Manulife Philippines organized the “Flex Your Future: Personalize your journey to health and wellness” webinar, with celebrities Alden Richards, Iza Calzado-Wintle, Jessy Mendiola, and mental health advocate Dr. Gia Sison as guest speakers, and Luis Manzano as host. They shared their health goals, habits, tips, personal experiences and even discussed challenges they’ve faced, especially during the pandemic, to give Filipinos insights into starting their wellness journeys based on their needs.
The up-close-and-personal virtual meet was held in line with Manulife’s launch of HealthFlex, the first and only flexible life and health insurance solution in the market, which empowers Filipinos to personalize their critical illness coverage and choose the plan that best meets their needs.
“The pandemic has been a strong reminder that taking care of our health is of utmost importance. However, caring for our physical well-being is not just about being physically healthy. We also need to build our financial muscles and make sure we are prepared for unexpected medical concerns and expenses. Based on Manulife’s study Understanding Filipinos’ Sentiments Toward Health and Critical Illness, there is a mismatch between our desire to live healthy and our actual lifestyles. Likewise, there is a gap between our expected expenses, in the event of critical illness, and how much we are actually able to save. We must improve our physical health to prevent critical illness, and also improve our financial habits, to be prepared should illness still strike,” said Melissa Henson, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Manulife Philippines.
“These insights helped us in creating HealthFlex, which enables Filipinos to choose the life and health insurance plan that suits them best. This new product was developed to cover critical illnesses that are top-of-mind for Filipinos and are perceived to be the most expensive to treat. As there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to insurance protection, customers can personalize their HealthFlex plan based on their protection needs,” added Henson.
Kicking off the webinar, health advocate Dr. Gia Sison spoke about how Filipinos can stay physically and mentally healthy during COVID-19. She also shared her own cancer journey, and how her fight against the Big C emboldened her to remain strong in overcoming any challenges in life, and to share her lessons with people who have fought or are fighting the same battle.
“Anyone can be diagnosed with the Big C. While many of us may be aware of the things that we need to do to live a healthier lifestyle, often we do not always convert these into actions. We should learn how to walk the talk as having the right mindset can lead us to our health goals,” Sison said.
Meanwhile, Calzado-Wintle shared her story as a survivor of COVID-19, and what she went through after being diagnosed positive for the coronavirus. While it derailed many of her plans, the support of her husband, and the care and service of medical workers helped her make it through the ordeal. The experience also made her a stronger person and an even more passionate advocate of taking care of one’s health, including body and self-love.
“Having gotten sick, I realized that health is really the most important thing we have in life. It made me reflect on what I should do. I learned about the acronym LIFE. L stands for learning how to face our struggles and turn them into strength. I stands for interconnectedness – about connecting with the people you love. F refers to forgiveness – of yourself and of others. Lastly, E stands for enjoy – enjoying and valuing the one life we have,” Calzado-Wintle said.
For Mendiola, grappling with societal pressures to conform to narrow beauty standards had been a huge challenge, and really affected her health. Learning from her experience, she now advocates for body positivity and personalizing your health journey to what serves you best.
“The only way to be truly happy and healthy is to accept yourself. You have to learn to recognize your insecurities, accept them, and do something about them. Learn to become the best version of yourself by building up your spiritual, mental, and physical well-being,” Mendiola shared.
As an entrepreneur determined to keep his businesses afloat and support his employees despite the pandemic, Richards spoke about how he dealt with the stress and anxiety he faced. He believes that keeping healthy is vital, even in the context of meeting one’s business and career goals. He also shared his fitness transformation journey that made him better, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
“Self-discipline is very important as the road to fitness can be challenging. Find a routine that you will enjoy so you can be consistent with your workouts. While it is important to also eat in moderation, you need to also find a way to reward yourself from time to time. Lastly, respect your efforts. A small progress is still progress. If you work out and eat right regularly, you will achieve powerful results,” Richards said.
Based on the abovementioned Manulife’s study, most Filipinos feel financially unprepared to cover healthcare expenses in the event of critical illness, believing that the cost of treatment is more than they can afford. HealthFlex is thus designed to enable Filipinos to choose the best protection plan that is made more affordable to meet their needs, and to make their every day better with financial peace of mind in case critical illness strikes. To know more about HealthFlex, you can visit http://manulife.pub/health_flex, and a financial adviser will reach out to you.
To watch the full webinar, visit and follow Manulife’s Facebook page.