Foot race to give heart to Baguio’s charter anniversary

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


THE collective memory of those who grew up here feeling that Baguio was one neighborhood then will recall that meaning when the city marks its 105th founding anniversary this coming September.

The nostalgia will be triggered by a Baguio Day Run, actually a three bracket foot race Mayor Mauricio Domogan directed Sunday to be an official event and feature to give a heart and humanitarian dimension to the celebration.

The mayor stressed the Baguio Day Run set on September 28 as a finale of the charter anniversary, will be a community effort to give substance to the theme the city adopted for its centennial celebration in 2009: “Fostering a Culture of Caring”.

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Designed as a community humanitarian undertaking under the Public-Private Partnership concept, the run will raise funds for kidney failure patients undergoing twice or thrice-a-week hemodialysis treatment in order to survive, the mayor said.

He added the Baguio Anniversary Run “will, indeed, set a tradition and culture of caring that will mark future celebrations of the Charter Anniversary of Baguio, thereby serving as a rallying point to sustain a sense of community among the city’s residents, neighbors, friends and visitors who treasure fond memories of their visits to the Summer Capital of the Philippines”.

The fund to be raised through registration fees and sponsorships, will go to a trust to be jointly managed by the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Dialysis Patients and Partners Association (BGHMCPPA) and City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan whose office is being swamped with requests for support to those undergoing dialysis.

The BGHMCDPPA headed by Rev. Fr. Richard Justo, at their induction of officers Sunday, presented to the mayor their request for the city to conduct the foot-race to give a heart to the charter anniversary observance.

In response, the mayor issued Administrative Order 075 adopting the proposal, with him as chair of the executive and organizing committee. He has written heads of civic and other organizations inviting them to help make the race-for-life a community effort.

The mayor, together with the city council, earlier asked PhilHealth president Alexander Padilla to implement its plan to increase the number of hemodialysis treatment support to kidney patients from 45 to 90 sessions a year.

The foot race, which the mayor announced during his weekly press conference Thursday, is designed to be an annual feature of the city’s founding anniversary, with a set of patients afflicted with the same ailment, as beneficiaries. 

Among the first to respond to the call for support is Rosario Velasco-Alberto, the city’s leading director of foot races who accepted to serve as the race organizer in a meeting on Thursday  with representatives of the  BGHMCDPPA led by association secretary and patient Mary Grace Binay-an.

“I understand how important this run is to you and your families,” she told the patients. “That’s why I’m ready to serve as race organizer after being out of the scene for six months now.”

City jail warden, Sr. Insp. Wilson Banasen also notified the race secretariat that several inmates and jail guards are planning to join the run, as they did during the PhilHealth Run-for-a-Cause on February 18 last year.

“Because the inmates cannot get out, we will run around the jail quadrangle until we cover a minimum of three kilometers,” Banasen said, recalling the same arrangement during the PhilHealth Run. “The inmates may need some sponsors to pay their registration fees, as was done in the Philhealth race.”

Expatriate martial artist and former world shotokan karate champion Julian Chees, who is now based in southern Germany, sponsored the inmates’ registration fees last year. Last week, he also bankrolled the eye cataract surgery of a Baguio-based journalist.

Baguio Congressional Rep. Nicasio Aliping, who also attended the induction rites, pledged a P100,000 support, while Dr. Josefina Laza-Luspian, a top nephrologist who did a briefing on kidney care, contributed a check for P10,000. Mayor Domogan and his wife Becky also contributed P4,000.

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew based at the Cathedral of the Resurrection here and headed by Dr. Edward Dogui-is also committed its support to the sports event. (Ramon Dacawi)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 30, 2014.

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