PhilRice NYR 2013 runs for Yolanda victims

by Christele J. Amoyan and Crispin Mahrion B. Abacan

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) held the National Year of Rice (NYR) Run 2013 on November 24 at the UP Los Baños grounds.

Proceeds of the NYR Run 2013 will be donated to help in the rehabilitation of areas hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the country. Mar Movillon, PhilRice Chief Science and Research Specialist said that the full NYR Run 2013 proceeds will go to the Yolanda victims, especially to the towns of El Nido, Busuanga, and Coron in Palawan.

More than 700 participants attended the event with 574 recorded finishers. Topping the list of the finishers were Paulo Abiera (5K), Renelyn Desuyo (10K), and Benjamin Kipkasi (21K). Race results can be viewed at

Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture-PhilRice Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up Ariella Arida, as well as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officers from Region 4A (CALABARZON) and Region 4B (MIMAROPA) graced the event.The NYR Run 2013 officially opened with the welcome remarks of PhilRice Los Baños Branch Manager Diego G. Ramos. In his talk, Ramos explained that the NYR Run 2013 was held simultaneously in eight other locations in the country including Diliman, Bacolod, and Dumaguete.

Arida leads the “Panatang Makapalay” during the opening program, a pledge for every Filipinos to become ‘riceponsible.’

The National Year of Rice 2013 was signed under Proclamation No. 494 by President Benigno C. Aquino III in October 18, 2012 themed “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas.”

This campaigns for the Philippine’s rice self-sufficiency with its Four (4) K goals:

  1. Konting-konting kanin muna, 
  2. Kakaibang kanin naman, 
  3. Kumain din ng brown rice; and 
  4. Kilalanin at pasalamatan ang magsasaka.

For Paulo T. Abiera, 14, it is never too young to take the lead.

Fourteen year-old Paulo T. Abiera was first to finish the 5K run within 19 minutes, outpacing all his other contenders in the category. He is with his older sister Julia, who then placed second in the female 5K category.  According to Paulo, he started as a young runner one and a half years ago.

Manuel R. Austria, 80, won the special award for being the oldest runner for the challenge. Austria is a former administrative officer in the University Health Service (UHS). After retiring in 1998, he settled in Canada for good.

Rene Villegas, 55, received the “Me and My Pet Award” for running with his four Labrador dogs Obama, Mishi, Ali, and Brian.

Rene Villegas, 55, received the “Me and My Pet Award” for running with his four labradors: Obama, Mishi, Ali, and Brian.

The top-finisher runners and special awardees were given cash prizes and packs of Japonica rice, inclusive of certificates and medals. Finally, the event closed with the announcement of the raffle draw winners.

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