There are roughly 300 road races in the Philippines, and one of them is the
Sometimes there are 2 or 3 races held on a Sunday, while some races have to be scheduled on a Saturday due to the popularity of running.
One thing in common with all these races is that, all of them aspire to be certified by Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association or better known as "PATAFA".
What is PATAFA? PATAFA is the official governing body in the country when it comes to track and field events which includes marathon. As a governing body, they are responsible in measuring correctly any race course. The purpose of this is, in case a world record time has been broken, PATAFA can claim it and put it in International Record Books.
Just recently, while having conversation with a race director, he surprisingly told me that, "Sir patrick, did you know that it was your Grandfather, ANTONIO DE LAS ALAS, who was the founder of PATAFA?" I said, "What?! I did not know that?"
So, I immediately talked to my mom and did a little research about my Grandfather.
These are just some of the facts I gathered:
1. 1911 - PATAFA was created. It was called PAAF (Philippine Amateur Athletics Federation) then.
2. 1952 - HEAD delegation to the Helsinki Olympics
3. 1956 - CHIEF, Rome Olympic delegation.
4. 1957 - HEAD, Asian Game to Tokyo, Japan.
5. 1960 - HEAD, Olympic Delegation Melbourne Olympic, Australia.
6. 1964 - HEAD, 4th Asian Games Jakarta, Indonesia.
7. 1968 - HEAD, Led the 5th Asian Games to Bangkok, Thailand.
8. ANTONIO DE LAS ALAS planned and started construction of the RIZAL MEMORIAL COMPLEX at Vito Cruz, which he inaugurated in 1934.
Sad to say, I was not able to talk to my grandfather about PATAFA, because he passed away when I was just beginning to run.
I could just imagine all the wonderful stories he could have shared with me about his involvement.
From now on, every time I hear of races being sanctioned by PATAFA, I can proudly tell them,"Do you know who the founder of PATAFA is? It was my GRANDFATHER ANTONIO DE LAS ALAS."
Lolo you make me so proud of you.