Iloilo reinforces title as ‘bike-friendly city’

OPENING (from left) Iloilo City Sports Officer Moises Salomon, Mayor Jose Espinosa III, Jennifer Palmares Fong, vice president for Sales and Marketing of Iloilo Business Park; and Rey Orio, estate manager Megaworld Iloilo Business Park, lead the opening of the 6th Iloilo Bike Festival on May 1, 2019 at the Festive Walk Mall. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Iloilo City government, in its bid to promote biking as part of the lifestyle of the Ilonggos, hopes to further bolster its title as a “bike-friendly city” with the opening of the 6th Iloilo Bike Festival on May 1-5, 2019.

Mayor Jose Espinosa III declared the festival open on Wednesday at the Festive Walk Mall of Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao district.

Espinosa said he wants to further promote the utilization of the city’s bike lane and the practice of road sharing.

“This is a priority of my administration and my government. Sige-sige gid ang pagusar sang dalanon and bike lanes and observe ang road sharing activities,” he said.

Inspired by the City of Amsterdam, Espinosa expressed his intent of promoting biking as a regular mode of transportation for the public and employees.

“Ang aton gusto mataboang biking indi lang weekend, kun mahimo sa ulihi nga ang pag-usar ta sang bikes parehos bala sang Amsterdam where ang bike population is double the number of their residents and ang tanan na empleyado mabike pakadto sa ila opisina. That is my dream,” he said.

Espinosa said he is relying on the private sector for the projects.

 “We will be saving nature at the same time, nagabulig sa paglower carbon emission sa hangin and magacontribute mapunggan ang global warming,” he said.

Moises Salomon Jr, head of the Iloilo City Sports Division, also underscored the benefits of biking particularly to one’s health lifestyle.

“We hope to promote biking because it can really help us maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Salomon said.

With the theme, “Riding for unity in a bike-friendly city”, Salomon said they are expecting more than 2,000 bikers to join the events lined up for the 6th Iloilo Bike Festival.

As part of the festival, a roster of bikes of all sizes, types, and designs ranging up to P700, 000 will be showcased on a Bike Exhibit from May 1-5 at the Festive Mall.

Other activities that will commence are Tour D’ Quiñon at the Plazuela De Iloilo on May 1, BMX Street Exhibition on May 2 at the Festive Walk, Impact Jam MTB Salon at Megaworld Boulevard on May 3, Family Fun Race at Megaworld Convention Drive and Fourcross and BMX Challenge at the Bike Tyangge Festive Mall  on May 4,  Fixed Gear Competition and Grand Fun Ride at the Megaworld grounds on May 5.