The Many Faces of Breastfeeding


The Nearness of We, an exhibit of portraits celebrating the sense of community brought about by breastfeeding, opened yesterday at The Podium Mall. It will run until August 13, 2017, after which it will move to SM Aura Premier from August 14 to 17, 2017. Presented by Mommy Mundo, The Nearness of We captures the warmth and joy of breastfeeding in 13 enchanting portraits by Stanley Ong. Each of these portraits tell the breastfeeding story of a particular family. There is Ani de Leon Brown who breastfed her son Dash while preparing and finishing six full Ironman races. There is Thammie Sy, who has been on a breastfeeding journey for 11 years. Paula Peralejo Fernandez experienced wounds, imperfect latches, and inflammations, prompting her to say that breastfeeding has been the most challenging part of motherhood thus far.

The beautiful portraits of Iya Villania Arellano, Rima Ostwani, Alexa Gutierrez, Janice Lizardo, Eizza Lim de Baron, Kaity Bato, Jaya Crisostomo, Ruth Galang, Em Sulit, and Charissa Villanueva are also part of the exhibit.

The setup at The Podium Mall where the exhibit runs until August 13, 2017

Iya Villania Arellano, mom of Primo, says, "So fascinating how supply increases as baby's demands do! The female body is just amazing... I still laugh at how much my life has changed since and all the different things I have to worry about now, but if it means Primo is getting the best, then I'll do it."

Eizza de Baron, mom of Gabbie, Haile, and Rosie, says, "Breastfeeding is 90% psychological and 10% physical. I will always say that I am living proof that if you are psychologically convinced, prepared, and determined, then no amount of nay-saying, problems, and other factors can deter you from breastfeeding."

Alexa Gutierrez, mom of Aria and Ezra, says, "Enjoy your breastfeeding journey by immersing yourself in knowledge and patience.  Breastfeeding didn't come naturally to me. I read, took classes, talked to mom, attended events, and this helped me understand my body and the importance of breastfeeding."

Rima Ostwani, mom of Adriana, says, "Breastfeeding for me was far from easy in the beginning. It was a tough first few weeks figuring it all out and trying to get it right but it has proven to be very rewarding and worth every effort and hard work I put into it. Nothing beats this bonding time Adriana and I spend together. Just being able to stare at her while having her s"o close to me is everything."

Paula Peralejo Fernandez, mom of Pablo, says, "From wounds and imperfect latches to inflammations every week that we still have not completely solved, breastfeeding is definitely the most challenging part of motherhood for me. But whenever I see the wonders of my own milk for my baby, I just cannot stop. It's been nine months and by making sure that I am provided with the right information, scientific studies, and support from the lactation community (moms and experts), I am determined to continue this journey for as long as possible."

Ruth Galang, mom of one, talks about how breastfeeding gave her superpowers.

Thammie Sy, mom of four, talks about her breastfeeding of journey of 11 years.

Em Sulit, mom of two, is grateful for the support of her husband TJ in her breastfeeding journey.

Stanley Ong, the creator of these wonderful portraits, led the ribbon cutting ceremonies.

Charissa Villanueva and her family

Jaya Crisostomo and her family

Mommy Mundo Founder Janice Villanueva with lactation expert and breastfeeding advocate Dr. Jamie Isip Cumpas, and Mommy Treats Founder Paola Loot Bronfman

Janice and Stan with guests at the Nearness of We ribbon cutting ceremonies

Joining Janice, Stanley, and Paola are Mommy Mundo Content Head Jing Lejano and Snug-A-Hug Founder Minnie Jumaquio

Mommy Mundo's partners in The Nearness of We: A Breastfeeding Exhibit by Stanley Ong include School of Styling, Mommy Treats, Lumix, The Podium Mall, and SM Aura Premier.