• Spreading the word



    What a whirlwind three days—actually four days—of going from the airport to fetch Dr. Albert Jo from a Bacolod flight, setting up our booth with Paula Aberasturi at WOFEX, taking Dr. Jo to our ECHOstore in Quezon City for a talk, fixing our shipment for Italy’s Slow Food, then preparing for the Slow Food seminar where I was moderator and organizer .

    I needed a ginger boost, a Mean Green juice and “no meat diet” for a week just to keep my immune system in tiptop shape.

    “Why are we doing this to ourselves?” we are sometimes tempted to ask.

    Because we want to spread the word. The word about good health, the word about nutrition and the word about, as Reena, our partner, kids me “saving the world.”

    Our intention for bringing Dr. Jo over was not just for Slow Food. It was really to teach our staff at ECHOstore the simple ways to keep their health in check. So even at the risk of opening our stores late to the public, we gathered our employees in Serendra one fine sunny morning so they could listen to Dr. Jo. He taught us what vegetables to eat, what to avoid, and how to keep diabetes and hypertension away.

    Our ECHOteam is our front line at the stores. And when they have many sick days, business suffers too. So, it’s a sustainability strategy, if you will.

    Next stop was our office building. We are promoting green strategies among our neighbors in Salcedo Village, thinking of energy-saving tips, and also promoting healthy habits. Our building administrator right away agreed and allowed us use of the exclusive penthouse boardroom for our Dr. Jo seminar. Our office staff, store staff, suppliers and office tenant neighbors attended the two-hour lecture.

    After the seminar, we had dinner with doctor friends and spread the word among them, too. Friends and family, we need to spread the word to them, too. Our doctor friend was at first doubtful, but when Dr. Jo named his sources (the New England journal, doctor so and so . . . Gerson Institute, etc.), they listened and started to ask questions. I think they may just start doing the juicing habit to detox, to raise immunity levels and to generally, keep a healthy diet.

    It is not easy to spread the word about health, much more difficult to include tips about avoiding sugar, rice or meat products. Processed foods. Coffee mixes. Instant noodles. And the list of the “dirty dozen” goes on and on.

    But you know what? The Universe is with us. Little did we know that the two TV stations covered our events, and our “slow food” and “dirty dozen” tips…and we found ourselves on primetime telelvision. Now, if that is not spreading the word, I do not know what is.

    It was a hectic pace we kept with Dr. Jo. He advised us to sleep from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night because this is the best time to repair and cleanse our bodies. The two of us (Dr. Jo and I) were hard-pressed to do that for the past three days because of our “spread the word” schedule . . . but someone up there loves us I guess.

    I finally took him back to the airport after a vegetarian dinner with doctor friends. His flight was not until 4 a.m., but he asked me to drop him off before midnight. “I will read and wait at the airport,” he says. Finally, he will find his quiet time as I also would.

    Spreading the word. What started as an “employee engagement” activity became a community event in our building, among our licensees friends in Centris and finally being featured on national TV topped it all. Check our Facebook pages for the link to the TV feature.

    Spreading the word. It’s not easy but someone has to do it. And I have taken the cudgels to do so. Guess what? I am not tired at all. In fact, I am even more energized after Dr. Jo left. You too can spread the word and feel even more enriched after doing so.

    * * *

    Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium, Centris QC mall and Davao City. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates, youth and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on twitter.com/chitjuan or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at puj@echostore.ph


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