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#ShareTheCare: Jen Barangan and Shaira Diaz on feminine care

#ShareTheCare: Jen Barangan and Shaira Diaz on feminine care

Recently, pH Care and Edukasyon.ph partnered to make the taboo topic of vaginal health and hygiene easier, more accessible, and enjoyable to learn. They launched the interactive #ShareTheCare partnership which allows a yet-growing number of young women to learn and discuss feminine care. With Janina Vela hosting, the event happened last September 9 in TriNoma with TikTok creator and YouTuber Jen Barangan and Kapuso actress Shaira Diaz joining in for girl talk. 

#ShareTheCare: Jen Barangan and Shaira Diaz on feminine care

Village Pipol Magazine was given an opportunity to talk to both Jen and Shaira after the event. As we’ve seen on their social media accounts and their television appearances, Jen and Shaira both have busy and hectic schedules. However, they mention that they keep a packet of pH Care Cooling Comfort Wipes with them at all times. Both of them agreed that this remains essential to prepare for any kind of discomfort, especially when they are on the go.

Shaira expressed the reason why she brings pH Care with her everywhere she goes.

“Based on my experience, ‘yun ‘yung nagagawa sa akin ng pH Care, eh. Napapa-fresh niya ‘yung pakiramdam ko, parang good mood ako kapag ginagamit ko siya. Especially kapag taping, in between breaks, may time kaming mag-freshen up. Ang laking bagay ng pH Care. Never akong umalis para sa taping, never akong nag-taping na hindi ako nagrefresh down there.”

Jen, on the other hand, pointed out the importance of feeling refreshed especially when it affects her mood.

“Ako naman, I’m always moving. I always travel. At the same time, with this kind of job, palaging it requires a lot of physical activities. And, me, I’m also a health enthusiast. So, I always workout as well. And, sometimes, it would feel sticky or icky down there. It affects our mood, it affects how we perform on a daily basis. So, that’s why it’s important that you need to cool down. Hindi lang ‘yung pag-freshen up na maghilamos ka pero at the same time, ‘yung down there. It’s really important.”

Shaira and Jen hope to use their platform in spreading legitimate information about feminine care with pH Care to break the stigma surrounding menstrual talk.

It has been hard to discuss feminine care, feminine well-being, and menstrual hygiene among others. Especially, with the stigma and the shame that surrounds the whole menstrual talk. It holds back many of those who experience menstruation due to inadequate education about it. So, Jen and Shaira shared why it’s important for everyone (men, women, children – everyone) to discuss feminine care.

Shaira acknowledged that she has a lot to learn when it comes to feminine care.

“Kung hindi pa ako pupunta sa event na ‘to, hindi ko malalaman na marami pa pala akong kailangan alamin. Marami pa akong kailangang aralin, especially about feminine care. So, talagang important siya. Siyempre, everyday iba’t iba naman ‘yung mga bagay na na-encounter natin. So, I guess, ‘yung learning continuous ‘yan dapat… Nakakatulong rin kasi eto na ma-break ‘yung stigma.”

Jen, then, alluded that in order to take care of yourself, they have to know more about what you are going through.

“For me naman, it’s really important to know and be knowledgeable about your reproductive health. As a whole, not just for women. Para na rin sa mga lalaki. Kasi, during your adolescence period, there are a lot of changes going on down there. Minsan, hindi mo maiintindihan. You’re not even familiar if other people are experiencing it, too. So, that’s why reproductive health and feminine care are important. Para at least, you’d be knowledgeable enough on how to take care of yourself. Para mapangalagaan mo siya, kailangan mo siyang intindihin.”

During the #ShareTheCare event, Shaira and Jen joined Janina in sharing a few things about myths they once believed about menstruation.

Shaira noted that she once had to walk over three steps of a staircase just to have three-day menstruation. Jen, on the other hand, talked about how her grandmother did all kinds of things when she first got her period.

This included that her first period must be wiped on her face to avoid acne. Another one revolved around putting small cups of water all over her body which will determine how light or heavy her menstrual flow should be.

Of course, during adolescence, girls can feel ashamed to reveal things about their period. Every girl, every woman, and every person who experiences menstruation has experienced one moment in their lives when they felt afraid or ashamed to discuss menstruation or feminine care.

Jen shared that she really did feel ashamed opening up about her menstruation.

However, when Jen became an adult, she realized how perfectly normal it actually is. So, she hoped that young girls can turn to pH Care and Edukasyon.ph for legitimate information about how to take care of their feminine areas.

“Nahihiya talaga ako to open up, especially with my Lola. Kasi alam ko na madami siyang ipapagawa na supertitious beliefs. At the same time, with my friends, I felt so shy. Kasi I feel like my feminine area is a private matter. It shouldn’t be discussed publicly. So, for me, it was really a struggle. Not until na parang when I reached womanhood. That’s when I realized, ‘Oh my god, this is perfectly normal. I shouldn’t be ashamed about it.’ So, sa mga young girls out there, I know it’s different. Kasi maraming changes physically and mentally. And, you couldn’t understand. That’s why pH Care is here and Edukasyon.ph is here to help you out.”

Shaira detailed that she once felt shy about opening up about hers as well.

Although she can share it with the women in her life, she acknowledged that there are still things that she had to learn on her own.

“Ako, siguro nung teenage pa nahihiya talaga ako. Kasi siyempre nung mga time na ‘yun, bata pa tayo. So, we lack of knowledge about sa feminine area natin. Kasi hindi naman natin alam, eh. Oo, nashashare natin siya sa mga moms natin, sa lola natin. Pero baka sila rin kasi meron pa silang hindi pa nalalaman about it. Ngayon na woman na ako, ganap na akong dalaga talaga. Eto na ‘yung chance na nagkaroon na ako ng lakas ng loob para mag-explore ng sarili ko para alamin ‘yung mga bagay, mga pangangailangan ko. ‘Yung mga pangangailangan ko especially down there.”

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Then, Shaira added how happy she was to celebrate the #ShareTheCare Day. 

“Nakakatuwa kasi naging vessel siya para maging gabay sa lahat ng mga kababaihan, especially the young Filipinas na may isang brand na nagca-care para sa kanila. Lalo na para sa mga kabataang na nangangailangan ng tulong kung paano ba talaga pangalagaan ‘yung sarili nila.”

As the big sisters of a well-meaning and expert-backed community, Jen and Shaira also gave pieces of advice to further the discussion about feminine care. 

Jen started with her advice with one sentence.

“Start the conversation with your friends.”

Shaira agreed to this and added that confidence is key when it comes to furthering the discussion.

“Be confident na mag-open ka sa mga kaibigan mo. Kasi sino sino lang ba ang magtutulungan kung hindi tayo tayo lang rin, diba? Sharing is caring. So, dapat ‘wag silang matakot kung anuman ang mga problema nila down there, kung ano ‘yung mga concerns nila. The more na shinashare mo sila sa ibang tao, makakakuha ka rin ng sarili mong knowledge from them, kung paano nila nagagawa ‘yun para sa sarili nila.”

Of course, Jen didn’t forget to encourage young women to empower others as well. 

“Empower other women as well so that they would be more comfortable in opening up conversations like these.”

Jen and Shaira agreed that when it comes to sharing, they should remain open and have a non-judgmental stance regarding menstrual talk. That way, they can be a part of breaking the stigma and removing the shame about feminine care. 

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