CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MIKE BAÑOS / April 15) – Newsmen from this city have recommended that Sen. Pia Cayetano change the moniker "Bike for Hope" to something more relevant without hinting at commercialism.
"When we think of Hope, it's the cigarette which instantly comes to mind," said Vic Cabanag of DXIM Radyo ng Bayan . "Maybe it's better for the senator to change it into something more local or vernacular like say, Pajak para sa Pag-Asa instead of Bike for Hope because it gives people the impression the cigarette company is sponsoring the event and that runs counter to supposed aim of this project in the first place."
With the Marlboro already sponsoring the Tour ng Pilipinas bicycle race, Cabanag said it naturally follows that people will connect Hope cigarette to Bike for Hope which is not good.
Cabanag and other newsmen joined the Cagayan de Oro Press Club's weekly media forum "Media Konek" where Cayetano's "5th Bike for Hope" project was the featured topic.
However, Jun Morante, one of Cayetano's media staff, clarified that Hope in the case of the project stands for "Health of the People, Exercise is Best".
Mike Ac-ac, Cayetano's media relations officer, said some 500 bicycle enthusiasts are expected to join the "5th Bike for Hope" advocacy ride led by Cayetano on June 17. The four-hour, 100 kilometer ride will pass through the Misamis Oriental towns of Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan, Balingasag and Lagonglong before returning by the same route for a culminating program at the provincial capitol.
Mailet Bonoan, Bike for Hope consultant, said the project started three years ago when Cayetano challenged her siblings to bike uphill to Baguio in memory of her late father, Sen. Rene "Companyero" Cayetano. It would also advocate for the improvement of people's quality of life through physical fitness, and biking is one of them, Bonoan added.
The 5th Bike for Hope is a project of the Companyero Rene Cayetano Foundation in cooperation with Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno and the Misamis Oriental League of Municipalities led by Tagoloan Mayor Yevgeny "Bambi" Emano.
It is also sponsored by the Department of Tourism, Coca Cola Foundation, Nestle Philippines, Pilipinas Shell, Cebu Pacific, Universal Robina Corp., Pryce Pharmaceuticals, Promax, Endurox and Accelerade.
Bonoan said proceeds from the event would be used to support various health projects of the foundation, which aims to put up the country's first national liver center.
In addition to the advocacy ride, Bike for Hope community seminars will also be held from June 15-16 in the Misamis Oriental towns of Balingasag, Villanueva, Jasaan, Lagonglong, Salay, Balingoan, Tagoloan, Binuangan, Sugbongcogon and Talisayan on topics like solid waste management, prevention of violence against women and breastfeeding.
A fitness clinic will also be conducted for female students in Jasaan and Tagoloan by 2006 Asian Duathlon Champion Ryan "Bad Boy" Mendoza, national women's triathlon champion Ani de Leon and three-time national triathlon champion George Vilog. The seminar aim to empower women by teaching young girls about running and fitness, Bonoan said.