The day we went without shoes

10 June 2015

Three years ago, I participated in TOMS One Day Without Shoes, an annual global event that aims to spread awareness for children's health and education. We walked around Greenbelt without shoes to know what it's like for other kids to go through life without any protection on their feet to show our stance towards TOMS' commitment to have a world with people moving together, moving for one another and moving to inspire each other.

This year, it was held in Track 30th Park in Bonifacio Global City, and I was only too happy to be part of the advocacy again.

Miah and me

Heritage conservationist social advocate Carlos Celdran hosted the event with host/ author Victoria Herrera and gave an interesting commentary while we were walking around Bonifacio High Street in true Walk This Way fashion. Seeing a lot of people join the walk expecting nothing in return but was there for the sheer experience made my heart swell.

It was fun seeing familiar faces and witnessing them enjoy the festivities prepared by TOMS, with the participation of Macho Nacho, Phatboys Handcrafted Ice Cream Sandwiches, Hattendo Japanese Cream Buns, Wingstop, and Pink Berry. Not taking into account the intense summer heat, it felt like a relaxing day-out in the park with entertainment provided by the drum circle of the Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community and the poi and hula hoop dancers and flow arts performers of Planet Zips. There were also ukulele musicians and buskers.

With Paul, Ana, Ashley, Miah, and Ava
With AXN Asia’s Got Talent host and Amazing Race Asia Runner-up Marc Nelson 
My bosses Jenny and Celine
With Kai, Rodel, Earth, Ruth, Miah, Alvin, and Peter
With Chessika, Phylicia, Rochelle, Kim, and Celline

It was indeed one of the best events I've ever worked on with ARC PR not only because of the handsome guy beside me but also because it was a celebration of things I stand up for.

If you are one of those 296,243 people who posted a photo of your bare feet with the #withoutshoes hashtag, please accept my heartfelt thanks! It really is an amazing feeling when you know you are able to help even in your own little way.

The giving does not stop with One Day Without Shoes. Did you know that TOMS’ four product lines—shoes, eyewear, bags, and coffee—all support marginalized communities? The products were developed after the company identified a need that had to be fulfilled—as opposed to finding a cause to support a product. Sales from TOMS Roasting Co. support water systems in seven countries. Each shoe purchase from TOMS gives a new pair to a barefoot child. For every eyewear purchase, TOMS helps to restore sight to individuals through sight-saving surgery, prescription glasses, or medical treatment. TOMS Bags, in stylish shapes, colors and sizes, provide training for skilled birth attendants and the vital materials needed to help women give birth safely. All of these initiatives are evidence of TOMS’ sustainable One For One Movement, and I am happy and proud to have been a part of it.

Now if only someone can also think of a cool way to improve literacy and education.

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