Thursday, February 22, 2018

Filipino Cancer Survivor Will Run The Marathon Of His Life To Reach The Top Of The World

"NORTH POLE MARATHON". Why would a Filipino, who is tropically acclimatized, even want to run in the coldest and harshest marathon that will take him to the very top of the world? He will experience temperatures as low as -30 degrees centigrade and will be running for 42 kilometers on top of 6 to 12 feet of  frozen Arctic ocean. Why? He will be looking at nothing else but miles of blinding white terrain and unfortunately have a 50/50 chance of coming face to face with a hungry polar bear. Why?

It's not too late for the Monchster

FWD Life Philippines, one of the country’s fastest-growing insurers, launched on February 20, 2018 at the Mind Museum in Taguig its “Blaze a Trail in the Arctic” campaign in conjunction with the FWD North Pole Marathon 2018, the world’s coolest marathon which will be held on April 9 this year. FWD is the marathon’s title sponsor.

FWD will sponsor ten (10) runners from six (6) countries across Asia who will showcase their passion and determination to take on extreme challenges and embrace this experience of a lifetime, traversing the 42-kilometer path with an average temperature of -30 degrees centigrade. The North Pole Marathon is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “Northernmost Marathon on Earth”.

(L-R)  Chief Operating Officer FWD Life Rein Hermans, Louie Sangalang, President and Chief Executive Officer FWD Life Peter Grimes, Head of Marketing FWD Life Rochelle Vandenberghe

"As a brand that continues to change the way people feel about insurance, FWD saw the North Pole Marathon as a unique platform to empower people to overcome extreme challenges, to pursue their aspirations without worries, and to ignite their passion for life-enriching experiences," said FWD Life Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes. "With Blaze a Trail in the Arctic as our Philippine campaign promoting the marathon, we aim to encourage Filipinos to live life to the fullest, because we will always have their back!”

FWD sponsors a cancer survivor ready to conquer the top of the world!

Louie Sangalang - mix-martial arts athlete, boxer, triathlon veteran and cancer survivor

FWD Philippines will be represented by Louie Sangalang, a multi-sport athlete who engages in mixed-martial arts, boxing, and triathlons. He is also the first Filipino to conquer the Seven highest Summits in the world, a exploration and mountaineering accomplishment. A proud cancer survivor, Louie was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix when he was 21. But instead of giving up, Louie—who has been in remission since 2000—turned to sports and was able to bounce back successfully.

“I want to inspire my fellow Filipinos with my story. This is why I’m running. I want them to feel empowered, that despite the many challenges that life throws, you can come back better and stronger with the right attitude,” said Sangalang, who will be joining other runners from all over the world, including representatives from other countries where FWD operates: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan.

Monchster with Louie Sangalang's Family  - His #1 supporters

"Louie's resilience in overcoming life’s challenges is one trait that resonates with Filipinos and this made him the perfect choice to represent the Philippines in the marathon," shared Grimes. "His inspiring story and his passion for sports, which he uses to inspire Filipinos to live an active lifestyle, also best represent what FWD stands for: pursuing one’s passions and celebrating life without hesitation. As such, FWD will be providing Louie with insurance protection so that he can embrace the North Pole Marathon challenge worry-free.”

North Pole Marathon Squad
L-R  Romi Garduce, Sam YG, Ani De Leon-Brown, Benjamin Laxa, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan
w/ Louie Sangalang

To help Sangalang, FWD Philippines formed a North Pole Marathon squad who will support his mental, physical, and emotional preparations. Included in the squad are triathlon icon Ani De Leon-Brown, who will collaborate with his personal trainer and coach Ige Lopez for Louie’s physical preparedness; mountain climber Romi Garduce, who will share his insights on surviving extreme weather conditions; Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and son Benjamin, who will provide emotional support and motivation; and sports enthusiast and funny man Sam YG, who will help keep the rigorous—sometimes stressful—training, lighthearted and funny.

Click Play to view the awesome 180 deg SpinShot of the Squad

Marathon and campaign updates will regularly be made available via the official website:



Monch "Monchster" Henares is a writer at Philippine Daily Inquirer's Road Talk, blogger @Monchster Chronicles, tech and motoring specialist, inventor, and automotive engineer. He managed the motorpool for a limousine company in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He is now based in Manila, Philippines.

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