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PLCPD, UNAIDS unite to urge public for Voluntary HIV Testing

Bagasao, UNAIDS country coordinator.

Bagasao, UNAIDS country coordinator.

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — On Friday, May 31, at Burgoo in The Podium, Ortigas Center, the Philippines Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) with the support of UNAIDS launch YES2Test, which urges citizens to voluntary have HIV testing through a bloggers’ forum. This is in commemoration of the 30th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

In March 2013 AIDS Registry shows that there are 12,791 cumulative HIV positive individuals since 1984, UNAIDS projects a total of 28,072 actual cases in the Philippines.

One of those who graced the event was PLCPD executive Director Rom Dongeto.

One of those who graced the event was PLCPD executive Director Rom Dongeto.

Ms. Teresita Marie Bagasao, UNAIDS Country Coordinator reveals, “Such discrepancy in figures is due to the wariness of the citizenry to have themselves tested of the virus. Since stigma and discrimination to Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) is too rampant, people don’t want to be tested.

“Worse, 50 percent of those who take the test do not go back for the results.”

In a recent article that came out on Interaksyon.com dated March 21, it mentioned that in General Santos City, around 50 residents in this said city have been confirmed to be suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and more cases could be added to the list in the coming months, a local health official have said.

“With Yes2Test, PLCPD wishes to encourage people to have themselves tested of HIV.

“We are bringing this concern into the 16th Congress and as part of our mandate, we shall also urge our lawmakers to work on bills that would help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS,” says PLCPD executive Director Rom Dongeto.

Of the 10,514 HIV positive cases reported from 1984 to 2013, 92% (9,637) were infected through sexual contact, 4% (420) through needle sharing among injecting drug users, 1% (59) through mother-to-child transmission, 1% (20) through blood transfusion and needle prick injury 1% (3). There was no data available for the 4% (375) of the cases.

Present in the forum are members of Bloggers for a Cause, Blogwatch and representatives from Kabataan Partylist. Sex columnist and public health journalist Ana Santos hosted the event.

9 Works Theatrical’s Stage Campers mount 3 Recital Plays

MAKATI CITY, Philippines – One of the country’s leading theatre companies, 9 Works Theatrical bring three recital plays mounted and acted out by its summer stage campers on May 25 and 26, respectively at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza.

Successful campers who were enrolled in three categories are going to present and appear on three different productions that put into use what they all have learned in the seven-week intensive summer workshop with the theatre group. This year’s theme is ‘Reach for Your Dreams’.

The three culminating productions are titled: ‘Baby Love’, ‘One Night Tony’, and ‘A Better World’. All of these three productions are the results of the students’ learning through improvisation activities as well as acting exercises.

Adult Campers in ‘One Night Tony: Broadway through the Years’
One Night Tony poster
The said production is the culmination of the intensive musical theatre program under 9 Works creative director Robbie Guevera.

This year’s class is composed of a number of extremely talented individuals; some do hope to pursue theatre one day as a career. In the last remaining weeks, they sharpened their singing, dancing, and acting skills altogether through the program’s vigorous exercises and activities.

‘One Night Tony’ is dubbed as a grand spectacle reminiscent of New York’s annual Tony Awards, backed by the 9Works Pit and Philharmonic Pop Orchestra under the musical direction of Joseph Tolentino. It promises to entertain its audience with a wide variety of song numbers and original musically arranged mash-ups from several well-loved Broadway hits such as the ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Wicked’, ‘Les Misérables’, ‘Company’, ‘Rent’, ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘Mamma Mia!’, and countless more.

It is slated on Saturday, May 25 at 8pm.

‘A Better World’ by its Kids’ Class

The kids do not want to be left behind as they will showcase their talents as well in a musical revue of songs from the famous Filipino singing group during the early 90’s called ‘Smokey Mountain’. The main theme of the said production is focused on the social and moral values of the songs; presented in a witty and dramatic musical staging.

Only Torres directs and assisting him is Peachy Atilano.

It is set on a Sunday, May 26 at 3pm.

‘Baby Love’ by 2013 Teen Stage Campers
Baby Love poster
This is a light musical comedy that features a variety of popular Broadway songs from award-winning musicals, such as from ‘All Shook Up’ to ‘Hairspray’ then to ‘Wicked’. The audience get to witness a whimsical take on a youthful love, written and directed by Bym Buhain.

It is set in the fantastical world of a teenager’s daydream; who dreams of a school with hilariously exaggerated characters. The story begins with all the characters incredibly excited for their school ball with people scurrying to find dates. When the school ball takes place, a villain using the genius of science casts a love spell on the whole school; making everyone fall crazily in love with one another. Everyone turns into mindless love zombies except for a group of four people, the heroes in the musical play. The protagonists take on the quest of defeating the villain and his nefarious plot and along the way they discover what the difference between ‘true love’ and ‘puppy love’ is.

The musical is designed for all ages since it speaks the universal truth—love happens when you’re just yourself.

The show will be on Sunday, May 26 at 6pm.

All of these productions are testimonials to the campers’ commitment to becoming serious actors, which take a long process and must not stop learning. For them, enrolling in a musical theatre workshop is a step to prepare themselves to be legitimate theatre performers someday.

9 Works Theatrical Stage Camp is the next best way to train future performers. It hones talents, helps them discover other potentials as an artist, and teaches them the proper techniques and discipline needed to pursue a career in theatre.

The theatre company gives campers the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and ignite their passion being on stage.

Tickets for each show, contact Jenna at +639178342366 (for ‘One Night Tony’), Peachy at +639175107009 (for ‘A Better World’), and Reine at +639276431022 or BJ at +639175016968 (for ‘Baby Love’).

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