(This article is a contribution of Ms. Fatima Dalisay Kozma, ASP Catanduanes Chapter Vice President.)
The participants gathered at the Virac Municipal's office ground on 15 February 2014, Saturday as early as 5am in support of Autism Society Philippines Catanduanes Chapter’s first ever fun run. With two categories, a 3km and a 5km distance, the run inspire early risers to leap with vigor, after the warm up; and they ended back at the Municipal's grounds in less than an hour. The run was lauded and led by the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police.
Awards were handed out, photos taken for momentos, and a Zumba workout followed. When all was said and done, Jollibee even spent a few minutes to be with the children with special needs.
The grace and tenor goes to the team who worked diligently, keeping their family in tow, with each step all the way. Though it has been a hectic and stressful preparation, we are definitely grateful for the outcome.
A heartfelt appreciation goes to DILG representative, especially Sir Jun, who gave much to the boost of our Run, BIR, the Mayor's Office's Representative, Sir Roger, the Governor's office, Ms Julie Gonzales and the Vice Governor's office representative, Sir Teves, the Red Cross, Sea Breeze Resto and Teacher Liza Molod of Jmames.
At the beginning of the National Autism Consciousness Week, the chapter's active team, Marjorie Cantollas, Gie Laynes, Liza Molod, Irene Molina, Jennifer Torres, Heidi Fernandez, Kristine Gamil and myself, spent two weekends, (January 25 and 26, 2014 and February 8 and 9, 2014) on a rotation, at the Center Mall of Virac. The members set their stall and accommodated people with queries on autism, our cause, activities and of course the Fun Run, beginning at 8am till 7pm. The people were curious and some reluctant as they passed us by. For the most part, there were a lot of familiar faces, during those days and it was a pleasant experience of giving resources to the inquisitive few and listening to the troubled and concerned individuals. With a bit of humor, gusto and warmth, we also reached out to the listeners of the island's Radio Station, Radyo Natin, in hope we did touch lives in some way, during this celebration.