Sunday, January 27, 2013

Biketas 2013: Salubong Ride

Travel Period: January 27, 2013
Destination: Around Davao City

Liwanag World Festival
"Liwanag" which translated to "light" means a lot, from its literal definition of being simply a light or a creative idea that will help to improve life in the community. MISSION (Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies Through Initiatives, Organizing, and Networking) is the main proponent of Liwanag World Festival on Creativity and Sustainability with a theme of "Imaginality - Co-creating Sustainable Societies". To know more about the event, its goals, the current reality, the challenge and our participation as an individual, you can check their website Liwanag World Festival.

Padyak Tungo Sa Liwanag
To raise awareness of the upcoming Liwanag World Festival, Kuya Jude and Tatay Felcon of Negros Oriental did a bike pilgrimage starting from Northern Luzon all the way down to Davao City. They were later joined by Valerie from Baguio, Enrique from Iloilo and Kuya Ritchie also from Negros Oriental. Starting from January 1 to 26, they bike from Aparri, Cagayan to the towns of Ilocos, followed with a long ascent to Baguio (which I personally asked to Kuya Jude if where was the hardest part, it was due to uphill and cold weather condition) then off to Metro Manila and Batangas. After Luzon, proceeded to Mindoro, Panay and Negros Island, then Cebu and finally in Mindanao. Monica Ayala of Cycle For Life together with MISSION organized a Salubong ride in Calinan to welcome the bike pilgrims on January 27.

Bike pilgrimage route.
Bike pilgrims, left to right: Enrique, Kuya Ritchie, Valerie, Tatay Felcon, and Kuya Jude
Downtown To Lacson, Calinan
Meanwhile, Biketas committed to join the Salubong ride, met at McDo Bajada and started the ride to Lacson, Calinan. We passed by Tatay Paeng at NCCC Mall and continue with the ride, reached Ulas and right turn for Mintal. At Mintal area, we already catched up with some bikers while road bikers catched up with us. Hehe. We met some acquaintances also from different bike groups who joined the Salubong ride. Aside from mountain bikes, some cyclists/bike enthusiasts used their road or folding bikes. At Calinan proper, bikers already assembled at the road side while we proceeded to the starting point at Lacson fruit stand. Finally, we met the bike pilgrims, quick conversation and group shots with them.

Biketas with bike pilgrims, left to right: Biker A, Tatay Felcon, Ramil, Sir Randello, Jason,
Presy, Kuya Jude, Enrique, Valerie, Kuya Ritchie and me. :D

Calinan To City Hall
By 8:45am, we started the ride, on the lead were the marshals, followed by the bike pilgrims and the bikers. From starting point down to Ulas area, the peloton (not in a race mode) grows bigger and bigger as bikers converged when we passed them along the road. I managed to take some shots and clips during the ride, the experience was great, one word on my mind, humanity, sharing the same passion, participated from teens to olds, ladies to men, and newbies to pros. Various bike groups of the city also joined the ride including Force, Cycle For Life, BIBOO, davaomtbiker, BIKETAS, Davao Dafolding Society, Bikerboy, Habagat, DAPOBA, JOB, Terrain Challenger 611, SiningBayan, Balay Bagong Lumad, WTF Niterides, SCUBA, MUMHO, and etc. We had a quick break at Ulas junction to regroup and proceeded to City Hall where bike pilgrims and bikers were welcomed by Councilor Leo Avila on behalf of the City Government of Davao. Of course, group shots in front of the city hall.

City Hall To PWC
Minutes after the photo ops and interview of the media with the bike pilgrims, the ride continued to its final destination, Philippine Women's College, where Liwanag World Festival will be held on January 29 - February 2, 2013. At the campus, bikers were welcomed by school admins and MISSION members. A short program was held and bike pilgrims delivered their short message with regards to Liwanag and their experiences during the pilgrimage.

Go Biketas, Ligo Biketas!
It was already a trademark for Biketas to have a swimming session after the ride, either it can be on a simple swimming pool or on a serene white beach. After the program, we traversed Shrine Hills and proceeded to GAP farm to spend the rest of the afternoon, swimming time and by dusk we went home!

Based on my manual tracking on Google Earth, the ride covered around 103kms, yay, century ride for me yet less than 5% of what the bike pilgrims had covered, 2000+ kilometers from Aparri to Davao. As for me, someday, maybe, Davao to Aparri. ^_^  "The era of destructive extreme weather events is upon us and will escalate in the years to come. We have to contribute our modest share towards addressing the challenge of climate change. And designing a major event to be a carbon neutral and encouraging others to do the same, is one of them." - Nicanor Perlas

Thank you and God bless us all!

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