Building a #healthierPH with Unilab Foundation

One of the things that I often pray for is good health – good health for me, for my family, and for my dear friends. That small circle however, does not seem to be enough as Unilab Foundation, Unilab’s humanitarian arm, wants to take it a notch (a great notch!) further to include the entire Philippines! Curious as to how the whole country can be rallied to be healthy, I signed up to join the #healthierPH event held last September 16, 2014 at Sentro 1771 in Capitol Commons, Pasig. Unilab Foundation invite

This delectable display of food was already waiting for us when we got there.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

The place was set up with a touch of techy-ness to keep up with the “social media rockstars” (ahem ahem, I felt so honoured to be referred to as one) who were the guests of the event. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Papers in the form of iPads were ready on the table for taking notes.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

On every table, there were these gadget holders (useful for taking selfies!) for us to use. It held the event’s program that was in the form of an iPhone. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

These were the key words in our media kit, which we’ll later learn are Unilab Foundation’s programs to help build a #healthierPH. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

The program kickstarted with Unilab Foundation’s Executive Director, Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi giving the opening remarks. She shared that she used to work for various countries but a bigger calling came, and that was to come back home and be of service to her countrymen. Hooray! Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

How to Build a #healthierPH?

This slide sums up the programs that Unilab Foundation designed to build a healthier Philippines one person and one community at a time. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

  • Bayanihan Sagad aims to educate and empower the Filipino elderly by promoting active ageing and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Project Inclusion seeks to prove by way of a research study that hiring PWDS, particularly those with Autism and Down Syndrome, is the right thing to do because it is good for the business and it is good for the employed PWD.
  • Leadership Journey helps train doctors be leaders in their profession so that they can lead patients to better health in their role as department heads, hospital directors, heads of missions, and officers of medical societies
  • Play It Forward targets children’s holistic development and aims to significantly improve their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being through play.
  • Ideas Positive is a venue for college students to share their innovative and sustainable ideas which will address health and wellness concerns of their chosen communities, and more importantly, turn those ideas into reality. 

Okay, so How Can We Help?

To build a healthier Philippines, each of us must volunteer and contribute our share. Now before the word volunteer sends you running and making excuses, this concept of volunteerism has adapted with the digital age. Gone is the idea of having to physically be at a certain place to be able to volunteer. We can all volunteer just by clicking our mouses and tapping our keyboards. No extra money to give? No problem. No extra time to spare? No problem! Through the #healthierPH Volunteer Portal, one can share a talent or simply click the share button to volunteer.

During the event, there were 2 laptops there for the guests to create an account. To be able to try the whole process would take a while though so I waited to get home to get my hands on it. I’ll show you a walk through below.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Apart from the Volunteer Portal launch, there was also an Instagram selfie contest during the event. Among the winners were these two lovelies, Mommy Celerhina of Reigning Still Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

and Kisty of Kisty.net (Oh yes, her hair is really pink! 🙂 )

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Oh look, there’s the real social media rockstar getting serious at the event! 🙂 I think he might be having a hard time choosing which activity to volunteer. LOL! 🙂 Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

#healthierPH Volunteer Portal

When I finally got in front of the computer, I went to www.unilabfoundation.org to create an account and see for myself how the whole thing works. To create an account, one can choose to register or use his Facebook account to login. Not wanting to be bothered by a registration form, I chose the latter. Once done, I was shown my profile. There’s my purple girl voluntar (volunteer avatar) at zero points. You can customize the gender and colour of the voluntar by clicking Edit Voluntar on the top right. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Excited to get started, I clicked on the Plus sign on the upper right corner and was shown this page, the Volunteer Project List. This page lists all the current programs where I can volunteer. I simply had to click on the button under the corresponding activity that I wanted to be a part of. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

I tried one of the activities with the X2 multiplier, Blog it Forward. I was supposed to blog about the importance of play in a child’s development and submit it in Unilab Foundation’s Facebook page.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

After volunteering for that, I went back to my profile. There was a locked/greyed out gift waiting for me. It said that I can only unlock it once I’ve rendered service. Oh, darn! Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

And so I chose another one, one that does not need to wait. My EQ is low that way. LOL! I chose the simple click and share ones and was immediately rewarded a gift. Yey! 🙂 The item also came with a healthy tip associated with the gift.

Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

After X number of days, I finally finished my the blog assignment. Read about it here. I submitted it and immediately after, the reward reflected in my profile. 2 Chocolates! Yum! 🙂 Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

Wondering what I could do with the items and why my earned points remained zero, I decided to try to Use the items. Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

As I used up the items, my points increased by 10. The three items (2 chocolates and 1 comfy bed with pillow) totalled to 30 points. Apart from Use, one can also Share the item. I haven’t tried the Share though as I have no more items. I’ll have to volunteer some more to be able to give you some. 🙂 I’m almost halfway through the first level and I can’t wait to reach the next! I’m also excited to be rewarded with uncommon, rare, very rare, ultra rare, super rare, mega rare, and special items (whew!) in the future.  🙂 Unilab Foundation #healthierPH

In the spirit of volunteerism and of good health, I urge you to try this too. It’s a different and fun way to share our time and our abilities to contribute to a better and healthier Philippines. BlogSign


The Value of Play

Every night, dear husband would ask DA what he did for the day.

DA would happily reply, “I played!”

This would always lead to the daddy scratching his head, doubting whether the kids were actually learning anything as the days go by.

While play may sound trivial and unimportant, there is more to it than meets the eye.


Everyone seems to know how to play, even babies do. Give them a set of cups and they’ll start tinkering with it, essentially “playing” with it. It’s the way they learn and develop essential lifelong skills. Playing, whether indoors or outdoors, single or in groups, benefits young children by fostering imagination and creativity, problem solving skills, fine and gross motor development, and even social and language skills.

Our Play at Home

These are some of the plays that we do at home. Most of them cost nothing and yet they allow us to reap a good deal of benefits, both for our young kids and for us, as adults.

Phone Conversations One time, just for fun, I held up a mobile phone, pretended to dial, and started an imaginary conversation. DA picked the habit up and has since loved making imaginary conversations as well. We started with “talking” to people he knows, like relatives, so that he has concrete things to say, like “when are you coming to visit?”, “what are you doing today?” As he was introduced to superheroes, Spiderman, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk became his phone buddies. What’s really funny is that he makes realistic expressions and would even laugh as if his phone pal had actually said something funny. Dear husband calls us crazy whenever he hears us doing this but I say we’re just being creative and imaginative. 🙂 

Play - Phone Converations

Stacking Cups These are great for babies in developing their fine motor skills as they learn how to pick up the cups. They also help in developing the child’s problem solving skills as he learns how to put them on top of each other. It’s so cute to watch their chubby hands manipulate the cups, willing them to fit. They might get frustrated though if they cannot do it so try to add a little help to keep them going.

Play - Stacking Cups

Ktichen Fun While I cook in the kitchen, I let the little one do his own play there as well. He’s free to open up the cabinets and drawers and play with the things inside (no sharp utensils, of course). One of the things he came up with is this arrangement of mugs and dishes. I was so amused by it that I just had to take a picture. It’s free play and yet I can see the organization skills already. 

Play - Kitchen Fun

Making a tower of cups is also our play in the kitchen. I showed him where to get the cups and how to stack them up. From time to time, he’d open up the cabinets and get them out to try a balancing act with the cups.

Play - Kitchen Fun

Running Around Every kid’s favourite! 🙂 This physical activity beats being glued to the iPad or TV anytime.

Play - Running Around

Jenga From time to time, we’d do play as a whole family. This is a good game that can include even the toddlers. While they may still need help, they can already take part in deciding how to keep the stack from falling. They also have a roaring good time when the whole thing falls down!

Play - Jenga

Playdates We haven’t been to a lot of playdates but those that we’ve been to have been fun. Playing with same-aged kids develops social and language skills among them. We’d sometimes listen to the kids’ conversation and get bewildered but they seem to understand each other well. Issues of sharing (more like non-sharing) of toys would sometimes arise though but we took it as a good teaching opportunity. 

Play - Playdates

How about you? What sort of play do you do at home with your kids? 🙂


P.S. This is my volunteer work for Unilab Foundation’s project of building a #healthierPH through Play It Forward. 🙂 Read about it here.