TBR Dream Marathoner Remi Velasco, 2011 Palanca Awardee Stages a Play for Ondoy Victims

Wednesday, 22 February 2012  |  Interviews + Features

One of the biggest gifts of TBR Dream Marathon to me is the opportunity to meet runners of all shapes and sizes. Boy was I surprised to discover that one of our TBR Dream Alumni and 2012 participant is a 2011 Palance First Prize Winner. She is Remi Velasco, author/playwright of “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong,” the 2011 Palanca First Prize Winner for Dulang May Isang Yugto.

2010 bullrun
– Remi Velasco finisher of TBR Dream Marathon 2010 –

Palanca award
– Remi receiving her Palanca Award in 2011 –

Remi sent me an email a few days ago about her current project to help Ondoy victims and I’m sharing it with you in an attempt to help a fellow runner help others:

Title: Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong A Charity Event
Where: Tanghalang Huseng Batute, CCP
When: March 17-18, 2012 3pm and 8pm
Tickets available at CCP or ticketworld
Ticket Price: 350 or more for cash donations

“Ondoy” was staged at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2010 and 2011 and at the 2011 Palanca Awards Night.

– “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong” Poster at the Virgin LabFest 6 2010 –

This March 10-11, 2012, the play will once again be shown at CCP. This time around, it will be a staging for a cause. All proceeds will go to the victims of Typhoon Sendong (we are also trying to include the recent earthquake victims.)

The cast of the play Ms Cai Cortez (Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank), Mr. Jelson Bay (Tanghalang Pilipino), Direk Uro de la Cruz (Bubble Gang Director) and Remi, the author, have agreed to waive their talent/professional fee for the said project. CCP also allowed them to stage the play for free.

However, THEY NEED HELP TO HELP. The manpower cost of CCP is not for free. They need sponsors for the manpower, logistics, marketing and advertising. Please click HERE to download Remi’s formal letter of request for sponsorship if you wish to help.

I was quite curious how a playwright / runner lives her life and so I thought I’d feature Remi on this blog too. Here’s a short interview.

1) How did you become a playwright?

I never dreamed of becoming a playwright, really not a second. When I was a kid I would rather sing, dance or honestly run than write.

Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong is the first play that I wrote. If I may say, it was also the first entry I had for Palanca and my first Palanca Award. Pretty special for me. I am a Copy Writer and News Writer prior to writing this play.

I drew my inspiration in writing the play from the victims of Ondoy. I (and my younger brother) donated some relief goods and spent time packing and helping out in distributing them. But when I saw people who were helpless, starving with nothing to eat and seeking for their missing loved ones, I felt all the more depressed. I couldn’t sleep. I promised to myself, I wouldn’t stop on merely giving goods. I would like to share something that will leave impact to people. I thought of writing a film first, but I was pressed for time. So, there goes the birth of “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong.”

2) How long have you been running?

I wrote a whole article about this actually, but I’ll give the gist…

Long before I found my passion in writing, running has been in my blood. I started running since elementary days or since I can recall. I remember I was very little, I would wake up at 5am to jog or run.

I didn’t care if there were days that I would sleep scarcely. I got to wake up earlier than usual and run with my sister, a friend and her dad’s group. We would run 3k. In our province, we were part of the group who welcomed the sunrise, listened to the “tilaok ng manok” and smelled brewed coffee of the neighbourhood. We bonded as kids and had great time! At school, I would run with or without shoes. My mom would complain. In a year, she couldn’t count how many pairs of shoes that I would get damaged. She once quipped, “I’d ask for a metal pair of shoes just for you!”

It was an impossibility that I wouldn’t run. RUNNING makes me happy and free.

3) Why did you decide to join TBR Dream Marathon 2010?

42K is a challenge. Running in itself is a challenge. It has taught me a lot. I have learned and appreciated the art of winning and not quitting. I learned that the more that I felt exhausted, the more that I pushed myself forward. The more that the number of my opponents increased, the more that I jolted my energy.

