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Bike, advocacy groups observe Bonifacio Day

Cycling and advocacy groups, including Bikers United Movement, We The Future PH, DAKILA, Active Vista Center, Initiative for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services and DZMC Young Communicators’ Guild from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, came together on Sunday in “Trip ni Bonifacio, Ito Ang Gusto Ko!,” a National Bike Ride activity to celebrate the freedom Andres Bonifacio fought for during the Spanish Colonization era.

The Bike Ride was held simultaneously in three different areas — Metro Manila, Bacolod City, and Tacloban City. The main route in Metro Manila started in Luneta Park at 6:30 a.m., went through thoroughfares in Manila, Caloocan, and Quezon City, and ended at the Commission on Human Rights office. 

Around 30 bikers participated in the Metro Manila route, while 35 joined in Bacolod City.

Launched on National Bikers Day and in anticipation of Bonifacio Day today, November 30, the event was organized to find creative ways to practice the freedom of expression at a time when civic spaces are shrinking amid the pandemic and threats to the people’s right to speak out.

A short program was held at the Commission of Human Rights where advocates shared solidarity messages on honoring the legacy of Bonifacio by fighting for freedom and human rights. 

“Sa gitna ng pandemya na kinakaharap ng bansa, sa sunud-sunod na mga sakuna at kalamidad ay marami pa ang napabigat sa nararanasan at suliranin ng mamamayang Pilipino [...] lalo na nung binaha ang maraming komunidad dito sa Luzon dahil sa bagyong Ulysses,” Jeff Estela from Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines said. “Walang komprehensibong plano ang gobyerno para sa green recovery kahit na isa ang Pilipinas sa pinaka-bulnerableng bansa sa epekto ng climate change.”

“Subalit nakita natin na nag-step up ang kabataang Pilipino upang tulungan ang bansa — mula noong Taal eruption, nag-announce ng online classes dahil sa pandemic, sa pagpasa ng Anti-Terror Law, sunud-sunod na pagre-redtag, at ang pagdaan ng mga bagyo nitong nakaraang buwan,” he added.

James Lanquino from Laban PUP talked about the continued attacks on the press under the current administration. “Ang direktang atake sa bawat alagad ng media ay direktang atake din sa bawat kabataan. [...] Ating ipanawagan ang sama-samang paglaban sa panunupil ng estado sa ating kalayaan na mamahayag na walang takot. [...] Mas lalo tayong tumindig at manatiling mulat.”

The bikers in Bacolod also shared their calls to action for the different issues in their community, particularly the destruction of their forests.

“Ipinaglalaban namin ang kalayaan ng aming mga kabukiran dito sa Bacolod City, particularly ang Northern Negros Natural Park. We say no to destructive projects here in Negros Occidental, to illegal structures in our forests kasi ito na lang ang lumiligtas sa amin sa mga baha na dulot ng gumagrabe na climate crisis,” Jaya Ariola from Youth for Climate Hope said.

A talk-show program was also held online by We The Future PH and DZMC Young Communicators’ Guild to discuss the heroism of Bonifacio and how it has manifested through the youth at the present. 

“In our journey on redefining heroism, dapat nating alalahanin na may kasama si Bonifacio sa laban niya para sa bayan,” We The Future PH co-convenor Wynona Galvez pointed out. “In a very divisive time in our country, there is no time more urgent and more telling than now. Walang mangyayaring pagbabago ‘pag mag-isa ka — dapat may kasama ka.”

“Minsan nasasabi natin na napapagod na tayo, tinatanong natin kung lalaban pa ba tayo. Pero reminder sa ‘tin ni Bonifacio — may pag-asa,” historian Xiao Chua imparted. “It’s not bad to feel bad, it’s not bad to rest. But we must never lose hope.”

“Sa Bike Ride na ito, makikita na iba-iba ang pagpapakita natin ng pag-ibig sa bayan at pakikiramay sa ating kapwa na naapektuhan sa mga isyu ng bayan,” We The Future PH co-convenor Dom Balmes said.

“Sa kabataan, kailangan nating igiit ang ating mga panawagan para sa pagbabago. Iwanan na natin ang old normal, at ipaglaban na ang kinabukasan para sa komunidad at kalikasan,” climate activist and Bikers United Movement member Yeb Saño said.

Trip ni Bonifacio, Ito Ang Gusto Ko! is available for replay on We The Future PH’s Facebook page.

Topics: Bikers United Movement , We The Future PH , DAKILA , Active Vista Center , National Bike Ride
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