SM Cares, DOH, PBCS hold virtual Pink Ribbon Day for Breast Cancer Awareness

October 21, 2021

SM Cares, DOH, PBCS hold virtual Pink Ribbon Day for

Breast Cancer Awareness

Event focused on science-based information, government assistance for patients, and inspiring stories of survival

In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, SM Cares, together with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Breast Cancer Society (PBCS) held its annual Pink Ribbon Day for Breast Cancer Awareness on October 7, 2021 via Zoom.  A total of 255 participants joined the virtual celebration and listened to the panel of medical experts and SM breast cancer survivors who shared their knowledge, expertise and personal experiences on the dreaded disease.

 In her welcome remarks, SM Cares Program Head on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers Atty. Pearl Jayagan Turley highlighted the need for better awareness of breast cancer among Filipinos, especially since the Philippines is reported to be the country with the highest number of breast cancer cases every year in Asia.

 "Today, we all unite for one common endeavor—the prevention of breast cancer. If we can help in the advocacy of prevention, then we are doing our part not only as responsible citizens of this country, but also as a big part of the change that we want to happen," Atty. Turley said.

Philippine Breast Cancer Society Board Member Dr. Jose Rhoel de Leon kicked off the online session with the top 13 frequently asked questions about breast cancer and the misconceptions and myths related to it. Some of the questions which drew a lot of engagement were myths about supposed causes of breast cancer including wearing of a sports bra, one’s exposure to microwave or the perceived degenerative effect on the spine after chemotherapy.

 The second speaker was the Program Manager for the National Integrated Cancer Control Program of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Clarito Cairo Jr., who talked about the government's breast cancer assistance program, which aims to help qualified Filipino patients in the treatment of their breast cancer. Dr. Cairo emphasized that qualified breast cancer patients can avail of free medicines through the Breast Cancer Medicines Access Programs which as of October 2021 has 27 access sites all over the Philippines. 

 SM Foundation's Vice President for Corporate Affairs Elena Bautista-Horn, spoke about her personal journey with breast cancer, from coming into terms with her diagnosis, to living with and fighting her illness, to her road to becoming completely cancer-free. Bautista-Horn is the proponent of the Pink Ribbon Day advocacy of SM Cares.

 SM Prime Spots, Inc. President Linda Panutat also shared her inspirational story on the role of faith in a patient's journey toward overcoming breast cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, she underscored the importance of prayer for those who are fighting the disease, and said it was one of the things that kept her going as she fought with cancer.

 The Pink Ribbon Day for Breast Cancer Awareness is one of the many ways SM Cares supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 3, which "seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life."

 SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, with programs to support communities and promote social inclusion and care for the environment. Its CSR advocacies include Programs for the Environment, Persons with Disabilities, Women & Breastfeeding Mothers, Children & Youth, Senior Citizens, and the creation of bike-friendly SM Malls across the country.

To learn more about these programs, visit