2017 Season Projects and Activities
Bike Scouts Philippines is a volunteer organization that is a hundred percent volunteer-supported. The Bike Scouts has never received any formal funding in its three years of operation, the only time that funding has ever been accepted was when there waa a clear requirement and benefit for financial support. After three years of standing on its own Bike Scouts has gotten to the point that it needs to grow in all directions, or risk becoming irrelevant. It’s not an easy decision to make because growth is a big responsibility to the volunteers, the communities we work with, and the preservation of the clarity of purpose for the Bike Scouts organization. In this regard, we are actively working to professionalize our work and organize our commitments. In this way, we hope to ensure the long-term relevance of the Bike Scouts’ core purpose of providing an alternative means of communication, data collection, and delivery of knowledge for communities in the aftermath of disasters and in the intervening times when much of the work to prevent large-scale inaccessibility of people, places, and information needs to done.
LEARN MORE how you can support the Bike Scouts as a Bike Scouts Philippines sponsor or investor for 2017!
The 2016 1,000Km Ride
Bike Scouts Philippines, in partnership with Goozam, successfully mounted this year’s 1000Km Ride event starting in Manila and finishing in Guiuan, Eastern Samar for a total mileage of 1,049 kilometers in total. The ride is a product of two years of preparation including a rehearsal ride of the full distance in 2015 covering the Manila to Ormoc City route. The main highlight of the project was the community engagements done to promote the Bike Scouts’ initiative of community-based disaster preparedness using bicycles and available technology.
The places that the ride visited along the route include the Lutucan National Highschool in Sariaya, Quezon. The school has a 5,000 student population and among the faculty are Bike Scouts-Sariaya volunteer team members who are actively working to organize local volunteers and projects. Among the initiatives so far was a community ride for charity done in partnership with the Department of Tourism – Calabarzon and local bicycle clubs.
The ride visited Sorsogon City and meet with Monsignor Elegado at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Diocese of Sorsogon. The main topic of the conversation was about the local interest in cycling and how it could benefit the community in terms of fitness and as a way to be ready for the effects of natural disasters.
The Diocese provided access to their radio station that reaches audiences throughout Sorsogon, parts of Albay, Samar, and Masbate. Bike Scouts Philippines, Goozam, and the 1000km Ride was featured in one of the radio station’s morning programs which has also been uploaded to their web and social media channels. Bike Scouts Philippines will be working closely with the Diocese of Sorsogon to organize a local volunteer team and to make Sorsogon City a forward hub for data and communication, being on the route going to the port of Matnog, in the event of a disaster response situation in Southern Luzon and the Visayas.
Naga City is the biggest city on the 1000Km Ride itinerary, aside from Tacloban. As of now, the closest Bike Scouts volunteer team is in the municipality of Caramoan. One of the primary objectives in Bicol for 2017 is to expand the capabilities and presence of Bike Scouts Philippines to hubs and central areas that can connect all community-based teams.
Initial engagement was made with the members and officers of Samar Off-Road Bikers Association in Catbalogan City. The schedule of the Bike Scouts team arrival in the city and the duration of the stay, however, made it difficult to schedule a proper meeting. Further discussion is required at a future time to discuss the creation of a local volunteer team.
Tacloban City was ground zero for the original deployment of Bike Scouts during the Typhoon Yolanda response in 2013. However, due to the great distance from Manila and limited resources for a sustained engagement, work in Tacloban has strictly been limited to a per project basis. The 1000Km Ride has provided an opportunity to engage with the One Way Bike Club based in the city. The partnership gives Bike Scouts a well-established presence in Leyte with local volunteers who are extremely familiar with the province and surrounding areas.
The local Bike Scouts volunteer team in Sulangan, Eastern Samar has been around for the past three years. This year, the 1000Km Ride Project provided an opportunity to expand the Bike Scouts’ local presence to the main town of Guiuan and the nearby village of Gahoy. Bike Scouts is now fully-engaged in the Guiuan area through local communities and schools. The area is vital because it faces the Pacific Ocean and is often the site of most major typhoons’ landfall in the Philippines. Sulangan, in particular, provides Bike Scouts Philippines with a station in the extreme southern end of its operational coverage and a reliable source of real time data.
Community Volunteer Teams
2017 will see a major push in expanding the number of localized Bike Scouts Volunteer Teams. As of now, Bike Scouts has a presence in Manila, Laguna, Quezon, Eastern Samar, Tacloban City, and Cebu. The new additions to the growing network of Bike Scouts teams include the Goozam-led Bike Scouts USA based in California (Welcome to the team Bike Scouts USA!), new community volunteer teams in Quezon, primarily the group in Sariaya led by Joy Villanueva and Obet Palustre Tantay. Bike Scouts Sariaya will be very important in expanding the Bike Scouts network to Tiaong, Atimonan, Gumaca, Lucban, and other places in Quezon,
Sorsogon City is set to be the new hub for Bike Scouts in Southern Luzon with the support of the Diocese of Saints Peter and Paul and their radio station DZGN SpiritFM. Monsignor Elegado of Sorsogon and the Diocese’s communication and community development team will be the main partners of Bike Scouts in organizing a local volunteer team in Sorsogon. In Tacloban City, One Way Bike Club led by Bong Nalda will be the primary partner organization in Leyte and will be the chief membership for Bike Scouts in Leyte, the three-year-old Bike Scouts team in Sulangan (led by Kagawad Nanding Abueme and other community leaders), meanwhile, will be the main driver in their area, primarily for the newly-established teams in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. A very important development for 2017 is the prospective partnership with Bugoy Bikers of Cebu, led by Jens Funk and his bicycle-oriented foundation Bike4U.
Bike Scouts Mapping Parties
Bike Scouts Philippines will launch a new event in 2017 that is designed to map out all safe cycling routes around the Philippines. The objective is to opensource all local knowledge about recreational, commuter, and alternative trails, roads, destinations, and facilities. The project is the Bike Scouts’ response to the lack of bicycle lanes and the slow to non-existent bicycle-use infrastructure. The project will involve Bike Scouts community volunteers, the general public, cycling organizations, private companies, and government. Mapping will be done by “Parties,” which is meant primarily as “groups of people,” but can also be additionally defined as a fun or celebratory event. All data that will collected will be credited to their authors (volunteers mappers) and will be published in print and made available for free once a year with a mobile and online version updated monthly.
Bike Scouts Philippines Team Up! Event
An event series with an annual culminating activity that is designed to gather public support and participation for Bike Scouts Philippines and its advocacy. The TeamUp! event recognizes the need for a change in the way that social benefit activities attract support and participation, from a simple charity or advocacy approach to a branded public event that becomes the platform for convenient, fun, and genuine participation. TeamUp! opens up social good and advocacy to the mainstream audience by separating support from involvement, this is important because not all people have the time or inclination to actually be involved in many social good or benefit initiatives. People want to have the feeling that they’re concerned or that they’ve taken action, but only as long as their participation does not disrupt the regular schedule of their lives that provide them and their family with the comfort, convenience, and sense of stability that is their true priority. TeamUp! is a more realistic approach to public participation in social benefit initiatives and community engagement.
All TeamUp! events are rooted in food, fun, music, and cycling – these are the core components that participants will be guaranteed to find throughout the event series. Monthly events will be organized in or around locally popular venues that are accessible to bicycles and community-activity-friendly. As it is with all other Bike Scouts Philippines events, the TeamUp! event series shall never have political sponsorship, participation, or endorsement in any way, shape, or form.
LEARN MORE about the Bike Scouts Philippines TeamUp! event.
An annual event that’s already on its third year. The achievement of the event is its ability to bring people together from all walks of life to do something genuinely thoughtful on the most meaningful night of the year in the Philippines. Though it’s not meant to be a project with a religious theme, the Midnight Ride addresses the fact that, in a predominantly Catholic country that’s known to celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world, it’s easy for the less fortunate and the homeless to feel left out when people go out to buy food and gifts for themselves and their family. The Midnight Ride gives its participants to pause and consider an alternative way of celebrating what’s known as the season of giving – by actually giving time for those who never get the chance to be remembered.
LEARN MORE about the Midnight Ride Project.
The “The 1000Km Ride” is a first of its kind team stage event open to all cyclists. The event will be ridden on the same route established during the 2015 and 2016 1000Km Ride Project ride. The event will start with a neutral roll-out from the Kilometer Zero marker in Luneta Park, Manila and will follow the Maharlika Highway towards the finish line in Sulangan, Eastern Samar. The ride will run for eight days (the event takes a total of 10 days including the awards party and travel back to point of origin) with a cut-off assigned per day and special awards and recognition for stage achievements. However, the event is not a race, the format will adopt an “optional performance” ranking for participants where the main focus is to finish as many stages as possible within their cutoff times while having the option to chase after the Finisher’s Medal and Stage Achievement jerseys. All participants receive a Participant’s Medal and Jersey as long as they complete at least two stages from the Starting Line, while those who are unable to complete the requirement will receive a complimentary event shirt. Event prizes will be announced at the event briefing to be scheduled in October 2017.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Bike Scouts – Pathfinder Team, the part of the organization that actually deploys to disaster areas and other project areas, please feel free to send us personal information and a very short explanation why you want to sign-up. READ our checklist of expectations for everyone who signs-up. It’s not easy being a Bike Scout Volunteer, but it’s life-changing and the reward of seeing other people find hope through what we do is priceless.