Groups hold ‘Haruhay’ drive

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

MORE than 100 bikers, skateboarders and hikers joined the “Livable Cebu” campaign held early morning yesterday in Cebu City.

For 45 minutes, the participants strode the stretch from the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu along Gorordo Ave. to the Asiatown IT Park and back.

The participants included the Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) members, University of the Philippines psychology students and permaculture advocates.


Dubbed as “Haruhay,” which is the closest Cebuano word to livable, was organized by the students as part of their final exam under Prof. Edna Lee.

Lee said livability has many factors, including the quality of one’s life and well-being. It is also a mental health issue.

The MLC is a multi-stakeholder organization composed mostly of owners of business establishments and residents on Gorordo Ave. in Cebu City that opposed the construction of a flyover in their neighborhood. The construction has since been shelved by the National Government.

The students are campaigning for the implementation of environmentally sustainable projects, installation of usable sidewalks and bike lanes, improving literacy, eliminating child labor, reducing mental stress, improving public libraries and addressing malnutrition, among others.

Yesterday’s activity was the response of the UP students to the call to action made by MLC during a focus group discussion, subtitled, “Transforming Learning into Life.”

It was an opportunity for them to share what they have studied and experienced.

Ma. Isabel Ambrad, 19, and her group set up a photo gallery on malnutrition that showed underprivileged children.

“We wanted people to see what we saw when we went around Cebu,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

She added that the group was moved by the abject poverty they saw in the city.

Ambrad said she was shocked and speechless when a woman at the South Bus Terminal approached her.

“She told me that I can bring her child with me,” she added.

Joel Lee, MLC co-convenor, related that the context of the activity is based on the livable city framework.

This means that the people’s basic needs were addressed and advanced needs, such as having a sustainable environment, is also planned.

Lee said through the program citizens have started to participate in activities, evaluating their quality of life and the impact of their lifestyle to the environment.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2013.

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