My Team PIA – Pinay in Action – and the UP Women’s Football Team travelled to beautiful Baguio and to Lusod Read More
On July 5, 2009, I woke up to the beautiful Cebu City lights. It was 4:15 am. That was my wake-up call to get me to the Milo 21k starting line around 5 am. But I jump ahead of my story.
This is my usually whirlwind 24 hour trip out of Manila. There were two fun things about this trip. One is my daughter Nadine was traveling with me. And two, there was a run the following morning
I had three meetings one after another soon as I arrived in Cebu. I decided my first stop would be a fueling station.. as in deadly delicious calories to satisfy my craving.. aka Leona’s Bake shop.
My friend Jane-jane, owner of Leona’s was kind enough to offer to send over an assortment of goodies to keep me energized for the day but I told her no way! I needed to absorb the good vibes that come out of a bake shop – all that goodness, sweetness and fresh scent of baked bread certainly must stimulate the production of endorphins and the feeling of happiness right?
So my daughter Nadine and I went there and like kids, well she is one, I’m not, pointed, whispered and stared at the cakes beckoning at us. To distract me from eating everything on site, I asked for a tour of the facilities which I knew would be an educational experience for both Nadine and me,. We happen to be baking enthusiasts.
After that 20 minute stop-over, we went straight to the hotel. I settled in my daughter with her books and went to my meeting in the lobby. I met with the women of Inner Wheel Club. Our objective was to discuss a joint project between my Pinay in Action and their group for a school tour on violence against women. There were also students who attended our meeting.
I explained to them that I felt it was important to focus on the youth so they could spot violence early on, avoid it and protect themselves. After some discussion, we agreed that we would try to make this happen soon.
My next meeting was with the representative of 4L in the region. 4L is the organization of women legislators. They are composed of councilors, board members, vice-mayors, vice-governors and congresswomen. My objective here was to inform them about my project with the local governments and the barangay health workers (BHW), particularly my BHW Health Wellness Summit.
My last meeting for the day was with members of the Cebu Press. I updated them on my legislative work, including the Food and Drug Administration Act which was awaiting the President’s signature, my thoughts on the automation, women empowerment, reproductive health and other issues of the day.
That ended my official business for the day.
Next morning started, not bright and early, but dark and early. We were up at 4:15, eating breakfast at 4:30 and out of the hotel before 5 am.
This was my 2nd Milo 21k in Cebu. It’s a huge race and the course takes us thru the city. Not what I would call scenic, as runners really do prefer the country side for a run. But I doubt if there is any countryside in the heart of Cebu city.
Being familiar with the course is a plus. I knew there would be no deadly climbs, mostly flats and a few gradual climbs. Thankfully, it was not hot either.
I ran steady. Did not plan on pushing too hard. This was a training run for me and Ani. We are doing a 70.3 ironman soon and we needed a long run. We were around 11th and 12th place at about 8k. We picked up the pace a bit and by the end of the run, I finished 6th in 2 hours flat. Ani of course, could have done much better, but like I said it was a training run and she just ran at my pace.
I need to commend the security that was assigned to me. PO1 Delailah Cayacap Samson was amazing. She is only the 2nd security assigned to me during an out-of-town race that has been able to stick with me.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing in Shangri-la Mactan with our friends. My daughter Nadine politely asked “can we go to the pool now” over and over while we adults lingered over buffet at Tides. We finally did get to the pool side and stayed there almost ‘til sunset.
We were back on the plane 27 hours after we landed, two pounds heavier (courtesy of Leona’s bake shop), but happy (thanks to Leona’s too, productive meetings, a good race and good company).
27 1/2 hours in Cebu. Time well spent.
Every year I am asked why do a run to celebrate women’s month? My answer is because running is empowering. We gain strength and confidence in the company of other women.
We feel good when we run. We may be tired, but when we finish our run, we feel accomplished, proud and happy!
A lot of women are scared to run for the first time or to run a longer distance, but when they do, the feeling is indescribable! And it shows in their smile! I know, because I’ve felt this many times. And last Sunday, women came up to me telling me the same thing.
Whether we are moms, wives, daughters, professionals, employees, students or young girls, we should be proud of who we are.
We should never be scared to pursue our dreams (see my related article Phooey to Limitations, Yes to Possibilities). No one should tell us we are not capable of doing something because we are women. On the contrary, because we are women, we shall excel!
As a mom, I want my girls to have good role models. I want them to be inspired. I want them to meet trailblazing women who beat the odds. At the Pinay in Action Run, I saw lots of these women. And I am so happy my daughters saw and met them too.
Did you enjoy your run? Were you inspired by other women runners? I’ve posted the links of some of the blogs about the Pinay in Action run. I enjoyed reading their stories. If you have a story to share, we would love to hear about it .
The Pinay in Action 2009 Race Day by: imom
On Sunday, March 29th, my alarm clock went off at 4:45 AM to wake me up and hub and iPatch and VGood and Nate.
