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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

June 26, 2012


A nice way to celebrate Happy Father’s Day is  to share time with both my son and my father.  This we did during the Father’s Day weekend of June 16-17 when my family and I went home to Bicol.

Marcel delivering the box of school supplies to the Fatima Orphanage

On the early morning of  Happy Father’s Day, I had my son, Marcel, accompany me to the Foundation of Our Lady of Fatima Center for Human Development  in San Agustin, Iriga City where we delivered a box full of school supplies ( notebooks, pencils and crayons which a friend who works at a pharmaceutical company was kind enough to share) for distribution to the young children.The center/orphanage is administered by the nuns of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Agustine (DSA) with supervision from the Archdiocese of  Nueva Caceres.  This center provides shelter, education and better life for 120+ orphans, abandonded and maltreated children of varying ages.  There is also a grade school and high school called the Fatima Integrated Farm School within the compound of the Fatima Center.  This DepEd accredited learning institution  caters to 400+ students coming from the orphanage itself and many more  coming from families around the orphanage who cannot  afford expensive private school and fee-rich public school education. (http://www.dsaphil.narod.ru/english/fatima.html) 

Fatima Orphanage

Children of Fatima Orphanage

The orphanage is close to our family.  The head of the Fatima Center,  Sister Felicitas,  is my aunt.  When the  orphanage was being started in the early 1970s, I recall accompanying my parents to visit the place and help out in whatever way we could.  My exposure to helping out others during  my childhood years is one of the reasons why I, in my present form as a runner,  try to find ways to use our running in outreach activities.  Perhaps by exposing my son to this kind of activity, I would be of help in developing  in him the  virtue of charity.

After our visit to the Fatima Center, I got to play the game of soccer with my son, together with a handful of nephews and grandsons.  The lawn in our Vranchlaw house is conducive for play.

Marcel playing soccer with relatives

My son, showing some skills from the summer soccer camp

Also on the same Happy Father’s Day, we accompanied our father and mother, family and relatives to hear mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Council inside the Fatima Center compound .   During the mass, I got to witness many of the children of the orphanage busy in helping out in the celebration of the mass. There was the choir which belted out  some inspiring worship songs.  Likewise, the dozen or so altar boys' demeanor made the celebration more solemn.   They are being helped to develop themselves to be useful members of the community.

Helping my father to the chapel

The altar boys of the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel

After the mass, we had lunch which easily turned out to be an impromptu family reunion as many relatives and family friends came.    

The Happy Father’s Day last June 17 was truly a happy one for us.  I am  blessed to get to enjoy this day with my father,  my son and the whole family.  Priceless indeed.   

One happy family picture for 2012 Happy Father’s Day

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