The pandemic has shown that riding a bike is the best option for mobility, either for work, leisure, or sports in this booming metropolis. Iloilo City as the ‘Bike Capital of the Philippines’ will celebrate the joy and benefits of cycling in the annual Bike Festival set this April 9, 2021.
Iloilo is the so-called Bike Capital of the Philippines for it is home to the longest protected bike lane in the country along Diversion Road all the way to the city’s Esplanades. The city also has Iloilo Bike Lanes Network Project which will expand and connect the cycling infrastructure to over 43 kilometers. It was also awarded as the ‘Most Bike-friendly City’ by Philbike Awards in 2018.
Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said that the staging of the Iloilo Bike Festival this year will promote tourism and help in economic recovery. The event will further promote pedal-friendly best practices to propel the metropolis’ position as bike capital in the country.
“On April 9, the city will have a Bike Festival that will promote our local tourism, and we have been conducting our branding campaign to name the city the Bike Capital of the Philippines as one of our initiatives to help local businesses to recover and prosper,” Treñas said.
Iloilo Bike Festival 2021 Schedule of Activities
Treñas said that he has already discussed initial plans and activities for this year’s Iloilo Bike Festival with the biking community led by advocate and artist Rock Drilon. Here’s the schedule of activities.
April 9 – Grand Fun Day
- 10-km Grand Fun Ride (Diversion Road, 6-8AM Megaworld )
- Food Fair
- Industrial Exhibit and Exposition
- Porma Bisikleta Contest
- Bike Symposium
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat is expected to join the activities on the first day.
- Bicycle Tour on Murals and Museums, Tourist Destinations
- Artwork Exhibit at ILOMOCA
April 11 – Family Fun Day
Iloilo City Government is expecting over 5,000 cyclists who will participate in this year’s Iloilo Bike Festival. Registration for the events will be done at the onset of the festival.
In previous years, the bike festival featured BMX 4 cross competition, pump truck competition, fixie bike, BMX bike street competition, bike expo, and the Grand Fun Ride. Last year, the Bike Festival was canceled due to a nationwide lockdown brought about by the pandemic.
Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibit (MICE) Center headed by Salvador ‘Dong’ Sarabia is the organizing committee of the 2021 Iloilo Bike Festival. Sarabia assured the public that the health protocols will be followed during the event for the safety of cyclists and other guests.
Level up promotions
The bike fest is just one of the efforts of the Iloilo City Government to promote the metropolis as the cycling capital. The promotion will get a boost after the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) pledged P9.9 million for the campaign.
“Soon, we will level up our promotions with the help of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB). They will be providing P9.9 million worth of funds for the promotion of Iloilo City as the Bike Capital of the Philippines,” Treñas said.
The private sector is also doing its share by installing bike racks within their business premises, donating bicycles to the city’s front liners, helping in the beautification of bike lanes, and holding fun rides for a cause participated by over a thousand cyclists from all over the province.
These efforts have resulted in ever-growing biking groups and communities with very active and engaged members who helped in making sure that the city maintains its bike capital tag.
Iloilo Bike Festival started in 2014 during the administration of then-Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in partnership with Megaworld Corporation. It aims to promote Iloilo as a safe and bike-friendly city, to promote the share-a-road movement, to encourage Ilonggos to commute via biking, to raise Ilonggos awareness on the benefits of biking on health, safety, and environmental concerns.
It also intends to create awareness of the attraction of the local tourism circuits as a biking route, to promote and implement road safety ordinances for bicycles, and to promote to Ilonggos the workability of the new bike lanes.