This Fun Run Raised Funds and Awareness for the Indigenous People—and I Was a Part of It

Words by Gianna Sibal

Photos courtesy of Run for the Mountains Official Facebook

Run for the Mountains 2019 actually made me run for the mountains—and also help the Indigenous People in the Philippines.

JCI (Junior Chamber International) Manila partnered up with Color Manila for this year’s one-of-a-kind charity run last July 7—where families and friends, with leisure, amateur, and professional runners gathered around at five o’clock in the morning with their running shoes on to cover a distance of 3KM, 5KM, or 10KM.

I was one of those people, and I have three reasons as to why my first fun run experience at Run for the Mountains was more than just fun.

I was scared. 

Not just because I had to wake up at two in the morning and go through the early morning traffic on the way to Makati, but also because I wasn’t used to running such a long distance (even if it was only three kilometers), and I almost fainted during an aquathlon years ago. That said, I wasn’t sure how I was going to hold up—if I was going to hold up, but I decided to take the risk and just…go for it. Splashed with pink, purple, blue, and yellow colors, I was able to finish the run without any difficulty except for, you know, sweat and color powder that needed to be washed off my clothes and hair, and I was grateful that I took the opportunity.

I was alone.

In a sea of families and friends who all registered and were ready to run together, I think I was the only one who was alone. That, in itself, was also actually terrifying, but doing the run, racing for the mountains, actually gave me a chance to do and achieve something entirely on my own. Sure, it would’ve been more fun if I had family or friends with me, but I am actually proud and happy to have done this by and with myself.

I was able to see the people I was helping—the Indigenous People.

This fun run was more than just fun because it was also a fundraiser project organized by JCI Manila to raise awareness and financial support for the Indigenous People. JCI was also present during the fun run itself. Seeing them with my own two eyes was a different feeling. Sure, I knew what the benefit of the run was and where the money was going, but actually looking at them and seeing smiles on their faces as they taught the other runners how to draw an arrow, gave me a sense of fulfillment and joy. I was able to run alongside other people who also contributed to the fundraiser, and being a part of that gave me renewed appreciation for their culture. I was happy that this run, aside from instilling family values, camaraderie and sportsmanship, was also able to raise financial support for the tribes.

And that—lending a hand to them—was enough to make me grateful that I ran for the mountains.

JCI Manila is a non-government leadership development organization for young leaders. Run for the Mountains is an annual legacy project by the organization due to the “massive outpouring of support it receives each year”.

JCI Manila


Contact: (02) 525 6792

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