Latest Stories

Medical Files

Healthy lifestyle exemplars


THE 2012 Healthy Lifestyle awardees together with former secretary Esperanza Cabral and Prof. Ramon Abarquez Jr.

WE CONGRATULATE the awardees in the 1st Healthy Lifestyle Exemplar Awards given by the H&L (Health and Lifestyle) magazine. These individuals, groups, institutions and organizations have sustained activities and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle advocacy and are able to effectively inspire positive changes in the health-seeking behavior of other people in the community or the bigger population at large.

It was the first of what is committed to be a biennial search for these healthy lifestyle champions. The awardees this year are Dr. Adolfo B. Bellosillo, for excellence in public health education; Dr. Willie T. Ong, for excellence in health journalism and public health;  the missionary couple Lanie and Ely Matuga, for excellence in community service; the National Center for Health Promotion (NCHP), for excellence in health education and public service (government institution category); Philippine Heart Association (PHA), for excellence in public health education (professional organization category); and “Salamat Dok” (ABS-CBN), for excellence in health education and public service (mass media category).

Four other finalists in the search were given plaques of commendation for their healthy lifestyle advocacy programs. These are Manila Adventist Medical Center  (MAMC), for integrating healthy lifestyle education in patient care; Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates International Inc. (AYNLA), for health education and public service; Novartis Healthcare Philippines, for its health promotion program “Be Healthy”; and “Pinoy MD” (GMA), for health education and public service.

Board of judges

The board of judges was composed of top authorities in Philippine medicine and was chaired by Dr. Ramon Abarquez Jr., emeritus professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. The other judges were Doctors Abdias Aquino, Ramon Arcadio, Rebecca Castillo, Fernando Melendres, Camellia Posoncuy, Francisca Roa and Antonio Villalon.

Sen. Edgardo Angara delivered the keynote speech to set the tone for the awarding event. The author of several landmark laws on health and social welfare, such as the Senior Citizens Act (or The Angara Law) that allowed the elderly to avail of substantial discounts when buying medicine or riding public transport; and the National Health Insurance Act, or PhilHealth, that provides health insurance to every Filipino; the Breastfeeding Act, and the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers stressed the importance of health promotion in the progress and development of any country including ours.

Former health secretary Esperanza Cabral, herself a staunch advocate on health promotion, also graced the occasion to personally give the award to the healthy lifestyle exemplars.

Monthly magazine

H&L is a monthly magazine for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals that aims to draw more consciousness to the vital link between one’s lifestyle and one’s health. In one of its editorials, it has paraphrased a famous saying: “Tell us what one’s lifestyle is, and we’ll tell you what his or her health condition is.”

It focuses on doctors and healthcare professionals as its targeted readers because in every community, the people look up to their doctors and other healthcare professionals as their model when it comes to health-promoting behavior. A doctor who is a healthy lifestyle advocate—by action more than words—will be a more convincing example who can influence his patients, and perhaps his community, to also have a healthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, a doctor who has a pack of cigarettes on top of his table or who’s frequently seen in beer houses does not stand a chance to positively influence his patients’ lifestyle. Neither does he serve the cause of the healthcare community in convincing legislators that these vices are really harmful to one’s health; hence, all efforts, including legislation such as the sin tax bill must be passed to curb these vices.

Negative forces

Although there are already existing health advocacy awards, the organizers of the event believe the more of these healthy lifestyle champions who are recognized, the more chances that others would get inspired and encouraged to follow the example to become health champions. The more the number of staunch healthy-lifestyle advocates, the better, because there are also strong and highly funded “anti-healthy lifestyle forces” in any society especially in developing countries like ours.

These negative forces have a way of ingraining their vested interests into the minds of unsuspecting victims through their own mass media campaigns; and inducing our countrymen to make unhealthy choices. These not only pertain to tobacco products and alcohol but other agents that increase one’s health risk—like fat and salt-laden foods, remote-control gadgets and devices that make things very convenient for people and induce them to become sedentary.

We hope our health exemplars could inspire more people to become health champions. We salute them and may their tribe  increase.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: H&L magazine , health and science , healthy lifestyle exemplar awards

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace