Monday, October 19, 2009

A Fun Run for the Pasig River.

The Pasig River is a river in the Philippines that connects the Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay . It divides Metro Manila into two with its major tributaries, the Marikina River and San Juan River .

The Pasig River or Ilog Pasig in Filipino used to be an important transport route when Manila was under the Spanish rule. It served as an important means of transport and the center of economic activity. They even built the walled city of Intramuros near the mouth of Pasig River when Manila was established as Spain’s center of colonial properties in the Far East . Earlier in history, kingdoms sprang up along the river banks, drawing their life and source of wealth from the river.

However, due to industrial development and negligence, the river has become polluted and is considered by ecologists as dead. The river banks became home to informal settlers and their wastes as well as those of nearby factories dumped into the river made it a huge sewer system.

There have been many failed attempts to revive the river, most of the time the proponents just gave up on the gargantuan task. But I have high hopes when Gina Lopez of the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. has taken the almost impossible mission of cleaning the Pasig River and she has scored initial successes after she resettled informal settlers from Estero de Paco to a resettlement site in Calauan, Laguna. With her leadership, 300 families have been relocated and their target is to relocate 40 families per week. They intend to complete the relocation of 1000 families by the end of December 2009. The next phase of the cleanup target was the San Juan tributary river with about 4,000 families to be relocated in 2010.

Obviously, the task is expensive. Even if they will use all the government resources and foreign aids, it will not suffice to sustain the progress that they are making. Gina Lopez understands that just like the other ABS-CBN Foundation projects that they’ve successfully established in the past, they need strong support from various sectors to accomplish this huge task. “Bantay Bata” has been instrumental in helping abused children while “Bantay Kalikasan” has been successful in rehabilitating the La Mesa Watershed and conserving some of the ecotourism sites in the country.

Thus, the Kapit Bisig Paras sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) project thought of sponsoring a fun run to raise funds for cleaning the Pasig river and to resettle squatters. The marathon dubbed as “A Run for the River” will be held on November 8 and the foundation is targeting 20, 000 participants in this event.

The fun run will also allow runners to get close to the river through a nontraditional route that crossed nine of the 13 bridges of Pasig River with portions of the race will be run alongside the river itself. They are appealing to concerned citizens to make a statement and run for the river.

Registration forms are available online for marathon and relay or register at the following outlets: KBPIP office in 3/F ELJ Building, Mother Ignacia QC, ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. Head office, IZOD boutiques, Vanheusen Boutiques, Gold’s Gym, ROX Running Store, Second Wind, Race Inc. For more info, call 415-2272 loc. 3797 or email You can also visit their official website at

Photo credits:

1 comment:

Femmepower said...

Wow, Leomar, you did a lot of research on this one. very informative! I'll help spread the word. =)


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