Field Notes: Pagibang Damara Festival of San Jose City

photo:  Rizza M. Paray, Alay Foundation’s Administrative Coordinator located in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, the Philippines

Article written by Rizza M. Paray

Alay Foundation recently participated in the trade fair of the Pagibang Damara Festival of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.  We set up our booth just outside City Hall and invited the people to learn of our Foundation’s programs and services.  There was much preparation in the days and hours before the fair began.  We needed a tent and tables, banners and flyers, laptops and chairs, and so much more.  We planned how to approach people and describe Alay Foundation’s programs in order to introduce ourselves to the community.

On the day of the trade fair we noticed how different our booth was from the others who had products to sell such as clothes and slippers, sim cards and bonsai, and, of course, foods.  But we were armed with information and programs designed to serve the people.  It is not everyone who can afford to go to the hospital or a medical center when in need or even just for check-ups.  I realized the importance of Alay Foundation’s mission and how our booth was relevant for so many people, especially the poor and the young who are most in need of family planning, health education, and having access to quality health care in our soon to come birthing and women’s center and all at no cost for the people.  

We struggled that first day in attracting people – but then our manager suggested we have an educational raffle drawing.  We reached out to the crowd with sexual and reproductive health questions on topics of ovulation, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections and other health education questions. When participants answered correctly to our questions they received a raffle ticket for Sunday’s Grand Draw – the final day of the fair.  We continued to distribute flyers and met with many people.  During the Grand Draw all the participants were so excited – but there could only be three winners!  We were very proud of all of the winners and everyone who participated.  But the most important thing was connecting with the community and sharing all the ways we will be serving them now and in the future.

I am happy to be a part of Alay Foundation because through our organization I am able to help people in my own way and see the changes in their lives for the better.  I look forward to seeing Mary’s Child Birthing and Women’s Center helping people in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

International Women’s Day Photo Contest

Alay Foundation will be celebrating and honoring International Women’s Day with our first Facebook photo contest for women in the San Jose NE area of the Philippines. The winner will receive 2000.00 Php (50 US dollars).

The very first International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8, 1911 – more than a century ago!  It is a day set aside to applaud the economic, political, and social achievements of women around the world and a time to reflect on what more needs to be done to advance women’s rights and issues globally.  

There are a few ways to participate in International Women’s Day:

1. Join us in celebrating the experience of being a woman in the Philippines by entering our Facebook contest.  See our Facebook page for details and Good Luck!!!

2. Participate in social media campaigns by using these hashtags:

– #MakeItHappen
– #womensday
– #IWD2015
– #internationalwomensday
– #PaintItPurple     (In 1908 in Great Britain, the Women’s Social and Political Union used the colors purple, white and green to symbolize the struggle of women trying to gain the right to vote. Purple signifies two values associated with women’s equality: justice and dignity).  

For more history and information on International Women’s Day: