisions but in controversial issues that the Court faced upon.

Defying gender stereotypes and tradition, this is how best describes the appointment of Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno as the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Philippines. At 52 – the youngest among the justices, she went against judicial tradition on seniority when she bested four senior justices to occupy the highest post of the judicial branch of …

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My interview with Province of Dinagat Island Population Program Officer Lusio T. Mercado. He was speaker on youth issues during the UNI-MAD Regional Youth Summit last September 2, 2012. In my interview with Mr. Mercado, he discussed the programs and projects that the CARAGA Region and the Province of Dinagat Island is implementing in order to respond the issues of youth especially teenage pregnancy and early sexual encounter; among them are symposiums on teenage pregnancy, and youth camps. They …

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"In this Land of the Free, it is right, and by nature it ought to be, that all men and all women are equal before the law. Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, to remind all Americans that it is fitting and just to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment adopted by the Congress of the United States of America, in order to secure legal equality for all women and men, do hereby designate and proclaim August 26, 1975, as Women’s Equality Day."

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His Royal Highness, Chief Mumena XI of the Kaonde Nation is not your conventional royalty. He did not come from neither the well-known royal houses of Europe and Asia or from the surviving, mostly autocratic African royal houses of Swaziland, Morocco, and Lesotho. Yet, Chief Mumena, the Paramount Chief of the Kaonde Nation, an ethnic group of 239,000 people living in Northwest Zambia exudes the authority that only a royal can succeed, which is to provide continuity and stability of his people amidst the threats of extinction of their …

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Happy International Youth Day!

Wow, how time passes by! I realized that its my 2nd year blogging in Amplify. First as International Journalist for the International Year of the Youth and as International Youth Blogger with Advocates for Youth! For the past two years I have been to conferences one can ever dream of attending in almost five continents except Australia. From COP 16 in Mexico to COP 17 in South Africa, from ICAAP 10 in South Korea to XIX IAC in USA, and Brazil (my first to be …

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Above. Can you see where I am in the picture?
 

Fun-filled memories, meeting old and new faces, making friends, stage fright, and endless paparazzi moments marked my second attendance to the YouthForce Pre-Conference. Definitely better than before! Pizza treats during film showing, gourmet breakfast and lunch (I so love the desserts! Makes me mouth-watery. Hahaha…), and endless coffee was definitely one of the best parts for me. Plus, the accommodation was so comfortable and relaxing that one is motivated to participate in the sessions by morning and …

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Note: Below is an article written by Senator Pia Cayetano, one of the co-authors of the Senate version of the Reproductive Health Bill along with fellow Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. In her article, she describe her struggle in the upper chamber of the Philippine Congress in passing the bill. Most importantly, she debunks almost every anti-RH arguments being hurled upon against the bill. I would like to share it because I find it really interesting for one to read the personal views of one of the main proponent of

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Its been a roller-coaster ride for every Filipinos this week. Last Saturday, there was a huge Anti-RH rally organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines at the revered EDSA Shrine calling for lawmakers to withdraw their support from the RH Bill. They are expecting 50,000 to come out in the rain but only a fraction of that number actually came. They were shouting for SAVED SEX, NOT SAFE SEX.  What the heck? Actually, most of the young people don’t do both. But the latter SAVES LIVES from HIV …

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I thought I will never see the day where RH Bill will have a breakthrough in the Philippine Congress after a decade long struggle…not until TONIGHT!

Yes, at 6:07 PM last night, a day before August 7, the date set by the House of Representatives to vote whether or not to prolong the years of debate in the plenary on the controversial piece of legislation about reproductive health has been finally put to rest by a resounding viva voce vote from the members of the lower chamber of the …

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The red ribbon is a global symbol in the movement to address AIDS. The Red Ribbon Award, presented every two years at the International AIDS Conference, is designed to honor and celebrate community based organizations for their outstanding initiatives that show leadership in reducing the spread and impact of AIDS. The award is a joint effort of the UNAIDS family and as such, this year it will place particular emphasis on the organization’s newly approved global priority areas of action.

– Red Ribbon Awards

This year’s Red Ribbon …

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Between 2001 and 2010, HIV prevalence declined among young people (aged 15-24) in at least 21 of 24 countries with a high HIV burden. However, an estimated 2 400 new HIV infections occur each day in this population.
– UNAIDS

Above. Speech of First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba of Namibia at the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Session.

