The often overlooked, but so important – Manila Bulletin


Two events I attended the other week made me think about how often the unsung and those lurking behind the scenes deserve more of the spotlight. When the coverage and social media posts of these events are scanned, we’ll see the beautiful people, the noted personalities and celebrities, the “name-droppables”, monopolizing the coverage; and that’s normal for the course, because they create a reminder for events. But those who conceptualized the event, the tireless workers – those who organized the event; I would like this column to act as a well-deserved dedication to them.

Estée Lauder’s pink balloon was set up for breast cancer awareness and early detection, with the Philippine Foundation for Breast Care Inc. (Kasuso) and free mammograms benefiting from the money raised. Kasuso does a great volunteer job and has now evolved into a patient navigation model tailored to the Philippine context. The afflicted who come from marginalized or economically disadvantaged communities are the beneficiaries of their tireless work.

This year’s Pink Ball was dreamed up by Estée Lauder’s Country General Manager Sharyn Wong from Malaysia. Prior to taking the reins here in the Philippines, Estée Lauder was instrumental in helping the foundation my sister Libet C. Virata chairs, Helping Women and Others (HWAO), set up a new Chemotherapy Prep Room in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH); so there is a common history between Estée and HWAO. We met Sharyn in March 2022, and the pink balloon was just the germ of an idea at the time.

Your columnist and Jordan Tan are joined by Sharyn Wong, general manager of Estée Lauder Country.
Some members of the Estée Lauder team who tirelessly created The Pink Ball!

The fact that in just six months Sharyn has organized an event of this magnitude speaks volumes about her ingenuity and determination. This marks 30 years of Estée’s breast cancer campaign and Evelyn H. Lauder’s co-creation of the now-iconic pink ribbon — and Sharyn didn’t want to let those milestones pass without doing something monumental on behalf of breast cancer awareness here in the Philippines. .
While Sharyn has kept the fundraising target close to her chest, I know the more than £9million raised overnight will go a long way towards supporting the free mammograms Kasuso can provide to cancer patients under their supervision. The tireless work of the Estée team in the months leading up to the ball cannot be ignored. It’s easy to witness the culmination of their concerted efforts and mistakenly think it’s just one night; when the meticulous work of planning, organization and logistics stretched over several months. We salute Estée Lauder Philippines and wish Sharyn more success.

The next day, I attended Coca-Cola Philippines’ progress report on year four of their Waste Free goals. The event aimed to highlight the partnerships made during the four-year journey and provide an update on PETValue Philippines, their recycling and sustainable packaging initiative. PETValue Philippines, a partnership between Coca-Cola Beverages Inc. and Indorama Ventures, is the country’s first bottle-to-bottle food-grade recycling facility and started operations this year in Cavite.
Senator Cynthia Villar and DENR Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga were the special guests that morning, and for us, the media, this may have had particular significance, given the acrimonious Senate hearing. on the Manila Bay reclamation projects earlier in the week. In fact, the two were very good friends during the event.

Left to right: Sanjay Ahuja, Gareth McGeown, President of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Senator Cynthia Villar, DENR Sec. Toni Yulo-Loyzaga and Jonas from Lumen-Pernia.

The two champions of Coca-Cola’s sustainability initiatives here in the Philippines spoke about milestones and ongoing achievements. Tony del Rosario, President of Coca-Cola Philippines/VP of Franchise Operations for the Eastern Region of Coca-Cola Far East Ltd. was in Singapore, but was happy to host guests virtually. “As a global beverage company, we focus on the full lifecycle of our packaging, and we recognize our role and responsibility in helping to solve the problem of plastic packaging waste. collaboration, innovation and continuous effort, and we are making progress, and there is still a lot to do.”

Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony del Rosario, who was in Singapore for the event.

Gareth McGeown, President and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, was on hand and gave an insightful talk on their Recycle Me message and how they introduced brands whose bottles are made from 100% plastic. % recycled. They have their Tapon to Ipon project, which works with LGUs and encourages people in communities to practice proper waste separation and bring their empty, clear PET plastic bottles to collection centers.

As Gareth reminded us, “Throughout our operations, there are various opportunities to minimize waste and accelerate the shift to a circular economy…we are working towards our goal of collecting and recycling every can or bottle we we will sell by 2030!”



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