QUEZON CITY, Philippines–Around 200 Filipinos joined the ice bucket “group” challenge at the Quezon Memorial Circle football field on Sunday, September 7, after Qatar nominated the Philippines to accumulate donations for patients of the deadly Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It was a local version of the ongoing ALS ice bucket challenge aimed at creating awareness worldwide.
Through social media, Project Awesome invited Filipinos to participate in the challenge. Around 200 citizens showed up with their own buckets.
Paul explained that the original goal is to spread awareness on ALS, but they also intended to do a Philippine version.
“We want to donate locally now,” he said specifying the neuroscience department of Philippine General Hospital to be its beneficiary.
Neuropsychologist Lourdes Ledesma, PhD, from the Philippine General Hospital, said the ALS patients in PGH will be given aid, as well as others suffering from other diseases of the nervous system. These are patients who have aneurysms, infections, hydrocephalus, etc.
“Our appeal [to participants] is if they can broaden the donation,” she said. “If we can give to other patients who have more common neurological disorders. [We are also hoping for] awareness of ALS.”
During Sunday’s program, a torch run kicked off the ceremony. There were also participants who came from as far as Ormoc and Laguna. The water that was used by the participants came from the seawater in Subic, Zambales, so as not to waste resources. At the end of the challenge, Japan, Russia, and India were nominated to perform the ice bucket challenge.
When participants were interviewed after pouring ice water on themselves, they cited mostly altruism as the reason why they did it.
“Napapanood ko itong [ice bucket challenge] sa TV. [Kaya ko ‘to ginawa] para makatulong, (I have watched this ice-bucket challenge on TV; I am doing this in order to help)” said Myrna Castillo, 51, a housewife.
WATCH 200 Filipinos do the challenge: