September 26, 2022

Four Igorot athletes and sports enthusiasts abroad have signed up for international duathlon, marathon, and ultra-race, as they seek for support not for themselves but for efforts to restore the historic St. Benedict Episcopal Church in Besao, Mountain Province.

Built more than a century ago by American missionaries, the church has incurred damage following the July 27 magnitude 7.0 quake.

GOLINSAN AND GANDUYAN TURTLES — Four Cordilleran long distance athletes and enthusiasts who are all residing abroad but trace their roots to Besao and Sagada, Mountain Province joined the global call to raise funds for the restoration of Saint Benedict Episcopal Church in Besao that incurred damage during the July 27 magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The athletes and enthusiasts are Dukaw Cadiogan, Greg Annawi, Byrne Bacwaden, and Joan Aplod. — Contributed photos

Calling themselves the Golinsan and Ganduyan Turtles, athletes and sports enthusiasts Dukaw Cadiogan, Byrne Bacwaden, Greg Annawi, and Joan Aplod have launched a crowd-funding where kindred souls who wish to help can give financial support for the restoration of St. Benedict Episcopal Church.

A bemedalled long-distance runner and cyclist, Cadiogan has already joined the London Duathon held on Sept. 4. He has also signed up for the London Marathon and Chicago Marathon set Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, respectively.

Bacwaden has also completed the Hallucinations 100-kilometer race in Michigan, U.S.A. on Sept. 9 to 10 and also signed up for the Indiana Trail 100 miles set on Oct. 8 to 9.

Annawi saw action in the DV 100 Race in Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada on Sept. 10.

Aplod, on the other hand, will join the Beachy Head Ultra Maragon set in Eastbourne, Southeast England on Oct. 22.

In their appeal to possible donors, the athletes said all costs for their efforts and travel are self-funded and are being handled separately as all donations will be sent directly to the St. Benedict Church council.

Those who wish to support may send their donations through the Besao Multipurpose Cooperative with account name St. Benedict Parish Bldg Fund and account number A004693.

Donations may also be coursed through GCash under account name Besao Multipurpose Cooperative and account number 225270001322.

The church was declared unsafe for worship services after an assessment by the Besao Municipal Engineering Office and diocesan engineers.

Reports said initial repair has commenced with the mounting of scaffoldings to support a critically damaged column and the belfry, and provide better access to damaged walls and arches.

Parishioners agree with the recommendation to strengthen the building and at the same time preserve its original aesthetic design. – Harley F. Palangchao