They came, they ran, they conquered-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Saturday, February 16, 2013
CALL Center agent Erwin Palma took off from the cold confines of his air conditioned station to run 21 kilometers on bare feet. Even with the looming mid-term examinations and without the much-coveted runner’s singlet, Engineering student Mark Perlas joined the five-kilometer (5k) category.
Laezer John Fernandez sprinted on along Lacson Street for the 10k category with his rubber slippers.
Johnry Dedase had to prove that he could beat his previous 10K record for 5 minutes. Charity Ruiz, Karl Andrei Gan, Ken Ryan de Vera and Neo Anthony Saison have their hearts on finishing the 21k.
Worth mention also are the members of the Kabankalan Runners Club who came from far south just to join the fun run. These agile young, and the old, joined the rest of the 3,286 runners who darted the main streets of Bacolod and Talisay cities that early morning of February 10, 2013 to join the Million Volunteer Run 2 of the Philippine National Red Cross.
Big hearts, open palms, strong legs, big smiles, determined spirit--- this heart-warming observation was the predominating atmosphere I felt as I trod from the North Terminal to the Capitol Lagoon last Sunday.
Held simultaneously all over key cities in the country, the Philippine National Red Cross Million Volunteer Run 2 or MVR 2 got an astounding response from participants who totaled over 1 million runners who came to voluntarily participate in the noble cause of helping humanity.
Overwhelming indeed was the response.
Why? For PNRC-Negros Occidental alone, the chapter had only 1,500 target runners. Yet, when the gun started at 4:30 that cold morning for the 21k category, it was amazing to note that the number of registered runners for the 4 different categories of 3k, 5K, 10K, and 21 K doubled.
With the support of 525 Red Cross Youth volunteers from different schools who helped in the different working committees, and the concerted efforts from the local and provincial government officials, police forces, traffic management units, the different business establishments, pharmaceutical firms, local media, telecommunication networks, and kindred peoples (so many of them) who believe in the cause, Million Volunteer Run 2 showed the world that the culture of volunteerism is very much alive in the Philippines.
If people make a nation, then our people have demonstrated the Filipino humanitarian character which is ready to respond to the needs of humanity.
Agility, grit and determination pay. Together with their families and friends, we join hands in affirming the following achievers who have made their way to the finish line and topping each of their respective categories and division.
Drum rolls for: 1st - Felix Trespecios Jr,; 2nd - Michael Empacta; and 3rd - Gregskie Velasco of the 3K male group; and 1st - Melody Poticar; 2nd - Razel Banguanga; and 3rd Faith Ortega for the 3K female division.
For the 5K male, the following made it on the top: 1st - Jake Meijer Escala; 2nd - Dennis Jagocoy; and 3rd Benjie Seva while Geilyn Duran clocked 1st, Florence Escanes made it to the 2nd place and Rhodora Cayab ranked 3rd for the 5K female category.
Joel Alcorin came in 1st, Romulo Balinas followed and Rommel Hulleza came 3rd for the 10K male category. Stephanie Cadosale got ahead of her group while Lyann Dilema and Karen Campomanes followed second and third, respectively, for the 10 K female group.
Tested runners Jason Agravante. Macklyn Sadia and Justin Jay Ticao came in first, second and third, respectively, for the 21k male division. Jennylyn Nobleza, Phoebe Anne Lava, and Gella Mayang proved to themselves that their ability in running is worth getting the first, second and third prize, in that order.
Yes, they came, they ran, and conquered.
The gentle people who participated in the MVR2, even without their medals, demonstrated humanity in its true ideal, thus conquering self- centeredness. Moreover, they did not only make themselves fit and healthy but they were able to help others.
May the humanitarian spirit of helping humanity continue to lift our spirits that we may respond positively to the call of volunteerism.
To quote Regina Spektor’s “The Call,”
It started out as a feeling,
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
Til it was a battle cry
I'll come back
When you call me
No need to say goodbye
I believe the runners will come back when the call for another humanitarian activity will ring out loud. Meantime, we would like to thank you very much for responding to such a call. And to wonderful people of the PNRC-Neg. Occ., the volunteers, the patrons, sponsors, benefactors and people behind the scene of MVR2, job well done. Saludo kami sa inyo!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 17, 2013.