Madame Penehupifo Pohamba, First Lady of Namibia  and Chairperson of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS was the keynote speaker during the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Session on Progress Against AIDS and Key …

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The XIX International AIDS Conference is the perfect moment to hold world leaders, decision makers, funders and donors, and the gigantic pharmaceutical companies who is steadfast in imploring patent laws be more accountable for the role they each play in ending the pandemic.

We are closer than ever to making an end to AIDS a reality. We can’t let them miss this opportunity to let them know what a unified voice against AIDS can do to turn the tide together. Access to ARVs as a form of prevention is …

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One thing that is advantageous for a person in the media who is covering the XIX International AIDS Conference is that, people who speaks in the plenary (upstairs) goes down to the Media Center (downstairs) and holds press conference. Aside from being a media delegate, I am also one of the seven media delegates whose attendance to the AIDS 2012 was sponsored by Global Fund. So, it was to my great delight that we were one of the first to meet and have a press briefing with Global Fund …

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"Grief is the price we pay for love."

 – Queen Elizabeth II, September 11, 2001

Above. A gloomy Washington, D.C. greets the participants for the AIDS 2012 Memorial Quilt.

  

Last Saturday, as the rain pours down from the heavens above down to Washington, D.C., tears were also pouring in equal amounts for those people who attended the AIDS 2012 Memorial Quilt, a momentous to honor the memory of our loved ones, friends, and brothers and sisters who have lost these lives in the AIDS epidemic. Many people from …

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Cecilia Garcia (Mexico) is a young activist and the Gender Projects Coordinator at Espolea, a Mexican youth-led organization. Her work focuses on the defence and promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people, prevention of gender-based violence, and gender mainstreaming. Also, Cecilia (or Ceci among her peers) assists in the development of materials and resources that address the aforementioned issues from a human rights-based approach.

Her interactive workshop seeks to "provide specific guidelines to design, implement, and evaluate HIV policies from a gender perspective, starting from …

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For a country reckoned as a vanguard of democracy and promoter of human rights, criminalizing people living with HIV (PLHIV) in their own backyard is unthinkable. But hey, its happening! And its absurd! Yesterday, Adrian Guzman from the Positive Justice Project, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to combat HIV criminalization gave a parallel session on this topic entitled “HIV Criminalization: Are you at risk?” at Ballroom A of the Kellogg Conference Hotel here in Washington, D.C. This is still part of the Washington, D.C. YouthForce Pre-Conference, …

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Welcome to the Washington, D.C. YouthForce Pre-Conference!

You can also view the video here: www.youtube.com/watch

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He plans to study International Relations at the University of Brasilia in 2013…

Work at the Palacio do Itamaraty (Ministry of External Relations of Brazil) by 2018…

Boss at the Palacio do Planalto (official workplace of the President of Brazil) by 2030…

and…

Secretary-General of the United Nations by 2050…

These are the goals set by a 17 year-old young person from the City of Botucatu in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Giovanni V.R. Mockus has gone a long way already which I am pretty much impressed. As …

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"I’m 25, recently married (March 2011), graduated in Social Sciences and finishing a MA in Sociology for Education. I’ve been a feminist for quite a long time (maybe I was born one? or almost that), and I’ve been discussing and studying gender inequalities since I was a teenager."

– Marilia Fernandes Moschkovich, Cyber Activist (Brazil)

I am fortunate to be able to meet a fellow Cyber Activist like Marilia Fernandes Moschkovich. In this interview, she discussed the importance of Cyber Activism and how it is not just a second-rate …

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The Philippines mourn for the demise of its King of Comedy, Dolphy who died at the age of 83 Tuesday last week, a couple of days short before his 84th birthday due to multiple organ failure. His passing marks the end of decades of comedy which brought joy and laughter to generations of movie-goers. News of his death was even carried by major foreign press around the world, something that speaks about the huge contribution he has given to the Philippine movie industry.

I have to admit, I am …

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Here’s my interview on Jet, a young person from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. He is from the city of Puerto Ordaz but now resides in Caracas, the capital city of this rich country in Latin America. Jet was one of the delegates to the 6th World Youth Congress and participated in the Rio+20 Earth Summit representing his organization, World Youth Alliance (WYA) Venezuela. WYA is an international, non-governmental, non-profit youth organization which works to promote the dignity of the person at the international and grassroots level. World Youth Alliance …

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The Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, The International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the United Nations Foundation hosted a side event entitled Sustainability Revisited: Population, Reproductive Health, and the Planet with remarks by Gro Harlem Brundtland (Former Prime Minister, Norway); Musimbi Kanyoro (President and CEO, Global Fund for Women); Tewodros Melesse (Director-General, International Planned Parenthood Federation); Mary Robinson (Former President, Ireland and President, Mary Robinson Foundation); and Timothy E. Wirth (President, United Nations Foundation). It was moderated by Peggy Clark (Executive Director, Aspen Global Health and Development) …

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For the past few days here in Rio, we have more tears than victory. It seems that the heavens is joining us today to mourn the tragedy that will unfold as the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or better known as Rio+20 commences. The governments of the world have disappointed us by deleting important provisions on sexual and reproductive health and rights and the recognition of young adolescents rights for access to family planning services and comprehensive sexuality education.

Six days ago, the Holy See, who is …

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Youth participation is very important in any UN meetings and world conferences especially when the topic is about US youth. During the 6th World Youth Congress, some delegates were not able to make it due to travel funding constraints since it is now covered by the congress organizers due to lack of funding. As most of the delegates that I have talked with said, the cost of coming to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is so expensive that they have to ask money from their parents or shell out from …

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Meet Jermaine Case, one of the volunteers and Council Member for Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network or the JYAN. And oh, he’s a lawyer according to Mimi which makes him cool!

The JYAN is an initiative of the USAID funded JA-STYLE Project. JYAN is designed to develop youth leaders in the areas of advocacy, public education and capacity building in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, violence prevention, care and protection (including persons with disabilities), employment and entrepreneurship, education and training.

JYAN seeks to be the voice of youth …

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Tania Kurbatoff is a young person from Christchurch, New Zealand. A fashion designer by profession but a youth advocate by passion, she founded The Porcelain Institute, which specialises in developing creative approaches to rebuilding and transforming cities and communities after conflict and disaster. Her work with young people brought her into the center of disaster risk reduction after her city was devastated by a strong earthquake in 2011 and in helping North Korean Refugees cope up with their newly-found life in South Korea through arts as a form of "expressing oppression, …

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WYC is a biennial gathering of young activists from all over the world who are focused on expanding the role of youth in sustainable development.

The Virtual World Youth Congress is its online version.

The World Youth Congress series was born in 1997 following the frustrations of the Rio+5 Earth Summit conference which highlighted the fact that, far from increasing as the original Rio 1992 Earth Summit had proposed, Overseas Development Aid had, in fact dropped by 17% since 1992.

So the 1st World Youth Congress was conceived as …

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Note: This blog of mine was first published on grist.org.

Days from now, some 130 heads of state and tens of thousands of activists from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro for the “Rio + 20” Earth Summit. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently laid out his vision for the conference in a New York Times article entitled “The Future We Want.”

Ki-moon expressed hope that the meeting will inspire new thinking, focus on people, and issue a “clarion call” for smarter resource use. …

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Happy International Day Against Homophobia!

IDAHO has been celebrated worldwide, gathering the LGBT Community and Activists alike to condemn crimes perpetrated by people who are biphobic, homophobic, and transphobic and to highlight issues surrounding the LGBT community such as hate crimes and gay marriage. In the Philippines, this week was marked by the condemnation of the brutal killing of a gay person in Bacolod City, Philippines – the fourth victim of gay hate crimes in the city this year alone.

But what grab the headlines in both the Philippines …

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Two days ago, I received an e-mail from Ms. Emee Lei E. Albano, Youth Advocate of UNFPA Philippines – a good friend and a big sister about an interesting article written by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNFPA which was posted in Huffington Post.

I thought I would like to share it to you friends because I really find it interesting.

Enjoy reading!