TBR 2010 is one of the moments that I love to look back to. It is self-fulfilling and rewarding. When I encounter some pressure, I would recall my last 15K which were the hardest to finish. If I had conquered this challenge why not on other aspects of life.

People are always amazed when they learn that I am a 42K finisher. Some of my acquaintances were inspired and started running as well.

4) Does running and particularly training for a marathon help you become better at your craft? How?

YES, definitely! As a writer, I need to clear my thoughts and make myself free. Running is one of my happiness. As I said, it makes me happy and free. It is my connection to nature and a form of communication to myself and to the heavens. I greet sunrise and sunset when I run. I love feeling the rain drops. I appreciate seeing everything green around me. I love when the wind blows and touches my face. That is why I love running outdoor.

Many times, I have come up with ideas while running.

When I run, I can test my physical strength. My mind just wouldn’t give up even if I am already exhausted. Sometimes, I think my feet have their own minds.

I pray while I run, too. I become more grateful in everything I have. The feeling of freedom makes me feel part of nature which is pretty special.

In short Ms. Jaymie, running plays an extraordinary part in my life.

2012 bullrun training
– Remi at a training run –

The Rescue Run

Monday, 12 October 2009  |  Race Reports

Runners are powerful people. Not only can they run long and far, but together they can make a difference.

The Rescue Run, a no-frills run with 100% of proceeds for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, was held last October 10, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia. Over 500 runners came to donate and run.

Total cash raised: P90,700. Plus, a lot of relief goods were collected and subsequently delivered to victims in Taytay, Rizal where relief operations had not arrived yet.

Total cost for organizing: P0. All efforts were voluntary. All resources were donated.

Thank you to all the rescue runners—participants and volunteers—who made a difference that day!

– Organizers The Rescue Run: Eric Passion (Run for Change) and Raoul Floresca (he thought of this all) and myself –

– Race marshals were all volunteers. Here’s Second Wind peeps led by Hector Yuzon along with Mon Domingo, Vener (Run Unlimited) and Jeremy Go –

– More volunteers: Jay Em of Paul Calvins Deli and Ian Alcazar –

– I manned the reg booth and saved my legs for Milo 21k the next day –

– Bull Runner Jr. woke up at 4:30 am to be my registration assistant. His job: provide 2 safety pins for each bib. –

– Li’l Miss Bull Runner initially signed up for 3k with Papa. But, due to an unfortunate incident (she woke up on the wrong side of the bed), she just watched the race instead –

– And the race begins. Turnout was fantastic! –

– Rescue Runners who helped while enjoying the simple run –

– Fastest 10k runner –

– iamNinoy family + me! –

– with SMS: Samahang Mananakbo ng Smart all set for Subic International Marathon –

– TBR Family –

– Food and clothing donations from kind souls. We even saw some barely used running shoes in the mix –

– The end of one of the most fulfilling runs I’ve ever joined…to think I didn’t even run! –

TO ALL RESCUE RUNNERS: Please hang on to your race bibs. Our friends at Mizuno will be holding a private sale for its Mizuno Club Members. Rescue Runners can present The Rescue Run race bib for entry to obtain discounts.

The Rescue Run Race Map

Friday, 9 October 2009  |  Race Announcements

Here’s the race map for THE RESCUE RUN tomorrow.


Remember: 100% of proceeds go to the victims of Ondoy, so the more runners, the merrier are those who were affected by the storm.

If you haven’t registered yet, you can still sign up at Second Wind, Alterra, or ROX. There’s also onsite registration tomorrow. I’ll probably be the one to collect the donations from you.

Looking forward to see you all there!

For more info, visit The Rescue Run website.

Rain or Shine

Monday, 5 October 2009  |  Bullish Insights

For many of us, running is a way of life. It’s as natural as brushing our teeth or praying before we go to sleep. It’s not a chore that we have to grumble our way through accomplishing and happily tick off our to-do list at the end of the day. Not a task we set to do only when we’re in the mood, when there’s free time, or when friends call for an invite. Running is a part of who we are; it lives in our souls and travels through our veins.

Running, for us, never stops. We run when it is sunny or stormy—out on the road, or in our hearts and minds. In good times, we run to celebrate; we fly swiftly on the roads basking under the morning sunshine and reveling in the beauty of life.

In troubled times, we use running as a refuge, an escape from the difficult, tumultuous world. When the Typhoon Ondoys of our life flood our thoughts with obstacles and fears, we run to find solutions to our problems or to release pent up emotions. For most, the run gives us a renewed strength, reminding us that we can wade through problems and survive a storm as long as we try our darndest best to reach our goals.

Typhoon Ondoy has departed, but it’s left us with devastation all around. As runners, we continue to run, but it doesn’t mean we don’t care. We continue to pray for all those affected by Ondoy, especially runner friends who are still slowly picking up the pieces: cleaning up their flooded homes, drying off their Runner’s World magazines, and washing their muddied running shoes.

Life goes on. Rain or shine, running continues…well, it never really stopped.

The Rescue Run – Oct. 10, Saturday

Friday, 2 October 2009  |  Race Announcements


Here is the updated info regarding THE RESCUE RUN, an organized race for Ondoy victims.  This was the brainchild of a triathlete friend, Raoul Floresca, and only recently, Eric Pasion of Run4Change and myself are helping him organize it.  

We hope that you can join the race without focusing on your time nor winning a prize, but with the sole intention of gathering with others in the community to signify your intention to help. As Raoul so eloquently put it: “I expect a lot of “personal bests” to be established or surpassed in this effort. Those who’ve expressed their intent to join or volunteer are putting their best foot forward and that, for me, is a personal best.”  

– The Rescue Runners Race Bib –

TRR is an organized run where, in lieu of registration fees, donations will be collected for the distance you will run. This is not a race so there will be no souvenir t-shirts, no swag bags, no finishers medals, and no prize money.

There will be no water stations since we believe that water must be given to those who need it most: victims of Ondoy. Needless to say, it will be KKB (kanya kanyang bote or kanya kanyang belt)

A registered participant will receive a RESCUE RUNNERS race bib, which the runner can wear during the race and in sustaining events currently being planned for the entire month of October to raise funds for rehabilitation. (Info will be posted on this blog)

October 10, 2009, Saturday
Assembly: 5:30 a.m.
Race start: 6:30 a.m.

DISTANCES: 3km, 5km, 10k

Individual: P200 for any distance
Corporate: P5,000 for 20 runners

VENUE: SM Mall of Asia

– open to all athletes, their families and friends
– anyone who is willing to help while getting a few minutes of exercise
– participants are encouraged to collect pledges from their family or friends who cannot make it to the event

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross for the Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) victims. Our goal is to help provide a continuous supply of food and water to the stricken areas.

We are in need of volunteers for road marshals and secretariat. If you are interested, pls. contact: RESCUE RUNNERS | 0917 -8374204 | 02-2168521 | rescuerunners@run4change.com

Starts October 5, 2009 at the following venues:
– The SecondWind Running Store (Maginhawa St., UP Village)
– Recreational Outdoor eXchange (ROX, Bonifacio High Street)
– All Terra Bike Shop (Club 650, Libis)
* There will be on site registration starting 5:30 a.m.


Effort comes in many forms. Not everyone has access to go to a relief or evacuation center to help out. While everyone wants to help or pitch in, their jobs, families and other factors make it difficult for them to do so. We are organizing the run as a means to help. It’s purely voluntary.

Meager resources are poured into the effort.  This run is a no-frills run.  The only add-ons such as the tents, p.a. system and race bibs are contributions from volunteers that will help in organizing the run, nothing more.

Help isn’t a one-time, big-time effort.  Undoubtedly, help is needed immediately.  But with the extent of devastation that the floods have caused, the need for aid could be overwhelming.  Instant relief won’t give people their homes back.  The victims still need the means to rehabilitate damaged property and rebuild their homes.  That takes time and a steady stream of resources. The Rescue Run is a means to help in that regard. We hope to be able to provide aid in other ways down the line–be it through food, rehabilitation or construction material.

Click here to visit THE RESCUE RUNNERS website.