Ylaya, 77, inspires others with volunteer work-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
THE Cebu City Sports Complex is a government-owned center built within the city to accommodate various kinds of large events, especially sports, and calls itself The Home of Team Cebu.
One of the biggest attractions of the place is the track oval for joggers, newbies and professional runners. The oval track field of Cebu City Sports Complex is also home of one of the regular fixtures in the local running secene. The old running man you will most likely notice warning and calling other track users about the track rules is Ireneo Ylaya, 77. He is fondly called “Kuya Rening”.
He is an avid runner in the track and because of his obsession and passion for running, he now spends most of his hours in the institution.
Kuya Rening has been voluntarily working as the man in charge of the oval track field of CCSC. He also dedicates his time offering trainings to beginners for free.
At his age, diagnosed with prostate ailment and frequent asthma attacks, he still manages to walk around the track for half the day, and even bragged that he can run the entire oval in less than two minutes.
“Di raman sad ko mangayo o magdahum. Kon nay mohatag, dawaton. Kon wala, okay ra sab, basta pursigido lang sila alang sa kaayohan sa ilang lawas. (I don’t ask nor expect to get money for what I do. If the person gives, then I accept it. If not, it’s fine with me as long as he or she persists to take care of his or her health),” he said.
Kuya Rening has also been asked to train and escort some very important persons whenever they join fun runs and marathons. Some of them are Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, former Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña, and Mr. Frederick Ong Kin Kang, owner of Cebu Eastern College.
In February 2009, Kuya Rening was honored with the Acting Mayor’s Special Award during the 72nd Cebu City Charter Day. This award is given to individuals who have contributed to the growth and development of Cebu City.
As a volunteer worker, he gets his daily expenses from some pocket money given to him by his trainees, sports center bosses, and through his senior citizen annual fund. He manages his daily living through this and even affords to set aside some for savings.
“Naa raman sab ko sa luyo aning Cebu City Sports Complex gapuyo, pang laundry, kaon, ug bayad sa boarding house magasto ang kwarta nako.
Usahay, mopalit sab ko og regalo alang sa akong mga apo. (I live just behind the Cebu City Sports Complex. I spend my money mainly on laundry, food, and boarding house rent. Sometimes, I also buy gifts for my grandchildren),” he shared.
Kuya Rening has been wed twice and had two children who gave him grandchildren. He is confident that he has raised his children well enough to survive the real world.
Although he now lives alone, he still keeps in touch with them through calls and frequent visits. He even occasionally drops by his son and his family who lives in Cebu and bonds with his grandchildren. His second son lives in Mindanao.
Despite suffering from asthma growing up, losing his wives, being far from his children, and being diagnosed with a prostate illness, he has learned not to let his body and other problems take over him and what he wants to do in his life.
He continues to fulfill his daily volunteer work at the complex and continues to inspire people everyday with his passion for running.
“Kaya paman gani nako modagan na inani na akong edad. Kamo pa kaha? (I can still manage to run even in my old age. How much more for young people?),” he said. by Celyn Arrah A. Cardoza/ MassCom Intern
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2013.