Alveo IRONMAN 70.3 Davao was not just the year’s biggest sporting event in the island region but also its most meaningful with famed artist Kublai Millan and Sunrise Events joining hands with athletes from around the world to spread the message of peace for Mindanao.
Sculptor, painter and performance artist Millan said everyone who lives in the region carries this covenant.
“When you are born in Mindanao it is already a commitment because you instantly become a warrior. A bagani. Because the land needs you to participate in its journey towards peace. I make works of peace. This is my way of fighting,” said Millan.
Sunrise Events General Manager Princess Galura was honored that her organization, which promoted the Philippines and generated income in communities through their world class races, is now an instrument of peace in the region.
“We didn’t start out hoping to promote this (peace). We wanted to promote the Philippines. We wanted people to be fit. When we came to Mindanao our race became an avenue for saying Mindanao has its own culture. Has its own identity. Has its own everything. Now the message is peace,” said Galura.
“Kublai said the three ornaments (in the medal) also represents Christians, Muslims and Lumads (the indigenous tribes in Mindanao). It’s also the swim, bike and run. So it’s very touching that our race has become inclusive. It’s about everyone in Mindanao.”
Millan said he was thankful to Sunrise Events for allowing him to express his own personal advocacy through the Alveo IRONMAN 70.3 race.
He was also grateful to participants in the race – not just from the Philippines, but from all over the world – who have taken on the mantle of helping spread the message of peace through interviews, video clips and their social media platforms.
“Because they (athletes) don’t normally do this. You just race and you just finish. But this is another reason to race that is beyond yourself. It’s a different feeling. It’s very personal. They (athletes) didn’t have to take on the problem of the place where they race,” said Millan.
“But I think they get it. They get how we are. And races like this can have more meaning. Deeper meaning. And by racing for this. By participating. They helped in their own way. With their help, there’s more hope for sustainable peace.”
More than anything else Galura said she was grateful for being able to help unite all sectors of society through the IRONMAN races. The government, the public, the artists, the corporations, all sectors of society have joined hands to spread the message of peace.
“It’s humbling because a lot of people believe in what we do. We put everything into it. It’s so encouraging to see how they appreciate all our efforts. For us at Sunrise, we always do our best. We didn’t really expect that this would be the effect on everyone,” said Galura.
“So that’s why each time we have a successful race, the first thing we do is assess if there were any mistakes. How can we still improve it? It’s important to keep doing what you love doing. That’s why people have reacted the way they have. It’s amazing.”
Everyone hopes for lasting peace in what was formerly the strife torn region of Mindanao. Millan, Sunrise Events and Alveo Land has brought athletes from around the globe to come to Mindanao to express their oneness in this quest for peace.
Watch the Alveo IRONMAN 70.3 Davao highlights show 9 p.m., April 14, Sunday on One Sports Cignal. #AlveoIM703 #im703davao