Monday, February 17, 2014

CMZ Bra to Raise Awareness Campaign 2014 UPDATES

February 17, 2014 Updates:

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the Philippines with reports showing that  the country has the highest incidence rate in Asia. Unfortunately, survival rate in the Philippines is below 40% compared to the high survival rates of 80 to 98% in developed countries. This is attributed to better disease awareness in developed countries and the practice of regular screening that helps detect the disease at an earlier, thereby, more curable stage.

Thus, Ciudad Medical Zamboanga created the CMZ Breast Wellness Center (CMZ BWC) in 2012 as its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility program under the helm of Breast Advocate, Dr. Marissa Lim. The CMZ Breast Wellness Center is now launching the B.R.A. Campaign Project which stands for Bra to Raise Awareness in time for the World Cancer Day this February 4, 2014 and its culmination will be on March 20, 2014, which is the second anniversary of CMZ BWC as well as within the International Women’s Month (March).

Phase 1 of the B.R.A. Campaign Project is the B.R.A. Drop Box Decorating Contest participated in by  the CMZ employees and was started last January 17, which is within the National Cancer Consciousness Week. The decorated B.R.A. drop boxes will be placed in strategic places within CMZ and with partner institutions and prepared for Phase 2.
Placing of the B.R.A. Collection boxes within Ciudad Medical Zamboanga and in designated areas within Zamboanga City is intended to increase Breast Cancer Awareness in the following ways:
1) Looking at the pink-colored B.R.A. boxes will attract the observers to awareness.
2) Reading the messages of the B.R.A. Boxes will create awareness.
3) Picking flyers/leaflets from the box will add to their knowledge and awareness.
4) Contributing brassieres into the box will further increase involvement.
5) More women submitting for screening.
6) More organizations requesting for lectures on Breast Cancer Awareness. Call Zeny/Beth at 992-7330 loc 1278 for scheduling.
7)   Final phase of Installation Art will increase Breast Cancer Awareness for the community

Phase 2 is the launching of the B.R.A. Collection Contest where CMZ is collecting old and used bras, within the institution and in partnership with the Zamboanga community from February 4 to March 2, 2014. 

As of this day, our partner institutions who will help us in the B.R.A. Collection Phase include: 
** the City Government through the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Zamboanga (through City Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar, head of ZC Gender and Development Committee)the City Health Office; 
** government offices such as DOH RIX, PhilHealth, SSS, Office of the Civil Registrar, CHED, Zamcelco, ZC Water District, Western Mindanao Command; 
** Malls such as Mindpro Citimall, Budgetwise, Shopper’s Group, Yubengco Star Mall; 
** Schools such as Western Mindanao State University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Universidad de Zamboanga, Pilar College, Brent Hospital and Colleges, Claret School, Nuevo Zamboanga Colleges and Immaculate Conception Elementary School; 
** Banks such as PNB and Metrobank; 
** private groups such as KCCDFI, Lantaka Hotel and Bygems Baloons. 
** The Mindanao Breast Cancer Support and Empowerment Association (MBCSEA) with Pres. Florence Alcazar is our partner for this campaign.
** The Camera Club of Zamboanga and the Zamboanga Bloggers are media partners for this Advocacy project.
** Dante Corteza, Mila Arieta and RG Antonet Go are the consistent friends in media from the beginning of this endeavor.

The collected used bras will be prepared for Phase 3 of the B.R.A. Campaign Project which will be the Ciudad de Zamboanga B.R.E.A.S.T. Installation Art for Breast Cancer Awareness to be unveiled on March 20, 2014. Lead artist for this innovative artwork is international artist, Rameer Tawasil who hails from Sulu, and also considers this as his Personal Social Responsibility!

Instead of Ciudad Medical Zamboanga, the Installation Art will be known as the Ciudad de Zamboanga B.R.E.A.S.T. Installation Art.
This is so because, this campaign has now expanded as the Zamboanga City community art and advocacy project... where the private and public sectors, schools and offices, institutions and individuals join hands to raise Breast Awareness!

What does B.R.E.A.S.T. mean? 
It means Bra to Raise Early Awareness for Screening and Treatment.

We hope that it might be the first of its kind here in the Philippines and maybe, the world... (anybody, who thinks otherwise, please do inform us and enlighten us!)

Here is the concept as drawn by our artist, Rameer Tawasil:
This is the intended concept of the 
Ciudad de Zamboanga B.R.A.Installation Art
to be created by R. Tawasil and company, 
and which will be made up of the individual old and used brassieres !
An offshoot of the B.R.A. Campaign Project is the CMZ B.R.A. A.R.T. Workshop with the Borloloy Buffet, wherein interested participants from CMZ and also from the Zamboanga City community will decorate the brassieres for another concept, also of artist Rameer Tawasil.
Concept B: where bras will be decorated and embellished to create B.R.A. artworks!...
First set of the bra art was made during the CMZ B.R.A. A.R.T. Workshop.
CMZ staff are encouraged to continue making beautiful bras.
However, we still have to find a place to display these 
B.R.A. artworks with due consideration to cultural sensitivity.
So here is the activity last February 7, 2014 for the CMZ workforce, and CMZ's way of contributing to the National Arts Month (February)!
CMZ B.R.A. A.R.T. Workshop with the Borloloy Buffet
The same activity will be offered to the partners on March 12, 2014 for day of B.R.A. Art with the Community where indeed, let us Act Right Together!

Phase 4 of the B.R.A. Campaign Project is the Breast Awareness Phase through Education. This phase is already and ongoing activity of the CMZ Breast Wellness Center spearheaded by Dr. Marissa Lim as main lecturer and also with Dr. Filipinas Rojo as part of the pool of lecturers.

In fact, the objective of this Bra to Raise Awareness Campaign Project is in support  of this endeavor. Phase 4 encourages our partners to schedule their Breast Awareness lectures with the CMZ Breast Wellness Center through Zeny/Beth at 992-7330 loc 1278 for scheduling and inquiry.

The Breast Awareness lectures will allow greater understanding on Breast Wellness and enlightenment on what this B.R.A. Campaign is all about!

CMZ hopes to have the whole Zamboanga City community as a partner in saving lives as we embark on this BRA to RAISE AWARENESS Project of the CMZ Breast Wellness Center. 

Again, the intended Ciudad de Zamboanga B.R.A. Installation Art to be made by R. Tawasil and company will be made up of the individual old and used brassieres, so don't be shy to give away the used, abused and unusable bras for this cause!

Also, everybody is enjoined to be part of the B.R.A. Campaign... as bra contributor, as active partner institution, as lecturer, as inspirational speaker, as part of the support team, as liaison for units and partners, as media partner and friend, as online sharer and blogger, as artist and of course, as sponsor and benefactor! Please come and join us!!!

Our reminder to everyone is : 


The Awareness starts with us!


Ciudad Medical Zamboanga
Breast Wellness Center
Mayor Vitaliano Agan Avenue (former Nunez Extension)
Zamboanga City 7000
Tel No. (63)(62)992-7330 local 1278


  1. I've been neglecting about breast cancer awareness before. The death of my MIL from breast cancer made me realize that I should be more careful and should undergo check up.

  2. I can't help but to wonder how does a BRA contest is held. LOL. :)

    1. Our contest for a BRA Drop Box already created interesting, this is too sexy for a school and this would be good for the mall. So in choosing where to put the bra boxes, we had to consider the audience!

      As for the bra collection contest, people were asking why we will collect bras it to be given as relief?... and they are more confused when we say we will make an artwork out of it!

      As for bra decoration and the possibility of hanging bras in public places...this may garner lots of mixed reactions. All the more if we wear the decorated bras!

      So we do not intend to make a controversy out of it in our conservative community...but we will still display the bras!

  3. From my classmate in Cebu Doctors' College of Medicine, Dr. Araceli Tagalog-Einang in Norway: Hi Pinay! Mangumusta una ko before anything else :)) I see you are busy with BRA. I have read the links and I admire you for this. Dili baya sayon to raise awareness among people let alone have a project like this . Well done my friend!!Wished I could send you bras. Wished also the Government of the Philippines can offer free breast screening to all females 50 yrs and above as Norway do. But a lot of females be saved just because they to are aware and they examine their breast regularly. This is one way to save lives, EDUCATE them. Learn how to examine your breast yourself and when to go to the doctor should have and must be incorporated in the learnings at schools , in the media at least.

  4. From Mimie Degamo Havikhorst-Arbas from Zwolle, Netherlands: Hello Doc, yes no problem, i will start to collect old BIG Bra's, i have some client who has wearing big one. Will update you as soon as possible. Great Job Day! Thumbs up!,

  5. From Mimie from the Netherlands: Hello Day i have collecting bra's already. Can u please send your adress pls? Hopefully you will receive it w/in 2weeks.

    Stichting kringloop zwolle has donated them all.

  6. From High School classmate, Elsie Cubero-Lim: Hi Doc Pini, you should have told me ahead hehehe...will try if we can make it...nahan ko ani ni basta artwork...kindly send us the exact address on where to mail the decorated BRA...if only ha? will try I hope you could bring this to Cebu? why not?

  7. From Cebu Doctors' College of Medicine classmate, Dr. Rowena Catipay-Buyan, an oncologist in the UK:

    Hi Pinay,

    Thanks for the invite. Congratulations for all your hard work about raising awareness for breast cancer.

    I remember when I was doing my subspecialty training years ago, there was an international research study (funded by France) which was supposedly to last for five years but on its third year it was abandoned with the conclusion that the Filipino women were not yet ready for monitoring for early breast cancer. There were many factors surrounding this; superstitious beliefs, "bahala na" attitude, frightened to see a doctor, quack medicine and disregard for health among others.

    I hope by now people are more open to this. I usually encourage patients to do self physical examination. The best time is when they take a shower or a bath while they are applying liquid soaps, lotions or when they scrub up; while doing this at the same time they feel their breasts and axillae for any lumps and bumps; also they will have the chance to have a baseline feel of their anatomy; any unusual finding from their baseline physical examination will give them a signal to see a doctor immediately for confirmation.

    One of the reasons why there is still a low survival rate for breast cancer in the Philippines is because when they are referred to the Oncologist patients are in the late stage of the disease. Everyone is aware that treatment for cancer is expensive. Sad to say that money is tantamount to surviving cancer in my home country.

    It is good that you offer mammogram at 40 years old as mortality for breast cancer is at its highest among the 40- 45 age group. They can have it done every 2-3 years as monitoring.

    The youngest patient that I took care of was 24 years old. The young nulliparous age group tend to be shy and hide their ailment from anyone even from their closest family members until its too late. You need to emphasize and convince them to see a doctor just for a chat as sometimes they can be stubborn to submit themselves for physical breast examination.

    Let me know again if you need oncology input in your future projects.


  8. it was amusing to see photos of decorated bras, doc :) i hope the advocacy was a success. this is certainly a good avenue to inform, educate and create awareness about the killer breast cancer. glad to see you again in the hop, doc! :)

    1. Thanks, Farida. I do hope to be more active but I don't understand yet about the Social media campaign...How do I do that?

  9. Deom my friend from the JICA Friendship Program, Kumi Ibuki from Japan but now living in Paraguay:

    Hi, Inday!!! What a good thing you're trying to do there! Here in Paraguay, we have the same problem of ignorance of breast wellness coming from the extreme poverty. I encourge you your effort! Keep in touch!

  10. I admire people who are into worthy causes, so I really hope this goes well.

  11. Wow! An art made of bras, I wonder how that will look like. I hope it could be an art that also has function. :-)

  12. wow! that looks so fun and at the same time people are doing it for a good cause :)

  13. Nowadays there are so many different cancers glad that they are increasing awareness of breast cancer.

  14. What a great idea! This project will certainly (and easily) grab the readers' attention toward the cause. I'm praying for its success! PS: One of the reasons why I continue breastfeeding is to reduce my risks of having breast cancer.

  15. This is a great advocacy in spreading the word about the importance of fighting breast cancer.I love it that you have a lot of great activities!

  16. This is great. Breast cancer awareness is really a very important advocacy. It's best to be aware. I wish you all the best in spreading the word about this.

  17. This is a great endeavor. I am glad to know that there is an activity like this to promote breast cancer awareness. Is there a way to detect early stage of breast cancer and is mammogram safe?

    1. Starting at Age 20, self-breast examination is advised monthly and you can learn this through the internet. At Age 30, it is suggested that we visit our doctor or at breast clinics for the Clinical Breast Exam and may be done every three years. At Age 40, you can ask your doctor about Mammography. Calcifications of cancer may be seen two years before a mass is felt. Benefit from mammography is greater than the risk. It is best to go to Centers with Digital mammography since radiation dose with the newer machines is less. Do not get a mammography before age 40. Other ways to assess if one has a mass is Ultrasound. Best see a doctor!

  18. This is such a great cause. More women really should be made more aware of breast cancer in this country. This can help save so many lives.

  19. I commend this great undertaking Dr. Filipinas Rojo, I believe many women will benefit from this very innovative campaign. Thank you for sharing the info to me because I will share this to my friends, masteral students and acquaintances.More power and God bless you always.

  20. Awareness about Breast Cancer is always a good thing. This is such a very inspiring campaign. Have great day:)

  21. One of the causes of women's death nowadays is the breast cancer. I think not only women but men should be aware of these since they can be also a victim of this one.

  22. I really wish you goodluck for this campaign. Kudos to you and to everyone behind it. Raising awareness to everyone is a big help. Goodluck and God bless you all.

  23. Wow, this is a great project! I have not seen anything like it. Thanks for reminding us too to have our breasts checked :)

  24. Amazing ideas here Pinay. Goodluck on the campaign and God bless you and the whole team :)

  25. I have known many people who dies because of breast cancer and it's complications. That makes me fear and at the dame time I became more aware of myself. That's why, slowly, we are shifting to a real healthy diet. Though I have no relatives yet who had breast cancer, unhealthy lifestyle is one great factor in acquiring not only breast cancer but other diseases. This Bra to Raise Awareness Campaign is a great activity and may God bless you and everyone behind the campaign.

    Mommy Maye

  26. I salute you and to all members behind the campaign. It's not only it will help other women out-there to be more aware about breast cancer but also prevent it by doing some check up every year..

  27. congrats inday on your advocacy. will send you the bras today. your gesture will surely make an impact on womens health.