“The EDSA Run” harnesses People Power to build classrooms
Ten other Feb. 27 running events held across the country
Around 3,000 runners celebrated the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution by flexing a new kind of People Power over five and ten kilometers last February 27 in “The EDSA Run: A People-Powered Run to Build Classrooms”.
The participants included professional runners, elite athletes like the Philippine Azkals (the national football team) and the NCAA senior basketball champions San Beda Red Lions, soldiers, policemen, professionals, businessmen, civil servants, students, and entire families.
Thousands more ran in simultaneous events in Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Clark, Pampanga; Zambales; Legaspi; Albay; Cebu City; Davao City, Sultan Kudarat; Dipolog City; Zamboanga City; and Zamboanga Sibugay in a remarkable display of solidarity.
The “people-powered runs” were designed to raise awareness about the severe classroom shortage in public schools and to help boost the private sector effort to address this problem in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd).
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro thanked the event organizers—led by the iamninoy-iamcory Runners and eXtribe—for giving ordinary Filipinos the opportunity to do their share in addressing the shortage of public school classrooms, which he estimated at 152,000. “That is the true spirit of People Power,” he said, noting that this would be much more meaningful than seeking the help of the top 100 corporations in the Philippines.
Jake de Guzman of the iamninoy-iamcory Runners said that, in light of the magnitude of the problem, what they hope to raise through The EDSA Run would just be “a drop in the bucket.” “But we hope that that drop will create a ripple effect that would eventually make a dent on the classroom backlog.” He likened their approach to that of a runner preparing for a 10k race. “At the start, 10k might seem so daunting,” he said. “But you just take it one step at a time. And as you see more runners by your side, you find the energy to carry on and reach your goal.”
Smart Communications, PLDT, Meralco and Metro Pacific Investments, major sponsors of The EDSA Run, jumpstarted the fund-raising effort to boost public school classroom construction.
According to Eric Imperio, president of eXtribe, The EDSA Run is just the first of many running events that his team hopes to organize as a means of helping address DepEd’s severe classroom shortage.
Also pitching in to the classroom-building fund are minor event sponsors, Bench, Ayala Land, Maynilad, Powerade, Phinma and LaFarge. Among the other corporate supporters of The EDSA Run are: Kenny Rogers Roasters, Air 21, the Electronic Yellow Pages (eyp.ph), Nestle Fitness, Robinson's Galleria, Gardenia, ROX, Anchor Shape-up, Sustagen Premium, Planet Sports, HBC, Splash and Terra Plana, Kopiko Brown Coffee, the ABS-CBN News Center (ANC) and the Philippine Star.
The EDSA Run participants ran from—and back to—the People Power Monument along White Plains Avenue through EDSA, Ortigas Avenue, Greenmeadows Avenue, E. Rodriguez Avenue (C5) and Temple Drive. Mini-billboards were installed along the route to recount the events of Feb. 22-25, 1986.