Friday, April 1, 2011

4th OLANGO CHALLENGE: Your Best Summer Getaway

Photo By: Business Empowering the Poor
In partnership with the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association (PASA), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) will host the 4th Olango Challenge on Saturday, April 30, 2011.  More than 70 seasoned, competitive as well as amateur swimmers from all over the country are expected to join the Philippine’s pioneer open water marathon swimming event.  This year’s Olango Challenge is designed as a 6-kilometer coastwise swim around a box formation rather than a channel crossing or coastwise swim, and will be held at the beachfront of Tambuli Beach Club.   

The OLANGO CHALLENGE is an annual fund raising event for the benefit of the people of Olango.  The event highlights the importance of having a clean marine environment, raises awareness on the magnitude of preventable drowning incidence in the Philippines and promotes open-water marathon swimming as a sport in which Filipino swimmers should excel.  The previous 2 Olango Challenges raised funds to fund the construction of a two-classroom school building at Candagsao Elementary School on Olango Island.  The 3rd Olango Challenge has allowed us to break ground on the construction of another 2-classroom school building to house students from the 5th and 6th Grade Level at Caw-Oy Elementary School on Olango.  We have likewise used a portion of the funds raised to install communal vermicomposting facilities and inland reforestation activities.  The 4th Olango Challenge fundraising is programmed to be used for similar educational and environmental projects on the island. 

The minimum eligible age is 14 years old. Cash prizes are PHP 10,000, PHP 7,500  and PHP 5,000 for first, second and third placers, respectively in the 6K Competitive Category. There will also be cash prizes for the top 3 winners of the 2km and 2km x 3 Relay Competitive Category.  Fun Swimmers can join the 2km x 3 category or the 6 km category, for which cash prizes are also at stake. The registration fee is PhP 500 for the Competitive Category and 2000 for the Fun Category.   

Discounted Registration for competitive swimmers is open until April 15, 2011. Entry forms area available at PBSP located at the 4th Floor PLDT Building, Juan Luna Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City, or at PASA, Rm. 201, Bldg. B, Philsports Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.     

Forms may also be downloaded at     

Further information on the 4th Olango Challenge may also be found there.   
You may also call Riva at (032) 232-5270 or email at     

Your entry and/or support in any manner is appreciated.   
Take on the challenge! Sponsor a swimmer! 


Some aspects of the swim have been changed from the previous olango challenges and here is a summary of relevant information: 

1. don't take the challenge on unless you are comfortable in the water and consider yourself physically fit.   

2. This year’s Olango Challenge is designed as a 6-kilometer coastwise swim around a box formation.  The box is 2km in total length, therefore relay swimmers and 2km swimmers need to make one circuit, while 6km swimmers will make 3 circuits of the course. 

3. the swim will take place at the beachfront of tambuli beach resort. the first swimmers will enter the water at 10:00 AM. swimmers will swim with a favorable current at their backs on the outside track of the course.  it will be at a depth where the swimmer will be able to see the seabed and the diverse marinelife found therein. 

4. the registration fee for a fun swimmer is 2,000 pesos. fun swimmers are allowed to use fins and masks/snorkels.  complete the swim and you get a t-shirt.   

5. many interested people are pledging per kilometer payments in support of their friends who are swimming. some have turned this into a wager,   
essentially "i will double my pledge if you make it" or that kind of arrangement.   

6. safety is of paramount concern. marshalls and safety personnel will be on hand on land and in the water closely monitoring all swimmers. kayakers and paddle bancas will stay close to the swimmers. 

7.  the cut off age is 14 years old.   

8. anyone who has been in the water for longer than 3 hours will be extracted.   

9. proceeds generated will go to PBSP's Metro Cebu Poverty Reduction Program, of which Olango Island is a priority area. A portion of the funds generated will go towards PASA's survival swim training programs. 

10. a medical certificate is required, this may be obtained from a company doctor if need be.   

11. further information and instructions can be found at the event blogspot. 

12. payment can be made by cash or check. make checks payable to "PBSP".   

13.  find us on facebook and search under "olango challenge" 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why I did not enroll in Nursing

"Nursing is all about courage."

Nursing is an in demand profession all over the world especially in first world countries. Compensation of nurses abroad is tremendously higher than average. It is no doubt that taking up a course like this would let most of the people around you look high above as if gazing at the brightest star on a cloudless night.

However, even if I am tempted to the sparkle it brings and even if I successfully got a license, I can never be a successful nurse. There are three (3) reasons:

1. I'm Agliophobic
Last January 2010, I had my very first CBC (Complete Blood Count) Test. I was panicking. My hands were shaking and sweaty. My heartbeat was erratic. My two friends were patiently calming me down. As I sit on the chair dedicated for examinees, I covered my entire face with my jacket so that I would NEVER see how CBC is done. I felt an abrupt pain. Finally, the blood was extracted from my veins. I was very happy and walked to another corner. Yet, suddenly I felt dizzy. Something strange was going on with my stomach which I can't explain. The world seemed to turn around fast and I decided to take a seat at the nearest chair. When my senses came back, I smell a very soothing scent. I opened my eyes and saw people pressing my hands. I then asked, "Did I just pass out?" - I am totally afraid of needles or anything that would inflict pain. This is one of the strongest reasons why I did not took nursing.

2. I have a cheesy heart.
I can easily be distracted emotionally by the agonizing pain of other people. May it be physical, mental or emotional pain. I cannot stand the pressure it brings to me.

3. My family has no dimes
My father is a kind fisherman/carpenter and my mother is a responsible housewife. My sisters have their own family and needs to support them by all means except of my only brother who is physically challenged since he was 7 years old. The end point here is we cannot afford the humongous tuition in nursing schools. We can barely sustain our daily needs, how much more the books of nursing students?

To those who plan, taking up, graduated and licensed, I salute you for having the courage. It must be very difficult for you and your family at most times. One thing is for sure, that path is something to be proud of. Aja!