More than 87k students dance in Bacolod for world aerobics exercise record
Elementary, high school and college students occupied an airport runway in Bacolod City on Sunday, dancing nonstop for 30 minutes in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record as the largest aerobic-dance exercise class in the world.
Organizers of the "Jam Step 2-12-12" said about 87,700 students used the 1.8-km runway of the old Bacolod City airport as the dance floor for their world record bid, the Visayan Daily Star reported Monday.
But Education Secretary Armin Luistro the students' participation in the activity is purely voluntary, the Visayan Daily Star said.
In a February 8 letter, he said that while they support the objectives of "Jam Step," the Central Office neither issued nor endorsed any order requiring students to participate in the activity.
The report quoted Luistro as saying "the activity is an initiative of the Division Office and based on the information provided by Bacolod School Division Superintendent Gemma Ledesma, participation of the students is purely voluntary and waivers from the parents of students who wish to voluntarily participate is required."
The Bacolod City Council earlier passed a resolution asking Luistro on who sanctioned the “Jam Step,” and whether it was compulsory.
Organizers of the event included the Ang Batang Pinoy Movement (ABP) led by former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Jewel May Lobaton-Pimentel and Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr.
Golez said he expects many more will join the Jam Step Philippines in July.
On the other hand, city Councilor Homer Bais, who chairs the council's education committee, said organizers should prove the total participants of the Jam Step indeed reached 87,700.
He noted that if the participants are from Grades 4 up to fourth year high school, the total enrollment could not reach 80,000.
He also noted there is also a huge number of school dropouts in Western Visayas, based on DepEd records for February.
Pimentel said Jam Step is an initiative that encourages children to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle through simple, aerobic dance steps which were choreographed by the pep squad of the De La Salle University-Bacolod City.
Jam Step 2-12-12 has the potential to beat the current record held by China at 13,000 people.
According to organizers, adjudicators of the Guinness World Records are set to validate the number of participants counted by local auditors.
Jam for a cause
Proceeds of the event will fund the construction of the Bacolod Disaster Preparedness Center and the production of disaster kits and survival manuals to be distributed in the city.
Golez said the "Jam Step" participants wish to donate the bottled water they were provided to the children in Guihulngan City who were affected by a magnitude-6.9 earthquake last February 6.
Jam Step 2 will be held in July as a national health event. President Benigno Aquino III is expected to lead the initial dance activity.
ABP also plans to promote the campaign until it is adopted all over the Philippines.
"I will not stop there. I will go to different schools and districts to campaign about this. All over the country na sana, every day our children will have an exercise, and it will be part of their routine in the school," Pimentel said in an earlier report. –CGL/KG, GMA News
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