The Philippine Star

The real ride

- CITO BEL­TRAN E-mail: utalk2ctal­ Batangas · Capiz · Iloilo · Bacolod City · Ormoc City · Tacloban City · Manila · God · Philippines · Rodrigo Duterte · Quezon City · Metro Manila · Los Baños · Dumaguete City · Oslob · Legazpi City · Radja Nainggolan · University of the Philippines Los Baños

RIDE FOR LIFE” is what an in­ter­est­ing bunch of mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers call it.

From Oc­to­ber 20, 2019 to Oc­to­ber 29, at least 20 Big Bike rid­ers will ride south of the coun­try start­ing at Batan­gas then drive their way through Cat­i­clan, Kal­ibo, Roxas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Du­maguete, Os­lob, Cebu, Or­moc, Tacloban, Le­gaspi, Lu­cena, Manila. This is no or­di­nary road trip and these rid­ers are no or­di­nary bik­ers. They call them­selves the Vic­tory Rid­ers pri­mar­ily be­cause they are all mem­bers of Vic­tory Chris­tian Fel­low­ship / Ev­ery Na­tion. Many of their mem­bers are full time pas­tors and for this par­tic­u­lar trip, there will be four pas­tors at the wheel. The “RIDE FOR LIFE” is a fund rais­ing trip where each par­tic­i­pant will do­nate P20,000 to Real Life Foun­da­tion which man­ages a schol­ar­ship fund for poor but de­serv­ing stu­dents who are part of VCF’s youth min­istry out­reach. The schol­ar­ship sends se­lected schol­ars through high school and col­lege, while reach­ing out spir­i­tu­ally and ma­te­ri­ally to their fam­i­lies.

Aside from each mak­ing a 20k peso do­na­tion, the rid­ers all pay for their own ex­pense, food, fuel and ac­com­mo­da­tions. For some it’s a no work – no pay sac­ri­fice aside from the tough 9-day ride all for the Glory of God! My fam­ily and I ac­tively sup­port Real Life Foun­da­tion be­cause they re­ally make a dif­fer­ence and we have seen many of their suc­cess sto­ries!

* * * Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal Panelo clearly out-foxed the left­ists and reporter provo­ca­teurs in Mala­cañang when he ac­cepted the chal­lenge to take pub­lic trans­port to of­fice. The left­ists mis­cal­cu­lated the re­sponse of Panelo who by sim­ply ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge poured cold wa­ter on their faces. They pre­sumed that Panelo the fash­ion­ista would be averse to the idea; they thought wrong. Ad­ding in­sult to in­jury, Panelo got a chance to milk each ride for ev­ery drop of pub­lic­ity he could squeeze thanks to the left­ists and reporter provo­ca­teurs. When news gath­er­ers gave chase, their rude and rowdy be­hav­ior try­ing to join Panelo in­side a jeep­ney showed the ugly side of lo­cal re­porters will­ing to step over each other as well as the rid­ing pub­lic just to get a scoop. In the end, the left­ists could only ex­pand their now limp chal­lenge for other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to do the same.

Sadly, that episode of “kababawan” or shal­low pet­ti­ness dis­tracted the pub­lic from the more se­ri­ous is­sue of in­sti­tu­tional cor­rup­tion and a con­spir­acy to cover up the “Ninja Cops” con­tro­versy and the cor­rup­tion in­side our na­tional pen­i­ten­tiaries and jails. Very lit­tle at­ten­tion was given to the sign­ing of the IRR for the Uni­ver­sal Health Care. The left­ists all but ig­nored the P2 bil­lion lux­ury jet that Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­fend­ers are mis­er­ably jus­ti­fy­ing. If any­thing, the chal­lenge hurled by the left­ists, gave the ad­min­is­tra­tion a mo­men­tary respite and a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to re­di­rect peo­ple’s fo­cus es­pe­cially af­ter the most re­cent sur­vey re­sult claimed that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte had slipped in his pop­u­lar­ity.

What good was sup­pose to come out of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials rid­ing pub­lic trans­porta­tion? So they could have more em­pa­thy for or­di­nary cit­i­zens? Sorry, but you don’t learn that from rid­ing a bus or a tri­cy­cle for one day. Would the has­sle and the de­lay in com­mut­ing change the fact that we don’t have enough roads, too many cars, and too many of­fices con­cen­trated in a nar­row cor­ri­dor from Que­zon City to Roxas Boule­vard. The fact of the mat­ter is, it’s too late to fix our traf­fic cri­sis or dis­as­ter in Metro Manila. Any so­lu­tions we can ac­tu­ally all agree on will take any­where from six months to three years and by then things will be even worse or would have solved it­self. I’m no fan of Sal Panelo but he touched on the truth when he said that if Filipinos want to get any­where on time, they sim­ply have to leave ear­lier. Me and my fam­ily al­ways leave three hours be­fore any flight even if we have checked in on-line, but many of our friends still in­sist on cut­ting their travel time short, some even al­most miss­ing the check in time. Their ex­cuse: “Sayang kasi oras” or they don’t like wast­ing time at the air­port. But when they are late for the flight, they waste ev­ery­body’s time.

Some friends who’ve been af­fected by the traf­fic jam at the SLEX due to the Sky­way ex­ten­sion pro­ject have opted to travel re­ally early or re­ally late to avoid the rush hour or busy hour vol­ume and traf­fic. They sim­ply use the time to be more pro­duc­tive. A fresh­man study­ing in UP Los Baños goes to school from Que­zon City at 4 am and does the same go­ing home on the week­end. A car buddy who has a week­end place in Biñan opts to have an ex­tended en­joy­ment on Sun­day’s and leaves at 11pm. Yes it’s not nor­mal but as far as traf­fic is con­cerned noth­ing is the same and noth­ing is nor­mal any­more. The prob­lem is that many peo­ple still try to stick to their “nor­mal”. I’ve told so many “Millennial” em­ploy­ees to con­sider spend­ing the time and money they waste on traf­fic on a shared apart­ment or condo near their work place so they could have qual­ity rest, be more pro­duc­tive and learn to be “in­de­pen­dent” from Mommy and Daddy! Sadly old habits die-hard. They would rather do 3 to 4 hour trips one way, be reg­u­larly late for work, ar­rive at work with wet hair and re­cite their “The traf­fic was so bad” daily mono­logue. No sym­pa­thies from me on this sub­ject mat­ter be­cause we ALL have to go through traf­fic but the other half or less among us are do­ing some­thing other than com­plain about it.

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