The Anti-Smoking Campaign got off to a rousing start on March 16 at the Tandang Sora National High School in Quezon City. With 39 Bb. Pilipinas candidates in attendance, it had a distinctly upbeat air that got everyone excited and expectant. The star of the day was “Yosi Kadiri,” the mascot that was at the front line of the Dept. of Health anti-smoking campaign in the early 90s under Sec. Juan Flavier.
A joint project with the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), together with the Dept. of Health and Bb. Pilipinas Charities, this is Pres. David Ackerman’s signature project, the redemption of a promise he made at his induction to wage war against lung cancer which claimed the life of his dad, Irv.
Lending support to Pres. David were PE Jun Jun Dayrit, Dir. Boy Arteche, Dir. Louie Aseoche and Dir. Chris Ferareza. Also present were PCS Chair Antonio Guerrero, PCS Exec. Director Rachel Rosario and representatives from City Hall and the barangay.
Both PCS executives delivered messages centering on the ill effects of smoking—on hygiene, looks and health, while Pres. David told the crowd about RC Makati and its major projects and how its members do their best to help those in need. He also shared the “why” of his advocacy against lung cancer and, to show how insidious cancer is, how his dad, Irv, succumbed to the disease 20 years after he quit smoking.
While the program was going on, the PCS Mobile Bus conducted cervical cancer screening and breast examination for women of the community.
The public info campaign includes an art contest among students, which will be judged on a set of criteria that includes relevance to the anti-smoking theme, originality, creativity and viewer impact. RC Makati Rotarians and PCS representatives are expected to return to Tandang Sora National High School to judge the artworks and award the winners.
Other media to be employed are comics, flyers, and a commitment wall, as well as testimonials by surviving cancer patients. The participation of celebrities will be used to heighten awareness of and interest in the project and to get more students and other young people to join the campaign as advocates.