This is my Fair Play column for SunStar Cebu’s Sept. 10 edition.
FOR the life of me, I can no longer remember the last run that was held in Cebu. Was it the Cebu Marathon in 2020? The final weeks of normalcy we had before the pandemic changed life as we knew it?
It’s still a long way before we’d be back to the times when we’d have big running events each month. And it’s not only because the pandemic discourages mass gatherings, but also because the businesses and personalities who used to make these running events possible are on survival mode. Unless you’re Michael Yang, your business under the pandemic is well one solid punch away from being knocked out cold.
Despite that, there are a few brave souls who are bucking the trend and will organize a virtual run for a cause.
The Zonta Club of Cebu 2 has decided to hold a virtual Walk for Women to promote women’s rights and safe spaces, and I tell you that has never been more relevant than today, when misogynistic jokes have become the new normal.
Spread over two weeks from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12, participants may chose five distances, each corresponding to a specific cause. Three kilometers for the fight against teenage pregnancy, 5K to end child marriages, 10K to break the chain of inequality and abuse, 15K to fight the trafficking of women and children, and 21K to say no to violence against women. (To register for the run, sign up here.)
“With this virtual walk, participants can walk or run their own race at their own time, place and pace. Anyone can join from anywhere in the world. They can be at the beach in Cebu or in New York’s Central Park; on the streets of Manila or Paris or inside their own homes on a treadmill,” said organizing committee chair lawyer Regal Oliva.
Though this is a walk for women, it’s not limited to women. Anyone can join and the only requirement is the run must be finished in a day.
There’s a woman I follow on social media and I hope she learns of this and decides to join. She’s quite a warrior, you see, and that she has chosen to speak out shows the amount of courage she has.
Her name is Nuelle Duterte, the niece of the president, and she doesn’t mince any words when it comes to women’s rights or misogynistic remarks, especially when it comes from her uncle.
One of the reasons there’s a need for events like this is that we sometimes let things slide because we all think it’s just a joke or that he didn’t mean it. (And I don’t only mean the guy with the Monday talk show).
Events like this virtual walk teaches everyone the importance of changing our attitude when it comes to women’s rights and safe spaces. If you think I’m wrong, well try spending a day at the beach and listen to what some say of the women they see.
To learn more about the Zonta Club of Cebu, check their website.