Nala Woman and Kindred invite guests on a Thursday afternoon for an interlude centred on women's wellness

More women are finally breaking free from impeding and outdated cultural norms. Local beauty brand Nala Woman and healthcare service provider Kindred are urging more to join the discussion to shape a safe and well-informed community through their first-ever in-person event, "Let's Talk Ladies".

See also: Women Healthcare Services in the Philippines You Should Know

Even before the panel began their talk, Whitespace Manila was packed with guests who browsed through products from booths of women-centric and sustainable brands including The Collective, Made Mindful, Jellytime, and Women's Fitness.

The speakers of the exclusive period party include Kindred program lead Dr Angel Sianghio - Lapada, Nurse and mentor Jess De Mesa, Unprude and Kindred's Dr Rica Cruz, Dominique Cojuangco, and Jellytime co-founder and co-host of The Sexytime Podcast Ava Daza Zanirato. These ladies helped create a safe space for all to openly discuss topics that were—and in some places, are still—considered taboo, such as sex education.

Zanirato had to overcome a similar hurdle before launching her sexual wellness brand, Jellytime. Now, along with her sister Isabelle Daza, they spread sexual awareness through The Sexytime Podcast.

"When you know more about your body, you feel so much more empowered. You can make better decisions about yourself. In my case, with Jellytime, there are so many things I didn't know [about sex] growing up ... knowing about it empowers you enough to make better decisions," says the co-founder. "Everybody and every body really deserve pleasure."

Read more: Let’s Talk About Sex: Sisters Isabelle and Ava Daza Speak With Dr Rica Cruz

As the only US-board certified Filipino sexologist and someone who identifies as a religious person, Dr Cruz is pushing for proper sex education in the country as well. "There are things that we are told for them to control our bodies," she says. "We need to see all narratives that will work for us, so we are now in control of our bodies, not them, not anymore."

Dr Sianghio - Lapada gave guests an eye-opening presentation about the female body while debunking myths about essential topics like menstruation.

"As a society, we need to be progressive with the times and not regressive [with topics like abortion]," De Mesa shares. "That's why we have like-minded brands and companies that work together and not see each other as competition and actually empower each other to spread more doctor-backed information and education."

Companies like The Collective, founded by Dominique Cojuangco, also choose brands based on values apart from sustainability. She says, "Thinking about the values that these brands have, their brand image, is super important because that's also the message you're portraying for the future generation."

With companies led by brilliant and compassionate women with a shared vision, we might not be too far off from a brighter future.

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