At home we call this by another name – SHORTCUT. There are many ways of getting to our house from the main streets of Paco and this is one of the way. We use the Estero to get from our place to United Nations Ave. or to Apacible almost everyday.
We moved from Pandacan to Paco just a little over two years ago. Estero De Paco is very different from what it was a few years back. Before, it was a very notorious place and the creek was filled with shanties built by illegal settlers or squatters. It was a haven for diseases and bad elements.
No force on earth would ever convince me to move a kilometer near that area. It was a very dangerous place and ESTERO DE PACO was a dying creek.
But that was years ago before the resettlement of those living in the creek was implemented and before the dredging, clean-up and beautification projects were done. And now, the old and notorious Estero De Paco was just a bad memory for all the people living near the area.
The funny thing was, I never knew who initiated the projects there. It’s not that I didn’t care but I was living in Pandacan then so, that information might have been a little unnecessary for me to know at the time. So, we moved to Paco without knowing who were the heart and brains of the Estero de Paco projects.
Until today, when I was invited to a press launch for ABS-CBN Foundation’s Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) fourth advocacy run to clamor for cleaner rivers and esteros in Metro Manila through “Run, Ride and Roll for Pasig River” to be held in Quezon City on September 30, 2012. The launch was held yesterday (July 17) at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel.
I learned from the presentation of Ms. Gina Lopez, Managing Director of ABS-CBN Foundation that the 2009 Philippine International Marathon: A Run for the Pasig River, which had an estimated 23,000 participants, helped fund the initial phase of rehabilitation of Estero de Paco, a 2.9-kilometer tributary of the Pasig River in Manila.
The second phase of the development of Estero de Paco was made possible by the historic Run for Pasig River 10.10.10 which broke the Guinness World Record for the “most participants in a racing event” with 116,087 runners. The activity won a Bronze Anvil and an Award of Excellence at the 45th Anvil Awards given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, while the Estero de Paco clean-up earned an Award of Merit from the 2010 Philippine Quill Awards given by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines.
KBPIP’s seven-year rehabilitation program involves cleaning up all the esteros that drain into the Pasig River in order to thoroughly clean it. To date, the project has resettled 1,216 families to Calauan, Laguna, introduced remediation technologies for water quality improvement, trained community volunteers for the River Warriors program and shared sound waste management practices with communities.
I also learned from her presentation that the property or land value of the areas near Estero de Paco is now gradually increasing because of the project. So, I guess we’ve made the right choice of getting a property in that area.
Last year’s 11.20.2011 Run for the Pasig River was the largest foot race joined by 86,547 runners, are currently being used to rehabilitate Estero de San Miguel and four other esteros behind the Malacañang Palace.
Following the success of last year’s 11.20.2011 Run for the Pasig River, KBPIP is again urging groups and individuals to join the eco foot-race, which will help raise awareness and funds for the rehabilitation of the waterways of Quezon City-San Juan-Mandaluyong-Makati.
There will be three major event categories for the advocacy run: the 15K Ride & Roll (bikes, roller blades, skateboards, longboards) with 4:00 a.m. gunstart; the 15K Commonwealth Challenge Run (For the serious runners) with 4:10 a.m. gunstart; and the 5K Morning Madness Run (For all supporters) with 6:00 a.m. gunstart. This time, there will be one starting line in the Quezon City Memorial Circle (QCMC) going straight to Commonwealth Avenue then back again to QCMC for the finish. A U-Turn slot is provided for those who will join and show support the 5K Morning Madness Run but won’t be capable of finishing the whole 5K route.
This activity was also dubbed as QC Runs for Pasig River and Ms. Gina Lopez even said everyone living in the QC area should join the activity. ”Unless LGUs (Local Government Units) take initiative, saving Pasig River won’t be possible.” – she added.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista was also present during the launch and expressed his full support to the project and even suggested a second QC for Pasig River Run in 2014 as part of the celebration of Quezon City’s 75th Anniversary.
Registration for the Run, Ride and Roll for Pasig River opened last July 16, 2012 in SM North EDSA, 2nd Floor Cinema C Lobby (near IMAX Theatre). Another registration will happen on July 20 in SM Megamall, Lower Ground Level, Building A (near The Event Center and Food Court) and SM Mall of Asia, Ground Floor Main Mall (near Music Hall and SM Bowling Center). Aside from the registration, there will also be merchandise available in the booths, in which part of the proceeds will also go to river rehab.
For updates on this advocacy run, visit www.runforthepasigriver.com.