Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cancer Survivor to Represent the Philippines at 42-km FWD North Pole Marathon

Louie Sangalang (in cap) is fully supported by a powerhouse Squad on his journey to the FWD North Pole Marathon. With him from left; Romi Garduce, Sam YG, Ani De Leon-Brown, Benjamin Pangilinan, and Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan. at the press conference on February 20, 2018 held at the Mind Museum in BGC, Taguig City.

FWD Life Philippines, one of the country’s fastest-growing insurers, launched on February 20 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."

FWD Life Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes, leads the champagne toast to Louie Sangalang as the latter was presented to the media together with Rien Hermans FWD Life Philippines Chief Operating Officer, and Rochelle Vendenberghe FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing on February 20, 2018 at the Mind Museum in BGC, Taguig City.

"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!”

Super athlete and cancer survivor, Louie Sangalang is the Philippines' bet at the FWD North Pole Marathon, slated on April 9, 2018.

FWD Philippines will be represented by Louie Sangalang, a multi-sport athlete who engages in mixed-martial arts, boxing, and triathlons. 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.

Louie Sangalang's family in full support, here with Monch Henares of Monchster Chronicles.

“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.

FWD Life Philippines "Blaze a Trail in the Artic" campaign is prominent at the facade of Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

"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. "FWD will be providing Louie with insurance protection so that he can embrace the North Pole Marathon challenge worry-free.”

Louie Sangalang gamely faces the throng of media reporters.

Sangalang is the epitome of what FWD stands for: pursuing one’s passions and celebrating life without hesitations. A North Pole Marathon squad is also formed, who will support his mental, physical, and emotional preparations. 

Veteran mountain climber, Romi Garduce will share his experience and give tips to Sangalan on how to overcome hardships in the Arctic. Here with members of the Philippine Bloggers Network (PBNet); from left, Monch Henares of Monchster Chronicles, yours truly, and Myrna Roman of Enjoying Wonderful World.

Triathlon celebrity Ani De Leon-Brown will help in Sangalang's physical preparedness.

In the powerhouse 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 condiutions; 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 fun.

Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan with son Benjamin, who is also a cancer survivor, are members of the squad who will give emotional support and motivation to Sangalang.

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

*Official Press Release courtesy of FWD Life Philippines
Photos by Arabelle Jimenez