Cyclists join Globe biking challenge-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
THE first Globe Arakan XC (Cross-Country) biking challenge hit the roads of Davao City on October 20 as cyclists from as far as Manila took part in the drive to encourage citizen support for the nationwide campaign to protect and save the endangered Philippine Eagle and its habitat.
Biking enthusiasts conquered the 55-kilometer trail, which started at 6:00a.m. from the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Davao City and wrapped up at Arakan Valley in North Cotabato at around 3:00p.m.
While bikers expected to easily navigate the long but paved terrain, they were in for a real challenge on the last five kilometers as the road to the finish line is composed of mud, stone and loose gravel, which required even the most experienced biker to exercise caution.
Since Globe Arakan XC was not a race, participants were simply timed to measure their performance, which provided even recreational bikers a chance to join as long as they are physically fit to do mountain biking.
Utmost care was also being taken cared of both by Globe and its race organizer, Everest Outdoors led by Mt. Everest summiteers Pastour Emata and Dax Ang, to avoid any untoward incident.
Aside from fielding marshals along the road, Globe also requested the presence of the Philippine Army to ensure the safety of the participants.
“At the first Globe Arakan XC, we are bound to implement in earnest and with confidence our aim of helping restore the Arakan forest corridor to its former glorious -- and hopefully ‘greener’ -- state,” said Rob I. Nazal, Head of Globe Corporate Social Responsibility.
He added: “We really aim to see the day wherein the Philippine Eagle will happily fly across three forest patches that are being connected through a forest corridor via the reforestation work of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), our partner and event beneficiary.”
The status of the Philippine Eagle perfectly exemplifies the ill-effects of deforestation. No more than 400 adult pairs of this critically endangered species remain.
Data shows that death rates are most likely exceeding birth rates, thereby, further pushing the species to the extinction vortex.
To address the situation, PEF and the Foundation for Philippine Environment launched a biodiversity conservation program in Arakan, North Cotabato in 2002.
Called the Arakan Forest Corridor Development Program (AFCDP), this initiative is meant to test a community-based, landscape approach to biodiversity conservation.
Using the Philippine Eagle as a conservation flagship, AFCDP aims to build new eagle habitats while empowering indigenous and non-indigenous villages towards sustainable development.
For Globe Arakan XC, Globe pledged a contribution of P400,000 to PEF for AFCDP on top of any amount that may be realized from bikers registration fees and donations from concerned individuals.
Each participant provided a P1,000 donation to PEF and were given a biker’s kit inclusive of event jersey, race bib, race bike number and refreshments.
Those who did not join but still want to contribute to the cause may also donate any amount to PEF via bank deposit or GCASH fund transfer.
Globe Arakan XC was supported by leading global ICT solutions provider Huawei, auto repair service center Rapide and the Ayala Business Club – Davao composed of about 30 members including Ayala Land, Avida and Bank of the Philippine Islands. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 25, 2012.