Over 500 bikers turned up at Rizal Park this morning for the Bike for Peace. Most of the bikers were from Davao City but there were some who came from as far as GenSan. There were bikers in mountain bikes, road bikes and BMX. The some Kabayan motorbike riders were also around to help as marshalls. There was a Muslim Imam who came to join and well as another priest beside me. There were also some female bikers, some children and and biker with his monkey. By 8:15 am, after I gave the final instruction and led the prayer, we were on our way around the city and we biked for 30 km led by motorcycle cops. It was a slow pace - an average of 15 km per hour. It was really a procession on wheels, with me leading the bikers and setting the pace. There was no overtaking and we made sure that nobody was left behind. Signs were place on our jerseys or bikes which read: "No to war, peace now." "Stop the War, Resume Peace negotiations" and "Kalinaw sa Mindanao." We came back at Rizal Park by 10:45 am. We gave out snacks and certificate to the participants.
This is the 7th Bike for Peace which I organized and which is sponsored by the Redemptorist Community and the Mother of Perpetual Help Parish. Our parish staff, youth core group and seminarians helped as support group. The Bike for Peace has become an annual event, which is part of the activities of the Mindanao Week of Peace.
As the peace talks between the Government and the MILF and the Government and the NDF have broken down and the war continues in Mindanao, the Bike for Peace is one of the activities that highlight the need for peace in Mindanao and in the whole country.