– – – – -

As the father of four daughters and as the Executive Director for UNFPA

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NYP 9 officially had its last session on May 6, 2012. For five days, our young SRHR advocates have struggled to pass parliamentary resolutions that are related to SRHR such as the resolution urging the Philippine Congress to pass and vote for the RH Bill. Unfortunately, the resolution urging the Philippine Congress to pass and vote for the RH Bill was not passed in the plenary level. This is a blow for the pro-RH movement. However, we should not forget the fact that the Committee on Health crafted two …

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In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America

Since May 2, 2012 youth leaders across the 7,107 islands of the Philippines have converged in Naga City, Camarines Sur’s Avenue Hotel for the 9th National Youth Parliament (NYP). Since it is only held every two years and first time in recent years it was convened …

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Two days ago, I received an e-mail from YouthRise google group sharing about Narco News’ latest video entitled This Is Maria: She Will End the War on Drugs. The story of Maria and her missing son Juan reflects the seemingly endless bloodshed in Mexico’s War on Drugs and how countless innocent civilians, youth, men and women, child and old alike, and regardless of gender preference have been victims of this war. It is an ongoing armed conflict between rival drug cartels fighting each other for regional control, and Mexican …

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Before I wrote this piece, I have been thinking about this topic ever since the news that the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), the company owned by tycoon Donald Trump that is responsible for organizing the annual Miss Universe pageant announced that they will allow Jenna Talackova, a transgender who undergone gender reassignment surgery and who have legally changed her gender to compete in this year’s Miss Canada Universe pageant. This was the springboard for the MUO to decide that starting next year; they will be allowing transgender to compete …

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The months of March and April marks an important milestone to millions of Filipino students – it is the time when they reap the fruits of their labor in school, sleepless nights are replaced with shining medals in the neck, students thought that they cannot see a grade as lovely as a three (3.0), and tears of joy can be seen in the eyes of every proud parents as their children went up to the stage to receive their diplomas. It is, indeed, the graduation season in the Philippines.…

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Its officially summer time in the Philippines with scorching heat of the sun reigning supreme in the broad daylight of this tropical paradise of 7,107 islands located in the West Philippine Sea bordering the Pacific Ocean. This is a welcome respite for some people like the students who are on vacation since it’s the end of classes and the farmers who are more than happy to have a good harvest after months of torrential rains that flooded their rice paddies leaving them no substantial income to meet the needs …

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The word Sex Strike is a new word to me. Although the action that pertains to it is well familiar because of my grandmother’s story on how she refused to engage in sexual intercourse with my grandfather for a couple months after learning his marital infidelity, I did not know it is called a Sex Strike. I am quite familiar with Hunger Strike, Labor Strike, and Transport Strike. We have Anna Hazare on hunger strike to curb government corruption in India, Philippine Airlines Employees Association on labor strike to …

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Today marks the 100 days before Rio+20. We are entering a crucial time period wherein we care in a crossroads of history in the making waiting to unfold and we are all part of it. Personally, its a crucial time period for me as I am pressured to be able to raise funds to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the 6th World Youth Congress. Its either a make it or break it scenario. I have been waiting for this moment, but amidst of uncertainty I have no recourse …

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Lykke Friis, Minister for the United Nations Climate Change Conference
Filling-in the post left by Connie Hedegaard is a very challenging task but Lykke Friis was up to the challenge. She chaired the pre-conferences leading to the COP 16, ensuring the continuation of the negotiation for a Green Climate Fund. Pursuant to Article 7, paragraph 4, of the Convention, the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), was convened at the Moon Palace Hotel, Cancun, Mexico, on 29 November 2010, by Friis as President of COP 15. …

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Ronalee Ambrose, Minister of Environment
Rona Ambrose assumed the Presidency of COP in February 2006 when her predecessor, Stephane Dion stepped down after his party’s defeat in the elections. The year before this, Canada hosted the COP11/CMP1 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montreal with Dion as President. It was one of the largest intergovernmental conferences on climate change ever with over 10,000 delegates in attendance that was hosted by the city – the largest since Expo ‘67. The event marked the entry into force of the …

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 Note: This was my unfinished blog post that I did while in Durban attending COP17 which intended to highlight the achievement of women in the UNFCCC process and them gaining permanent constituency that made UNWomen host a reception held last December 8, 2011 at the African Pavilion, Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC. Finishing it in time for International Women’s Day is very timely and highly relevant.

“Women must believe they can do these jobs-every bit as good as any man”
- Helen Clark, 2nd Woman Prime Minister of

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Ecstatic

Happy

Proud

Teary-eyed

Victorious

but most of all…

EMPOWERED

These are words that best describes my emotions when I learned from the news that Gabriel Paolo "Heart" Diño was able to fulfill her "vow" to "make history" by being the first transgender Chairperson to lead the University of the Philippines Diliman’s University Student Council after last Thursday’s elections. This ushers a new chapter in the university facing the challenges of tuition fee increase and fraternity violence.

The Bachelor Science in Math major who graduated Magna Cum Laude and …

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Although I personally am against women of being exploited and used as "commodities" by letting them pose sexily and near-naked in men’s magazine, letting them pose in a photo shoot that is "racist" in nature all the more makes them part of a greater picture that glorifies women exploitation and racism.

After the uproar that brought about with the publication of FHM Philippines’ March cover photo featuring Filipino actress Bela Padilla together with five black ladies as background with the tagline Bela Padilla: Stepping Out of the Darkness, the …

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What came first into my mind is the "racist" concept of the FHM Philippines cover of Filipino actress Bela Padilla. Do you really have make her companions "black" just to make her outstanding? Real beauty does not need any negative background to make it shine. And true enough, I am not alone with this kind of sentiment.

In the official Facebook page of FHM Philippines, there were many Facebook users who expressed negative sentiments against the cover shoot. Some, however, tried to dissuade the public from "over-analyzing" the picture …

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Note: Its election time across the University of the Philippines System. The article talks about how a Transgender student from UP Diliman campus is vying for the post as Chairperson of the University Student Council. This is a press statement from UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran

For the first time in the student council elections history of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, a candidate is running against two fraternity men and a woman to become the first transgender Chairperson of UP Diliman’s …

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  “I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else – I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations."
– Queen Elizabeth II

For some, monarchy as a form of government is considered as an outdated institution – a remnant of the ancien regime, a grim reminder of the ever growing contention of the widening social disparity between the rich and poor. And …

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I miss joining debate tournaments. A lot! Finally, after year-long absence in the debate scene, I was able to participate in the 5th Visayas Universities Debate Championship (VUDC) last February 2-6, 2012 at Cebu City, Philippines. Although I was late due to a series of unfortunate events which made me miss the first day of the tournament, I was happy and excited to be in the middle of it all. Meeting old friends and gaining new ones was my most anticipated moments aside from exchanging ideas in every debate …

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Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi is the Minister of Health of South Africa. He was formerly an MEC in the Limpopo province for (in chronological order) transport, agriculture and environment, and education. Dr. Motsoaledi is the Guest of Honor for the Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) side event held at the Tropicana Hotel, Durban, South Africa for the COP17. The health minister in his speech tackled the pressing health issues that is related to climate change that rang bells in my ears such as population management, sexual and reproductive health, …

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Our very first briefing with the Subsidiary Board of Implementation (SBI) Chair Robert Owen-Jones (Australia) and Subsidiary Board of Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) Chair Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) during the COP 17 held last December 1, 2011. Meheret "Mimi" Melles of Advocates for Youth and Jonathan Meldrum of Medcins asked the chairs of each respective subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC about sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change.

You can see the video on this link: www.youtube.com/watch

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"When we too are armed and trained, we can convince men that we have hands, feet, and a heart like yours; and although we may be delicate and soft, some men who are delicate are also strong; and others, coarse and harsh, are cowards. Women have not yet realized this, for if they should decide to do so, they would be able to fight you until death; and to prove that I speak the truth, amongst so many women, I will be the first to act, setting an example

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The Girl from Limpopo, that is how I remember Mokgadi Seemola, the 16 year-old girl from the Limpopo Province, South Africa. A member of the UNICEF GEB/BEM, she gave a powerful voice for the children and young people at the COP17/CMP7 in Durban, South Africa. During the Inter-generational Inquiry held last December 1, she silenced UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and the rest of the Inter-generational Inquiry Panel when she delivered a powerful message extolling world leaders, climate negotiators, and observers to think for the future of the children …

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Desiree Llanos Dee is one of the members of the Philippine Youth Delegation to COP17/CMP7.

You can also see this video on this link: www.youtube.com/watch.

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On the very first High Level Briefing for NGO delegates last December 1, 2011 held at the Amanzimtoti River Room at the DEC during the COP17/CMP7, I asked UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres on how we can integrate SRHR into the UNFCCC Process. Her answer was very discouraging and disheartening which prompted me to write a blog about Why Christiana Figueres Is Wrong. I felt sad that a woman like Figueres cannot even integrate women’s issues on her list of priorities at the negotiating table.

Her answer was implying …

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I am so delighted and humbled to be able to interview (even just for two minutes) The Right Honorable Helen Clark, OZN SSI, former Prime Minister of New Zealand (the 37th person to hold the office) and the current Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). She was member of the panel during the Open Dialogue hosted by the United Nations. For the first time, my hands were trembling while recording the interview for unknown reasons. Maybe perhaps the commanding and intimidating presence of my interviewee was the …

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During the reception at the African Pavilion last December 6, 2011 in celebration of women and gender gaining permanent constituency at the UNFCCC process, I was able to interview Nomcebi Manzini, the UN Women Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands Regional Director. She gave insights on the importance of gaining permanent constituency, updates on the climate negotiations, on having women Executive Secretary and COP President, and her message to the young men and women of the world.

As the Regional Director of the Southern African Regional Office (SARO), Ms. …

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Q&A with The Honorable Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland during the Population Action International side event entitled Healthy Women, Healthy Planet: Women’s Empowerment, Reproductive Health, & Climate Change.

You can also watch the video on this link: www.youtube.com/watch

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The Honorable Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Chairperson of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health was Guest of Honor during the side event hosted by Population Action International entitled Healthy Women, Healthy Planet: Women’s Empowerment, Reproductive Health, & Climate Change. Mrs. Robinson is one of the active world leaders in the forefront advocating for gender equality, women’s rights, and sexual and reproductive health of young people.

You can also check the video on this link: www.youtube.com/watch

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I am honored and privileged to be able to to interview The Honorable Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland. Mrs. Robinson is the founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. She is currently the Chairperson of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, Honorary President of Oxfam International, Chancellor of University of Dublin, and member of the distinguished group that Nelson Mandela founded — The Elders. The former President is the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The former President of Ireland graced the side …

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Meet Monica Ortiz. She is one of the members of the Philippine Youth Delegates to COP17/CMP7.

You can also see the video on this link: www.youtube.com/watch

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Disclaimer: This post has no means of humiliatng or maligning UNFCCC Executive Secretary Ms. Christiana Figueres statement during the NGO Briefing during the COP17 last Thursday, December 1. The purpose of this post is to create awareness and discourse about the linkages of sexual and reproductive health and rights to climate change and to build support for its inclusion in the climate negotiations.

Last Thursday afternoon’s briefing with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres was a much awaited event among the non-government organizations who gathered in Durban, South Africa for the …

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Bill McKibben left a video message for the participants at the 7th Conference of Youth (COY7). He, unfortunately was not able to attend the COY and the COP17/CMP7 for health reasons as he was just recently recovering from being imprisoned in Washington,D.C. last August 20, 2011 together with some activists when they stage a civil disobedience in front of the White House against the construction of the Tar Sands XL Pipeline that crosses from Canada and US up to the Gulf of Mexico. I am happy that we were …

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Kumi Naidoo, is a South African human rights activist and the International Executive Director of international environmentalist group, Greenpeace. He is the first African to head the organisation. At the age of 15, Kumi started becoming an activist in the those times when South Africa is divided with the issue of Apartheid.

After battling apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s through the Helping Hands Youth Organisation, Naidoo led global campaigns to end poverty and protect human rights. Recently, he has led the Global Campaign for Climate …

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During the second day of the 7th Conference of Youth (COY7), I had the opportunity to interview some of the delegates of the African Youth Caravan. Nancy Njeri (22, AYICC-Kenya) from Kenya; Don Ole Sapit (Narok Youth Congress) from Kenya; Prince Wilondja (19, AYICCC-Jevograle) from Cameroon; and Heather N. Maseho (AYICC-Kenya) were part of the caravan that traveled in six countries part of the WE HAVE FAITH CAMPAIGN towards COP17/CMP7 climate talks.

The caravan, composed of 150 young people from 12 countries across Africa including those from the United Kingdom, …

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Editor’s Note: Leo is currently attending the 7th Conference of Youth and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

It’s my first day in Durban, South Africa and I am attending the 7th Conference of Youth and the COP17/CMP7. This is the second day in COY7 and I I just would like to share something about my journey here to Durban, what is happening in COY, what I have already seen and experienced and what you can expect more in the next succeeding days.

You can …

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During the Global Advisory Board (GAB) Meeting last October 1-8, 2011 in Manila, Philippines, a selected number of Y-PEER Focal Point in-Charge (FPCs) from Syria, Nepal, Lao PDR, Kazakhstan, Yemen, Sri Lanka, and Philippines among others gave their messages in connection with the 7 Billion Actions Campaign. This coincides with the monthlong celebration of the World at 7 Billion.