My first race was going to be a family affair!.. (more)
Running with Friends: by Penny
It was a beautiful day for for the Pinay In Action fun run at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. The race for the 10k and 5k participants started at 6:14am (behind schedule for both, by the way). The sun was out but it wasn’t too hot. and there were LOTS of runners. Although it was an “all-women run” there were actually more than a handful of men who ran with us. Also children and pet dogs. ..(more)
1o kilometers: by Regina
I have never seriously run a fun run before. Previously, I and some other troopers only walked in armor, and finished the shortest route, just to raise awareness for the cause..(more)
Pinay in Action with Workmates: by runpinayrun
Finally get to run a race with my co-workers! We always fail meeting up prior to the race so we end up not seeing each other after everyone crosses the finish line..(more)
At the end of the run, we gathered near the stage and awarded the winners (list of winners are on pinayinaction.com. Participants and spectators also took time to visit the different booths that were set up for various causes close to women such as the breast cancer detection booth set up by my friend Dr Cecille Montales, cervical cancer by GlaxoSmithKline, violence against women by Women’s Media Circle and various health products for women.
After the awarding, I headed home, went to church and gave thanks for this day.
September 11, 2001, I was in the coffee shop of a hotel when the news of the twin tower attack reached us. It was horrible horrible news. I was left thinking of all the families who had lost a parent, a sibbling, a loved one. I kept wondering how would they cope…how would they go on after that..
I had no way of knowing that a week later, September 19, 2001, I too would suffer such a devasting loss..On a day that was otherwise a regular working day to most moms, a school day for most kids, my only son and baby, Gabriel, breathed his last.
That day i walked out of the hospital, not like most moms with a content sleeping baby in her arms. I walked out carrying a baby who no longer breathed. As I stood in the parking lot with Gabriel in my arms, I realized the cool air brushed against his cheeks for the first time. If he could open his eyes, he would have seen the beautiful sky..How I wished that he had been normal, that I would have been blessed to see him grow, to run after his sisters, to learn to ride a bike..But that was not God’s plan and I had to accept it..
Many days before that in the middle of a run, I would find myself thinking that one day he will be gone and I will know sadness as I have never known it before. How will I cope? How will I go on?
When he died, I had to break the news to my children, Max who was then 6 and Nadine who had just turned 3. Max cried silently when I told her. Nadine didnt seem to understand then. But today, 6 years later, Nadine comes to me crying saying she misses her brother. I end up crying with her because I miss him too.
Last September 9, we celebrated our annual 12 hours in Memory of Gabriel (www.gabrielsymphony.com). I ts a fundraising multi-sport event we organize where we invite people to join us for 12 hours of walking, running or biking to raise funds for children with disabilities..Every year, I strive to make it more family friendly to encourage more people to come. I want it to be a venue for families to have a fun time, enjoying a beautiful day outdoors and at the same time raising awareness about kids who have special needs. I want my kids to know that their brother was special in many ways – special in the medical sense, because he had special needs – he could not see and hear. He would have never talked, walked or read a book. But also special because, through him, other kids would have a chance at a better life.
We also had Maiqui Dayrit do his 3rd ironman distance triathlon (swim 3.8km, bike 180km and run 42km) and this year we also had a woman! Ge Santiago did an ironman distance as well! Both Maiqui and Ge went out of their way to get friends and family sponsor them, thereby raising more funds for our cause.
Maiqui, did an amazing race in just over 11 hours. He actually finished before it got dark. I did not know what to do with him because he looked so fresh and was happy just hanging around the area waiting and cheering for Ge.
The girls decided to do a “girl power” and keep Ge company in the run. Ani and Angeline (Labs to George and the tri community) ran with her almost from the start. I joined in later.Way after the sun had set, my kids, the Torres kids,their dad Joey, my brothers and other friends were still playing soccer and cheering on Ge everytime we passed by..
Maxie and her best friend Amanda, feeling they were tri-veterans, didn’t train for the triathlon. On race day, they winged it on the swim, biked comfortably and dragged their feet on the run, but in the last hundred meters, managed a sprint!
As we packed up, I couldnt help but think what a beautiful day this has been…I realized I had not cried that day..It was filled with so many good things –it was one big celebration of Gabriel’s life (he would have been 7 this year), everyone said they had fun and we raised funds for lots of disabled and disadvantaged kids..I had truly momentarily forgotten my sadness..And then I remembered one of my favorite songs in church which goes “You have turned my mourning into dancing…You have turned my sorrow into joy..”
Truly, on that day, God in his wisdom and grace had turned my sorrow into joy.
Thank you to everyone who joined us, thereby bringing joy to the lives of other children.
P.S. Pictures of the event to be posted soon on mydailyrace.multiply.com
There were serious runners, like the Philippine team athletes, including one of whom chose not to run competitively that day, but instead carried her baby on her back on a baby carrier. There were kids of all ages, other moms who walked/ran with their kids, disabled athletes, grandmothers, cancer survivors and women of different profession, athletic abilities and backgrounds.
Together, we strive to raise awareness and support for breast cancer (no. 1 cancer killer for women in the Philippines, according to the DOH), cervical cancer (no. 2 cancer killer, which is caused by the hpv virus and is sexually transmitted), hepatitis (which may lead to liver cancer and is the 7th top killer for women) , breastfeeding and violence against women and children. We had booths with information on these issues, including screening and vaccination for hepatitis.
And of course, close to my heart, is encouraging women (men and kids) to start and maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. Running and walking are one of the easiest exercises. All you need is a good pair of shoes, a place to run or walk and ideally a fitness partner to keep you company or keep you motivated.
There is so much to do, but it is good to know that we’ve gone beyond the first step to address these issues.