One Two Three

loved the shirt!!!

Last Saturday, I and Karen (one of my best friends and remarkable travel buddy) went on a special journey.  It is an unusual adventure compared to the more than 123 kilometers of travel we usually do.   We decided to go and donate to The Love Yourself Project which aims to provide free counseling and education to the people affected by HIV/AIDS in the country.  No we did not do any counseling but joined and donated in their worthy Charity Photo Shoot.

Upon arrival in the venue, we registered our name, profession and respective e-mail addresses on their log sheet then gave our humble cash donation (which is more than 123 pesos).  The receptionist handed me my complimentary shirt and a slip of paper indicating that I am donor number 123.  They then led us to the next room where we change our top to the one that they gave and were subjected to grooming service prior to the photo shoot.

During the fun posing and light flashing, the assigned photographer after taking few shots told me to keep a serious face, but being a normally cheery person that I am, it took me some time to form a serious facial guise.  I took a deep breath and counted “1-2-3” before showing off an unsmiling expression on my face.  I particularly dig the “picture taking” moment.  I felt like a rock star!  How I wish the sweet-tempered photographer took 123 shots.

Ayaw ko ma-1-2-3! (A Pinoy expression meaning, “I don’t wanna be duped!”), so while waiting for the beauty expert to finish Karen’s hair and make-up prior to her turn for the photo shoot, I graciously asked one of the volunteers if their company is already registered under the Securities & Exchange Commission.   And indeed they were which signifies that their advocacy is actually legit.

Our participation for The Love Yourself Project – Charity Photo Shoot went well.  It took us less than 123 minutes to finish what we have to do so as to help in our own little way.  The donation we gave may not be enough to rally round all the people suffering from HIV/AIDS.  But if it can be of assistance to at least 1 or 2 or 3 people, we would surely be glad to be of help.  And besides, we loved the shirt, fancied the grooming service and of course enjoyed the photo shoot!

Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo! Klik, klik, klik!

Pedro Zamora, PWA (A World AIDS Day Special)

pedro zamora

pedro zamora

December 1 is World AIDS Day.  One person with AIDS that made a tremendous mark on me was Pedro Zamora.  He is one of the casts of MTV’s The Real World San Francisco shown in 1994.  This was before all more popular reality shows were created like Big Brother, Survivor, Fear Factor, America’s Next Top Model, Biggest Looser, etc.  The movie Reality Bites which starred Winona Ryder was actually based on this ’90s TV show.

I remember one weekend in 1994 when MTV cable channel made a marathon feature of the said show.  All episodes were shown without commercial.  It took me at least 6 hours to be glued in front of the television to watch the interesting blow by blow events that happened.

One interesting character was Pedro Zamora, a PWA (person with AIDS) who lived with 6 other strangers in one house in San Francisco to try to develop an interesting housemate relationship in front of the camera – a breakthrough social experiment and controversial TV show without-script-concept back then.  Being a PWA, Pedro was able to reach more people with his message and touched more people with his life than anyone could have imagined.

I’d never personally seen the face of AIDS and hopefully never will.  I’d never known it in such a personal way until I watched Pedro.  I felt like he was walking me through the disease, the way a close friend might take your hand for a stroll.  It gave me a totally different level of awareness than anything I might have ever experience as a person regarding the disease.

Pedro being a typical youth in the ’90s taught so much about what it’s like to live with the disease.  He taught how to stand up for what he believed and was not afraid of what others might think.

He did not die in the show but according to news, he passed away in November 11, 1994 hours after the last episode was aired.  He did a great job about HIV/AIDS awareness and was so inpiring among the youth that even former US President Bill Clinton named a street after him in Miami Florida called “Pedro Zamora Way”.

Ako kaya? May mag pangalan kaya ng eskinita sa ngalan ko? Why not? Peklat.