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The Healing Power of Running

I have a bronchial asthma ever since I was a child. I am not allowed to play and get sweat. I need to be always careful from the dusts. The heating sun must be avoided from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. I must not run, I should not lift heavy objects. I have to eat grilled draco Rizal (flying lizards), poor turtles, raw fresh native egg, and even visits to Albularyos or faith healers.

All these did not contribute any improvement to my condition except for one, the health effect of running which until now, for the past 12 years, I have been resistant from the pain and hardships of an Asthma attack.

I was 16 then, Freshman in College, my first time to join any athletic sports. It filled me with chills and a running voltage in my veins. If it is not for the undying encouragement of my classmates and for an exemption from the Midterm exams in Physical Education subject, I really couldn't have joined this event. With my small physique, it would really look like I would be the first patient of an Ambulance.

We rode in 4 buses of PMA (Philippine Military Academy) from Burnham Park going down to Kennon Road beyond the boundary of Baguio City, reaching Tuba Benguet where the starting line is. The route is unimaginable. Far more from the famous Lion's head in Kennon Rd., Tuba is the starting line going up/back to Burnham Park, Baguio City for the finish line. The only road that is flat is about a stretch of 100 meters from the starting line, and all of the remaining distance is a non-forgiving zigzag and upward road (whew!). Thinking from now, I cannot run that same course again.

After the signal fired up, just a few meters away from the starting line, my lungs started to contract, my air passage started its cat-like wheezing. But having inherited my clan's ever-rising pride, I did not want to surrender. I'm ashamed just thinking of some medics rushing into me while I collapse, bringing me to the ambulance, and reaching the Hospital dying from an Asthma. Worst, is that we don't have allotted budget for any kind of hospitalizations.

So I continued running, walking, and crawling on every sharp upward curve of the road, praying deeply that God would not allow any bad thing to happen to me. In the middle of the race, I am still struggling for my breath while trying to step my feet in a constant pace. My eyes are already half-closed, and I can feel my feet slowly retiring, my breathing is much, much, much deeper than anyone else around. I feel, and I know that I'm already dying, but I just kept on praying, kept on fighting. Some people at the water station are shouting "keep on moving... keep on running... do not stop...". I also heard some sudden, hard coughs combined with a loud release of shout/air from other runners. I did the same hoping that it would lessen the strain I'm feeling from my chest. And it worked, it really did. A few more cough-shout-air release and some phlegm kept on coming out every time I do it (yucckk, snots!).

At that little-by-little, and small relief which I felt, I know that God have already answered my prayer. And that prayer, that answer, is still in effect to me even up to this time since I have no longer experienced the pain and hardships of an Asthma attack.

Upon seeing the concrete archway at Camp 8 with a "Welcome to Baguio City" phrase, my adrenaline rushed again throughout my body. The road is still going upward but I suddenly felt that I can already run a little bit faster than before, and so I did. I maintained the same speed until I reached the streets of Kisad Rd., going to Burnham Park, and finally, reaching the finish line. I was even surprised at the finish line upon knowing that I have outpaced my classmates who asked me to join, who are more taller, looking healthier than me, and have no asthma or any ailments.

It is such a good feeling, such a great accomplishment to me. After the race, I rested for 7 days, then I started jogging for 10 kilometers each day upon waking up. It has been my morning habit for 3 years, and I still joined local running events in Baguio whenever I have an extra money for the registration fee.

Below are the details of this event which almost killed me, but in return, have given me full healing from my asthma.

Event: 1st Baguio Zigzag Run
When: Aug. 31, 1997.
Where: Kennon Rd., Tuba, Benguet to Burnham Park, Baguio City
Distance: 10 km.
Personal Time: 01:35:25
Ranking: 93rd


  1. Wow what a memento! Very inspiring story, thanks for sharing Alfred :)Running in Baguio is always boatloads of fun. A very challenging kind of fun :) We're planning to go back there for another race this August, maybe you would like to tag along :)


  2. Nice one RunningAtom. So, literally, running is your breather :D


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