When in Manila, and you are a person who loves the idea of biking around the metro with hundreds of fellow cyclists, – long rides such as the recently concluded “Freedom Ride” conducted by Dakila is the event for you! The event aims to give notice to the rampant human trafficking, and put an end to this modern day slavery in the country. It wasn’t coincidence that this event happened on a day where we were made free from the clutches of foreign invaders back in 1898. Coordinated freedom rides also occurred in Iloilo (June 12 7pm), Dumaguete (June 11, 4pm) and in Zamboanga (June 12, 7am) making this a nationwide event!
actual 29Km route from Eastwood and Back via Marikina, Katipunan, Timog, New Manila, and Ortigas (map grabbed from Dakila’s event page)
Over 400 cyclists and advocates surged Eastwood for the Manila Freedom Ride, making this one of the largest rides in the metro this year. The route was designed to be easy to accommodate amateur riders who can still enjoy the trip of going around the northern part of manila in their bi-pedal transportation despite the long kilo-metric route. The ride started with a short opening program explaining the advocacy and the aim of the ride, the program was also graced with the appearance of Dakila’s VP, known activist and song writer Noel Cabangon (who will later on be taking part at the Freedom Concert right after the ride).
Noel Cabangon welcoming the cyclists to the Freedom Ride
Dakila Hosts talking about the advocacy that they fight for!
The ride was fairly easy, and most seasoned cyclists will find this route to be really simple. But as I said, this route was designed without any prejudice to the skill levels of the attendees (which is a good thing!). This was also a rare opportunity for us (bike commuters) to bike without the constant fear of being hit by rampaging busses, or fast cars in major roads such as C5, Marcos Highway, and Edsa.
The start of the 29km Freedom Ride
Bikers along a nearly empty Marcos Highway
The conquering of C5 – Freedom riders occupy the entire outerlane
After the 29KM ride, cyclists were treated to a Freedom Concert featuring Dakila’s Vice President Noel Cabangon along with other bands such as Radioactive Sago Project, and Up Dharma Down.
Noel Cabangon takes the stage and sings to the cyclists relaxing after the ride
At the end of the freedom ride, we were not only given insights on the human trafficking situation in the country, but we were treated to a day of fun, sweat, and ultimate bonding with fellow cyclists. I am proud to say that I was part of an event that will possible encourage change towards the modern slavery situation. The freedom ride also paved the way for me to meet many active cyclists whom I will be riding with really soon!
with the Katipunero cyclist! Happy Freedom day indeed!
so with that! Happy Belated Independence day everyone!
Stay tuned for other events by Dakila!
visit them at:
The 2013 Freedom Ride against Human Trafficking