Excitement up for first Iloilo Bike Festival
The long-time dream of bikers everywhere in Iloilo City is gradually becoming a reality.
It started with the creation of bike lanes along Diversion Road. Nightly, you will see Ilonggos and even foreign nationals, passing the lane on their bikes.
Next is the First Iloilo Bike Festival slated on March 30, 2014.
Mayor Vicente Flores of Oton, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo City
and Mayor Dunstan Sale of San Miguel, Iloilo. KATHY VILLALON PHOTO
“On March 30, Iloilo City will host the first Iloilo Bike Festival,” said Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog before members of the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Development Council of which he is the chairman, during their meeting last February 27. Those present were San Miguel (Mayor Dunstan Sale), Cabatuan (Mayor Ronilo Caspe), Sta. Barbara (Mayor Dennis Superficial), a representative from Pavia, Oton (Mayor Vicente Flores) and Guimaras (Governor Samuel Gumarin).
“I talked to City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena. The CTO presented the different spots that bike participants will pass. I told him to include the MIGEDC – look into the possibility of crossing to Guimaras which has a 15-hectare bike park.”
Mabilog added that the bikers would converge at the Megaworld (old airport). He said it would be a relay. “They will pass the towns and get something there. Then, they present these at the end of the course and receive a prize from the sponsor.”
Mayor Caspe suggested, “Say, when they pass by Cabatuan, they get the tablea.” He is referring to the native chocolate that the town is famous for.
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Meanwhile, Mabilog shared that Iloilo will host a business summit at Intercon Manila on March 12, 2014 and there, he and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. will present the developments and potentials of the province and city to hundreds of investors and embassies from different parts of the world.
He shared the following updates and developments that are up for collaboration:
Industrial Park. “We are considering a reclamation site in Balabago, Jaro and it runs towards a portion of Leganes. So Mayor Jaen (Adolfo) may be interested to present his side.”
River Cruise. “We are looking for investments for a river cruise. Iloilo City is offering the old slaughterhouse in Molo as a terminal. But we need another terminal at the end of the cruise and we thought of Oton. It’s a ‘Whole New World’ concept. We will put music such as sound of birds – a back-up music when they pass the river.”
APEC. “The national organizing committee of APEC was here last week to check on Iloilo. Mayor Caspe welcomed them. They were impressed with the airport, but they said it needs more CCTV and X-ray machines. They also saw the golf course (Sta. Barbara) and Tinukib (Malia-o, Pavia). They were impressed with the industrial area in Pavia.”
Road network. Mabilog brought up the need to develop more road networks that will connect MIGEDC. Currently, there is a radial road with many crossings leading to these towns, “but there are no directions or markers,” Mabilog said.
He also suggested converting dirt roads into additional roads. “We need a bigger ring or circumferential road. It will decongest the traffic in Iloilo City and improve its air quality. The new roads will spur the economy, increase the real property’s value, increase real property tax and increase the budget of the municipality.”
(The writer was at the MIGEDC meeting for the awarding of the Narra Tree Contest winners. That will be another article on this blog site)