Back in the day, weekend rides in the now infamous MARILAQUE (Manila-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon highway) were quite uneventful. One could still enjoy the freedom and fresh mountain breeze before sipping that hot bulalo soup at Mang Vic's.
Now, the Sunday ride can be dangerous with the number of unruly motorcycle riders that use the road as a racetrack and stage.
I, almost fell victim to these unruly riders who seem keen to race everyone they see riding up the mountains, even if others are just there to enjoy the winding roads at a leisurely pace.
With the rising number of motorcycle-related accidents especially during weekends, the PNP-Highway Patrol Group imposed speed limits in the area. However, with the absence of HPG enforcers patrolling recently, the party continues.
Because of this, a group of motorcycle riders are putting matters into their own hands to “clean their own backyard.” The Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) has not only been vocal against discriminatory laws against motorcycle riders but is also now spearheading the efforts to #MakeMarilaqueSafeAgain. This hashtag campaign, according to the group, will not be on social media only, but also on the street level, especially during weekends.
“The situation is desperate,” said Jobert Bolanos, MRO Chairman. “We are ashamed for only acting on it now. We cannot, must not allow this to go on if we are to continue fighting for rider rights. It's hypocrisy. We have to do something to clean our own backyards as well.”
The group feels that these reckless acts by some motorcycle riders, which may occassionally cause harm and destruction of property in the event of an accident, may put riders in general in a bad light.
“That's why a lot of ordinances and laws are drafted against the motorcycle riding community and there's only a few to no politicians that take us seriously,” added MRO in Filipino.
With this campaign, the group, in coordination with the LTO, will take advantage of technology to document and report individuals who are recklessly riding along Marilaque. The group will also push for the creation of formal events that could cater to the development of rider talent on race tracks and to take racing away from the streets.
“We will do what we can to raise awareness and make the pasaway stop their reckless behavior to #MakeMarilaqueSafeAgain.” said MRO in an interview.
EDITOR'S NOTE: These photos were taken along Marilaque last Aug. 18, 2019 where we were surprised to discover not just street racing but stunt riding on public roads as well, with large crowds gathered to cheer and document these reckless acts.