Metro Manila participated in the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) once again — joining around two billion riders in more than 600 cities across over 100 countries on September 29, 2019. This year, the Manila ride attracted 1,446 officially registered participants and, as usual, it was a sight to behold for the bikers and the onlookers. DGR is a global charity event that is partnered with both Triumph Motorcycles and The Movember Foundation to raise funds for men’s health.
DGR Manila was able to contribute $6,000 to the cause, out of the $5.5 million raised worldwide in 2019. In the Philippines, six other cities aside from Metro Manila hosted rides around the archipelago: Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Cebu, San Fernando, San Pablo, and Zamboanga.
For the uninitiated, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was founded in Sydney by Mark Hawwa who found himself inspired by a photo of the actor Jon Hamm, of Mad Men fame, donning a suit astride a classic motorcycle. Since 2012, the themed event has been inviting riders to congregate in dapper attire on their classic, retro, and custom motorcycles and scooters to combat existing stigmas which may surround bikers.
In 2013, DGR participants began supporting men’s physical and mental health by donating and raising funds for The Movember Foundation and other research institutes around the globe in the fight against prostate cancer, the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. In 2016, DGR added mental health and suicide prevention to its causes.
DGR is transparent regarding where all the funds go... If you participated and donated to DGR, I highly recommend that you check out the 2016-2018 investment report of program allocations. Yes, ladies and gents, those are the many important efforts that you have contributed to — including grants for cutting-edge biomedical research and development, prostate cancer patient support, health initiatives, the development of suicide prevention programs for military veterans and first responders, and more. The 2019 report will be released next year.
The 2019 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in Manila, organized and led by Mark Laccay, began early on Sunday morning at the Cainta Municipal Hall Grounds in Rizal. The parade flowed northbound, taking a break at Quezon City Hall which served as last year’s meet-up point. The route then continued southward, crossing both New Manila and San Juan to end at the Metrotent Convention Center in Ortigas, Pasig where the participants could choose to attend the Moto Heritage Weekend event.
It was a special, chaotic morning indeed, full of riders dressed to the nines in their Sunday best. As the morning went from cool to hot and humid, with even some rain in between, the roving parade was funneled through the urban jungle of the Philippine capital, momentarily beautifying the grungy city streets with snazzily-dressed men, women, and children on interesting machines that spanned decades — from DIY customs and premium builds to modern retros and restored vintage gems.
With all the attention and growing crowds, the members of the local organizing team have their work cut out for them in the years to come — as they figure out how to resourcefully navigate Metro Manila’s notoriously challenging infrastructure. Last weekend, the organizing team of DGR Manila collaborated with both local governments and volunteer clubs to facilitate the Philippines’ successful participation in the global cause.
We’d like to congratulate everyone who made DGR Manila 2019 possible and fun. Thanks for having us, it was a blast!