Event Recap: The BDJ Women's Summit 2018

The month of March celebrates Women's Month and many beauty brands held splendid sales to commemorate the occasion. Apart from these treats, there were events for women to come together and feel more empowered, including the BDJ Women’s Summit at Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier.

The theme for the day was ‘Women Redefined,’ and had a roster of very special ladies as the day’s speakers. These inspiring women were Rachel De Villa, co-founder of a crowdfunding platform for Filipino farmers valled Cropital; Jover Laurio of Pinoyakoblog.com who continues to fight fake news; Blu Pinggoy, one of the youngest among the few female commercial pilots in the country; Abby Asistio, singer, songwriter and TV host who is an advocate of Alopecia Areata awareness; Kathleen Yu, founder of start-up company Rumarocket, Inc. that uses assessments and predictive analytics to help companies and develop their IT talents; and Audrey Tangonan, sports analyst, radio broadcaster, and founder of Sinaya Cup - the first menstrual cup brand launched by a Pinay.

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I’ve attended a few BDJ events in the past, so I had some expectations about what I would find that day - fun activities, beauty and fashion booths, and some shopping. Instead, I was greeted with a lot of booths with names I’m not familiar with. The exhibitors were non-profit organizations with noble causes to promote. Attendees could also give monetary and donations in kind. I learned so many things about the different kinds of services and support that these organizations have to offer.

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For starters, attendees could get free confidential HIV screening from Project Red Ribbon. It took less than five minutes to do, and you can get results in 20 minutes. All they do is prick your finger and draw a tiny bit of blood. Project Red Ribbon recommends to have HIV screening every three months, and they offer it for free all-year round! They aim to improve the lives of people living with HIV through awareness, resources, treatment, care and support. They also accept donations of milk formulas and medicines.

Another organization, Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, was giving out free condoms and contraceptive pills. They respond to women’s needs for reproductive rights and health services. They have several locations around the metro and offer free family planning and contraceptives, as well as free cervical cancer screening through pap smear exams. Now there is no reason to skip your Pap smear!

Other organizations were concerned with social welfare. Foundation Foundation supports women who are survivors of sexual abuse and harassment through self-care and building confidence. They believe that simple tools such as makeup can go a long way in helping people feel beautiful. They accept donations of makeup, toiletries, and feminine hygiene products. We gals can be guilty of hoarding beauty products that we sometimes don't use, so why not donate it for a good cause?

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Another organization with a social concern is Operation Blessing, which reaches out to the most neglected and disadvantaged people and helps them transform their lives. Attendees could donate hygiene kits, flashlights, solar lamps, mats, blankets, malong, and school supplies. They also accept monetary donations as low as P100.

Also present were two organizations focused on education. Trails to Empower Kids (TREK) are composed of mostly mountain climbers who help kids and communities in the mountains and other isolated areas. They accepted donations of storybooks, school supplies, pencil and paper. On the other hand, Sulong Kabataan Romblomanon is a youth organizations that aims to develop and empower kids of Romblon and their communities. Speaking of kids, attendees could buy a pair of BDJ advocacy notebooks. One notebook was for the buyer while another one was given to a public student. If you missed out but want still want to support this cause, you may still purchase at their website.

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Lingerie brand Wacoal was also present. Did you know that Wacoal periodically runs a recycling campaign? During the campaign, all you have to do is drop off your old bra at selected Wacoal branches. These are then processed into Refuse Paper & Plastic fuel (RPF), which has 30% less CO2 emission.

The event was so educational. I learned so much about beneficial services and support that I can avail for free, as well as ways that I can give back and help those in need. On top of all that, all the proceeds go towards displaced families of the Marawi siege. Great job BDJ for helping empower women! We’re looking forward to more events like this!