City leads 1,800 to run, bike for the Santa Rosa Watershed

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by: Aries Zapanta/Grace Bondad Nicolas


The City government of Santa Rosa did a fun run in celebration of Earth Day recently.

“Environment protection is an advocacy of the City Government of Santa Rosa but it should also be the advocacy of everyone.”

This was the message of City Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas to the 1,800 participants who ran and biked during the SILAKBO 2012 for the Santa Rosa Watershed held yesterday,April 22 at The Fields, Nuvali in Brgy. Santa Domingo, City of Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Mayor Arcillas expressed her thanks to all who joined and called on them to also help safeguard the environment in their respective places. She said, “Salamat po sa pagsuporta ninyo sa aming cause which is protecting the Santa Rosa Watershed. But if we save Santa Rosa pero hindi naman environmentally safe ang ibang lugar, wala rin pong mangyayari. So we need your help.”

“This only shows that just like the law of ecology, preserving and protecting the environment is interconnected and that towns and cities – whether adjacent or distant to one another – should take care of each other,” the Mayor said. She added that the attendance of runners and bikers from within and outside the City suggests that they also advocate the same cause.

Participants came from nearby towns or cities like Biñan City and as far as Cuenca, Batangas. There were also Kenyan and French nationals.

Now on its fourth year, SILAKBO or Sikad-Lakad-Takbo is the City of Santa Rosa’s unique way of raising environmental awareness and responsiveness. It is organized in partnership with and for the benefit of Save Silang-Santa Rosa River Foundation Inc. (S3R2), a non-profit organization working for the protection and rehabilitation of the Santa Rosa Watershed.

According to the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, the Santa Rosa Watershed will experience water shortage few years from now due to abrupt water abstraction. This alarming scenario has made SILAKBO, now on its 4th year, be called as the SILAKBO for the Santa Rosa Watershed. This is based on a study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines).

“For this year, we aimed to gather at least 2,000 environmental-driven participants from the City and nearby municipalities. And we almost hit the target, gaining the support of 1,800 participants for our Sikad (bike) and Takbo (run),” said City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Linda Creencia. she also added that there will be no more Lakad (Walk) which was originally part of the SILAKBO para sa Kalikasan.

First place awardees for the men’s category were D. Amarante (3K), Joseph Mancera (5K), Runner #1262 (10K) and Edwin Nano (20K-bike). For the female category, first placers were Heizzel Marcelo (3K), Runner #1199 (5K) and Meriam Torres (10K). There were also second and third placers for each category.

For the Run (Takbo), Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Phils. Corp. from Biñan City got the Biggest Group Delegation for the Company Category while the Gomez Family from Santa Rosa won under the Family Category. Whereas the Cuenca Cycling Club from Cuenca, Batangas also won the Biggest Group Delegation for Bike (Sikad). Special awards were also given to Early bird Registrants, Oldest and Youngest Bikers, and Oldest and Youngest Runners.

Aside from S3R2, SILAKBO 2012 was organized in partnership with Nuvali, San Miguel Brewery Inc., Toyota Autoparts Phils. Inc., Toyota Motors Philippines Foundation Inc., Asia Brewery, Inc., Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. and Powerlane Resources, Inc.

Minor Sponsors include Climate Change and Clean Energy (USAID-Cenergy), Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Phils. Corp., SM City Santa Rosa, Enchanted Kingdom and Pilotage Trading and Construction Inc. Panasonic Precision Devices Phils. Corp, Isuzu Phils. Corp., Gerweiss Corp., Laguna Technopark, Vitalo Packaging International Inc, Ichinomiya Electric Phils. Corp., Balibago Polyclinic and Hospital Inc., TRP Inc., Visteon Phils. Inc. Tram Plaza, Southland Holdings Corp. and Honda Cars Phils. Inc. also served as minor sponsors.

SILAKBO is just the kick-off activity of Santa Rosa in celebration of Earth Week 2012. Other activities for the week-long celebration include Opening of Earth Week 2012 Photo Exhibit on April 23, School-Based Ecological Solid Waste Management Recognition on April 24, Waste Market Day on April 25-27 and River Clean-Up on April 28.

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