Pia leads day-long sports fundraiser for differently-abled children

Senator Pia S. Cayetano led about three hundred participants and volunteers, including very young children, in a day-long multi–sport event meant to raise funds to help differently abled children.

The fundraiser, called the “6th annual 12-hour multi–sport for a cause in memory of Gabriel,” was staged from six in the morning to six in the evening at the Alabang Country Club, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City.

The event has been held annually since 2002 in memory of Gabriel Cayetano-Sebastian, the third and youngest child of Senator Cayetano and lawyer Butch Sebastian. Gabriel was only nine months old when he passed away in the year 2001 from complications of a rare chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 13.

This year’s sports events included the “Pinay In Action” women’s triathlon, the “Superkids” aquathlon and triathlon for children, a 5-km and 10-km fun run, and individual and corporate relays consisting of walking, running and biking.

At around noon, Cayetano took time out to greet beneficiaries of the event, a dozen children aged between one to two years, who were born with cleft lip and palate (locally called “bingot”).

The children, who came with their parents, were among the 59 beneficiaries who were successfully operated on this year with the help of the Gabriel SymphonyFoundation (GSF) and Australian volunteer-doctors of “Operation Rainbow.”

“I consider this event as the first birthday party which my son, Gabriel, never had. We hold this every year to remember him and celebrate how he continues to touch and change the lives of underprivileged children,” said the lady senator, who was joined in the day-long activity by her two daughters, Maxine, 13 and Nadine, 10.

Two volunteer-friends of Sen. Cayetano, Maiqui Dayrit and Joey Torres, completed an ‘Ironman’ distance to raise funds for their respective child-beneficiaries. The duo’s designated route (3.8-km swim, 180-km bike, and 42-km run) took them from Alabang to as far as Bacoor, Cavite throughout the day.

Dayrit, a veteran triathlete, has been doing an ironman for the annual event in the last four years and has so far raised an accumulative total of P600,000 for GSF.

Since 2004, the GSF has sponsored cleft lip and palate operations for 341 children at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and 133 children at the General Miguel Malvar Hospital.

In addition, the GSF has funded the operation of 12 infants with of the Zugbuana Jaycees in Cebu, and 213 infants with the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro City.

The GSF likewise donated 14 hearing aides to hearing-impaired children in cooperation with the Philippine National Ear Institute and 16 artificial eyes to visually-impaired children in partnership with the non-government Parents Advocate for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC).

One of the foundation’s newest beneficiaries is the Pediatric Neurosurgical and Craniofacial Operating Unit of the PGH. The new facility, the first of its kind in the country, performs delicate, and not to mention costly, operations on very young children with congenital malformations of the brain and spinal cord.

Since opening last April, the new pediatric surgery facility has done cranial and spinal operations on 124 indigent children suffering from serious congenital ailments like hydrocephalus, encephaloceles, and spina bifida.

Much improvement still needs to be done at new facility, however. It lacks air-conditioning, the instruments are still incomplete and regular budget for personnel staffing still very much depends on private donations.

Athletes converge for differently abled children

Triathletes and sports enthusiasts will come together this coming Saturday, September 22, to help raise funds for children with disabilities at the 10th Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation (GSF) Multi–Sport Celebration.

The event led by Senator Pia S. Cayetano, an avid triathlete and health advocate, will run for 12 hours from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City.

Held in memory of Sen. Pia’s son, Gabriel Cayetano Sebastian, this Saturday’s event will mark the foundation’s tenth year of helping children with disabilities. Gabriel passed away in 2001 at the age of nine months from complications of a rare chromosomal condition, Trisomy 13

The GSF has been sponsoring free surgery for kids born with cleft lip and palate, and providing free hearing aids for the hearing-impaired and artificial eyes for visually impaired kids. The foundation’s list of beneficiaries has grown throughout the years to include the Daang Hari Barefoot Running Kids and girls being sheltered at the DSWD’s Marillac center in Muntinlupa City.

Among the sports events lined up this Saturday include the 10-hour individual bike, 10-kilometer individual run, bike with friends, Supersprint triathlon, buddy run, and a buddy run pet edition.

