Freedom Run Lands on the Shores of Liberation

The third of four Freedom Runs this year happened in the home of warm and active Warays in Palo, Province of Leyte on 28 April. The venue of this advocacy run in the Visayas region is famous for the historical landing of the Americans that marked the beginning of Philippines’ liberation from the Japanese during World War II.

Approximately 1,200 runners dressed in bright yellow singlet took off down a seven kilometer path from the town’s plaza to the historical MacArthur Landing Park by the beach and back to the town plaza where a short program was held.

As early as two o’clock in the morning runners who were mostly government employees, civil society activists, students, members of the Philippine Army, started lining up to register in the first run that promotes clean and honest elections, good governance and environmental protection.

“This is what we need today. The Freedom Run means running an extra mile for greater reforms,” said Palo Mayor Matin Petilla, a Liberal Party member. “The ideals that this activity push for should be engrained in each and every one of us to achieve fast and concrete development in the Municipality of Palo,” she added.

“We are taking steps to paint the development green in Palo,” said Councilor Ronan “Bolingling” Reposar, who is running for Vice Mayor of the municipality. “Although the road to Climate Change Adaptation in Palo is long and rocky, we are not giving up. We are driven by the growing number of people who join us in this advocacy,” he further explained.

Other highlights of the event included the students of University of the Philippines and members of the Philippine Army leading the warm-up and cool down exercises. Furthermore, twelve fastest runners who came from far communities and towns were awarded.

“The Freedom Run is really for communities like Palo; for people who are thirsty for positive change politically, socially, environmentally - and who are determined to act on it.” said Mr. Jules Maaten, FNF Philippines Country Director.

The Freedom Run was undoubtedly embraced by the locals. Its concept and values will be brought to far-flung areas in Palo starting May 4. This will be headed by the local government and other non-governmental organizations.

This activity was organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in partnership with the Palo Municipal Government, Province of Leyte and the Leyte Coalition of Outdoor Enthusiasts for the Environment (LCOEE).

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