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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..

February 9, 2016

DALAGAN MO, TABANG MO 2016: Sustaining A Frat's Love for its Home Town

It was in the year 1951 that the Guy Jesters Fraternity was founded in Iriga City. Thru the years, this fraternity has been active in community outreach in and around Iriga. Many of its members have grown to become community and political leaders , the late Congressman Boboy Alfelor and Police General Lucio Margallo,  come to mind. And the admirable activities of this fraternity did not only got noticed locally but abroad as well, particularly in America where many of its members have migrated.  In fact, in Feb 17 2005 in the floor of the House of Representative,  a  US Congressman honored the Guy Jesters and its founder Mcking Alanis, extolling it as a "philanthropic organization that raises fund for the poor in Iriga City."  

Fast forward to the early morning hours of Feb 7, 2016 and the road in front of the Iriga City Grandstand is full of energetic and positive activity.  The Guy Jesters are at it again.  The fraternity, under its present leadership by Ilan Abonite and Atcho Margallo,  has organized a fun run called "Dalagan Mo, Tabang Mo2016".  The english translation is "your run, your assistance" and this exactly is what the fun run intended to achieve. The funds raised will be utilized by the fraternity to build playground(s) for the public elementary schools in Iriga. The fraternity has already done so in several public schools but their objective is for all 36 barrios in the city. 

Given this altruistic intentions, many positively answered the call for help.  According to Guy Jesters officials, more than 2,000 runners registered. Many of these registrants joined the shorter distances like 3kms and 5kms. 
Assembly area being filled with participants as the 5am gun start nears.

Showing their favorite number, row5runnin's Joji, Richard and comebacking Nino with Team Sinarapan's Myla.  

row5runnin members raring to start

There was less than a hundred runners who joined the longer 15km category. It was this smaller group of runners, the 15km race, that the Bicolano Penguin and fellow row5runners Joji, Ric, Jonas, Cyrus, Brando, Nino, Orly and Janjo. It was in this race that we got to recruit a new row5runner - Nica who is a colleague of Janjo in China Bank. 

Participating in the  Dalagan Mo, Tabang Mo 2016   was a treat for us.  The route ran thru green ricefields, a sight that is surely non-existent in any of the runs in the metropolis. It was a treat to talk at the starting line  with a newbie runner who was gunning for her first 15km race.   It was a treat to be cheered on by small kids by the side of the road. It was a treat also to see up close and personal a group run by a platoon of police recruits. Here are photos:
Top runner in the 15km category on the way back while we still have to reach the u-turn at Km 8. 

The vastly improved Orly showing fine form. It helps to smile. 

Top lady runner of the 15km category.

Nino had a run moratorium for a couple of months which affected his running.    

Brando was steady.

So was the veteran Joji.  At 61 years old, Joji was the second oldest runner in the fun run.

Jonas showed no ill effects from his dengue hospitalization just several days back.

Cyrus following his brother Jonas.
Bryan of Runconada after the U-turn.

Running together from start to finish for this pair.

Running together as a platoon for these policemen and policewomen.    

Thumbs up. 

Had the pleasure of talking to MJ in the starting line. She was gunning for her first 15km race. 
Ric looking at a flock of ducks.  

Enjoying the green scenery along Masoli Road.

Nica and Janjo of China Bank.

Finishers all.

For her bravery in tackling her first 15km fun run, we got to recruit Nica on the spot after the race. I think Nino and Janjo will take care of helping her level up to longer distances.  

The gang enjoying the post-race kinalas.

A good run can be had regardless of the amount of the registration fee or the name of the organizers. A good run can be had regardless of whether there is a running singlet or not that is part of the race pack.  A good run can be had regardless of whether there is a finisher shirt to be had. A good run can be had regardless of whether it is on top of a skyway or on a provincial road.   

Dalagan Mo, Tabang Mo 2016 fun run showed us that and we have the Guy Jesters fraternity to thank for it.  Serious.  No jest whatsoever. 


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