Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima (left) and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas pour cold water over their heads last Wednesday.


WHERE did it all begin — this fad now sweeping the Philippines, called Ice Bucket Challenge?

It became popular on social media in northern U.S. from mid-2013 to early 2014, according to Wikipedia.

Also called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it’s an activity involving dumping ice cold water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It encourages donations to research.

The nominated participants need to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads.

Most nominees decline to be doused but offer to donate at least P100 or about $20.

Big business owners give more.

The practice is prevalent among prominent public officials, members of the Cabinet, heads of government agencies.

Former President Joseph Estrada was nominated by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson, but he declined.

“He should do it himself,” he said, “because he has many sins.”

Davao City Rodolfo Duterte begged off, citing health reasons.

“I have pneumonia and I just came out of the ICU.”

Wikipedia noted that U.S. President Barack Obama was nominated by Ethel Kennedy but he declined, opting to contribute $100 to the campaign.

Among world figures, former President George W. Bush completed the challenge and nominated former President Bill Clinton (Did he agree?).

British Prime Minister David Cameron was also challenged but he also declined in favor of a donation.

Shouldn’t President Benigno Aquino III be nominated?

Vice President Jejomar Binay?

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno?

Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle?

Senate President Franklin Drilon?

Janet Lim-Napoles?

While this piece was being put together, a random caller broached the idea of applying the Ice Bucket Challenge in the metro Filipino-American area, to raise funds for, for instance, victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte?

There won’t be a dearth of nominees: philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Ambassadors Libran Cabactulan, Jose Cuisia, Jr., Mario de Leon, Jr., restaurant and business owners, presidents of community, medical, religious and social organizations.

And many, many more.

The nominees may in turn nominate someone else.

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