Category: My Daily Race

My Thai Princess

6 to 9 January 2011

Bangkok, Thailand

I have visited Thailand for various reasons. In 2007, I was there to cheer for our national team during the Southeast Asian Games. I have joined a number of triathlons there, including last year’s 70.3 Ironman Asia Pacific Champs in Phuket. I have also been there to study their land registration system in connection with a bill I filed in the Senate to streamline our land registration and prevent double titling.

My last trip was with my daughter Max who turned 16 years old this year. My little baby girl. My first born. She is now just a few inches shorter than me. She is growing up so fast. I wanted to spend time with her.  I decided to take her on a trip. We chose Thailand.

When I travel with my kids, I always try to include a tour that will expose them and help them learn more about the city or country’s history and culture. For this trip, we went on a river boat cruise. We had a lively guide who filled us with details of Thai history and customs.  As we moved along the Chao Phya River and klongs (canals), she pointed out different structures and explained their significance.

When we got to the Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, we got off the boat and roamed around. It was a beautiful temple made of broken ceramic. I dream of building something like that here! We  climbed the temple. The steps were very very steep.

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Max wanted to explore on her own, so I let her.

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According to the website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand:

“The temple was built during the Ayutthaya period and was originally called Wat Makok after the name of the local village Tambol Bangmakok. It means “Village of Olives”. Wat Arun gets its name from Aruna, the Indian god of the dawn, hence its common name The Temple of Dawn. The location of the temple is in the area that used to be occupied by the palace of King Taksin who re-established the Siamese Kingdom after the fall of Ayuttaya more than two hundred years ago. The main Buddha image is believed to have been designed by King Rama II. Wat Arun, often called The Temple of Dawn, is one of the most remarkable visual identities of Bangkok. The imposing Khmer-style prang or tower is 67 metres tall and decorated with bits of porcelain that was used as ballast by boats coming from China. It is surrounded by four smaller prangs. Construction of the prangs were started by King Rama II and completed by King Rama II.”

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When we got down, she wanted to try on the costumes. So she did. Whoa! Suddenly, my Filipina daughter was transformed into a Thai princess.

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I am not Thai. We have no Thai blood as far as I know. But look at this child of mine, does she not look like a Thai Princess?

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After that fun picture taking session, we went back on our boat, learned a bit more about Thai culture and finished our cruise.

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A Blessed Mother's Day

I woke up this morning and immediately noticed that my daughter, Nadine, was not beside me. A few minutes later, she and my other daughter, Max, walked  in the room with my breakfast on a tray- a full breakfast that Nadine cooked!

She made me French toast with lite whipped cream, cinnamon and lite syrup. Then, there was a separate plate of  scrambled eggs with strawberries and sliced bananas on the side.

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I do not have a big appetite when I wake up because my body and, I guess, my stomach has gotten used to a quick meal of oatmeal, fruit or whole wheat toast with peanut butter  or cheese, before running out the door to exercise. So, I asked my girls to enjoy the big breakfast with me. It was delicious!

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They also gave me beautiful flowers. Nadine  proudly pointed out that they were saving money and the environment  by: (a). making my mother’s day card on used paper; (b). using the left- over egg from the French toast to make scrambled eggs; and (c). giving me flowers that were in a vase downstairs. In other words, flowers that  were already mine. Haha!

In the evening, my kids and I joined my brothers  to celebrate mother’s day with my mom in her house. We had a casual meal,  picnic style, eat on the floor or any vacant seat you can find. Recycled food this time – delicious left-over pasta from last night. My mom was happy that we were all together. 

I had a wonderful mother’s day. My children have blessed me in so many ways. I can only hope that all the mothers out there are equally blessed. Meanwhile, session resumes tomorrow, and I go back to defending mother’s lives on the floor and in my hearings.

Subic International Triathlon 2011

30 April 2011

Subic Bay Freeport

Every year, the Subic International Triathlon (SUBIT) is on my calendar. I have missed it more often than I have joined it for various reasons. Last year, I missed it because of the senatorial campaign. Although I was running and biking throughout the campaign, I did not have time to swim, plus I could not because just before the campaign ended I broke a bone in my hand and was campaigning in a cast.

This year, I have been on the trails on my mountain bike more than on the road on my tribike. But I switched to more road-tri specific training the last few weeks to prepare for the SUBIT race.

