Last June, The GUIDON published a feature on Project LAAN as one of its five “newsmakers” for the year 2016.

Originally Published in The Guidon Graduation Magazine, 26 June 2016.

By Ennah A. Tolentino

The legend is this: Project LAAN started in 2011 when a professors asked his class, “Do you just want to study the problems of the health system, or do you want to do something about it?” Since then, the organization has worked on fighting poverty through health– their advocacy in sum.

Project LAAN’s main focus has been raising money to provide their partner families with PhilHealth memberships, ensuring that their potential health expenditures were covered by…


Despite the recent advances in cancer treatment modalities and screening methods, which allow us to aim for a curative approach especially for earlier stages of cancer, the big C word is still a known killer of hopes and dreams, not only for the patients but their loved ones as well. Perhaps it is mostly due to the fact that cancer is almost always associated with a poor prognosis, and the common question people ask about is the number of years left in their lifespan. …


Jill shares her experience on teaching about health with TUGON Ateneo.

Jill with fellow volunteers after the Universal Health Coverage Bootcamp

A few Saturdays ago, I joined a Universal Health Coverage Bootcamp that Project LAAN had in partnership with TUGON Ateneo; the Bootcamp was also in partnership with CRIBS, an organization that fosters children in need of special protection from violence or abuse.

During the program, we gave a talk on feminine hygiene practices and their importance for one’s overall health and well-being, and we made sure that the lecture was tailored to the young girls’ age group and interests. One thing we had to be wary about was the…


Dr. Bobby Guevarra on Theology in Public Health

The following video and transcript are taken from the second half of Dr. Roberto Guevarra’s lecture for our LAAN Week membership formation session.

Here’s a quote from Pope Francis from one of his latest encyclicals: “Today, we have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

I think this point is shared by Gustavo Gutierrez, who is considered as one of…


In one of our recent visits to our partner families in Galvaville, Laguna, I had the opportunity to ask three of our parents — Nanay Amelia*, Nanay Clar*, and Kuya Rod* — on what they felt were the greatest challenges to their families’ health. Being an unfrequent visitor to the community, I had no expectations for what they would say, but I found that all their answers wound back to the need for medicines for common illnesses, necessities that several of us easily take for granted.

The health center in the area that’s supposed to supply the families with free…


Cheska shares her journey with our families.

Cheska conducting a seminar on dengue for our families in Calawis, Antipolo during a visit last year

I started out in health like most newbies — clueless. I had a vague interest in the field, and very little knowledge, too. It was Project LAAN, Inc. that gave me an avenue for understanding it better.

I was immediately given the position of deputy under the Community Engagement department, and my first project was a PhilHealth Fiesta where we enroll the families into PhilHealth. It was our first time partnering with that community, so I felt like the community and I were taking on this journey of understanding our health system together…


JJ tells us of his journey in public health.

A volunteer from Project LAAN, Inc. ASMPH checking vital signs during one of our community visits.

“Health is not just about doctors and hospitals.”

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always wanted to become a doctor, and it all started with the inspiration from my lolo, who was a doctor, and his cool, shiny gadgets. As I grew up, the reason behind my desire to become a doctor evolved, from stability, to esteem, to serving others. Once I reached college and started my pre-med course, it was mainly about helping others while I gained stability.

Something was missing, though; it felt shallow for me. What would come after the decades of education, the countless hours of…


Erika shares a story from her fight against poverty through health.

Erika speaking at one of our UHC Bootcamps last year.

I’ll never forget the day Project LAAN, Inc. had its very first Universal Healthcare (UHC) Bootcamp. After we delivered our talk on the importance of having health insurance to the mothers of our partner org, one mom approached me and asked why she was denied healthcare even if she had membership and had to pay for her child’s sickness. She was certain that the hospital was accredited, but they just didn’t accept her.

I was speechless and did not know what to do at all. How could I answer…


Dr. Drew shares his story about the health situation in Payatas.

Payatas Dumpsite, Manila, Philippines | ©Wikimedia

On the last month of my medical internship, I went to a place aptly called Lupang Pangako, a small community in Payatas around 30 minutes from the Litex Market at Fairview (or more accurately, Farview). I know I’m near when I’m greeted by the stench of what I refer to as “basura juice,” the substance we see in large trash bins after having all the trash and its entrails get mixed in with random fluids and decomposing material.

“The patients would have to buy their own medications.”

Lupang Pangako’s…

Project LAAN

Increasing healthcare access and utilization for families living in poverty, through public health advocacy, health literacy, and patient empowerment.

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