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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ibu Robin Lim Live in Manila!

A very long overdue post but I know I had to make it. This forum changed how I see birthing and women empowerment should be.
I had an absolutely packed but very fulfilling October! About the time I was preparing to head States side for lactation course, a simple email update/promotion about Gentle Birth Philippines, amounted a successful Open Forum with a CNN 2011 Hero, Ibu Robin Lim!!!

It blessed my life by 100 folds and more to have experience a rare and humbling experience of help organize this. I still cannot believe that with the help of Velvet, Jenny, Gwen (Ibu's publisher) and Irina, we were able to pull this off in record breaking time (less than a month) and garnered a decently huge turn-out.

*Prayers of thanks to Above*

[Note: When I read the email, I had to read it quite a few times to really believe it for myself. Ibu Robin is coming to MANILA!!! She is offering her time to be part of an open forum...I died and resurrected all at the same time.]

12 October 2014

Program of activities are listed below...very rich and compact!

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM ...Registration

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM 
Opening Ceremony
- Invocation by Nanay Rich (of Arugaan)
- Welcome Remarks by Jenny Ong (of Gentle Birth Philippines)

2:30 PM - 2:50 PM 
Talk 1: Men for Birth - Health and Healing
Engr. Edwin Casimero
2:50 PM - 3:10 PM 
Talk 2: Supporting Mothers for Vaginal Birth after a Ceasarean (VBAC)
Dr Menefrida Reyes

3:10 PM – 3:30 PM 
Talk 3: Sayuntis, sayaw ng buntis
Dr Faye Samadan-Cagayan

3:30 PM – 3:40 PM 
Short Film from Ibu Robin Lim
Introduction of keynote speaker, Ibu Robin Lim 

3:40 PM – 4:30 PM
Talk 4: Women's and Child's Rights in Childbirth
Ibu Robin Lim

4:30 PM – 4:50 PM ... Open Forum
4:50 PM – 5:00 PM ... Acknowledgements and Reminders

4:50 PM – 5:30 PM ... Book Signing and Photo Ops

Some of the highlights of the talk can be seen below:-

It was a relaxed type of open forum...
We had local mats in the front for comfort of parents and babies...

...and expecting mothers in the crowd.

Mats at the back also provide a play pen space for these babies.

...and we had chairs for attendees who prefer to be in chairs

Ibu Robin and Jenny fixing and adjusting slides before the forum opening

Ibu Robin being interviewed by the local tv station for a feature on Gentle Birth before the forum started

Monica Eleazar-Manzano interviewed by a local tv station on her home birth experience

Here's Jenny giving a short interview regarding Gentle Birth Philippines

Ibu Robin was able to meet an old friend who she assisted in the birth of his son back in Bali.
Here they can be seen praying together and energy flow exchange.

Ibu Robin was so warm! She went to almost each and everyone to talk and get to know the attendees as much as she could while preparations were still being made. A lot of the attendees came early to get her book and get good seats for the event.

Nanay Ines of Arugaan hosted the event

Dra Reyes giving her talk on VBAC

Dr Faye explaining "sayuntis"

There was a re-enactment of a birth that Ibu Robin does in most of her was wonderful and made the segment light-hearted and got everyone's attention.

Ibu Robin was quite the character and a very lively speaker. She might not have a big voice but heck, she catches everyone's attention. She is a motherly as mothers come and as just the most practical sense.

Talking about what is a "gentle birth"

There was a lengthy discussion after the talks...
The questions, clarifications and concerns ran long but there was so much learning going on also

Anthill mommies unite!
Pat, me and Jenny - all decked in Anthill products! 
These mommies helped in organizing the event also

Tita Mary, Velvet and May-i - defenders of birth and breastfeeding in the Philippines!

She was my loving grandma and gentle birth mentor!

Ibu Robin's books were offered on sale on the event and a book signing was held after everything.
If you want to learn more about her or purchase some of her books, you can check her via Anvil Publishing.
Ibu really had a blast in getting up-close and personal to everything. She signed as many and as much as she could. My book was signed last since I ordered so many for my friends. :P

Big thanks to all the organizers who made everything a successful open forum!

One last shot for the day...our selfie!!! Love you, Ibu!

After the Open Forum the following day (October 13th), I also booked Ibu's television guesting at UNTV's Rise and Shine. This is her only television appearance for this trip so the network was excited to have a rare chance to talk to her. When Ibu Robin starts talking, you can hear and feel "passion" in her advocacy.

Ibu getting herself made up! I love those beaded clips of hers - look it's an elephant!!

Ibu discussing her efforts in Bali, Tacloban and soon-to-be Palawan.

"1/3-1/2 of baby's blood is robbed from a newborn if baby's cord is clamped 
and cut immediately upon birth. The Philippines is the 1st country that has 
a national policy of delayed cord clamping." - Ibu Robin Lim

A group shot before we leave and send Ibu off to her Baguio conference

Here's the link to the show.

PR Package for the event:-

For Immediate Release
9 October 2014

CNN Hero Robin Lim is in Manila to promote natural births

2011 CNN Hero of the Year Robin Lim will be in Manila to speak about gentle childbirth in a forum entitled “Public Forum on Gentle Birth” to be held on October 12, 2014 at the National Book Store Superbranch in Cubao, Quezon City.

A certified midwife from Indonesia, Lim has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth experience through the Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) health clinics in Bali, Indonesia. It is a non-profit organization that offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to help combat Indonesia’s high maternal and infant mortality rates.

Promoting Home Births
Lim’s visit to Manila is a response to a controversial ordinance passed by Quezon City that prohibits home births. City Ordinance No. 2171 “prohibits home births in Quezon City, prohibits traditional birth attendants to deliver babies and requires all professional health practitioners to deliver babies only in health facilities.” A fine of P5,000 will be imposed for any violation thereof.

Velvet Escario-Roxas, Deputy Director of Arugaan, one of the forum’s organizers, hopes to end the belief that birthing is a scary process. “Women are strongest at the time when people around us think that we are weakest. We are pregnant; we are not sick or disabled. So we shouldn’t be treated as such. Natural, empowered, gentle births are possible with the help of a skilled birth worker conducted at home, at a community, in a facility or in the hospital.”

The forum also features other gentle-birth advocates. Mr. Edwin Casimero will talk about proper nutrition and healing through raw diet. Dr. Menefrida Reyes of St. Luke’s Medical Center will discuss on supporting mothers for VBACs (vaginal birth after a caesarean).Dr. Ma. Stephanie Fay Cagayan, who will share the art of Sayuntisor Sayaw ng Buntis to promote good health during pregnancy. There will also be a discussion on human rights in childbirth, water birthing, breastfeeding and maternal nutrition.

Helping mothers and babies in Tacloban
Born to a Filipino-Chinese mother, Lim grew up in the country and is therefore no stranger to the Philippines. For the past year, Lim has also been helping in the recovery efforts in Tacloban City following Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, Lim came to Tacloban and other affected areas to bring food and medical supplies. She also responded to the needs of pregnant women who had no choice but to give birth in devastated hospitals and clinics.

“The recovery room was full of many mothers breastfeeding their young. Other mothers stared blankly with empty arms because their babies had been born too soon and did not survive. There were more mothers in labor each day,” said Lim.

She then opened a natural birth center in the midst of the rubble and recruited experience midwives to assist the mothers and their newborns. She and her team have provided over 14,000 incidents of medical care, 5,000 prenatal checkups and received some 700 babies into this world. With the recovery and rehabilitation process still ongoing, Lim nowadays shuttles between Tacloban and Bali to assist as many mothers as she can.

Gentle Birth Forum
Gentle Birth Philippines, in cooperation with Anvil Publishing and National Book Store, is organizing a forum entitled “Gentle Birth” featuring Ibu Robin Lim and other experts and champions of natural and gentle childbirth.

The forum will be on October 12, 1:30 PM at the National Book Store Superstore in Araneta Center, Cubao. Expectant mothers and families, birth workers, skilled birth attendants, health workers, midwives, nurses and doctors are all welcome to attend and ask questions about their concerns about maternal nutrition, pregnancy and delivery.

Gentle Birth Philippines is a fellowship of mothers dedicated to providing information that will help families have the best birth possible—a safe, gentle and positive birth experience that supports happy and healthy families. The organization seeks to provide every woman giving birth in the Philippines information, research and experience to allow them to make an informed decision when making their birth option.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gentle Birth Philippines present Gentle Birth Forum with Ibu Robin Lim with guests

Calling all friends, relatives, FB friends!

Birth and breastfeeding are interrelated. Breastfeeding really starts at pregnancy.