Children may join the Superkids aquathlon and triathlon events. Aside from the country’s top triathletes, Philippine Azkals standouts Phil and James Younghusband are also expected to grace the event.

11th GSF: A fun-filled and fulfilling Saturday

The Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation (GSF) recently staged its 12-hour Multi-Sport Celebration In Memory of Gabriel, marking eleven years of making a difference in the lives of children with disabilities and less privileged kids.

Together with co-presentor Milo and with help from sponsors, friends and volunteers, the fund-raiser was staged from sunrise to sunset last Saturday, October 19, at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City. Featured were several fun and sports activities, including traditional Filipino games, which drew participants from all ages and different walks of life.

Highlighting this year’s celebration was the ‘Palarong Pinoy Challenge,’ which included ‘patintero,’ ‘tiyakad,’ and ‘piko.’ The traditional Filipino games were a hit with young and adult participants alike. Aat one point, GSF founder Senator Pia Cayetano challenged her brother, Taguig-Pateros Representative Lino Cayetano to a tiyakad race.

In another sequence, members of the UP Women’s Volleyball Team played patintero with Sen. Pia and friends. The UP Team won, but not without challenge from Sen. Pia’s team, which also included triathlete Ani De Leon and volleyball player Fille Cainglet.

Children participants also had a blast taking on the Breeze Obstacle Course Challenge, with the top ten participants who registered the fastest times getting special prizes.

The day started with the 12-hour swim, bike and run led by Sen. Cayetano, and the Aside Football Tournament co-organized with The Younghusband Football Academy (TYFA). Several teams joined the football tournament, disputing the title in the different age-group categories. Azkals booters Phil and James Younghusband were on hand to give out the awards and inspire the young players.

Other activities included Chef Dino Dizon’s cooking demo, a self-defense class by the Baler Aikido Dojo, Zumba Fitness Party by CW-X, Anti-Gravity Yoga Demo, Yoga session with kids, and children’s aquathlon and triathlon by KidsCanTri.

In the afternoon, visually impaired swimmers from PAVIC demonstrated their swimming skills in the pool, providing inspiration to the audience which included Sen. Pia, young triathletes and their parents.

Finally, the day was capped by the 3K Buddy Run. For the participants and the organizers, it was both a fun-filled and fulfilling day.

Gabriel’s Symphony goes to Davao del Norte

Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation (GSF) was founded by Pia S. Cayetano in memory of her son, Gabriel, who was born with a rare chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 13. Gabriel was born with a cleft lip and palate, a hole in his heart, and was perceived to be deaf and blind due to the disorder. He lived for only nine months. Soon after, Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation was born.

Since 2002, the Foundation has passionately pursued its mission of making a difference in people’s lives. Among its projects are:

  1. Cleft lip and palate operations. Over a thousand children have been successfully operated on.
  2. Programs and medical assistance for the visually and hearing impaired. These include hearing aids, artificial eyes and year-end activities.
  3. Outreach programs that include running clinics, field trips and various weekend activities for disadvantaged children like the Daanghari Barefoot Running Kids, the girls from Marillac Hills, and more.
  4. Sports programs, including an annual sports fiesta fund-raiser and grassroots sports camps particularly for football and triathlon – swimming, biking and running all over the country.

For 13 years now, the Foundation has devoted its time and resources to carrying out its advocacies and projects. It has been raising funds through its Annual Multi-Sport Fundraising Event In Memory of Gabriel.

To celebrate its 13th year, the Foundation is flying to Tagum City, Davao Del Norte, to hold its Multi-Sport Celebration on January 20-22, 2017. This is the Foundation’s fundraising project organized to supplement our various year-round projects. The following activities will be conducted at the Davao Del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex:

  1. Triathlon Camp
  2. Volleyball Camp and Tournament
  3. Palarong Pinoy
  4. Football Tournament
  5. Swim and Run Clinic for Children w/ Disabilities
  6. Track Mini Games

Though Gabriel moved on to heaven after only nine months from birth, and is lovingly missed by the people who dearly love him, he continues to make a positive impact on people’s lives through the work and achievements of the Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation.