COMMITTED to promoting personal growth and development as well as social inclusion, global insurer Allianz continues to find ways to get the message across through various programs and activities.
Recently Allianz held the third leg of the Allianz Conquer Challenge, this time aiming to celebrate the strength of indigenous people, particularly the Aetas of Porac, Pampanga, through the rising sport of obstacle course racing (OCR).
Held on Dec. 9 at the Clark Global City in Pampanga, the challenge saw some 20 Aetas, between 16 to 21 years old, race together with 20 Allianz employees in the pairs category.
Company officials said one of the purposes of the event was to inculcate to indigenous people the value of committing to achieving goals, which is being highlighted in OCR challenges.
“We recognize the strength of the Aetas. So, aside from educating them with the basics of personal finance through our financial literacy program, we would like to impart to them the value of committing to achieve goals that they have to set. We want to give them a fair chance of having employment opportunities in the future,” explained Gae Martinez, chief marketing officer, Allianz PNB Life, as to their goals for their program.
Sunday’s race was a 10-kilometer race composed of 25 obstacles, which was the same trail tackled by professional racers who competed for a slot in the next Southeast Asian Games, which incidentally is set to take place here in the Philippines.
Some of the obstacles during the race were hurdles, taho (beancurd) carry, tirador (slingshot), spider web, monkey bars, wall of tire, slip wall and commando climb, among others. Those who incurred penalties for not being able to perform an obstacle had to carry a 30-pound sand bag.
“OCR is an up-and-coming sport. It is gaining popularity in the Philippines. Allianz as a company uses sports to connect with communities. The Aetas from Villa Maria is one of the communities that Allianz here in the Philippines has chosen to support. This is, in line with our advocacy to promote social inclusion, one of the pillars of our company’s Corporate Citizenship Strategy,” Ms. Martinez said.
And this push of the company was seemingly not lost to the indigenous people who participated in the event, viewing it as something to take cue from for them to pursue their dreams and improve themselves.
“They carry sand bags here. In the mountains, we carry 50 kilos of kamote (sweet potato) or ube (purple yam) that we bring to the lowlands. If we sell, our families will have money to spend. By joining the race, I can tell people that I have a dream, too. I want to work in IT (information technology). I hope I can continue after I graduate,” said Reyna Baclay, who at age 18 is still a grade nine student, in the vernacular after completing the race.
Holding another successful staging of the Allianz Conquer Challenge, Ms. Martinez said they are all the more determined to see their cause through and going.
“Allianz is here to provide the courage to move forward, the courage to overcome life’s obstacles, for them to have better life,” Ms. Martinez said. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo