Last November 16, our family joined Haribon Foundation's Million Hectare Walk 2008 at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Quezon City. We started early, about 5 AM because my wife is also part of the organizing committee.
Leon, who went with us last year but was still below 1 year old couldn't walk yet so we just brought his stroller and be a part of the event. But this year, my wife actually got several pledges for his walk so we have to at least try to convince and guide him to finish one lap.
We were one of the first ones to register so we could start early and finish early. He actually takes his morning naps around 930 or 10 AM so in order to avoid any tantrums, we decided to start the walk early.
It was really funny! He started walking fast because he saw several people walking in front of him, beside him and after him. It wasn't much of an effort for him to finish one lap (around 500 meters, i guess) because he was too excited. For his second lap, he got distracted by other young walkers and sometimes he actually want to go back, walk sideways (out of the path) and just sit at the pavement. We finally decided he was starting to get tired so we rested for a while and ate a few snacks.
After finishing a bowl of soup and a glass of juice, we tried to go back to the path to have his third and final lap. He walked with a little girl, a child of my wife's officemate so he finished the lap without any distractions. We were so proud of him! He was really great and did not have any tantrums. We also went to the wildlife rescue center to see several rescued birds, mammals and reptiles. Leon also joined the art workshop and played with colors and paper.
After the walk event, Haribon made a short program and gave out a few awards as a way to show gratitude for all those who supported the fund raising event. Leon got the "Youngest Walker Award"! As parents, we were so proud of him going up the stage to receive his prize and being applauded by the audience. It was surely one of the most memorable events of Leon's childhood and we hope that someday, when he has children of his own, he would also let them participate in environment awareness campaigns just like this one.