I was Ninoy—or as close as I could get to being a hero like him during last Sunday’s Condura Run. And, many of my running friends (around 50 or so) were like Ninoy too. Some of us ran slow, while others a bit faster (such as 5k winners Bernadette Magaso, 1st female; Ben Alejandrino and Jonas Bacnagan, 2nd & 3rd male respectively) but we all ran for the same cause: to help build schools.
– My pace buddies during Condura: Jake, myself, JunC, Vince nearing the finish line –
We all wore our brand spankin’ new bright yellow singlets with the words…
I AM A RUNNER
I AM A HERO
I AM NINOY
…printed on the back of our shirts to officially launch the I Am Ninoy Runners Group to the Filipino running community. Many of us were approached by fellow runners asking us about the singlets, what the group is about, or how they could become a member.
WHAT IS I AM NINOY ABOUT?
I Am Ninoy is not a political movement. It is an endeavor to bring out the hero in the Filipino. There is so much poverty and one way to eliminate this is providing education to the less privileged. A group called “5775 Reverse the Education Crisis” is helping us facilitate this objective.
– Jamike and Mayi Lopa, my good friends and the couple behind the I Am Ninoy Runners Group –
WHAT IS 5775?
This group is composed of a number of large corporations that provide funding and technical support. You may be wondering why they call themselves 5775–in a survey done nationwide, it was learned that the average grade of a student is 57% while the passing grade is 75%–thus 5775 to signify the gap that needs to be reveresed in the counry’s educational crisis. They have developed assistance packages in their program to address what they’ve identified to be the most critical needs. These include the following:
- Nutrition through in-school feeding programs (it was found out that the students were performing bad because of lack of nutrition)
- Materials through providing reading, math and science workbooks
- Infrastructure — building classrooms/buildings
WHAT IS I AM NINOY RUNNERS GROUP?
Last Sunday, March 22, during the Condura run, the I Am Ninoy Runners Group was launched. By the simple act of wearing the I Am Ninoy Runner shirt during the Condura Run, runners were heroes to the thousands of children who want to learn and have a better life.
The way it works: The I Am Ninoy group seeks out institutions and individuals who can sponsor the runners participation in races. These sponsors commit funds, which are in turn donated to pilot projects of the 57-75 Movement. All pledges and donations are posted on the I Am Ninoy website.
ALL donations will go directly to schools. The Aquino family or its foundation will not receive a single centavo.
HOW CAN I JOIN THE I AM NINOY RUNNERS GROUP?
Join the I Am Ninoy Runners Group and be a hero in your own little way. Just visit the website, pay a one-time fee of P500 as your investment in the cause. In exchange, you will receive an exclusive iamninoy Runners shirt, the official uniform/jersey for all running events. Every time you wear this shirt during a run or other occasion, you are helping make a wish come true.
We do not need to give up our lives like Ninoy did to be a hero–a simple act of kindness is enough.
* Photos (except for the 1st) are courtesy of Rapa Lopa.