While other runners were in any of these races—Ironman 70.3 in Camarines Sur, the Botak Paatibayan Miler Race at UP in Quezon City, and the Levi’s Fun Run at the Fort. Me, on the other hand, was with Lost Command runners for the usual Sunday long run that started at 4:30AM for them and 15 minutes later for me.
There were only five of us but it was all right. Two fast runners, Mel and his friend, ran ahead while we were slowly following their lead. One can really learn a lot from them—from race strategy to endurance running. How lucky one can be, right?
Anyway, after running part of Ayala Avenue and the whole stretch along McKinley Road, the five of us did our individual warm up exercises before running the long stretch of Lawton Avenue.
It was along Heritage Park that an approaching runner suddenly shouted my name. I didn’t recognize him until he mentioned his handle name at takbo.ph site shout box. It was nice to see him personally. I met him virtually at SB where he sold his NB 1063 to a fellow runner. SB then was named SB 168 at that time for it was like a bazaar where online runners were competing to avail of the super sale offer of EO, his handle name. Crashburn was the lucky runner who bought the pair at a very good selling price.
Even from the start it didn’t feel right. Just one of those days when one is feeling so heavy. I didn’t know why. It was not a good performance but nevertheless my feet brought me as far as past St. Luke’s and at the back of S & R. I eventually stopped running as I got near Department of Energy area. I bid my four running buddies goodbye then. They went on with their long run. Wheeew! Admirable! I wish I had that stamina already.
While waiting for a cab near Market! Market!, I decided to have my breakfast at Jollibee in Evangelista Makati so that I could, at least, see the Feed and Give program given by takbo.ph runners. Some of them didn’t join any of the races. They volunteered instead to spend time with street children. It was their way of showing they, too, like the volunteers from CHILDHOPE Asia Philippines (CHAP), cared.
I was just an observer. I watched each group performed different activities like the blow-the-tissue game, tower building using old newspaper, Pinoy Henyo guessing game, and the hula-hoop. The children showcased their talents in singing, dancing, rapping, and acting. It was a fun-filled day for the children and the volunteers!
While the activities were going on, I just couldn’t help but recall why the volunteers from CHAP and the children looked familiar. Voila! I did remember we had an outreach activity with out of street youth before. And they were the same persons whom we worked with seven months ago.
Happy Feet like Mon, Ipe, Doc Oknoy, Cecil, and yours truly volunteered to spend time with 30 street children, students of the CHAP Street Education Programme, by facilitating the group activity and giving them free meals. There were also other volunteers whom we met who brought with them goodies and conducted tai chi sessions for the children at the CCP grounds with Cecil of UNICEF as our coordinator with CHAP. Small world, wasn’t it?
Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and over-exploitation of the environment are among the key causes of hunger. Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger. (source: http://www.wfp.org/hunger)
In the Philippines, hunger has consistently been in double-digits for five years, since June 2004. The June 2009 survey also found that 39% of Filipino families (est. 7.2 million) consider themselves as Food-Poor, 33% put themselves on the Food-Borderline, and 28% consider themselves as Not Food-Poor. (source: 2Q Social Weather Stations Survey)
I knew what we did for the children was just a small one but it was indeed a good start. Hunger can lead impoverished children on the streets. This is where CHAP comes in. It acts as a facilitator among different organizations like that of takbo.ph and Happy Feet and work with them in defending the rights of the street children. One of these rights is the right to life, survival, and development.
CHAP is an international, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization whose principal purpose is to advocate for the cause of street children throughout the world. It works toward the liberation of the child from the suffering caused by working and living on the street. (source: WikiPilipinas)
It believes the world community-local, state, and national-if challenged, can and will answer out a sense of justice and compassion with a resounding “We do care.” takbo.ph volunteers made a difference in the lives of these children even for just a single day
(Photos Courtesy of Japorms25, Pinaydiver75, BryanR, Nuttybunny, and Argonaut)