The Health Exemplars
The commendable works of Rosamy “Jing” Castañeda-Velasco as a broadcast journalist have extended beyond in-depth coverage of government and political events, and dwell into a strong advocacy for a healthy lifestyle and other health-promotion programs. As a veteran news personality and celebrity mom, she has extended her influence and that of her network (ABS-CBN) to help people in dire need of medical assistance, particularly children who are physically abused, maltreated and require treatment for their medical ailments through the Bantay Bata (Child Watch) of which she is the program director. Through her television program (Salamat Dok), she also helps address various family issues on health, empowering the public with basic knowledge on preserving health and wellness.
By Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos
Many broadcasters feel the angst of seeing the dire situation of some sectors of our countrymen, and are so moved of what they see that they feel the need to leverage their influence to do something to remedy the identified problems.
But while the majority may feel so battle-weary at some point, and look at the situation with jaded eyes, rationalizing at the end that it’s a hopeless situation, some simply feel the conviction to persevere and try to help until it really hurts. And until their goals are achieved for the people they wish to help.
Rosamy “Jing” Castañeda-Velasco is one such broadcast journalist, who has combined her profession as broadcaster with public service, addressing some pressing health concerns, particularly of the marginalized.
Jing has been a correspondent of ABSCBN Integrated News and Current Affairs since 2001. Among the several radio and television programs she anchors,
Salamat Dok (Thanks, Doctor), the longest running health program on Philippine television, remains close to her heart.
Aired live every Saturday and Sunday morning, the program provides basic but practical information on prevalent diseases and common medical concerns in the country. Free on-air consultation with guest physicians, as well as regular free medical/ dental missions within the ABS-CBN complex are part of the show’s public service mission.
Jing has been program host of Salamat Dok since December 2012, and she particularly enjoys handling its segment on family and health issues, as well as the show’s medical missions and healthy cooking segment.
Jing is also currently the director of Bantay Bata (Child Watch), the child welfare program of ABS-CBN Foundation. It has been rescuing children who are physically abused, and has expanded its services to address the nutritional, health, and psychological issues of children from indigent families. As a mother to three beautiful children, Jing feels the physical and psychological distress of these children they assist, and her whole team in the foundation aims to ease this pain and restore back the seemingly broken body and spirit of these children.
Assisting families to attain holistic health, well being and success, Jing has co-founded and writes a column for Puso ng Pamilyang Pilipino (The Heart of the Filipino Family), a public service website aiming to empower Filipino families with practical information on various aspects of life.
With junk food and pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables crowding most supermarket shelves, Jing saw the big need for healthier food products. Consumers must be presented with options on what to buy. At the same time, small farmers have to be equipped with knowledge and skills to grow fruits and vegetables in a healthier manner.
Hence, Organic Options, Inc. was born; and it’s now the largest marketing and distribution company of natural and organic produce in supermarkets in Metro Manila and surrounding areas. It continues to develop and train farmers to become successful agri-entrepreneurs. This social enterprise therefore promotes both physical and financial health for its stakeholders.
Jing graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, major in Communication Arts, receiving honors as Departmental Awardee for Leadership, Academic Excellence and Community Service. She also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the same university. She took up a post-graduate degree in Broadcasting at the New York University in the United States. She’s currently a professor teaching Communication Arts in the School of Social Sciences of her alma mater.
As a broadcaster, Jing could have trodden the usual path, objectively but passively reporting on the various health issues of the country. She could have stayed within her comfort zone at the gallery as a passive observer of these problems. But she chose to join her other similarly-oriented colleagues and other health advocates in stepping on the mound and swinging the bat themselves so homeruns for the nation’s health could be hit.
“As a mother to three beautiful children, Jing feels the physical and psychological distress of these children they assist, and her whole team in the foundation aims to ease this pain and restore back the seemingly broken body and spirit of these children”
March 2017 Health and Lifestyle