Gentle Birth Forum with Ibu Robin Lim 

She is CNN Hero 2011 and a crusader for child birth rights of mother-baby dyads. She recently contributed for the Milk Mommy Diaries here and here.
Author of: After the Baby's Birth, Wellness for Mothers, and Butterfly People.

Date: October 12, 2014 (Sunday - family day - bring everyone!!)
Time: 1:30-5:00pm with book signing
Venue: National Bookstore Meeting Room, 5th Floor, NBS Superbranch, Cubao Quezon City

You will learn a wealth of information!!
Robin Lim's books will be available on the day for purchase and for her signing.
Registration is a here!

Friday, September 05, 2014

HKG: Top 10 Kids' Bookstores: Favorite Reading Rooms

by Little Steps Asia Aug 28, 2014

A good bookstore is a destination for the imagination! From storytelling magic to the best deals on used books for kids, Little Steps has put together the top recommendations for exploring kid-friendly bookstores in the city. Pick up your kiddo’s next bedtime story at one of these top picks and enjoy!

A big box bookstore from Taiwan, Eslite’s stunning space in Hysan Place isn’t just a retail space but a megastore with a cafe and restaurant. There are books on virtually every subject, and there’s a good selection of English books for kids, too. If your wee ones need to stock up on school supplies, make a beeline to their stationary department for cutesy pens and notepads, and anything else they may need.
Eslite, 8/F-10/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3419 6789

When you teach your kids the “3Rs”, make sure you set an example on reduce, reuse, recycle by bringing their unloved books, DVDs, CDs and games to Flow Bookshop. The store has a special kid’s section - two, giant, floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with everything that suitable for kids under 12. Let them run wild, while you sort through the latest arrivals.
Flow Bookshop, 1A Wing On Bldg, 38 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2964 9483

Take the whole gang over to Ap Lei Chau and spend a few hours sorting through the vast collection at Pollux Books. Unlike other big box stores, here, they focus on your kids first with wall-to-wall shelves stocked full of picture books, educational booklets and audio books. There’s plenty fun reads that your little ones will love and cherish for years to come, the difficulty lies in choosing!
Pollux Books, Rm 2101, 21/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing St, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, +852 2873 6962

There’s lots and lots to browse through at this Saikung secondhand bookshop, and if you feel at a loss for choosing, take a break and hangout with the store’s pet calico cat. They have a vast collection of youth fiction, as well as a good selection of illustrated books for kids. The best part is, you never really know what you’re going to get because new donations arrive daily. It’s also a good place to bring your unwanted books or simply add to your library.
Leisure Bookshop, 32A, G/F, Po Tung Rd, Saikung, Hong Kong, +852 2791 9629

BOOK and CO.
A relaxing little enclave for book lovers of all sorts, Book and Co is conveniently located in the Mid-Levels and is chock-a-block stuffed with books for every age. There’s plenty of books for adults, teens and ‘tweens and a limited selection for your mini bookworms. Plus, there’s a cute and cosy cafe to tuck into cake with a cuppa tea for a much needed break from all that shopping!
Book & Co., 10 Park Rd, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2559 5199

There’s something truly wonderful about Swindon Books, and it’s hard to put a finger on the reason. It may be because of its well organised and easy to navigate aisles, or the it’s laid back vibe that invites you to flip through and read a few pages... The selection of books isn’t huge, but it’s carefully chosen and it spans many subjects. The ground floor has English books while the upstairs has English and Chinese.
Swindon Books, 13-15 Lock Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2366 8001

This bookstore chain needs little introduction, and if you’re a parent and isn’t familiar with their location in the Prince’s Building, you really need to acquaint yourself. That particular branch does regular story time, book launches and all sorts of dandy events that inspire your child’s love for reading. Visit their website and see what are their upcoming events.

Bookazine Prince’s Building, Shop 309, Prince's Building, 10 Chater Rd, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 1785

If your Lord of the Rings trilogy is collecting dust and you’re looking for more updated reads, trade them in to BooksMart in Sheung Wan, a shop tucked away on the upper floor of an office building, which carries new and old books in English. There are books on virtually anything, including audio books, parenting, young adult novels and more.
BooksMart, Rm 1604, 16/F, Western Centre, 48 Des Voeux Rd West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2630 5035

Located in an industrial building in Wong Chuk Hang, Mirth is a one-stop shop for all of your needs from cutesy outfits and accessories to home wares for the perfect childhood room. They also have a small but well edited selection of books, with a great selection of beautifully illustrated books that junior will love, and also other coffee table books for mom.
Mirth Home, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2553 9811

Bring your budding picassos to Basheer Books for a vast collection of art and design books. This is a bookstore for ‘tweens and teens interested in architecture, design, art and comics, or mommas and pappas looking for interesting reads or just beautifully bound coffee table books to show off your highbrow interests. There’s also nicenotebooks and stationary to stock up on.
Basheer Design Books, 1/F, Flat A, Island Building 439-441 Hennessy Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2126 7533

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Hong Kong: Order-In Food Delivery

by Appetite Urgency published on 04 September 2014

Too busy to whip up something in the kitchen but you can’t stomach another cup-a-noodle? Let these delivery services come to the rescue! Little Steps has compiled a list of our favorite food delivery options around town. Sit back, relax and let the food come to you!


With over 300 eatery listings complete with menus, you can now weigh your lunch or dinner options with this easy-to-use website. Select from cuisines spanning the globe, from Chinese, Indian and Thai to Western favorites. There are plenty of well-known restaurants linked to the site, including Soho Spice, Pizza Express and Mr Taco Truck.
Food By Web, +852 2805 1131


The leading global food delivery service with its fleet of zippy mopeds brings dinner straight to your door. It has signed up a large selection of restaurants including MANA!, eat Right, Maya Cafe, K-Roll, Sugo Sushi, and Bao Wow, to name a few. Foodpanda delivers straight to the office or direct to your door at home. They also have a mobile app that makes ordering food as streamlined as possible for Hong Kong locals and expats alike.
Food Panda, +852 3051 9292


Bringing everything edible from desserts, detox & juices, groceries, meals from restaurants, and even wine & spirits all under one roof, this visually-appealing website with beautiful photography makes browsing a breeze. Top picks include Chef Patrick Deli, Just Green, Kelly's Cape Bop, and Happy Cow. They currently deliver to offices only but is looking to deliver to homes starting next year.
Delivery, +852 3477 7777


A great online ordering service that allows you to pick your location - Hong Kong or Kowloon side from the get-go. Restaurants are clearly listed with the type of cuisine they serve, while the selection of restaurants they have on hand promises a great meal - selection includes BLT Burger, Dressed Salads, El Taco Loco and Ayuthaiya.
Cuisine Courier, +852 2596 0000


Dial-a-Dinner delivers to most areas in Hong Kong Island, the Southside, and Kowloon with a minimum order for lunch and dinnertime deliveries ranging from HK$100 to HK$150. Restaurants on their roster includes everything from Grappa’s Cellar and Habibi Cafe, to Malaymama and Mr Bing. It also delivers emergency items such as batteries, toiletries and ice from its online convenience store and wine from its online wine cellar.
Dial-a-Dinner, +852 2598 1718


With a whole host of restaurants covering all the bases, from Sichuan at Chili Fagara, to Chicken on the Run and Kyoto Jo, Food Fone can deliver to just about everywhere in Hong Kong. You can even order a whole host of different dishes to suit every palate in the family - junior can tuck into a burger from Caliburger while mom and dad start with ahealthy salad from Life Cafe.
Food By Fone, +852 2868 6969,


Fancy a home-cooked Indian meal without all the fuss? Every Sunday, Sav Sinslow prepares and delivers a set menu of meat or vegetarian dishes using only the best organic ingredients from her home kitchen. Sav also runs private and group cooking classes. Check on her Facebook page for more info.
Sav’s Cooking, +852 9311 9273


Skip Pizza Hut and get Pizzeria Italia on your speed dial for a yummy pizza pie in under 30 minutes. Their 33 pizzas made fresh-to-order, including specialities like their Gamberoni - a thin-crusted margherita pizza with fresh prawns or Fior di Latte with fresh mozzarella cheese are must-tries. Complete the meal with soups, salads, ribs and chicken. Their deliveries by FoodXpress promises no detours, bringing the pies straight to you.
Pizzeria Italia, 43 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, +852 2525 2519

* Invisible Kitchen - By the people behind Hong Kong Personal Chef, this is your answer to hosting at home a fresh wholesome dinner without lifting a finger.

* Food Happy - Groovy new snack boxes delivered weekly.

* Koziness - By the people from Dial-A-Dinner and Soho Delivery, this app & site is a trusty ordering-in staple.

* Secret Ingredient - Fresh ingredients chopped and prepared so you can whip-up a meal in no time.

* Don't forget, it's always worth asking your favorite neighborhood restaurant if they deliver!