Inspired by the resilient and never fading passion of Filipinas in bringing positive changes in society, Downy Premium Parfum honored seven outstanding women on Thursday, February 27 at its #NeverFade event. Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Gonzales-Intal, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Iza Calzado-Wintle, Joy Wong, Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chavez, and Kara David were recognized for their exemplary contributions to their various causes.
Downy Premium Parfum is known for its long-lasting perfume freshness that never fades, which is inspired by these Filipinas’ enduring passion for change. As a tribute to these amazing women who are making a difference in the lives of many, Downy spearheaded the #NeverFade event.
Bianca has always been open and candid about the challenges of motherhood. The television host has been utilizing social media as her tool to share her journey, which resonated with a lot of mothers in the country. With her passion for telling her story and addressing the challenges that mothers face, she is Downy's #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Maternal Health.
"Let's keep sharing our real stories of motherhood and of parenthood. And by real, I mean not just the beautiful and picturesque moments but also the ugly, the sweaty, the challenging times. We have to keep sharing those moments because the more real we are with our ups and downs especially in this age of social media, the more that we can learn from each other,” Bianca said during her acceptance speech.
Meanwhile, award-winning actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith is Downy’s #NeverFade Awardee as Leader of Equal Social and Economic Development. Jasmine has been named as National Youth Ambassador for World Vision for her belief in fair access to education and has been advocating for sustainable tourism and independent energy for our country.
"A fair access to education encourages a better future for all. When a child has access to education, he or she will grow up empowered to see the possibility of a self-capable, successful future. When it comes to sustainable tourism and independent energy, I believe in these two things because they will allow our nation to keep on going. When there is a good response for handling our tourist spots, we can continually invite tourists and open the country for the world to experience without damaging our cultural sites and experiences,” she remarked.
Advocating for body positivity and self-love, Iza Calzado has been championing women in front of the camera as an actress and with She Talks Asia as its co-founder. The actress is Downy’s #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Women Empowerment.
"My advocacy is rooted in self-love and acceptance as a way of empowering women. I believe that if women were taught to be more than just pretty or perfect, and value traits like bravery, confidence, and maybe being funny and a good sense of humor, then we could have less pressure to be perfect and could possibly find our self-worth rooted on who we are and what we do, versus on what we look like."
Another inspiring woman who was honored at the event was Joy Wong. This amazing lady is a cancer survivor. At age 27, she had Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD), which made bearing a child no longer possible for her so she and her husband decided to pursue adoption and became advocates for it. She is a charity athlete for Smile Train Foundation and actively supporting the People Ignite Foundation. She is Downy’s #NeverFade Awardee as a Woman of Resilience.
“When I was struck with cancer that affected my reproductive system, that was it. It’s not the pain of cancer that hit me but it was the unbearable pain of not bearing kids and so I am Joy Wong, a cancer survivor, and we have and we are very proud to say that we have adopted children. As a cancer survivor and been taken out the ability to bear kids you feel that everything had been taken away from you so I felt it was a cursed but today I stand before you testifying that cancer, I look at you in the face and I can face you again because for me you are the greatest blessing in my life because I met my kids because of you. And because of that I decided to pursue my calling and to address my calling in terms of two foundations,” she stated.
Journalist Kara David was also among the awardees at the event. In 2001, Kara founded “Project Malasakit,” which is a scholarship program built on her story of compassion and hope for these children. She is Downy’s #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Education.
"Responsibilidad po nating lahat ang kinabukasan ng ating mga anak. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit ko sinimulan ang ‘Project Malasakit’ noong 2001 para bigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga bata na kapuspalad na matikman ang biyaya ng edukasyon. Sa mga bundok at liblib na pook na aking pinupuntahan, marami pong bata ang hindi nakakapag-aral. Naniniwala ako sa Pilipinas na gaano man tayo kahirap sa salapi, napakayaman natin sa malasakit,” she said in her speech.
Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Executive Director Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chavez was also among the awardees. Her mission has been to strengthen Gender and Development (GAD) programs and policies by creating and implementing plans and programs that empower women in their livelihood, employment, health, and safety among others. She is Downy’s #NeverFade Awardee as Champion for Gender Equality.
“This Women's Month, it is time to recommit ourselves to the goals of gender equality and women empowerment. We call on the government agencies and other stakeholders to develop their efforts to mainstream gender and development in their plans and programs. This is to enable every Juana to show how extraordinary she can be by tearing down barriers,” she said.
Last but not least, Downy honored Pia Wurtzbach as its #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Appointed as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific, Pia has lead campaigns that support public HIV screening as well as proper sex education via social media. The beauty queen continues to use her voice to discuss reproductive health issues.
“I am happy to see that there are more beauty queens today that support the HIV and AIDS awareness cause. And I am glad that not just beauty queens and more people are volunteering and more people are getting themselves tested. And what I want people to know is that you don’t have to be a beauty queen or a popular actress, model or an influencer to be of influence. You don’t need that big number of followers to make a change. All we need is your time,” Pia remarked.
Watch the highlights of the event here: