The Philippines Host the World’s Largest Charity Walk

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan left thousands dead or missing, and millions homeless and destitute.
Image: Richard Whitcombe /

This weekend, the Philippines broke the Guinness World Record for the largest eve charity walk. On Sunday, February 16th, 175,509 Filipino members of the Iglesia ni Cristo joined together for a charity walk through Manila, with proceeds going to survivors of 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan.

The typhoon was the strongest on record to ever hit land. It devastated the central Philippines, killing over 6,200 people—with many more thousands missing. About 4 million people were displaced, many left homeless and destitute with no way to support themselves after farmland was destroyed.

Previously, the largest ever charity walk on record was in Singapore in 2000. Not only did the Philippines blow that record out of the water, but there were also several other global locations with similar walks over the weekend, with the total number of participants at 519,221. According to Guinness adjudicator Kirsty Bennett, that breaks another world record—the largest charity walk with multiple venues. The previous record in that category recorded 231,635 people.

According to Edqil Zabala, spokesman for Iglesia, the money raised will go toward building new homes and providing new livelihoods for those devastated by the storm.

“We’re concerned that donor fatigue may set in,” he said, according to the Associated Press, “If we abandon them now, many can’t still stand back fully on their own.”

Charity walks and runs can be a very powerful way to give back, and it’s wonderful to see that so many people joined together this weekend to continue to support Filipinos in need.


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