In a powerful show of unity by Filipinos from all walks of life, Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig's "10.10.10 A Run for the Pasig River" made history last Sunday, October 10, with 160,000 registrants and more than 100,000 actual runners to break all Philippine records in having the biggest number of participants in a foot race.
The monumental fun run, which aimed to create awareness and raise funds for the massive Pasig River clean-up campaign, could also be the world's biggest advocacy run.
"I'm really happy that the run was peaceful and many showed up! It's five times the attendance last year when 23,000 runners took part in the first Run for the Pasig River. Because of the huge turnout, some participants may have failed to walk through the manual counting chutes that were set up for the auditors to physically count the number of runners. We hope to address this next year by exploring other measures like the use of race chips," ABS-CBN managing director Gina Lopez said.
KBPIP's target was to raise 10 to 12 million pesos in the run to start the clean-up at Estero de San Miguel, a tributary of the Pasig River. In 2009, the project began dredging operations and relocating the informal settlers at Estero De Paco, which also flows into the Pasig River.
Lopez said, in order to successfully clean the river, they must first clean the water that goes into it, and change the way people look at the river through events such as the 10.10.10 run.
Contingents from schools, religious groups, government agencies, the police and military, nongovernment organizations, business sector, and private institutions made up the enormous crowd that gathered at the run's three starting points in SM Mall of Asia (MOA), CCP Complex, and Ayala Avenue in Makati.
Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, accompanied by his wife Ming, fired the starting gun to mark the simultaneous opening of the "10.10.10 A Run for the Pasig River."
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Mayors Alfredo Lim of Manila and Antonino Calixto of Pasay, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, boxing king-politician Manny Pacquiao, El Shaddai's evangelist Bro. Mike Velarde, andpresidential sister Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, also lent their presence to the cause.
Binay reminded the runners that showing concern for the Pasig River does not end at the race's finish line.
"Maipagmamalaki natin ito bilang Pilipino. Pero hindi pa tayo natatapos dito dahil kailangan pa ding magtulong-tulong sa aktwal na paglilinis ng Ilog Pasig," he said.
While Pacquiao described the river as a gift from God that we should protect, Aquino-Cruz likened Pasig River to an heirloom that has to be passed on to other generations.
"Let us clean up the mess that was made before us. Pasig River is a symbol of hope and what the future holds for the country. If we manage to clean it, then we have done our jobs as citizens," Aquino-Cruz said.
The 3k pre-race program was hosted by DZMM anchor Winnie Cordero and Studio 23 host Juddha Paolo, while ABS-CBN senior sports correspondent Dyan Castillejo joined Piolo Pascual and Zaijan Jaranilla in welcoming runners at the 10K starting point.
Despite the heat, the crowd still stayed for the post-race program featuring bands Kiss Jane, Frio, 6 cyclemind, and ABS-CBN stars Luis Manzano, Karylle, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Jovit Baldivino, Bugoy Drilon, and Studio 23 hosts Arran Sese and Alex Calleja.
Although the run was non-competitive, KBPIP still honored the top finishers of the race with nominal cash prizes and medals made by relocatees in BayaniJuan sa Southville 7 in Calauan, Laguna. They also made baller bracelets, which were given to all the runners after the race.
Richard Sulaño and Keizel Pedriña ruled the male and female categories in the 3k race, while Mervin Guarte and Mhe Ann Barcena took home the biggest prizes in the 5k race. Alquin Bolivar and Dalin Karmil dominated their co-runners in the 10k category.
3K - Male
1st place Richard Sulaño
2nd Jordan Paul Billones
3rd Dave Gumacal
3K - Female
1st Kiezel Pedriña
2nd Cristine Delfin
3rd Ranya Bumpus
5k - Male
1st Mervin Guarte
2nd Ferdinand Corpuz
3rd Justin Tabunda
5K - Female
1st Mhe Ann Barcena
2nd Serenata Saluan
3rd Luisa Roterta
10 K - Male
1st Alquin Bolivar
2nd Abrahan Bracarse
3rd Ramie Lacson
10 K - Female
1st Dalin Karmil
Mary Joy Delos Santos