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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Philippines Gears Up for The Country’s Biggest Anti-Cervical Cycling Tour

The countdown to the cycling tour that will save at least 500 Filipino women from cervical cancer has begun.
Now, about a hundred anti-cervical cancer campaigners are getting in shape for The Tour of Hope 2011 - 500: Going the Xtra Mile Against Cervical Cancer, which is one of the most challenging cycling tours in the country. Organized by Bravehearts in partnership with Team David’s Salon and GlaxoSmithKline, this year’s Tour of Hope aims to provide cervical cancer vaccinations for 500 women during its 5-day tour.

In a country where cervical cancer claims the lives of 3,807 women every year[1], the need to fight this deadly but preventable disease has only grown stronger over the years.
Since The Tour of Hope started in 2008, it has generated approximately Php 2 million through sponsorships and pledges. These were then used for cervical cancer screening programs and lectures with the Cervical Cancer Prevention Network (CECAP).
However, if you think that The Tour of Hope is all about the bikers, think again. Over the past two years, the event organizers have formed partnerships with local government units such as those of Tarlac, Dagupan, Pampanga, La Union, and Baguio in order to conduct lectures during each stopover of the tour to local communities containing marginalized groups with poor health-seeking behavior.
What’s in Store for The Tour of Hope 2011

“Over the past two years, The Tour of Hope has been perceived as a cycling tour first and an anti-cervical cancer fundraising event second, when in fact it should be the other way around,” explains Abbygale Arenas-de Leon, Bravehearts president. “For this year’s Tour of Hope, we are not just focusing on increasing awareness about the disease, we also want to encourage people, especially women out there, to take action against cervical cancer.”
Aside from the challenging journey, The Tour of Hope has always been known for bringing its participants to scenic locations such as Vigan, Zambales, and Camarines Sur. This year is no exception. The Tour of Hope 2011 - 500: Going the Xtra Mile Against Cervical Cancer will kick off at the TriNoMa Mall in Quezon City on May 28, 2011.
The first stop will be at Tarlac City, Tarlac. It is the home of President Noynoy Aquino’s ancestral house and Mount Pinatubo, where adventure-seeking 4x4 wheel drivers try their skills, and hikers visit the crater. The tour will then continue

to San Fernando, La Union, where the renowned La Union Botanical Gardens is located. Afterwards, the bikers will head to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, where historical churches and ancestral homes that reflect the beauty of old world architecture can be found. The fourth stop will be Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, where tourists often visit the Juan Luna Shrine. There, visitors can get a glimpse of the award-winning Spolarium painter’s life through vintage photographs and household artifacts. The final stop for this year’s Tour of Hope is Paoay, where bikers will get to see the unique blend of Spanish, Chinese, and architecture represented by Paoay Church, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The last leg of the tour will feature celebrity bikers such as Matteo Guidicelli, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Marvin Kiefer, Rovilson Fernandez, Troy Montero, Aubrey Miles, Will Devaughn, Richie Hardin, Richard Herrera, Janna Victoria, Jeena Lopez, Gem Padilla - Thomas, Anthony Pangilinan, and David Charlton. They will be lending their star power to draw attention to a good cause. In addition to that, Tessa Prieto – Valdes is also currently working on a special project that will also help raise funds for cervical cancer prevention.
“I would like to invite everyone to sign up for The Tour of Hope 2011,” says Arenas-de Leon. “Not only is it good for your health, your participation will undoubtedly help change and save the lives of thousands of women all over the Philippines.”

Bravehearts is a non-profit organization initially led by the Cervical Cancer Prevention Network (CECAP) for the Cancer Institute Foundation (CIF). It is dedicated to raising awareness on cervical cancer prevention and is supported by a growing number of women, including prominent personalities such as Abbygale Arenas-de Leon, who is the current president of the organization, Senator Loren Legarda, Pia Magalona, Ellen Tordesillas, Tessa Prieto – Valdes, Jeena Lopez, Maimai Davao, Joyette Jopson, and Suzi Entrata. For further inquiries, please email To be a part of The Tour of Hope 2011 – 500: Going the Xtra Mile Against Cervical Cancer, please email Joyette Jopson at or contact her at 0917-8827352.

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