The video created by my friends in Y-PEER aims to highlight the role of young people in a world of 7 billion opportunities. Meaningful youth participation, establishing youth-adult partnership, access …

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Everyone is occupying everything!

With the success of Occupy Wall Street and San Francisco, the Occupy Movement has now become a worldwide phenomena that sent ripples across the seven contents. By October 9, Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 95 cities across 82 countries, and over 600 communities in the United States. As of November 17 the Meetup page "Occupy Together" listed Occupy communities in 2,609 towns and cities worldwide. The most recent was the Occupy Oakland movement that ended up in pepper spray and …

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This is my interview with Hon. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, former MP representing the Akbayan Partylist. She is one of the leading figures in the campaign for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines. Ms. Baraquel graced our launching of the Purple Ribbon Campaign Eastern Visayas last November 9, 2011 at the Maria E. Petilla Hall, Leyte National High School, Tacloban City, Philippines.

Ever since she assumed her post in the House of Representatives in 2004, Risa has been a tireless campaigner for the passage of the RH …

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I am honored and privileged to conduct a brief interview with Catbalogan City’s number one and youngest City Councilor, Hon. Stephany Uy-Tan. She is an ardent RH Bill advocate who graced our Purple Ribbon Campaign launching in Eastern Visayas last November 9, 2011, Wednesday at the Maria E. Petilla Hall of Leyte National High School in Tacloban City. In the interview, she shared her views on the bill, on why she supports it, her constituents’ view of the bill, and her relationship with the Catholic Church among others.

As …

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Anyeonghaseyo!

Wow, its been two months already since ICAAP 10 in Korea and I am missing it and I am looking forward for making it to ICAAP 11 in my favorite city of Bangkok, Thailand! My first ICAAP was indeed memorable and fruitful. Perhaps the highlight of it was witnessing and documenting the arrest of a Korean activist and the overwhelming response of the participants that was followed by a violent dispersal by the police. The dispersal was harsh and unnecessary. Police should be held accountable. And oh, is …

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The campaign for the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill is gaining momentum in Eastern Visayas Region with the launch of the Purple Ribbon Campaign on November 9, 2011 after a weeklong activities.  In order for the different stakeholders to be prepared in engaging the media, we Dr. Sheila M. Tante, a medical doctor by profession; a local legislature (councilor) of the Municipality of Alangalang, Leyte; and a motivational speaker as our Guest Speaker in our Seminar-Workshop on Media Messaging and RH Bill on October 26, 2011 …

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The cause for meaningful youth participation does not end with the conclusion of the International Year of the Youth. It is just the BEGINNING…

Moving forward from the success of co-organizing the KA JAM International Youth Day Celebration, the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Pilipinas together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines is hosting the Annual Y-PEER Global Advisory Board Meeting that will gather a delegation of 50 young people from international and local across Eastern Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, and Asia and the Pacific region …

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About the Author: Leo is a member of Advocates for Youth’s International Youth Activist Network. He is currently attending The 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in South Korea.

 

Parliamentarians are sometimes elusive to the media when they are in their country because of the nature of their work and some political glitches that they want to avoid being confronted with. This was an opportunity for me to interview Hon. Teodoro "Teddy" Casino, Sectoral Representative of the Bayan Muna Partylist and member of …

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Yesterday, two activists (one lady lawyer and another a member of the Local Organizing Committee of ICAAP 10) were arrested by policemen for protesting against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at the BEXCO Convention Center during the second day of the 10th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 10) in Busan, South Korea, 27 August 2011.

As the protest progresses, community members noticed plainclothesmen security inside the conference venue taking pictures of them. This resulted with the conference participants inquiring on one of those security …

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Rishita Rao Nandagiri, a young person and speaker during the Opening Session of the 10th ICAAP in an interview emphasized the need of young people to be involved in all levels of decision-making and policy-making process and for their sexual and reproductive health and rights to be recognized and for the government to provide them with access to sexual and reproductive health services. Rishita is working as a Program Officer of Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Health which is based in Manila, Philippines.

You can also check it on …

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My first video in Busan for the 10th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. Just attended the Community Forum and there were great speakers who represented the Sex Workers, Migrant Workers, Young People, People Living with HIV and Interfaith Dialogue.

