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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..

December 13, 2015

BALIK ALINDOG PROGRAM: Spreading the "Gospel" of Running

I read somewhere that "Evangelization is simply sharing something good and helpful to other people." Sharing something good. To my mind, this is essentially what we are doing in the newly-launched Balik Alindog Program (BAP) of our Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1983.  That is why we are seeing enthusiasm on the part of our fellow 83neans as they respond positively to an Open Letter posted a couple of weeks ago in this blog.  
The Balik Alindog Program shirt.
First to openly respond was Fr. Alex, our Jesuit priest classmate.  Within days of the Open Letter, he posted photos of him running inside the grounds of Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches.  A weekend after, a handful of Naga-based 83neans gathered for some light jog around  the grounds of the Basilica Menor de Penafrancia.  Many, if not all, wearing the BAP shirts.
Fr Alex running with the BAP shirt.
Bords, Gascon, Au, Allen, Ric and San Jose jogging in Naga. 
Then this Sunday morning, in the heroic grounds of Camp Aguinaldo, more than a handful of Manila-based 83neans congregated to do what we like doing on a Sunday morning -  run.  It was especially heartening to have running newbie Batu and on-and-off runner Hemady join the veteran runners among us.  On hand too, not to run (as he just came from an overnight work) but to give support was Meng.  Then a grade school classmate, Bernard arrived,  with his son to participate in our early morning run.  
Congregating at Camp A :  Bob, Ghibz, Ed, Ernie, Hemady, Art, Meng, Batu, BP and Bernard.
BP with LCA8379 classmate Bernard.
As we went thru our paces, I observed that the veteran runners instinctively divided their sheperding assignments. Ghibz took to running with Batu and Hemady while Ed paired up with Bernard.  Our strongest ultra runners Ernie and Bob took up the rear ala sweepers. The penguin was left with the photography chores. 
Ed pacing with Bernard and son
Ghibz guiding Hemady and Batu.  
Ernie and Bob bring up the rear as sweepers.
The official photograher, BP, doing selfie.
Witnessing the fervent zeal of our running 83neans in spreading the gospel of running to our newbies got me  elated with joy. The etymology of the word "evangelize" came back roaring to me.  It is the Greek work "euangelion" which originally meant a reward given to the messenger for good news. By writing the Open Letter, I humbly became a messenger of the good news of wellness and the reward is the ecstatic feeling I am now enjoying to see my friends and classmates get to bond more thru our running passion. It is as if we are transported back to our childhood years where we tremedously enjoyed  running in our school playground, more often than not in a game of "agawan base" or "sulbodan."
Letting the joy come out from the child inside.  
And just like that, we begin to see the wisdom in Pope Francis ' words when he wrote - "Being happy means allowing the free, happy and simple child inside each of us to live."




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