On race day, I was sleepy in the morning as usual. I have an alarm set in my phone for 3:45am which is my usual wake-up time on race days. I am familiar with Subic and the olympic distance is short in comparison to the 70.3 Ironman’s which I often join, so I was quite relaxed. I enjoyed the swim. I am not fast, so to just finish comfortably is good.

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The bike leg was good. I like the hills in Subic. Though they are tough, they are not as long as some other hills I have climbed.

The run is always hot. There is little shade along that part of Subic, except for the area by the church which is the only significantly shaded part of the race route. The best part to run is by the transition area and where the finishers come out of the finisher’s chute because friends and supporters wait in this area and their energy and cheers are worth more than a shot of gel.

While I was running my third loop, I saw Anton Tangan, a triathlete and good friend. We have been doing triathlons together for some years now. I said to him, “Anton, nakakapagod pala ‘to”. His reply, “Pa-picture muna.” That made me laugh.

Oh, and there’s the new “green triathlon’ theme. I took that seriously and looked for all the trashcans for my used cups and sponges. There were not a lot. So if I missed the trash can right after the aid station, I would have to carry my cup and stuff my sponge in my trisuit. On the third and fourth round, I started tossing them to my friends on the road, telling them “Please throw this for me.”

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It always feels good to see old familiar faces when you are racing. But I also saw so many new people out there. I tried to cheer them on when I ran beside them. After I finished my race and cooled off under the shower, also my favorite part, I ran in the opposite direction of the run course and cheered for the rest of the women and relay participants on the course.

It was a good race for me. I finished first in my category.

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Congratulations to all, especially my girl friends, the super girls who I idolize and set a higher standard for all of us. You rock girls! And my training partners, Belle and Coach Noel, who both podiumed and Steve Bonz for doing an amazing 2:42 for his first tri!

For more pictures, please visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.219972164695877.72738.175169705842790.

Sorry, I only have photos from the women’s race held on the first day. I was not able to watch the men’s race the next day because I went home to be with my kids… ’til the next race guys!

Film Showing in Barangay Ayala Alabang on the State of Maternal & Child Health

26 April 2011, Tuesday

Alabang Country Club, Ayala Alabang Village

Film Showing on Maternal and Child Health

Last March I sponsored a film showing on the “state of maternal and child health in the Philippines” in the Senate. After the film showing was an open forum to discuss the thoughts and reactions of the viewers. We felt that the film was a great way to educate people on the plight of women and the issue of women and child health, and thus launched a series of film showings throughout the country.

Last week, I showed the films in Barangay Ayala Alabang Village where I live. We invited  residents and different groups including,  former Health Secretary Esperanza  Cabral, a resident of Alabang and the barangay officials who, unfortunately, were unable to attend. Early this year, Barangay Ayala Alabang enacted Barangay Ordinance No.1, Series of 2011 which, among others, expanded the definition of abortifacients and restricted the use of contraceptives within its jurisdiction. I raised my concerns on the said Ordinance in a letter I sent to Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro. (Below is the text of the said letter).

These films were among the entries in the recently concluded 2nd Quisumbing Escandor Film Festival (QEFF2) sponsored by the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

The Alabang film showing featured five films – four short films and one documentary, namely:

  • Sa Direksyon ni Makoy: Da Final Cut (QEFF2 Jury’s Pick for Best Short Film) Directed by Genevieve Caberte
  • Badong Buntis
  • Ang Ina (QEFF2 Jury’s Pick for Best Documentary), Directed by Mr. Donnie Sacueza
  • Tinalikdan, Directed by Edgar Baltazar
  • Limang Libo (QEFF2 Grand Prize Winner), Directed by Aiza Jane Idanan


*For more details on the films, please log on to senatorpiacayetano.com or pinayinaction.com


Many of us have strong opinions on the topic of Reproductive Health, but very few know what the lives of women who have no access to health services are like- how the lives of their children and spouses are affected. Unless we walk in their shoes,  we have very little understanding of their  sufferings and the day to day difficulties they deal with.

These films tell their stories. They highlight the sad reality that the Philippines has the highest maternal mortality in the region. 11 mothers die each day. 500,000 abortions occur every year.

After the films were shown, we had a forum which was moderated by Dr. Bryan Lim of our partner organization, Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity. It was a lively discussion. I tried to  answer questions raised and clarified misunderstandings on  a number of issues. Dr. Gregorio T. Alvior, Jr. of the PGH Foundation also answered many questions.

Once again, I thank the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity without whom this joint project of ours would not be possible.

For my blog on the launch of the film showing.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Health, which I chair, continues to hold hearings and technical working group meetings on the Reproductive Health bill. In fact,  as we are now on recess from session, my staff and I are reviewing and revising the working draft, taking into consideration the various inputs from our resource persons.

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My letter to Mayor San Pedro of Muntinlupa City re  Barangay Ordinance no. 1 of Ayala Alabang

7 March 2011

The Honorable

MAYOR Aldrin L. San Pedro

City Government of Muntinlupa

Philippines

Dear Mayor San Pedro,

I am writing as a concerned resident of Muntinlupa City and an elected public official of the Republic of the Philippines.

I would like to put on record my concerns with respect to Ordinance No. 1 “AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF THE UNBORN CHILD WITHIN THE TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION OF BARANGAY AYALA ALABANG; FIXING PENALTIES FOR ITS VIOLATIONS, AND, FOR OTHER PURPOSES” of Barangay Ayala Alabang for consideration in the public hearing set by the Sangguniang Panglungsod on March 19, 2011.

At the outset, I would like to inform the body that the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, joint with the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations, both of which I chair, is currently in the process of finalizing the reproductive health committee report. We have already conducted three hearings and four technical working group meetings.

With respect to Ordinance No. 1 of Barangay Ayala Alabang, it is my humble submission that the Barangay arrogated to itself powers it does not have and which Congress specifically granted to certain government agencies.

In this case, it is the Department of Health (DOH), through the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), which has the mandate and the authority to regulate drugs. The DOH is responsible for ensuring access to basic public health services to all Filipinos through the provision of quality health care and regulation of providers of health goods and services while the FDA is the national government agency which ensures the safety, efficacy and quality of health products, including drugs and medicines.

I am the author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 9711, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Law, which gave the FDA the exclusive power to regulate food, drugs and other devices, with public health and safety as its foremost concern. This measure was enacted into law in the 14th Congress. I still chair the Senate Health Committee in the 15th Congress and I am not aware of any law or bill authorizing the transfer of the power to regulate drugs from the FDA to any agency of the government, more so to any local government unit. Since time immemorial, that power has been lodged by Congress in the FDA, which was formerly known as the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD). The exercise by Barangay Ayala Alabang of the powers embodied in the Ordinance amounts to usurpation of power.

Section 4 of the Ordinance defines an abortifacient, to wit:

Abortifacient – is any device, medicine, substance or practice which may damage, injure, interfere with the natural development, endanger or cause the expulsion or death of an unborn child; except for such devices, medicines, substances or practices which are standard medical treatments for medical conditions which threaten the life or physical health of a pregnant woman or an unborn child, when used to treat such medical conditions, and neither the primary effect nor purpose of such device, medicine, substance, or practice is to cause the termination of a pregnancy or prevent conception.  Abortifacients include Intrauterine Devices (IUD’s), and hormonal contraceptives, as well as any and all other devices, medicines, substances or practices which fall within the foregoing definition, including but not limited to the list hereto attached as Annex A entitled as List of Hormonal Contraceptives.  This list shall be updated from time to time as the need arises. (emphasis supplied)

Although a barangay has the power to define terms in its ordinance, the definition should be consistent with the policies of the proper government authorities. The DOH and FDA provide guidelines for the safety and efficacy of contraceptives, to wit, DOH Administrative Order 2010-0027 which seeks to “formulate and implement critical policies and plans, complementary actions and supportive measures which are necessary to improve access to family planning (FP) services and to ensure reproductive health (RH) commodity security to eliminate unmet needs for FP/RH services.”

The definition and policy laid down in the Ordinance likewise violates internationally-accepted principles and guidelines such as the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines, which includes IUDs and pills, among others. For the past 30 years, the Model List has led to a global acceptance of the concept of essential medicines as a powerful means to promote health equity. The act of the Barangay in expanding the definition of terms in the Ordinance is illegal and is an ultra vires act.

These are just some of the legal infirmities of Ordinance No. 1 of Barangay Ayala Alabang.

We live in a civilized society governed by the rule of law. Government officials, including barangay officials, cannot arrogate upon themselves powers that do not belong to them, nor can they pass local legislation that contravene existing laws and policies. To allow this will result in anarchy.  Any action taken by the Barangay must always be done in accordance with law.

May God bless our country and our people!

Very truly yours,

(sgd)

SENATOR PIA S. CAYETANO

Chairperson

Committee on Health and Demography

Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations

Copy furnished:

Vice Mayor Artemio A. Simundac

City of Muntinlupa

Mr. Freddie Xerez-Burgos

Chairman

Barangay Ayala Alabang

Senate's Launch of our Film Showing on the State of Maternal and Child Health

8 March 2011

Senate of the Philippines

Film Showing on the State of Maternal and Child Health

Last March, in  celebration  of Women’s month, my office and the Senate, in cooperation with Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of UP Manila College of Medicine, hosted a  film showing on women’s lives.

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The films which include a documentary and short films are part of the recently concluded 2nd Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health (QEFF2). This film festival is a nationwide film-making competition by the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity. This combines the visual power of cinema with the passion of the health advocates.

The first film “Sa direksyon ni Makoy: Da Final Cut”, Jury’s Pick for Best Short Film, tells the story of the six final days of a young boy who lives a lonely life because he has HIV. He knows he is going to die just like his mom who also had HIV.

Z Shorts - Sa Direksiyon ni Makoy (The Final Cut)

The second film “Badong Buntis” is a very short and funny but so real- a man experiences being pregnant and all the difficulties of being a woman.

The third film is “Ang Ina” which is Jury’s Pick for Best Documentary. Ang Ina is a documentary about the economic hardships of raising a family. It gives us the sad statistics about maternal and infant deaths.

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The fourth film is the QEFF Grand Prize Winner “Limang Libo” about how the paths of a midwife and a scavenger with a pregnant wife are intertwined because of poverty.

Z Shorts - Limang Libo

The last film shown is “Tinalikdan” which follows the plight of two women forced by poverty to make difficult life decisions out of hope and despair.

Z Shorts - Tinalikdan

After the film showing, Dr. Anthony H. Cordero, Director of the Center for Gender and Women Studies- University of the Philippines- Manila, facilitated an open forum.

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The film showing was warmly received by a diverse audience including non-governmental organizations, government agencies, students, senate employees and senator’s staff. Senator TG Guingona joined us as well. Also in attendance were members of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of UP Manila College of Medicine led by Dr. Danilo DV. Alpapara Jr. Also gracing the event and giving a short introduction on their works were Mr. Donnie Sacueza of  Ang Ina, Ms.Aiza Jane Idanan of Limang Libo and Mr. Edgar Baltazar of Tinalikdan.

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For related blog on our series of film showings.

Bike for Hope Palawan

27 to 29 January 2011

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Bike for Hope Palawan

Every year we do a bike ride in a different province. This year it was Palawan. Governor Baham Mitra is an old friend and I wanted to visit his province and bring our programs and advocacies there.

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We had our three day event planned months in advance. The bike ride is just the culminating event. We have seminars on various topics like Anti- Violence Against Women and Children, and Breastfeeding.

But just a few days before we left, we heard the terrible news that Dr. Gerry Ortega, also an old friend, had been brutally murdered. His wife Patty was my teammate in the University of the Philippines (UP) Volleyball Varsity Team. I have known Patty and Gerry for many years.

My first stop was at the church where Gerry’s remains were. Patty arrived shortly after I got there and I sat with her for sometime. Our coach from the UP team, Su Rojas, was also there. Fr. Robert Reyes, also a good friend, arrived and joined us.

After a while, I took my leave. I was back later that evening to speak at the mass for Gerry. Meanwhile, I had to go to the Provincial Capitol for the scheduled briefing about the state of Palawan’s health care and education. I am familiar with the country’s state of health care, but it is always an eye opener to get closer to the grass roots and see the situation on the ground.

