By Deneb R. Batucan
Before all the excitement that the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship brought to the shores of Mactan, the Shangri-La triathlon team started the week with a bike-out for a cause. This was a corporate social responsibility (CSR) effort of the resort hotel to help those within their vicinity, specifically the Children’s Haven of the Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation of the Philippines Inc. in Cordova.
Headed by Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa’s general manager, René D. Egle, the hotel’s triathlon team, which is composed of 26 biking and triathlon enthusiasts, rode the 13 kilometer stretch from the hotel to Children’s Haven. The children welcomed the athletes to their humble abode with adorable song numbers and warm smiles.
It was at the same event that the hotel unveiled the Charity Boxes that it had stationed in strategic places in the hotel all throughout the Ironman week in the hopes of collecting P 500,000, which will be used to provide a sustainable urban garden for the children.
Irene Tan-Meca of the resort’s CSR group says that the urban garden could provide an accessible, inexpensive and sustainable source of healthy vegetables for the children as well as it could teach them the value of being stewards to our natural environment.
At Children’s Haven, the athletes and the children shared a hearty breakfast composed of local delicacies such as puto and sikwati, which everyone enjoyed devouring. The Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines, Inc. was formally organized in 1997. Its first foster home was built in the same year, serving only 8 children. Today, the foster home cares for over 70 children and youth, housing them in donating buildings from various benefactors, including Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.
Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa has been the race central for the Cobra Ironman 70.3 series since 2012. This year, it has made history as the Asia-Pacific leg is the biggest race to date with over 3,000 participating triathletes. Twenty-six of these triathletes form Shangri-La’s Tri Team.
Shangri-La Mactan’s general manager, René D. Egle joined the triathlon relay with Nizza Usin of Food and Beverage and Michale Flores of Sports and Recreation.