Acro Exotic 101 Workshop

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In celebration of International Women’s Month, Sacha Turcuato will be holding a a FREE one hour crash course of my Acro Exotic 101 Workshop on March 17, 2014 to all SAS friends, fans and supporters!

Acro Exotic 101 is a short introductory course that uses the exotic approach in exploring acrobatic elements on and off the pole.

Shed your inhibitions, try something new and unleash your SASsyness. Call 0917.809.9078 for details.


What to wear:
1. A sports bra or any top you’re comfortable in
2. Short shorts

What to bring:
1. Water
2. Knee pads, leg warmers or long socks
3. An open mind and heart.

What to expect:

The workshop focuses on the introduction, execution and progression of basic rolls, splits, variety of back bends, body waves and the like.

This particular class will purely focus on Exotic Floor Work so knee pads and/or leg warmers/long socks are very important.

Kaya Natin

“Nadagdagan na naman ang buntis sa amin—at pabata na nang pabata, ma’am.”

This is what some of the health leaders told us during one of our meetings with them last January. Although the supposition would only prove as an anecdotal type of evidence, the statistics seem to back up such a statement.

According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), the incidence of teenage pregnancies in the Philippines has grown by 65 percent over a 10-year period: from 126,025 in 2000 to 207,898 in 2010. This covers women aged 15 to 19. In 2006, 39 out of 1,000 live births were results of teenage pregnancies. However, in 2011, it increased to 54.

Moreover, data from the National Youth Commission (NYC) indicate that within the ASEAN region, the Philippines has the third highest teenage pregnancy rate—and it is still increasing.

Time and time again, researches have concluded that the absence of comprehensive sexuality education is one of the main reasons why the occurrence of teenage pregnancies is high. While it is important to be familiar with the figures related to teenage pregnancy, it is equally vital to understand the stories behind such numbers.

To achieve this, Kaya Natin! Movement, together with Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), has developed an education campaign aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy under its Health Leaders for Mothers (HL4M) program. HL4M has been running in Quezon City for the past two years and seeks to curb maternal and infant mortality rates in the country. One of the identified causes of maternal and infant deaths is when a girl gets pregnant at a very young age; thus, her body is not yet mature enough to handle the pregnancy.

The education campaign, aptly called #WhatTheFacts, works around the assumption that many of the youth nowadays have grown to be sexually curious and sexually active. In light of this, the campaign is more focused on providing information that will enable more young Filipinos to practice safe sex and understand its consequences, thereby, preventing more teenage pregnancies. Its inaugural activity will be a two to three-minute video-making contest that aims to employ creative and innovative uses of digital media. It was launched via social media to advance the aim of informing and influencing.

With a length of one minute, the applicants’ end goal must be a digital video providing relevant information and promoting the prevention of teenage pregnancy. Participants are required to go through a reproductive health orientation for a deeper understanding of the risks involved with teenage pregnancy.

Entries will be accepted until March 20 (Wednesday). The winning video will receive P10,000.00 while the second and third placers will receive P5,000.00 and P3,000.00 respectively. The videos will be judged based on their creativity and the information that they are able to convey to the target audience. Winners will be determined by a panel of judges and through social media votes. All winning videos will be published on Kaya Natin! social media platforms and website.

The application form, guidelines, and other contest details may be downloaded through or call Caroline Javier at (02) 426-6001 local 4637. Applications may be submitted through the program’s email:[email protected]com.

This article was also posted here.


Launch of One Billion Rising for Justice Philippines

Stage actress and One Billion Rising global director Monique Wilson is inviting everyone for the launch of  One Billion Rising for Justice Philippines on November 28 at 10 a.m at St. Scholastica’s Archives Museum.
The launch will have the “State of Female Justice, featuring the theme “Women Rising After Destruction” event.
Wilson will be joined by a group of panelists from GABRIELA, Gabriela Women’s Partylist, Center of Environmental concerns and women survivors of typhoon Yolanda.
“We will be launching the campaign, discussing the specific impact of disasters on women, and will also highlight the incredible work of women on the ground who are re-building and rising after the storm. We will also be holding a memorial/solidarity action for the victims and survivors of Typhoon Yolanda led by women from the communities,” Wilson said.”
One Billion Rising for Justice is a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Last year, 207 countries rose and danced – and the Philippines led one of the biggest risings in the world. We need your help to keep making the issue of violence against women and girls a priority issue.

Women Drive Progress on Family Planning—Let’s Join Their Fight

At the largest family planning conference, spotlight on unprecedented opportunities for women leaders to create lasting change for female health and empowerment

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA—Distinguished female leaders addressed the more than 3,000 attendees of the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013) today, emphasizing women’s extraordinary impact on advancing health and gender equity worldwide. In particular, female leadership is driving expanded access to family planning and contraception for women in the poorest countries, empowering them to plan their lives and realize their full potential.

ICFP 2013 is the largest-ever meeting focused on improving health and promoting women’s well-being by ensuring that all women who want to use family planning have access to accurate information and a range of options. The conference, organized around the theme “Full Access, Full Choice,” is highlighting progress since the July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, when the global community pledged to provide 120 million more women around the world with voluntary access to contraceptives by 2020.

“Women leaders have indispensable roles to play in ensuring access to family planning,” said Her Excellency Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. “Women parliamentarians at the national level should spearhead new policies, provide adequate resources and advocate for full access to family planning.”

Speakers at ICFP today stressed that as more women take on positions of leadership at all levels, they are becoming powerful change-agents. For example, front-line health workers deliver contraceptive information and services in remote areas. Community leaders combat myths and misinformation about family planning. Young women educate their peers about the value of family planning and help overcome taboos and barriers to accessing it.

Family planning saves and improves women’s lives, and benefits their families and nations. “Women fight for themselves and their families because they know it is a matter of life versus death,” said Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Let’s make sure that their courage counts, and let’s fight with them—as hard as we can and for as long as it takes.”

Worldwide, more than 220 million women want to plan their families but do not have access to modern contraceptive methods that meet their needs. Addressing these needs for contraception would result in fewer women and girls dying in pregnancy and childbirth, fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer infant deaths.

However, speakers at ICFP today argued that increased access to family planning by itself is not adequate to make a lasting difference in women’s lives. “Family planning isn’t enough on its own; it needs to be a part of something bigger,” said Theo Sowa, Chief Executive Officer of the African Women Development Fund. “It’s no good for a woman to have a choice of contraceptive methods if there is a strong threat of violence against her.”

Attendees of ICFP 2013 are discussing and debating actions that need to be taken alongside family planning to fully empower women. These include reducing violence against women and girls, preventing child marriages, and making new investments in girls’ education and women’s employment. Developing compelling ways of engaging men to become advocates for family planning is also important.

Facing Huge Need for Contraception, Young Leaders Pioneer Innovative Solutions

At global family planning conference, spotlight on efforts to expand lifesaving information and services for young people

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA—The current generation of young people is the largest in history—and also at great risk for unintended pregnancy, maternal death and the life-altering consequences of becoming teenage parents. Youth themselves are speaking up to demand that family planning programs reach more of their peers and take account of their unique needs.

Attendees of the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013)—many of them young women and men under age 25—spoke passionately today about the importance of providing contraceptive information and services to youth. Organized around the theme “Full Access, Full Choice,” ICFP is the largest-ever global meeting on family planning, and is taking stock of progress to ensure that everyone has the tools to plan their families and futures.

“Family planning is holistic. It gives young people the chance to stay in school, to finish their education, to start a business,” said Barwani Msiska, attending ICFP as a Youth Leader from the Republic of Malawi. “We talk about Africa rising, but we cannot achieve that great big idea if we do not invest in and protect our adolescents.”

According to the United Nations, every day 20,000 girls younger than age 18 give birth in developing countries, representing 95% of births to adolescent girls worldwide. Girls are at a dramatically heightened risk for pregnancy- and childbirth-related health complications, and 70,000 girls under age 18 die annually as a result. The benefits of empowering girls to avoid pregnancy include better health, increased economic productivity and the full realization of their rights and potential.

The plenary presentations at ICFP 2013 today highlighted emerging evidence of what works to reach young people with contraceptive information and services. One of the biggest challenges is that when adults try to engage with young people, the message often falls flat due to generational differences. “Peer-to-peer” programs that enlist youth to be leaders are essential.

“There is a barrier between young people and grownups, and when adults talk about family planning, young people often don’t say what they think. With peer-to-peer education, youth open up a lot more to other youth,” said Maria Angelica Botero, a Youth Leader attending ICFP from the Republic of Colombia. “What doesn’t work is when grownups pass on their taboos. We have to talk to young people in our language.”

Family planning programs must engage everyone in the community. Changing attitudes among men and religious leaders is paramount, particularly attitudes that sanction child marriage. In developing countries, 9 out of 10 adolescent girls who become pregnant are married, often to much older men, and a quarter of adolescent pregnancies occur in girls ages 10–14.

“As a young male who is a women’s rights advocate, I have been questioned by my peers, my family, my community. They say that men should be in power,” said Dakshitha Madhuka Wickremarathne, attending ICFP as a Youth Leader from the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. “There are many political, religious and legal barriers to women making decisions about their bodies.”

Barwani Msiska of Malawi said: “When you walk into a church, you see someone young with a baby right on your pew. Religious leaders cannot pretend that young people are not having sex.”

As more efforts are launched to deliver contraceptive information and services to young people, it is critical to carefully monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. The best programs will need new resources so they can be brought to scale while maintaining quality.

It is vital that young people are front and center in making decisions about family planning programs and policy. “The biggest problem for young people is old people. We as adult leaders have to get over our discomfort about family planning and youth because it is about saving lives,” said Kate Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund. “As adults it is our responsibility to grow up, in order to facilitate safe passage from childhood to adulthood for young people.”

ICFP 2013 continues through the end of the week. It is jointly organized by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Largest-Ever Global Family Planning Conference to Open This Week in Ethiopia

Thousands of political leaders, advocates and experts will highlight the wide-ranging benefits of ensuring everyone has access to contraceptive information and tools that meet their needs

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA—This week, Ethiopia will host the third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013) to urge greater global action to ensure all people have the contraceptive information and tools they need to plan their families and their lives. The meeting, organized around the theme “Full Access, Full Choice,” will bring together thousands of advocates, researchers, health professionals and political leaders from more than 100 countries and will be the largest family planning conference to date.

Ethiopian leaders—including Prime Minister Hailemariam DesalegnFirst Lady Roman Tesfaye and Minister of Health Dr. Kesete-birhan Admasu—will host the conference and highlight the successes of Ethiopia and other countries in expanding access and choice in family planning. A major focus of the meeting is to take stock of progress in reaching 120 million additional women with contraceptive information and tools by 2020, a global goal agreed upon at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.

Ethiopian officials will be joined by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates; African Union Chair Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-ZumaPhilippine Undersecretary of Health and former Congresswoman, and co-author of the Reproductive Health Bill, Dr. Janette Garin; US Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration Anne RichardsJoint Secretary of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Anuradha Gupta; and UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development Lynne Featherstone.

Each day of the conference will focus on a theme central to expanding family planning access and choice:

  • Making a Difference through Sustained Political Commitment – 12 November: At the conference’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister Desalegn and other leaders will discuss the role of political commitment in expanding family planning access and choice worldwide.
  • Achieving Equity through Women in Leadership – 13 November: Speakers will highlight female champions for family planning and the role of female leaders in promoting gender equity.
  • The Young and the Restless: Effective Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Programs – 14 November: Dynamic youth speakers will address the importance of ensuring that young people have access to family planning information and programs that meet their unique needs.
  • Moving Forward: Highlighting Progress and New Commitments – 15 November: The final day of the conference will focus on progress and new commitments to expand contraceptive access and choice. The winners of the first Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning (EXCELL) Awards will be announced at the closing ceremony.

Directly preceding the conference on 12 November, a High-Level Ministerial Meeting will bring together more than 20 Ministers of Finance and Planning, Health, Youth, and Gender to discuss the investments needed—especially in family planning—to meet the needs of Africa’s youth today, and to maximize their future potential for national development.

ICFP 2013 is jointly organized by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


WHAT: International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) 2013

WHEN: 12-15 November 2013

WHERE: African Union Conference Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

MEDIA RESOURCES:  Online media resources, including the press program and press releases, are available here. The ICFP 2013 plenary program is available online here, and the full conference program can be found here.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow ICFP 2013 on the  #ICFPLive BlogFacebookTwitter and Tumblr.


Local CHAMP deadline nearing

The Local Government Academy (LGA) through its UNDP Scaling-up Effective and Sustained Response on HIV and AIDS project is now looking for its 2013 Local C.H.A.M.P. (Catalytic Actions for HIV and AIDS Mitigation Programme) among local government units in the Philippines.

Local C.H.A.M.P. provides an avenue for recognizing and assessing programs of LGUs that have:

  • Strengthened organizational and political strategies in combating HIV and AIDS at the local level
  • Promoted effective and sustained local responses to HIV and AIDS
  • Provided tangible impacts which have contributed to the improvement of HIV and AIDS program
  • Served as an inspiration and advocacy tool for action and change
  • Contributed to societal issues and challenges through policies and legislations
  • Highlighted opportunities for partnerships and collaborations among stakeholders
  • Demonstrated collaborative initiatives with various stakeholders
  • Provided activities that are replicable and applicable to differentsituations
  • Excelled in governance and public administration at their organizations


  • Call for Application – 11 October –15 November 2013
  • Deadline of Application – 15 November 2013 at 5:00 PM
  • Assessment and Judging – 17–18 November 2013
  • Awarding – 1 December 2013
Forms can be downloaded in the LGA website.

ADB Youth Dialogue: “Girl Rising” Movie Screening

In support of the UN International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), ADB Youth Dialogues is hosting a special movie screening of “Girl Rising”, a groundbreaking film directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins. It tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by renowned actresses such as Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep.

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The event is FREE and welcome to youth groups, families, professionals, and everyone who supports the movement of recognizing girls’ rights all around the world. Please click here to register. Deadline for registration is on Wednesday, October 9. Organized regularly, ADB Youth Dialogues strengthen youth participation in policy discourse and enhance partnerships between ADB, civil society organizations (CSO’s), and youth-led CSO’s as important stakeholders of Asia’s continuing development.

Global Leaders Call for Accelerated Progress on Family Planning at Women Deliver 2013

Melinda Gates, Babatunde Osotimehin and others highlight progress in expanding contraceptive access

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  — On the second day of Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference on girls and women of the decade, global leaders announced progress and new commitments toward expanding contraceptive access for women in developing countries. They also outlined plans for sustaining this momentum in the years to come.

The day’s events built on commitments and energy generated at the landmark July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, where global leaders pledged more than US $2.6 billion to provide 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with voluntary access to contraceptive services, information and supplies by 2020. Speakers at Women Deliver 2013 discussed strategies to reach women and girls in developing countries who do not want to become pregnant, but lack access to contraceptives.

“Putting women at the center of development and delivering solutions that meet their needs will result in huge improvements in health, prosperity and quality of life,” said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates. “When women have access to contraceptives they’re healthier, their children are healthier, and their families thrive.”

At the morning plenary session—led by Melinda Gates and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Co-Chair Babatunde Osotimehin—government leaders from Africa and Asia highlighted concrete examples of progress on family planning and reaffirmed commitments to further expanding contraceptive access:

  • Senegal’s Minister of Health Dr. Awa Coll-Seck discussed the country’s dramatic progress in eliminating contraceptive stock-outs since the national family planning program’s roll-out in November 2012, doubling the budget to CFA 200 million with plans for further increases in 2015.
  • The Philippines’ Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique T. Ona discussed the country’s historic passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, after a nearly 15-year battle.
  • The First Lady of Zambia, Her Excellency Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, highlighted Zambia’s stalwart commitment to expanding family planning access in the country, which launched its national family planning program last month.
  • Indonesia’s Minister of Health Dr. Nafsiah Mboi announced the government’s increase in funding for long-acting reversible contraceptives, as part of its redoubled efforts to regain momentum on family planning access after recent plateaus.
  • National Coordinator for Malawi’s Safe Motherhood Initiative, Mrs. Dorothy Ngoma, discussed the government’s efforts to considerably strengthen the family planning component of safe motherhood efforts countrywide.

“These countries show that we can make an impact on women’s access to reproductive health if we rally the necessary political will and financial commitments,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Expanding access to contraceptives is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to save lives and ensure the health and wellbeing of future generations.”

Continued advocacy will be needed to ensure that governments sustain and increase their commitments to family planning and to girls’ and women’s health and rights more broadly. In addition to a high-level plenary on innovative advocacy strategies, Global Poverty Project (GPP) CEO and Co-Founder Hugh Evans announced the new advocacy campaign It Takes Two, led by GPP in partnership with Women Deliver. This campaign aims to motivate young men and women to take action in support of family planning services and information, and to hold governments accountable for their FP2020 commitments.

The day’s conversations helped set the stage for Thursday’s discussions on the critical role of girls and women in the post-Millennium Development Goal framework. Speakers will include United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark, Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, High-Level Task Force on ICPD Member HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and African Women’s Development Fund CEO Theo Sowa, among others.

For live webcasts and archived videos of conference plenaries, presidential sessions and press conferences, please click here. Images are available on the Women Deliver Flickr page, and additional content is availablehere.

To access the full Women Deliver 2013 schedule, please click here.