One Ordinary Day

Bike Commuter

I consider myself as one of the many ordinary people around and the same is true when it comes to transportation. I commute everyday using my bike, ride in public utility vehicles and even a bangka.

In Manila, riding a bangka (outrigger canoe) is the shortest way of going to Pandacan from Punta. The bangka fare is very affordable at Php 5 for adults, Php 3 for senior citizens and students and an additional PhP 1 for passengers who bring along a bike.

One fine day, while I was riding the bangka, I saw this man with his bike standing at the edge of the bangka with his statement shirt “Erap para sa mahirap.” This statement made me think about the person behind the slogan, it’s none other than the 74-year old former President Joseph Estrada, who was convicted with plunder, later on pardoned, and tried to regain his seat in 2010, but lost to President Noynoy Aquino.

As for me, the real definition of “mahirap” or poor is in your hands. It could be having not enough economic resources to afford basic needs, lack of education, lack of knowledge, deprived rights, social placements discriminations. It’s too many to mention here to interpret the meaning of being “poor” because we create our lives based on what we think and do.

Being poor is just a state of mind.

Routes to NAIA

Got a phone call right after the AKTV Run from one of the bosses. He told me, “You will report to Paranaque Office for a week.”

It been a long time since I biked alone and I want to give it a try, just for a week.  This bike commuting from Manila to NAIA would help me gain back my street confidence and one way to overcome it, is to do it on a busy streets. I report for work at 0800 which I have to leave Manila as early as 0700.

There are several routes going to NAIA from Manila, I want to explore them all to see which one is safer and not.

Day 1:
Manila to Naia Route: Sta. Ana – Pedro Gil – Quirino Ave – Left to Roxas Blvd. – No to flyovers – Coastal Rd – NAIA Rd – Ninoy Aquino Ave – Pascor Drive
Time: 45 minutes
Traveled: 15.36 kms

Naia to Manila Route: Ninoy Aquino Ave – NAIA Rd – Coastal Road – Roxas Blvd – Libertad – Arnaiz Ave – SLEX – Malugay St. – Pasong Tamo – Lamayan – Sta. Ana.
Time: 1 hours and 30 minutes
Traveled: 16 kms

Day 2:
Manila to Naia Route: Sta. Ana – Lamayan – Pasong Tamo – Right to Arnaiz Avenue – Left to Evangelist St. – Edsa Southbound – U turn MRT Taft Station – Edsa Northbound – Right to Aurora Blvd – Right to Airport Rd – Domestic Road – NAIA Rd – Ninoy Aquino Ave – Pascor Drive
Time: 50 minutes
Traveled: 15.88

Naia to Manila Route: Pascor Drive – Ninoy Aquino Ave – NAIA Rd – Domestic Rd – Airport Rd. – St. Andrews Road ( i love the scene in Resorts World) – Sales Rd – Pasong Tamo Ext – Pasong Tamo Ave – Lamayan – Sta. Ana.
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Traveled: 15.60

I didn’t make it the next day until Friday because Typhoon Dodong came. Among those routes mentioned above, the safest one for me is the Day 2 Naia to Manila Route. That, on my next bike commuting to NAIA, it will be my regular way of going to work. The fear on the streets, I believed I conquered it.

Hoping I will be assigned in NAIA on a couple of weeks so that I can explore the Diosdado Macapagal Hi-way.

What is the safest bike to work commuting route for you?

Bike Accident at Club Filipino

I would say I am one of the female bike commuters in Manila and Makati. I bike to work almost everyday. Commuting using my bike helped me save time and money.

Last November 13, one of the most remembered incident in my bike commuting going home. Me and my bike buddy Marlon Ricafort went to Camp Aguinaldo to do some loops as part of my preparation in this upcoming Nuvali Dirt Weekend race. We were able to chat fellow bikers Wreachelle Cordova and Joseph Cuison who just won in this recent Xterra Philippines: Putik Pare under Mixed Category. Wreachelle and Joseph gave me some tips and advise on best trails in Metro.

Marlon plotted our route on our way home to Manila. On Club Filipino Ave cor Ortigas Avenue, while waiting for the traffic light to turn green there were vehicles both in front and the back of me. When the light changed to green, before the vehicle in front of me could move forward, I was hit in the rear part of my bike when the vehicle behind me lunged forward. The force of the vehicle moving forward caused his vehicle to ride on top of my rear tires, and crush it with the weight of his vehicle, folding it in half. I retrieved the bicycle from under the front side of his car.

At this point, I waived at him signaling him to park his car so we can figure out what to do about the accident when he, instead of stopping, left he scene of the accident.

Since the normal Ortigas Ave. traffic stopped him from going far, I was able to approach him to talk to him about the accident. He mentioned that he will just park his car along Wilson St. But, again, he left the scene for a 2nd time. I believe he did so purposefully since a) he did not stop as he said he would b) he sped off so fast, running away as fast as he can.

After the accident, I deposited my bicycle at Life Cycle, Greenhills, then looked for the police within the premises. They informed me that it should be reported to Traffic Enforcement of the San Juan Police station, where I filed my complaint. There they advised my what to do, including medical and police complaint procedures.

Yesterday morning, November 18. I was called by the Santolan Substation in San Juan, to report at 7:00pm Nov 19, 2010. regarding the accident. I asked the police if the person who caused the accident will be there. He informed me that he has been summoned. I plan to be there tonight with some of my Bike Commuter friends.

I asked some media sources if they can provide me info about the erring person/vehicle owner, I was provided the following:

Registered to: Jozel Francisco Santos
Address: 5353 Encomienda St., Bo. Olympia, Makati City
Plate no: ZSS107
Make: KIA
Model: Sportage
Year: 2009
Color: Black Cherry
Registered as of 11/17/2008

Luckily, I got minor scratches on my legs then went to Cardinal Santos for cleaning my wounds. I am appealing to all motorist, please give us little respect. We got two wheels and legs to go to work or home.

I would like to thank my bike buddy Tina Zamora of I Love to Ride my Bicycle and her husband Dennis for accompanying me at the Police Station and driving me home.

Do have have same experience as mine? Please share it to us and tell us the things you do after the accident.