You can also check it on this link: www.youtube.com/watch

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I have a great deal of interest in American First Ladies. They were sophisticated women who brought glamour and prestige to the Office which swept them into the international arena of politics.

Dolly Madison will always be remembered for saving George Washington’s portrait and some important documents in America’s history when the British burned the White House down in the War of 1812. Pocahontas’ descendant, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was regarded as the “first woman to run the government” for the role she played when her husband, President Woodrow …

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"We came from different colors. I was from Yellow. Some are from Red, Orange or Green. But now, all of us are united for one cause under one color: Purple." This was how blogger-participant Kevin Ray Chua described his experience in participating in the RH Bill Legislative Advocacy Skills Building Workshop held last June 1-3 2011 at the Golden Valley Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines.

Twenty-one young people coming from different sectors in the society in all parts of the Visayas archipelago gathered in the Queen City of the South …

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The third day started with an energizer was a song presentation by Western Samar and Eastern Samar. The mood of the participants was not as lively as expected because last night some participants suffered stomach disorder due to bad food eaten during yesterday’s activity. Hosts for the day are the Southern Leyte group for the morning and the Western Samar group for the afternoon session respectively. Ms. Bonifacia Sampan from the Camotes group gave the recapitulation. Her comment for yesterday’s afternoon presenters is that they should connect the story …

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Second day session started with a doxology The Prayer followed by the singing of the nationalistic song Ang Bayan Ko. Attendance Check through a song of greetings was facilitated by Ms. Editha Encluna that was followed by the recapitulation by the Southern Leyte teachers in a form of radio reporting using the style of radio reporters.

Mrs. Zenaida Rosales, one of the training facilitators was impressed by the performance/ presentation of the Southern Leyte group and was somewhat inspired to have an advocacy through radio broadcasting for she believe …

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I was happy to be invited to document the four day training on Personal Safety Lessons Training of Trainers last April 26-29, 2011 at the Leyte Park Resort Hotel, Tacloban City, Philippines. The training was conducted by Plan Philippines and Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse or CPTCSA.

Plan Philippines, working hand in hand with the Philippine Government through its different National Line Agencies especially the Department of Education (DepEd) envisions a world which all school children is empowered in their right to feel safe …

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My entry to the UN Security Council Video Contest last December 2010. It’s worth the try!

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The Barefoot Campaign were participated by the organization members’ representatives together with their advisers at the G-Hotel grounds in Manila last December 10. The event was organized by the young people of Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Pilipinas and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines.


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Motivation is what fuels one’s desires to fulfill a task given the constraints presented along the way. The force behind it may vary from rewards to punishment from self fulfillment to revenge or self destruction to self actualization. To put it simply, there are reasons behind the things we do.

When people act deviant from the norms of society, it could be first, as a sign of protest or second, in order to get the attention. Whatever the reason behind it, I know simple campaigns triggers many or at

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Editor’s Note: Leo is an International Year of Youth Blogger with Advocates for Youth. He is from the Philippines.

It has already been three days that Tacloban City, Philippines has been experiencing a rainy weather. Last Wednesday night, the entire city was enveloped with flood waters as the nightmare of experiencing the same like what typhoon Ondoy did to Manila slowly engulf the consciousness of the city’s populace. For the first time in my life, I felt unsecure and unsafe from the city whom I first saw the …

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I only realized just now that I have been writing throughly about the controversial RH Bill for the past few blogs that I have posted. Although some cannot relate to the issue that I am writing, I still would like to try to inform the larger part of audience in this blogging community about this pressing issue that is pertaining to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and young people in my country. This post would be part of the series of blog posts that I …

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It is the second of YAFA’s I am Positive Campaign. Yesterday, we visited the Leyte National High School and the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College. The first day of the campaign was a success and we were able to reach up to 150 students on both schools. March 15, today, we will be going to 3 schools set in different strategic places in Leyte namely the Colegio de Sta. Lourdes of Leyte Foundation, Inc.; Abuyog Community College; and the Cirilo Roy  Montejo Night High School.

Colegio de

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You are anti-Catholic. You want to destroy the church. You should be excommunicated. The devil incarnate in this modern world. These are but some of the hurtful statements hurled against those who stand by their conscience and defy the Roman Catholic position on sexual and reproductive health and rights such as the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines. RH Bill and RH advocates have been repeatedly slandered and castigated by an institution they hold dear most but cannot compromise with their stance on the controversial piece of legislation.

Abortion, …