“Sa ika-uunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.” (For society to prosper, we need bicycles.)
This was a statement that stuck with Ariel Ureta’s name during the Martial Law, when the real slogan was: “Sa ika-uunlad ng bayan, Disiplina ang kailangan.” (For society to prosper, we need discipline) The urban legend tells us that the former dictator made the young man bike around Camp Aguinaldo the whole day as punishment for slander. But recent interviews to Ureta debunks the bike-around-the-camp gossip, saying that he did not get punished by Marcos, plus it was not his original idea, he simply shared a young boy’s comment but it stuck with his name.
Lend-a-Bike in Edsa
So enough with history and fast forward 40 years later and we are still talking about bicycles and how it can improve society and our lives. The latest project of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is an environmental friendly and efficient solution to all commuters who are rushing to work. The organization is putting up a lend-a-bike station from EDSA Magallanes to Ayala, and it is open to all from 6am to 6pm. Borrowers simply have to present an I.D. with picture and they can pedal to the next bike station, which is a kilometer away. Mind you, they have thought of the commuters safety so the bike is lent together with a safety helmet (Cheers to MMDA for promoting helmets). As of press time, there are only 24 bicycles which can be lent, but bikers who have their own wheels can park their bikes at the designated bike racks which assures them of security until 6pm. Did I mention that this is all FREE? Ahhhh, the best things in life are free.
This is all good news. Awareness, bike lanes, healthy living, free bikes, bike racks…
For the bike enthusiast, that’s all great. We just have to find the perfect balance in things, and we shall all live harmoniously. Let us not become like the other bike infested countries, for we also need to grow. Balance, proper placement, right planning… the Philippines is getting there. We are getting sustainable, aware, healthy and bike-friendly. Slowly but surely, we shall get there. Wag lang tayong sumemplang.