PASAY CITY, Philippines – To express not only through words its support to the cause of an advocacy group in the Philippines, Members Church of God International is the single biggest group whose presence was felt at the record-breaking half-marathon-for-a-cause, the Isang Araw Lang – Takbo para sa Libreng Kolehiyo (Just One Day – Run for Free College) held on January 31 at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Local television network, UNTV reported that the historic sports event which comprised six different races recorded 50,500 participants, beating the organizers’ expectations of 50,000 and marking yet another first in Philippine history.
MCGI Vice-Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon, who is the prime advocate of the Kahit Isang Araw Lang advocacy, thanked the organizers of the event led by Sports 37 Productions, UNTV and multi-marketing company Breakthroughs and Milestones Productions International, for holding such a remarkable and noble cause in support of the public service projects he spearheaded.
Speaking before tens of thousands of participants at the closing ceremony of the event, Bro. Razon announced that the proceeds of the event will aid in the completion of the last phase of development of the 10-storey La Verdad Christian College (LVCC) building.
“We will use the proceeds to complete the 10-storey school building in Balintawak, Quezon City which we target to open in April,” he said, then remarked, “What inspires me to do these public services is Bro. Eli Soriano of the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path).”
MCGI launched the said scholarship program for college students through the Kamanggagawa Foundation in June last year as a continuation of Bro. Eli Soriano’s initiative at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga where the first La Verdad Christian College was established. More than 300 college scholars are currently enrolled under the Mass Communications and Nursing courses offered by the school.
Bro. Razon also stressed the big difference that this free college education project makes. The scholarship grants include free tuition fee, free meals, uniforms, books, lodging and allowance for the scholars.
For years now, MCGI has been actively supporting several public services in the Philippines as part of its mission to help indigents — a commandment of God in the Bible that MCGI gladly fulfills.
Through the help of UNTV, the Isang Araw Lang – “Takbo para sa Libreng Kolehiyo” is another public service effort initiated to support the Kamanggagawa Foundation free education project. Other projects launched by Bro. Razon through the Foundation include free bus, jeepney, and train rides, medical and dental missions, legal services, blood donation projects, and even the granting of the small wishes of poor families for livelihood assistance.
Other key participants of the event include the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Dionisio Santiago, members of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), and members of several Rotary Club chapters in the Philippines.
Renowned Kenyan sprinters Williy Tanui and Kemba Kiberess, 2009 Philippine International Marathon winner Miscelle Gilbuena, and Alley Quisay also shared a moment to support this noble cause. Tanui was declared the winner of the 21-kilometer half marathon.
Other races were the 10 and 5-kilometer challenge runs, 3-kilometer fun run, 1-kilometer family run, and the 300-meter kiddie run.
(Written by: Hazel Chavez-David)