ART IS A BANG: “ HOW DO I LOVE THEE II ” Photo-Exhibit Set To Open June 22

LoveYourself, a volunteer advocacy organization proudly presents “ How Do I Love Thee II ”- a fund raising photo-exhibit featuring the maiden works of self-taught photographer Kraus Estanislao.

The theme of “ How Do I Love Thee II ” focuses on the ideals of Love Yourself by propagating ideas and practices that encourage loving one's self -- to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy.

Volunteers of LoveYourself live by the mission of embracing and nurturing self-worth, inspiring others, and creating ripples of positive change in the community. They work together to create a model community of MSM and friends who empower and affirm the self-worth of youth and MSM in the Philippines through various services, including free HIV testing and counseling. Through the unwavering courage and dedication of its volunteers, the organization was recognized nationally as one of the finalists to the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in 2013.

" The theme that I chose for this exhibit is the beauty of the male human body in different forms, perspective and treatment. My photographs shall explore all its flawed but fascinating glory as magnified to clarity so that the audience will see through the marked difference between a nude man and a naked man. Both naked and nude maybe similar to one's thought, but nude photography has eroticism as its minor priority or should we say the last thing on one's spectator's mind. A nude photo is a celebration of the male human body with the power to captivate audiences, instead of a vulgar spectacle that screams for attention. " says Estanislao.

Part of the proceeds of the “ How Do I Love Thee II ” exhibit will help sustain the advocacy programs of LoveYourself Anglo.

A former production crew for a cruise ship theater company, Estanislao started to pursue photography professionally when South African photographer and fellow crewmate James Leppan saw his work and encouraged him to join a crew photo competition. Inspired by iconic photographers like Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchiler, and Howard Schatz, Kraus honed his skills in portraiture and established his own studio in Timog, Quezon City.

Estanislao fondly remembers his first nude photo shoot in 2006, which he shot in Coron, Palawan. His initial nude subjects were mainly friends and followers from his days and he has the habit of first meeting his subjects to learn about their inhibitions, draw sketches to help visualize the shoot, and figure out the lighting and poses.

"I work around my subjects’ restrictions and explain to them thoroughly what needs to be done and how it is going to be done. If all else fails, then photo shoot doesn't push through at all."

Estanislao says convincing his male Filipino subjects can become difficult due to culturally acquired inhibitions, but says that with enough encouragement, the subjects can break through societal expectations and personal insecurities.

"Nude photography has never been a popular concept here in this conservative country of ours. It's sensitive and an acquired taste. Usually, the fear of being scrutinized of their flaws, their private parts seen, their reputation to family and friends cloud their minds," says Estanislao.

"I have to ease them to these fears, motivate them to breath and let go of their inhibitions, direct them as precise as I can, and show the outcome on every shot I took, making them part of the process, making them more comfortable and at ease.”

Favorite photographs

A nude photo shoot might seem like an exercise in pulling teeth, but when it goes well, the results can be nothing short of breathtaking. Estanislao points to a trio of his favorite photographs shown during the exhibit.

"No. 14 (The Man in Heels), a personal favorite of mine that shows that a real man can wear heels. The attitude that he shows through his facial expression is brilliant."

"No. 12 is another one that shows serenity, comfort, love, warmth and security.”

“The center piece of my work, Helios (KEP 24x36 001), shows masculinity, flow, captured motion and beauty."

Estanislao says the exhibit is more than a career milestone to showcase his photographs, but also is a chance to directly help the advocacy of LoveYourself and give back to the community that has supported him. " This is one of the few ways I support the organization, through my work, through my art. LoveYourself helped me to reach out and be out of the shell that I am always comfortable being in, to be among people that has the same belief that extending one's hand to help another makes a huge difference, be more accepting, ” says Estanislao.

An invitational opening reception of “ HOW DO I LOVE THEE II ” is set on June 22, 2014 --- 6 p.m.

Venue: LoveYourself Anglo --- Units 2-6, 3/F 715- A Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. (at the back of Star Mall and a 3-minute walk from MRT Shaw Station.)

“ HOW DO I LOVE THEE II ” will be open to the public from June 25 – July 13, 2014 from Wednesday – Sunday. Exhibit hours: 1 - 6 PM. For further inquiries, check out; or visit; email : or call 0927 913 2228.

TLY to scale up HIV-testing with new center, international campaign

With the steady rise of HIV infection cases in the country for the past ten years, the Love Yourself, Inc. (TLY), in partnership with the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM), will be launching its second HIV-testing center located along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City dubbed as LoveYourself Anglo.

Opening on 22 June 2014, LoveYourself Anglo is a larger support facility stemming from the original LoveYourself HIV-testing hub in Malate, which currently services hundreds of clients weekly. Addressing the growing number of clients, the new facility is equipped with seven (7) counseling-testing rooms, a multi-purpose hall for training, workshops and other TLY activities, a counselors’ lounge, and a larger and more comfortable waiting area for those who wish to get tested.

With its strategic location within the metropolis, the LoveYourself Anglo will still offer free HIV-testing and counseling to basically everyone who is willing to avail of its services. But, it will specifically cater to men who have sex with men (MSMs) and youth populations given their high vulnerability to the virus, according to official health data.

Sources of fund for the building of the new testing hub came from the DOH-RITM, a grant from the Global Fund through the DOH and Positive Action Foundation Philippines Incorporated, donations from private citizens, and contributions from TLY.

Similar to its Malate hub, TLY will still uphold to pertinent medical procedures and standards with the operation of LoveYourself Anglo.

Protecting our common goal

To further widen the scope and strengthen its advocacy towards HIV/AIDS prevention, TLY has also partnered with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) for the inception and execution of an international campaign for HIV/AIDS prevention here in the Philippines called, “Protect the Goal” (PTG) campaign.

First launched in 2010 during FIFA World Cup in South Africa and re-launched in January 2013 for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the PTG capitalizes on the popularity of football and will use its influence as a leverage to further promote HIV prevention programs in Asia and the Pacific region.

In line with this, TLY together with its partners will also be naming three Ambassadors for Protect the Goal campaign, which will hail from the national football team or the Azkals. The Ambassadors are envisioned to become the role models towards instilling HIV-AIDS prevention programs implemented in the country, to create ripples of change in the society.

Apart from mobilizing the support of the national football association, the project also includes a behavior change communications campaign in traditional and social media that zeroes in on HIV prevention programs, and will also build partnerships with community-based or youth-led organizations for wider engagement of the younger generation.

The PTG campaign has already been taking action since its re-launch in 2013 and will end in December of 2014 garnering international participation from Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and now the Philippines.

Alongside the launches is the unveiling of a nude photo exhibit shot and crafted by self-taught photographer Abraham Kraus Estanislao. The display, Estanislao said, is one of the few ways to support TLY and its advocacy, wherein parts of the proceeds will go towards covering LoveYourself Anglo’s operational expenses.

Expected participants during the event are advocates from TLY, officials from DOH-RITM, representatives from ADB, UNAIDS, and players from the Azkals.

TLY is a non-profit organization primarily engaged in HIV testing and counseling, and peer education and promotion of HIV-AIDS prevention. Established in July 2011, TLY has already gained national recognition with its feat as one of the National Finalists - Ten Accomplished Youth Organization (TAYO) of 2013.

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