MANILA -- Amid the return of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces,
a new campaign was launched Monday to encourage the mass wearing of masks via a social media challenge and a poster design competition.
Laguna 3rd District Representative Sol Aragones is spearheading the advocacy dubbed #itsamask, a play on words of the expression “It’s a Must” to show support for frontliners and to emphasize the importance of following health and safety guidelines to fight COVID-19.
It kicked off with a social media challenge on Facebook and Instagram, with Aragones nominating her friends and former colleagues at ABS-CBN to post their masked selfies to express their solidarity.
It has gained traction with the chain of endorsements of an increasing number netizens exhorting their contacts to accept and pass on the challenge.
Aragones wore a Nina Corpuz Inabel cloth mask in the initial salvo of the internet campaign.
“Hinihikayat po natin ang bawat barangay, munisipyo, probinsiya, iba’t ibang organisasyon, bata man o matanda, na sumama sa atin sa kampanyang ito. Ngayon na natin pagsasama-samahan ito, hindi bukas, hindi sa isang araw, ngayon na mismo!” she told ABS-CBN News.
#itsamask joins other health campaign platforms initiated by personalities like former Miss Universe titlists Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach, who have posted images pushing the mask campaign.
Local designers like Mike Tumang, Corpuz, Domz Ramos, Randy Ortiz and Renee Salud among others have also raised awareness with their own mask designs with the help of local weavers.
The recent virtual Miss Philippines Earth 2020 pageant also highlighted contestants wearing masks and protective wear made by local designers.
Jodi Sta. Maria, Dingdong Dantes, John Arcilla, Melai Cantiveros, Sunshine Cruz, Ara Mina, Kim Molina and other artists have similarly advocated mask-wearing and other health protection measure in private and initiatives.
"Kung lahat ng tao ay uugaliin na magsuot ng mask, maliligtas natin ang buhay natin. Maililigtas pa natin ang buhay ng mga nakapaligid sa atin at maging ang ekonomiya ng bansa, kasama na ang turismo,” said Aragones.
Simultaneous with the #itsamask challenge, Aragones also launched an online poster-making competition which will best capture the theme “Wearing Masks, Physical Distancing and Frequent Hand-Washing Save Lives Against COVID-19."
Open to all ages, the contest aims to reach as many people as possible through public participation and cooperation.
Aside from Aragones, the contest will be judged by Representatives Stella Quimbo, Christopher de Venecia, Sharon Garin, Lucy Torres Gomez and Department of Tourism communications executive Howard Lance Uyking.
Cash prizes of up to P25,000 await the winners. Details and mechanics are at the CONG-TOUR Facebook by clicking the link.