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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.