SENATOR Pia S. Cayetano is no stranger to the world of sport, being an accomplished volleyball player and multi-sport athlete. She has extended her interest in sports to her own advocacies that have, over the years, brought wider awareness to the benefits of sports and health.
Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation (GSF) grew out of a personal tragedy that befell Sen. Pia when her son, Gabriel, was born with a rare chromosomal disorder (Trisomy 13) that resulted in a cleft lip and palate, a hole in his heart, and perceived blindness and deafness due to the disorder. Beset with all these physical challenges, he lived only for nine months. This spurred Sen. Pia to start GSF, which has extended numerous missions and programs centered on improving the lives of disenfranchised members of society; these include:
a) Cleft lip and palate operations
b) Medical assistance programs for the visually and hearing impaired
c) Outreach programs in the form of running clinics and field trips
d) Sports programs that include an annual sports fiesta fund-raiser and grassroots sports camps for football and triathlon around the Philippines
Batang Rogie Charity
The latest sports program beneficiary of Gabriel’s Symphony Foundation is the Batang Rogie Charity, named after Masbate native, Rogie Maglinas, a UP football scholar from Masbate. Rogie made it his mission to bring home football gear for the kids in Masbate, and lent his time to coaching them during Christmas break. Unfortunately, Rogie passed away last February at just 19 years old, due to cancer. His unselfish efforts will be continued by GSF, in full recognition of his dedication and in honor of his memory.
Pinay In Action (PIA)
Pinay In Action stands as Sen. Pia’s primary advocacy vehicle that champions sports and women empowerment. The good senator’s passion for an active lifestyle is only matched by her desire to see more women, young and old, get into sports and stamp their class in the various forms of physical exercise and activity. Starting with an all-women’s run in 2006, PIA has expanded its reach to include an all-women’s triathlon event and running camps for girls. An annual exhibit, Empowered Filipinas: Raising The Bar, celebrates achievements of women from all sectors of society whose stories and experiences inspire and motivate.
With the growing popularity of football worldwide, PIA’s kick-off activity for 2016 is entitled Empowering Girls One Goal At A Time. A two-day football fiesta this February 13-14 at the Bonifacio High Street Central Amphitheater is set to bring the sport to greater awareness with activities guaranteed to provide friendly competition and increased interaction among participants and their families. With side activities that include Sumo Football, Yoga, Spinning, and Rowing classes, there will be more than enough excitement to go around.
The highlight of the weekend is the all-girls 3-a-side football tournament which features categories for girls 13 & under, 16 & under, and a women’s open. The Batang Rogie charity will be the main beneficiary of this weekend’s event. Also lined up as future events under the One Goal At A Time initiative are futsal tournaments/camps, football clinics, and coaching/mentoring programs.