New Adventure: Love Yourself

Batch Hiraya logo. Image courtesy of Love Yourself
Image courtesy of Love Yourself

I decided to embark on a new adventure. Actually, this has been months in the making. I signed up to become a volunter for Love Yourself last December after working with them in organizing a World AIDS Day forum for the company I work for. Their founder and executive director Vinn inspired me to be part of their organization.

I got my HIV test from one of Love Yourself’s mass testing back in 2013. To say that the experience was surreal and exhausting is an understatement. It was a life-turner for me. Thankfully, the people from Love Yourself were more than ready to comfort and somehow ease whatever nerves I had. Specially my counselor. It just sucks that I forgot his name. 😦

It was not the first time I was involved with them, though. A few years back, when they were just starting, my partner and I joined their charity photoshoot.

This time, I’m joining as a full-fledged volunteer. They did not reach out to me until last month for a quick interview. I went there quite nervous. I was never fond of interviews.

The one who interviewed me, LA, was very warm and accommodating, though. That helped ease the tension I was feeling. But as I left their Anglo clinic, I was worried that I was too frank with my answers.

After a few days they contacted me again and said that they are including me in the newest batch of volunteers and also gave details to the batch orientation, which happened March 7.

Our batch name is “Hiraya” meaning “hope.” According to the latest Love Yourself blog post, “We thought hiraya sounded great and is actually pretty appropriate given the changes LoveYourself is going through.” (to know more about our batch name, read here)

True to my “masungit” first impression, I was mostly silent during the orientation. The one person I really talked to was Giro, who happens to be my orgmate in college. The volunteers who were present to welcome us were really fun and, well, welcoming (ugh, I hate it when I can’t think of a better word.)

Several committee heads presented their projects and responsibilities in the organization. I registered really wanting to be part of the Communications team, and after hearing their representative Kurt talk about their projects, I was convinced that was the committee I can best lend my talents and skills to. Of course, there’s still a side of me that wanted to be part of the counseling team, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. My day job can sometimes be too demanding.

I’m now looking forward to actually working with my batchmates and co-volunteers. And I promise myself, I’ll be more lax and chill next time I meet them.

And more importantly, I look forward to somehow making a change to the community, in whatever small way I can.

Want to be part of Love Yourself? Sign up here.
Want to get tested? Read here. For Love Yourself testing sites, click here



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