Within our community lie many unsung heroes that deserve to be celebrated. When Nike challenged me to “walk on air”, I decided that I wanted that opportunity to be given to everyday people who were improving their communities.

Since I’m a photographer, I offered them the best thing I could: A once in a lifetime photoshoot, dangling off buildings.

Our heroes: Ian Banzon, Bryan McClelland, Mike Swift Krizanne Ty and Nikka Arcilla.

More info: blog.vonwong.com

The ones who weren’t scared of heights hung off the skyscraper

while those who were, faced their fears on a 7 story public housing building called the Tenement

Leaping out over the void was pretty terrifying

But the reactions were priceless

This is how it was done:

Bryan McClelland

Bryan has always been passionate about environmental conservation and sustainable development.  After taking a bamboo bike making course, Bryan returned back to the Philipines and connected with the poor rural village community of Gawad Kalinga.  Employing Gawad Kalinga residents, he researched and developed the best bike structure using bamboo (usually seen in the Philippines as “poor man’s timber”) to create a social-ecological bike line: Bambike.  After 9 years of living and working in the Philippines, Bryan has many new projects under his sleeves planned to continue developing sustainable and socially responsible products.

Mike Swift

Mike Swift is a Filipino rapper and host. Having grown up in New York City and seeing the positive effect of basketball with out of school youths, Mike wanted to bring the same impact to underprivileged communities in the Philippines. He spearheaded the creation of the Picnic Games, a tournament which brings together local Filipino culture and basketball to the Tenement Community in Bicutan. Through PinoyHoops with his  #EveryCourtCanDream projects, he raises awareness on the situation of barangay courts, like The Tenement, around the country that need funding and development to help uplift young aspiring basketball players.

Ian Banzon

Ian is a Nike+ Run Club coach, triathlete, crossfit athlete, and a doctor. While she seems to have it all, the journey to get there was very difficult. With virtually no social life in school juggling academic and athletic scholarships, Ian believed she could do all her sports while going through medical school. At one point, she was even discouraged her from taking the medical licensure exams because they thought she wasn’t serious about being a doctor and was putting too much time into sports. Ian not only played sports – she excelled in them. Today, Ian fights the stereotype of a “fit girl”, promoting Strong as the New Beautiful while also taking time to coach and help out in her community.

Krizanne Ty and Nikka Arcilla

Krizanne and Nikka are two former college athletes who wanted to give back to their community. Despite having day jobs as a Fixed Income Trader and Product Marketing Manager respectively, they founded Girls Got Game (GGG), a roving sports camp designed to empower less fortunate, young girls all over the Philippines. By teaching the basics of team sports, GGG aims to instil values like confidence, goal-setting, teamwork, and grit, so that these girls can ultimately pull themselves out of poverty. Two years after its founding, Girls Got Game has conducted 10 camps and reached over 1,000 girls.



And this was the challenge that started it all

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