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PhilHealth-DOH Nationwide Run, Manila Leg

A debut race for the year made as part of tempo training run in preparation for my upcoming Run United 1 in a few weeks from now. I didn't know that PhilHealth could stage such an organized, nationwide, simultaneous running event, held and handled by them for the first time. It showed that a seemingly impossible task can be made possible by unity and oneness, teamwork, and the passion to carry out their mission of rallying the entire nation to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.

The race was successful, with ample water stations along the route (although it wasn't cold) and enough banana at one of the stations - that which I didn't expect for an event like this. I will not describe in detail how my own race turned-out to be, but I would like this time to give credits and applaud PhilHealth for achieving their target, as well as for successfully staging and carrying out their mission across the 18 key Cities nationwide.

I remember back at the first PressCon held on the 16th of January 2013, PhilHealth aims to push the universal access to health care for each Filipino, regardless of status and receive financial support to quality health care and services. We who are living within the confines of Metro Manila are lucky as most of the hospitals here have already been granted with PhilHealth accreditation, meaning, the services, Personnel and equipments of most of our hospitals are at par to the standard which PhilHealth requires to be accredited, thus giving those with PhilHealth members the financial support and healthcare benefits that one cannot just have in non-PhilHealth accredited establishments.

The big activity area with lots of medical-related sponsor booths
For the 18-years of PhilHealth's existence, even they have yet to accomplish many of their tasks, specially in remote areas, and in Provinces where the importance of healthcare has not yet been realized. Just think about those Women undergoing childbirth how much she could have saved from the hospital bills that which can still be added for the newborn child's feeding budget if the Mom has access to PhilHealth benefits. The nationwide run, as supported by Department of Health and RiteMed, hoped that very soon, every Filipino, regardless of social status and income, would have that same affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare services that we have.

Back to the race, I finished the 18K distance (18.91-km based on my GPS watch) in a good 1-hour and 41-minutes averaging 5:24 mpk pace of which I have achieved by the help of a stronger runner whom I secretly followed behind starting from the 3rd kilometer just to give myself the push whenever needed. Although I didn't know if he noticed me constant chasing with him, we congratulated each other after crossing the finish line.

Finish line at Quirino grandstand

The Philippine Children’s Medical Center - a health care facility for pediatric diseases was the national beneficiary of the PhilHealth Run, while Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital -- a maternal and newborn tertiary hospital was the key beneficiary for the Manila leg of the race. Other similar healthcare facilities catering to mother and child health in each of the major regional event sites were also chosen to benefit from the run held in 17 other cities nationwide.

Runners flocked past the finish line going to the activity area
with Carl Valenzona, our new co-Brand Ambassador for Diadora Phils.
with officemate Lee John Li
Closer look at the 18K Finisher's medal
Pinoy Bike which you can only find in Manila (closely similar to Sarao Jeepneys)
After a hearty breakfast together with Sir Jun, John Li, Sir Rene,
and Unilab's VP for Ext. Affairs Ms. Claire Papa
(photo courtesy of
The big lobby of Manila Hotel with its original chandeliers and furnitures in the background
RiteMed was also the co-presentor of the first PhilHealth Run: The Mindanao Run for Hope held last year.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the volunteers of PhilHealth, Ms. Claire Papa and Sir Edward Kho for making us part of this event.

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