A FILIPINA RUNNER’S DREAM
Her ultimate dream was to run across the Philippines. In 2005, Joy Rojas accomplished this after running 2000km in 46 days from Mindanao to Luzon. She was the first woman to run across the country.
She said that this achievement made her feel alive. It compelled her to visit more places, do more things, and set out for even more dreams.
On May 11, 2009, Joy’s 44th birthday, she will embark on yet another dream run: Takbong Pangarap, a run across America, from California to New York in 120 days. She’ll be running roughly 50km everyday for 100 days with only 20 days for rest. Most of the time she’ll be running alone, accompanied only by a small support crew, Mat Macabe, her running partner and trainer, and Chuck Crisanto, her coordinator. By doing this, Joy hopes to share this message: that there is no limit to the Filipino spirit and that all dreams can be accomplished through hard work and determination.
If Joy completes her run across America, she will be the first Filipina and South East Asian woman to do so.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Takbong Pangarap press launch at Manila Peninsula yesterday morning.
It wasn’t the first time I ever met Joy. Over a decade ago, I used to see her running around Bel-Air village. I had no clue who she was, but I remember thinking that she was such a tiny girl but she seemed so strong. Last year, I read about her plans for Takbong Pangarap and wrote about it here. As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago, Joy and I met and I learned that Takbong Pangarap was finally pushing through.
So, there I was at the press launch, seated right beside Joy Rojas herself. I was awestruck. We talked about how prepared she was for this, how many shoes she was bringing (12 pairs!), her favorite shoe (Adidas), her marathon PR (4:11) and, just as she was about to be called for her speech, how nervous she was about talking in public.
As she talked, all I could think of was this: Wow, I am so jealous. I want to do what she’s doing! It may not be my dream to run across America (at least, not yet!), but it’s my dream to go after my goals as aggressively and courageously as she does.
HOW CAN YOU HELP TAKBONG PANGARAP?
Takbong Pangarap, Trans-USA 2009, will raise funds for the Philippine Heart Center and the anti-tuberculosis program of the Inner Wheel Club of QC District 378. Here’s how you can help:
- Sponsor or pledge. Call Buensalido & Associates at 817-4471 or Chuck Crisanto at 0917-898-3621
- For Pinoys in the US, run a few kilometers with Joy for moral support. According to Chuck, they are hoping that Pinoy runners in New York (calling Mike Mesina and Jud) can accompany Joy in the last 20km of her run. This will be on Sept. 8, around 1 p.m., starting at the foot of George Washington bridge until Joy crosses the finish line at the Philippine Consulate around 3 p.m. For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Buy these patriotic Coach shirts. A portion of the proceeds goes to Takbong Pangarap. For more info, call Chuck Crisanto at 0917-898-3621.
– I love this shirt! –