For the past 14 years, DiabetEASE has been an easy-to-read information resource for diabetes patients and their families. It has featured stories on diabetes prevention, management, and treatment, and shared inspiring tales of people who continue to live well even with the disease.
The brainchild of noted endocrinologist Dr. Joy Arabelle C. Fontanilla, DiabetEASE became the only then quarterly magazine in the diabetes niche in the Philippines. It has gained support from diabetes associations in the country and leading industry partners who all shared the goal of spreading awareness about the epidemic disease which diabetes has become.
It was so named because its main aim is to make diabetic patients and their families feel at ease with the disease, hence, DiabetEASE. This can be achieved by providing basic but essential information so patients and those at risk to develop the disease could understand the disease more, and know how it could be prevented; or if one already has it, how to control it and prevent its complications.
Experts are seriously alarmed of the emerging rise in diabetes cases not only in the Philippines but in a global scale. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Report on Diabetes, the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and lowincome countries and is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. WHO reported that diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
Stories and faces
For its part, DiabetEASE continues to give out basic but vital information on diabetes prevention and treatment, inviting experts from leading medical institutions to share their expertise on various diabetes-related topics in its In-Depth and Educator’s Corner sections. The magazine has also invited fitness coaches to talk on latest trends in fitness, touching topics on easy-to-do exercises while travelling, in the workplace, indoors and even during emergencies. Nutritionists and chefs have contributed topics on healthy eating and easy-to-prepare dishes that are beneficial for diabetes patients.
Aside from these, DiabetEASE inked partnerships with various diabetes organizations such as Diabetes Philippines, Philippines Center for Diabetes Education Foundation Inc., (PCDEF), Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM), and the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity (PASOO) and has been a consistent media partner in their lay activities.
For years, the DiabetEASE cover was graced by various celebrities like Marissa Sanchez, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Christine Bersola-Babao and Julius Babao, Gary Valenciano and Angeli Valenciano, broadcasters Mike Enriquez and Arnold Clavio, Kim Atienza, TV host Boy Abunda, child star Mona Louise Rey, athlete and host Gretchen Ho, Philippine Volcano athlete Eric Tai, football superstars Phil and James Younghusband.
The magazine has also paid tribute to various diabetes movers and shakers in the Philippines, such as the late Dr. Ricardo ‘Tatay’ E. Fernando, known as the antidiabetes crusader and founder of Institute for Studies on Diabetes Foundation (ISDF) and the Philippines Society of Diabetologists. Another medical icon featured on the cover is Dr. Augusto Litonjua, known as the Father of Philippine Endocrinology, who has actively taken part in several diabetes awareness campaigns participated in by DiabetEASE. issue in 2016. Dr. Litonjua is the founder of the PSEDM, PASOO, and PCDEF. Various public servants have also graced our covers including Sen. Sonny Angara, Sen. Pia Cayetano; as well as fitness and wellness advocates like Coaches Jim and Toni Saret, Sexy Chefs Rachel and Bernadette Alejandro and Chef Carlo Miguel.
DiabetEASE is not only confined in the pages of the magazine. While its mission is to provide meaningful content to its readers, it also gave birth to its advocacy event Sweet Escape. A one-day fair gathering endocrinologists, industry partners, friends from the media and the public, Sweet Escape aims to spread more awareness about diabetes prevention and management and engage the audience through activities such as lay forums, booth exhibition, zumba competitions and games and raffle draws.
In 2016, Sweet Escape also opened another segment, Hataw Galaw: Sayaw sa Kalusugan, directly targeting the young ones to ditch the sedentary lifestyle and choose to stay fit by engaging in an active lifestyle. The dance contest gathered different college students from several universities and colleges in the Philippines. It also had its second run in Mandaue City, Cebu following a successful intercollegiate competition in Manila.
On to more years
Responding to the call of having a regular diabetes reference material for a growing number of audience, DiabetEASE became a monthly magazine in 2018 and is now published back-to-back with its sister publication H&L (Health & Lifestyle).
Now a duo that comes in one handy magazine, DiabetEASE, together with H&L, continues in its challenging but fulfilling journey to provide more up-to-date stories on diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. Gelyka Ruth Dumaraos