1. The Head of the Multi Agency Task Force (MATF) for the Observance of the 2010 Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week and Administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Honorable Ernesto G Carolina, sent an official invitation to me as the Special Guest during the Culminating Ceremony of the 2010 “Alay-Sikad Sa Kagitingan”: Retracing the Bataan Death March Route Bike-A-Thon held last Saturday, March 20, 2010, at the Capas National Shrine in Camp O’Donnell, Capas Tarlac. The Bike-A-Thon event is a part of the activities that commemorates and provides awareness to the infamous Bataan Death March.
2. I was chosen as the Special Guest for the said event because the MATF have been informed that I’ve been conducting the BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race for the past two years without their support. In the said program, I was introduced as the Founder of the BDM Ultramarathon Race. I am glad that my invitation to this event have finally recognized the efforts I’ve spent to create awareness on the heroism of our forefathers during World War II.
3. A group of almost 100 cyclists from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other Bike Clubs in Metro Manila and other nearby provinces started the Bikeathon at the BDM Km 00 in Mariveles, Bataan at 6:30 AM last Saturday. A Ceremonial Send-Off Program was led by Hon. Jesse Concepcion, Mayor of Mariveles, Bataan; Hon. Espiridion Calara, Provincial DILG Director; and Ms Samsia Bonoan, Head of the MATF Sub-Committee on Bikeathon. The number of cyclists increased in numbers up to 200 as they passed along the towns of Bataan, Pampanga, and Tarlac. More cyclists have joined the group as it got nearer to the Finish Line at the Capas National Shrine. The cyclists arrived at the Finish Line at 4:00 PM. Aid Stations/Checkpoints had been pre-positioned every 50 kilometers where cyclists were provided with water and food.
4. During the Culminating Ceremony, the Finishers were awarded with “loot bags” courtesy of MATF and PVAO. The activity was graced with the presence of Hon. Reynaldo Catacutan, Mayor of Capas and some of the veterans of World War II. I was able to deliver my message/speech with emphasis on the sustained awareness of the BDM through activities on sports, arts, tourism, and written publications/researches.
5. Hopefully, the MATF & PVAO will be able to support the conduct of future BDM Ultramarathon Races.