Hundreds of nursing mothers in the province joined HAKABitenya! Year 2, a simultaneous latch-on activity in celebration of the breastfeeding awareness month, held on August 30, 2019 at the Ceremonial Hall of the Provincial Capitol in Trece Martires City.

Provincial Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Helen Peñalba welcomed guests and participants to the event, thanking the presence of the mothers and their children to partake in the provincial health’s program on scaling up local health and nutrition and intensifying strategies for maternal, neonatal and child health. Meanwhile, on behalf of Chairman of the Committee on Health, Nutrition and Population Board Member Kerby Salazar, Mr. Kyle Salazar delivered his opening remarks, telling stories how breast milk from his mom and sometimes from aunts turned him into a smart and healthy young man.

Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla who served as guest speaker to the event shared her experience as a breastfeeding mom, reminding that formula milk from the cow is for calf only while the milk of mothers should be given to the baby. The mother of Vice Governor Jolo Revilla shared that she breasts fed all her seven children, and that in Bacoor City, there are organizations of moms who even donate breastmilk. Likewise, Mayor Lani also underscored the importance of providing proper nutrition to the baby’s first 1000 days to avoid stunted growth.

More inspiring talks that promote breastfeeding and proper nutrition to babies covered the one-day event. The breastfeeding peer counselor, South PiNanays Founder and President Marie Paz Regina Atienza, tackled some do’s and don’ts for mothers when they breastfeed. Ms. Atienza even gave away lactation cookies to every mom who participated during the activity to add fun while learning.

In addition to further enlighten mothers, Nutritionist Dietitian Joan Marie Pedron tackled the salient features of RA 11148 known as the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act of 2018. The provisions encompass social welfare support and counseling for parents on dietary supplementation, lactation management, psychosocial stimulation, plus capacity-building of barangay health and nutrition volunteers for implementation of related health services needed by mothers and their baby. Successful breastfeeding stories also gave moms the confidence and proper learnings on nurturing their babies.

Ms. Ludette Lontoc, Development Management Officer IV from the Provincial Health Team Office (PHTO) expressed the closing remarks on behalf of Dr. Armida Camposagrado, DMO 4, PHTO, telling mothers to spread the good news on Hakab. Ms. Lontoc also took the opportunity to thank the National Nutrition Council, facilitators from PHO, sponsors and exhibitors during the event, more importantly the mothers for their cooperation that contributed to the success of Hakabitenya Year 2.