WATCH: Runners hug toy bears for the benefit of kids with cancer

Euden Valdez (Philstar.com) - January 15, 2020 - 3:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of runners were off to a good start this 2020 when they joined Maxicare Maxifest last December.

Not only did they run to keep healthy, they also nourished with plant-based food, and best of all, hugged toy bears for the benefit of children with cancer.

“Run, nourish, care, these are the three main pillars of Maxicare’s Maxifest event,” Archie Rillo, chief marketing officer of Maxicare, told Philstar.com in an interview.

“We want to encourage people to engage in exercise like the fun run, and second, to also eat healthy food. Lastly, we don’t just want to limit health to being physically healthy. It also means having a healthy life that has a sense of responsibility for others. It means being socially aware, caring enough for others who are in need,” he said.

Celebrity husband-and-wife Drew and Iya pose with Maxicare representatives during the fitness event.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas

Held for the benefit of Kythe Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of lives of children who are hospitalized due to cancer and other chronic illnesses, Maxicare Maxifest had participants hug the toy bears simultaneously after running.

This activity became both meaningful and historic as it set a new Guinness World Record.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience. You don’t get that opportunity often to be part of a milestone, a Guinness World Record for the Philippines, not just for Maxicare. We were able to set a new world record in terms of the largest number of people holding a soft toy at the same time,” Rillo said.

“We really enjoyed today because we became part of the Guinness World Record,” said TV host Drew Arellano who joined the festivity with celebrity wife Iya Villania-Arellano.

Thousands gathered for one of the biggest lifestyle and wellness festivals in the country, Maxicare's Maxifest. 
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas

The celebrity couple also ran and ate vegetarian dishes throughout the event. “They gave everyone the chance to start their day with a run. Everyone was also given the chance to nourish their bodies with plant-based food,” added Iya.

The celebrity couple also loved how the toy bears would be given afterwards to beneficiaries of Kythe Foundation.

Aside from having their photo taken together with the bear, each participant also wrote dedication cards to the child who will receive the bear.

“I hope this (event) will remind everyone to live their best life,” Iya said.

“We will see you next year. Maybe we will break a new world record!” backed Drew.

Maxicare's fitness event set a new world record for the largest number of people holding a soft toy at the same time.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas

Maxicare Healthcare Corp. initiated Maxicare Maxifest, now one of the biggest lifestyle and wellness festivals, in partnership with Runrio, one of the country’s premiere race organizers. —Video by Erwin Cagadas


Register to MaxicareMaxifest and find out more by visiting the website at https://www.runrio.com/race/maxifest-2019.

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