The poster says it all. The Firefly Brigade promotes bicycles for environmentally sustainable transportation. Every year, they come up with good reasons on why we should do this critical mass ride, gathering all the active bikers around the Metro to participate. It is invigorating, seeing all the different bikers; roadies, mountain bikers, week-end warriors, environmentalists, health buffs, etc hanging out and having fun with the parade of bikes. Weird and exotic bicycles turn up in this gathering, from the vintage cruisers, BMX toy bikes, state-of-the-art downhill machines, customized and welded rides, artistic and colorful fixies, up to the shiny and never-seen-the-mud-mountain bikes.
From the very first Tour of the Firefly many years ago, a lot has happened. We used to start and meet up in UP DIliman, go around the Metro, and land right back in UP. The small community of bikers always had a great time. No sponsorships, no politics, just good ol’ fun for the sake of riding. I am not against all the corporate sponsorship and the mayors having a fill of voters, but it somehow dilutes the real cause of all this. Wait, what was the cause again?
The Tour of the Firefly has become so popular that it gets airtime on TV, it even makes it to the papers, and people talk about it. They discuss it over lunch the next day, saying how traffic it was yesterday because thousands and thousands of bikers dotted the Metro. They talk about how there were even kids participating and some costumed riders. But the sad part of that is that they really don’t know what was the parade all about… what was the cause again of the Tour of the Firefly? One thing’s for sure, it caused a lot of TRAFFIC for the folks going to mass or to the mall, or to the baptism they were going to.
Over the years, I have joined the Tour of the Firefly because it is AWESOME. You get to bike the major streets of Metro Manila at a leisure pace. People get friendly with each other. You see bikes. There are lots of nice things to see while biking. As the years pass by, it gets boring, so to spike things up, I show up all dressed up. Two years ago, I wore my Barong Tagalog (it was the year of the elections), last year, I donned my pajamas (wake up, now!). This year, I wore my white long sleeved shirt, wore a bow tie and matched it with striped suspenders.
It was kinda gangster without the coat, but people thought I was a waiter. Guys on the sidewalk shouted, “Dalawang kanin, at isang Menudo!” I thought it was funny, and rode along with the joke. I told my friend that when the parade started, I was dressed like a boss. I cruised like a boss. During the middle of the ride, I became a waiter. At the end of the ride, I looked like a Sacristan on his way home.