Happening this weekend: Night run to drum up awareness for breast cancer

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Oct 18 2019 06:54 AM

(From left) Ces Francisco, CSR project lead, Avon Philippines; Jasmine Mendiola, PR and communications manager, Avon Philippines; Razvan Diratian, general manager, Avon Philippines; Greg Findlay, general manager, Makati Shangri-La; and Patricia Javier, director of communications, Makati Shangri-La commemorate their partnership for the Avon Pink Light Project. Rudy Liwanag

MANILA -- Avon Philippines brings back its signature run and walk but this time with a cool twist.

Get to witness pink powder thrown up in the air on October 19, when Avon launches the first Pink Light Night Run and Walk to enjoin women – and even men – to take action against breast cancer.

This marks the return of Avon’s annual initiative that many cause supporters have participated in through the years.

Last year, there was no run and Avon simply gathered people at the Quezon Memorial Circle, where everybody participated in games and had fun.

For 130 years, Avon is a company that proudly stood for beauty, innovation, optimism and above all, for women. The Pink Light Night Run and Walk is the first time ever that it will be a night event, with participants going through a fun course, while getting caked in bright pink powder along the way.

“Run and light up the night – to light a life,” was how Avon promoted the event.

Avon Philippines believes that no woman should be left in the dark about breast cancer any longer. As the leading corporate supporter of the cause, the company is teaming up with Color Manila to raise awareness on the disease.

“For the past five years, we’ve been doing this advocacy for breast cancer,” Justine Cordero, vice president of Color Manila, said.
“We learn to appreciate things you don’t really know yet. Last year was amazing. I hope more people will join this year and be aware of the disease. We will scatter pink powder all over the place.”

This effort is the centerpiece of Avon’s Pink Light Project this Breast Cancer Awareness month this October. With a long legacy of empowering women to lead safe and healthy lives, Avon’s commitment to fighting breast cancer has been steadfast.

Celebrity endorser Daniel Matsunaga. Handout

To reach out to more participants this year, Avon has enlisted the help of its brand ambassadors Daniel Matsunaga and Jennylyn Mercado to be the faces of the run.

“This is the first ever night run and walk to promote the cause and have a little bit of fun,” Matsunaga said.

As the brand ambassador of Avon Philippines, Matsunaga has been actively promoting the Pink Light Project, to underline the importance of early detection and remind women to make the breast self exam a habit.

“I love my family especially the women in my life – my mom, my sister, my jowa (Polish celebrity Carolina Pizarek),” declared Matsunaga. “They are very, very important to me. We want to just encourage everyone to join us in this run. This is not 42 kilometers long. You can run a short distance, even only three kilometers, just to spread awareness and the importance of breast self exam in the early detection.”

Matsunaga laments at how we all inevitably lose lives everyday. “Our brothers, sisters, our families, our relatives – each of us here will have our experience towards the disease. It’s very important to detect it early and not wait for it to just aggravate," he said.

“One in every 13 women or one in every a thousand men suffers from breast cancer. We just want to encourage you to join us in this beautiful cause. This year, we will make it more fun. I’m very, very glad to be part of it.”

Proudly, Matsunaga has been joining this cause for two years already. “It’s just amazing to join this nice cause,” he said. “It’s very important for me because it really influenced women out there to have breast exam for early detection. I’m very glad and honored to be part of it.”

Avon continues to shed bigger and brighter light on breast cancer every year, according to Razvan Diratian, general manager of Avon Philippines. “We do this because we believe you can’t have too much awareness on breast cancer. As long as there are Filipinas who don’t do breast exam regularly, there’s still work that we can do.”

Diratian is pleased at how many corporate partners are also supporting the Pink Light Project, especially this October. SM Mall of Asia will light up its globe once more.

Makati Shangri-La Hotel will display a special installation in its lobby to invite people to support the cause. The hotel will also hold a Pink Afternoon Tea promotion to raise awareness this October.

Everybody who joins the Pink Light Night Run and Walk event will be donating and providing assistance to the Philippine Cancer Society, Avon’s long-time partner in its fight against breast cancer.

The bright pink light encourages Filipinos to know the risks, see the signs and take action when it comes to breast cancer. Matsunaga shared the experience of his friend, a healthy, young lady in her early thirties, who goes to the gym regularly.

“She had breast cancer,” Matsunaga offered. “It doesn’t matter if you eat healthy and you exercise, everybody needs to have herself examined. You can survive. My friend is totally okay now.”

The actor attests he lives a healthy lifestyle. He eats healthy, as well. “And I pray a lot. Once you have God in your life, in front of everything that you do, you are living life to the fullest.”

To join the Pink Light Night Run and Walk for Breast Cancer, participants can run the 3K, 5K or 10K distances. They will be given different race kit packages – Warrior (P950), Fighter (P1,500) or Hero (P2,000) – that all come with a special Pink Light head lamp, to guide runners through the night.