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'We run as one': Filipinos in Australia work together to help the poor in the Philippines, Melanasia region

'We Run As One 2021'. ANCOP Australia members walk/run for their second virtual event to help raise funds for the poor in the Philippines and nearby countries. Source: Supplied by ANCOP Australia

Nothing can stop these Filipinos in Australia, not even the pandemic, in their desire to help the poor in the Philippines and the Melanesia region.

In their second year of their virtual "We run as one 2021", members of ANCOP Australia are working together to raise funds. 

Victorians Tricia Castro and Leonie Calma share how they do their walks during the month-long event. 


  • Filipinos in Australia are one in trying to find ways to help their poor kababayans in the Philippines and nearby islands.

  • Members of ANCOP Australia are running (some are walking) to raise funs.

  • In the second virtual ‘We run as one’, they find different ways to do their runs amidst restrictions.


ANCOP fun run
Tricia Castro with her lolo Romeo as they pause from their 5-10 kilometres walk as part of ANCOP Australia's 'We Run As One 2021' virtual fun-run.
Tricia Castro

One's desire to help

Tricia Castro will again join her grandfather Romeo Encarnado, in his 70s, for the second year of ANCOP Australia virtual fun-run.

"We were inspired by the ANCOP Global Walk being held in Manila for the past 10 years now. They do fundraising through walking," shares the law student.

She adds that although their group started the fun-run virtually in Australia in 2020 they are overwhelmed with the massive support they received from their members and their supporters.

"In the middle of the pandemic, we also have to adapt as well. Although we have to individually and separately do the fun-run on our own, social media has played an important role as well as the support of all the donors and members who did the runs."

The 'We run as one' event is part of the extensive programs of ANCOP Australia to help the poor in the Philippines and neighbouring countries such as the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatua.

Although it was only in 2020 that Tricia became active in helping ANCOP, her desire to help others is already enough to push her do her best.

"My being an ambassador started with me offering my time and little talent I have to help out in the fundraising events to support our beneficiary schools back home [Philippines]. That desire to help is already enough for me to support our programs in my own little way."

Tricia also believes that "it is not only through financial that you can assist in growing ANCOP's programs but through word of mouth, sharing our events on your social media" you will be able to make a difference in the organisations programs for education, community enhancement and disaster relief.

ANCOP Australia
77 year old Leonie Calma has retired from work but her effort to help others will continue for the rest of her life.
Leonie Calma

No age limit in doing charities

For 77-year-old Leoni Calma, although she has retired from working, she seems not to tire from doing charities any time soon.

"Now that I'm retired, I want to give back to God through the Church and different religious organisations," says Leonie.

"Before the pandemic, I was assisting in some nursing homes - teaching elders through prayers," she adds.

Doing charity is a common act for Leonie even when she was still in the Philippines prior to moving to Australia 40 years ago.

"For me, there should be no limit when you help others. Because when you give, you feel happy too."

Leonie is well aware how it feels like being poor. She had personally experienced being in the receiving end. Someone sponsored her and paid for her studies in the university.

"I know how it feels like. That's why I am giving back what help I have received before. And in times where there is an opportunity to give a hand, I am always ready."

ANCOP Australia
ANCOP members doing their solo walks for the fun run.
Supplied by ANCOP Australia

Various ways to help

Like Tricia and Leonie, other members of ANCOP also looked for ways to raise donations to help their organisations' quest to help the poor in the Philippines and nearby countries.

And since their fun run is virtual, there are those who went solo on their walks.

ANCOP Australia
ACT couple with their pet dog as they walk for ANCOP Australia's 'We run as one 2021."
Supplied by ANCOP Australia

Some walked with their whole family and while, others with their pets.

For these Filipinos in Australia, it doesn't matter how big or little you give, the most important thing is you take actions to help others.



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