The governor’s staff gave a very thorough presentation. The Province of Palawan is composed of many islands. In the case of Palawan, the population is geographically spread out. Compared to other provinces, it is more difficult to reach the far-flung areas. Many areas require hours of travel on rough roads. But still more can be accessed by pump boat. Dr. Gap Legaspi, my friend who is a neurosurgeon and the President of the Association of Filipino Neurosurgeons, joined us the next day. He tells us a story that illustrates the sad state of Philippine health care.  Recently,  a team of doctors operated on conjoined twins from Palawan. The mother was transported by tricycle and for hours was traveling on rough road with her baby’s elbow jutting out of her. It is a miracle that  the mother and babies survived.

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As part of our objective to reduce our maternal mortality rate that is very high compared to other countries in our region, the Department of Health (DOH) has come up with a policy to treat every pregnancy as a high risk pregnancy, necessitating pre-natal care by a trained or professional health worker. If such policy could be followed all over the country, that would mean mothers at risk,  like the mother mentioned above would already be in a hospital or nearby health center or rural health unit before her due date so she could be monitored and she and her baby, in this case, babies, assured of a safe delivery.

Anyway, my work on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is another long story. See related blogs.

Of course, the presentation by the provincial government would not be complete without showing us their irresistible video about the natural beauty of Palawan. Although our time there was not enough to do the usual tourist activities, after watching that video, we decided to wake up at 4:30am the next morning so we could hit the road and do the land trip to get to the underground river and get back to Puerto Princesa in time for our other activities.

The Underground River, the  Mangroves and the Ecosystem

We made it out of bed and in the cars in time to get to the shore of Sabang to take a boat out to the underground river. Unfortunately, we got there at a bad time. The water was so choppy and the boatmen did not advice that we take the boats out. So, the only thing I have is the picture of the underground river, which I got from our photographer Rap Rios.

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The alternative was a bangka ride thru the mangroves. That turned out to be a wonderful experience. Our guide was an older woman known as “Lady Mangrove”. She blended with the mangroves so well, I cannot imagine taking a trip there and not having her with us. She so eloquently told us about the need to preserve the mangroves, how the ecosystem worked in harmony with everything around it. She pointed out various wildlife including snakes hanging from the trees right above us and multi-colored crablets scrambling around in the sand.

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Back in Palawan, our seminars were ongoing. We got back in time for another eco-tour through the backroads and across the river. Part of our ride, took us to the Crocodile farm where I managed to find a live baby crocodile in my arms.

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The next day was our Bike for Hope ride. We rode from Puerto Princesa to Aborlan. The roads were winding, with a mix of flats and rolling hills. When we got to the area where the mountains met the ocean, it was too hard to just bike through. I got off from my bike and went down to the beach area.

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Our ride ended at the residence of Dr. Gerry Ortega’s mother. Gerry’s remains were brought there the night before and I wanted to pay my last respects before leaving Palawan. Patty was there and so was Fr. Robert. He asked me to say a few words about Gerry and offer a prayer for him.

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Our last stop before the airport was at the Ramon Mitra Sports Complex where our Pinay in Action/The Younghusbands Football Academy’s Train the Trainers Program was ongoing. This was the first of our year long plan to bring running and football all over the country to train the trainers.

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As usual three days is not enough. We plan to be back. But in the meantime there is work to be done. I am committed to building a floating clinic and floating library/classroom to reach the far-flung areas in Palawan. I hope we can see this plan become a reality soon.

In the Senate Today: Drugs, Crime and Women

At the Senate budget hearing of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), it was reported by PCW  Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa that the P20million budget insertion I made last year to support the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) and the law on Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (AVAWC) was never released.

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This is unfortunate because the PCW is sorely lacking in funds. One of the major tasks of the PCW is the oversight and monitoring of the implementation of the MCW and the Gender and Development (GAD) budget. Many government agencies and Local Government units are required to allocate 5% of their budget for GAD.  Government agencies and LGUs are still unaware of the MCW and how to use their GAD Budget. Thus, PCW’s training and technical assistance is much needed.

At the Senate budget hearing of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Director General Santiago of PDEA reported that close to 50% of inmates in our penitentiaries are there for drug-related crimes such as rape and homicide.

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PDEA also enlightened us about their programs related to trafficking of women and women being used as “drug mules” or drug carriers. Many Filipinas are languishing in jail after having been arrested for drug trafficking. Despite the small budget  allocated for this program, much has been achieved.

Later in session, I brought this matter up while interpellating Senator Zubiri on his privilege speech on rape. I said that lack of respect for women is at the core of these rape cases.

It should be noted that gender equality is one of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Our President Aquino has committed to work towards the achievements of the MDGs. Thus, our budget should reflect this.

During session today, I took the floor and appealed to my colleagues to support the budget of programs and agencies.

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Lessons for DPWH from the Aqueduct of Segovia

Oct  1, Friday.

We are in Segovia, an old city which is an hour away from Madrid.

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It is known for its Aqueduct which was built by the Romans to bring water from the mountains to the City.

It is believed to have originated in the 1st century, during the Flavian dynasty. Despite its antiquity, it is considered one of the best public works in Spain.

Imagine that, centuries old! How many of our public roads  last throughout the rainy season? As a cyclist, I have biked on many roads and have seen and felt the difference between good roads and bad roads.

My daughter Nadine was feeling sleepy. To wake her up, I challenged her to a race up the steps to the aqueduct. She whipped my butt.

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When it doesn't Hurt to Cry

Two  Saturday ago,  we celebrated my son Gabriel’s life with our 8th 12 hour event in his memory.

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It was a fun filled day with activities happening simultaneously.

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Before the official start, Maiqui and Drew already started their ironman with their 4k swim.

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People started running and biking at 6 am… bike

and the kids tri was on it’s way at 7am.

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The kids tri was special to me because my daughter Nadine did a tri in memory of her baby brother Gabriel.

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We had the awarding for the kids tri then I did my bike ride.

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After lunch, our new beneficiaries, the barefoot running kids arrived.

We had a class on cartoon drawing for them care of fellow triathlete Wayne Dearing and his wife Stella and their company, Top Draw Animation, led by animator Nary Jamlig.

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Our special guest Filipino champion boxer, ranked 4th in the world, pound for pound Nonito Donaire and his wife Taekwando champ Rachel joined the kids for the cartoon drawing lessons and later for the run.

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Then we had our special surprise, new shoes for the kids c/o New Balance.

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After that we had the arnis demo…

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our sunset run and relays for the kids.

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Maiqui and Drew  crossed the finish line amidst the loud cheering of the kids who also sang happy birthday to Maiqui.

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I cried at the finish line. So did Ani and Mailet. It was just such a beautiful scene. — to be among friends who cared enough to make a difference in the lives of other kids.

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When Running Barefoot Is Their Only Choice

While I was doing my usual training along Daang Hari on a Saturday morning, waving at my triathlon friends who had just finished theirs, a group of kids caught my eye.

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They were a rag tag team gathered under a shady tree.

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First they did some stretching, then some serious push-ups and sit-ups, after which they started running. After their run warm-up, the older boy, not more than 15 years old, started timing them one by one.

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Coach Noel and I were so impressed and so intrigued, we approached them and talked to them. It turned out that the leader of the group, a young boy  named Joery Dela Pena, had organized them and was training them for a track event.

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Most of them ran barefoot or in rubber slippers.

I  realized that these kids were meant to be the new beneficiaries of Gabriel’s Symphony.

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Every year, we celebrate my son Gabriel’s life with a 12 hour event where friends come to run, bike, swim, walk, do a triathlon for the benefit of disadvantaged children. My son Gabriel, never reached his 1st birthday, he had multiple disabilities. He was perceived to be blind and deaf. My hope is that because he lived, no matter how short, his life would make a difference in the lives of other disadvantaged children.

 

On Saturday, September 4, 2010, we will hold our 8th 12 hours in Memory of Gabriel. This year, we will include a program for these young runners. Through the generosity of our friends,  Wayne and Stella Dearing and their company Top Draw Animation, the kids will be given lessons in animation and will take home their sketch pads and art materials.  They will also be given basic Arnis lessons. We will also have running events lined up for them. Our sponsors, New Balance will be giving them shoes, Century Tuna, RFM and Gardenia – goodies to take home. Aside from these goodies, they will receive free vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B care of GlaxoSmithKline. After September 4, we hope to remain an active part in their young lives. We want to support their running, their education, give them a full life.

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If you want to make a difference in the lives of these kids or any of the other kids we help who have cleft lips, are hearing or visually impaired, let us know by sending us an email at [email protected] See you on Saturday.

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