FOUNDED in 1987 the motorcycles-riding group of 10 has grown to 200 members thirty years after. This 2017, On Any Sunday Riders (OASR) club celebrates its three decades of mounting big bikes and taking trips from Davao to around Mindanao to as far as Aparri, Cagayan Province in Luzon.
James Garcia, current OASR president, said the Aparri destination happened because of President Rody Duterte, who joined the club in 1992. It was him who proposed a ride all over the Philippines because he hasn’t seen the whole country.
Fifteen years later, in his speech during the OASR 2007 elections, the former Davao mayor said you can’t call yourself a rider unless you’ve ridden from Davao to Aparri. The 4,000-kilometer 18-day ride became a tradition for the club. OASR took the long ride in 2008 and recorded four more Philippine loops with different routes since 2010.
An exhibit at the activity center of the Abreeza commemorates OASR 30th anniversary. In photographs and motorcycles, the thirty-year journey is chronicled.
Gracing the opening of the three-day exhibit was Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who was once a member of the group.
She engaged the crowd with her amusing anecdotes about her experiences with the OASR. With a smile, she confessed, “Na mention kanina na i-rode with the OASR year 1995 to 1997. