The Ripple Awards panel of judges recognized outstanding community movers of the HIV/AIDS advocacy during the second Ripple Awards held on May 11 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent.
The awards night was held alongside the second Love Gala: Courage Amplified--Asia’s premier charity and awards event attended by public and private organizations, and some of the most influential personalities in the LGBT+ community. This year’s Love Gala coincided with the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial ceremony that commemorates the lives affected by HIV/AIDS.
“Tonight we honor the movers in the HIV advocacy through the Ripple Awards. I could not be any more proud of the nominees and awardees for their tremendous efforts to normalize the discussion on HIV/AIDS,” said Ronivin Pagtakhan, LoveYourself Founder and Executive Director.
During the Ripple Awards, a total of five individuals, three organizations, and a community project were given distinction for “demonstrating the genuine ability to move other people towards uplifting the lives affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic.” It also recognized the People’s Choice from social media votes and the Most Influential Story.
The 2019 Ripple Awardees are:
- People’s Choice: Mikhail Zion Taggueg
- Most Influential Story: Darwin Tenoria
- Project of the Year Category winner: Community Based HIV Screening (CBS)
- Organization Category winners:
- Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA)
- Family Planning Organization of the Philippines-Iloilo City Chapter, and
- Olympus Society of Davao, Inc.
- Individual Category winners:
- Gat-Joriz Alatiit
- Dr. Regina Berba
- Joseph Michael Manlutac
- Mikhail Zion Taggueg, and
- Marc Lester Quintana
The new Ripple Awardees expressed their gratitude for the recognition as they believe it is a testament to the blood and sweat they have dedicated as community mobilizers. Furthermore, they hope that the award will further advance their advocacy in their respective localities by getting more funding and support.
Meanwhile, they called on the community to be advocates, connecters, energizers, and service providers of persons living with HIV (PLHIVs). The awardees encouraged everyone to foster love, acceptance, and understanding in lieu of discrimination so we can achieve untransmittable stigma and undetectable fear. They also stressed the importance of educating the youth on ways to prevent HIV transmission.
When asked for their message for PLHIVs, the Ripple Awardees echoed the sentiment that there are people who are willing to lend a helping hand. They also reiterated that there is life after HIV, as testified by PLHIVs who live normal lives and who stick to their treatments, follow their nurses and doctors, and do not hesitate to ask help from their families.
Among the distinguished guests of the second Love Gala and Ripple Awards are Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015 and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific; Dr. Louie Ocampo, Country Director for UNAIDS Philippines; and Steven J. Robinson, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines.