One Man Braves Through His Toughest Challenge, Inspired

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Filipino-American JR Calanoc to brave Subaru Ironman triathlon for Bantay Bata.

Preparing to bike 112 miles for the Ironman Triathlon

Contribute $5 or $10 to my race and run with me to the finish line.

To run a race or get to the finish line of a triathlon is a struggle between body and mind but 33-year old Filipino-American, JR Calanoc is clear on his motivation: to swim, bike and run a total of 140.6 miles within 17 hours for the children of Bantay Bata. The race is set to take place in Penticton, British Columbia on August 28th, 2011.

The Subaru Ironman triathlon is known for its grueling length and harsh race conditions. “A few years ago, I went through some life-changing events and started racing to feel that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to,” said Calanoc. “For many poor children in the Philippines, their life stories are a contiguity of struggle and disappointment. I realized that if I could be a conduit to giving them a chance to change their lives for the better, it was a challenge I wanted to take on.”

In 1996, Calanoc began a 4-year acting stint in the Philippines as JR Herrera, debuting with ABS-CBN’s Star Circle as one of its teen actors. Some of his films included Batang PX, FLAMES the Movie and Tunay na Tunay, working with celebrities like Jolina Magdangal, Robin Padilla and Piolo Pascual. In 2000, he decided to return to the US to further his education and earned his economics degree at the University of San Francisco. Calanoc is president of Activentures, a dive tour company which takes divers from the US around the Philippine islands.

“Working with Bantay Bata was an easy choice to make. Their many years of direct service and integrity gave me confidence that they would do the real work that could make significant change,” said Calanoc. “To make the country better, there’s no better place to start than with the kids.”

“We’re so happy that he’s doing this for the kids of Bantay Bata,” shares J. Robbie Fabian, President of the ABS CBN Foundation International. “It is encouraging to find that so many Filipino-Americans choose to look back and give to the many children of the Philippines. In this day and age, no child should have to die of hunger anymore. JR is committed to being part of the eradication of malnourishment in the Philippines. We hope many young Fil-Ams follow suit.”

A $1,000 donation to the program feeds 200 malnourished children for a six-month period and brings them back to regulated norms of health, according to UNICEF standards.

“Contribute $5 or $10 to my race and run with me to the finish line,” encourages Calanoc, as he prepares mind and body for his life’s toughest challenge yet. To donate online or for more information, visit

About ABS CBN Foundation International:
ABS CBN Foundation International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged Filipino children and their families in the Philippines and around the world. Its flagship program, Bantay Bata (Child Watch), is a child abuse rescue operation that responds to an average of 15,300 calls for assistance a year. The program assists more than 21,000 children and families in relocation communities and feeds at least 4,400 severely malnourished children a year. Its education program serves 4.2 million elementary school children and their teachers.

In the United States, the organization partners with Filipino-American organizations and associations in addressing community issues--youth truancy, housing, issues affecting the elderly, health, and emergency needs. For more programs and information, visit


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Keesa Ocampo
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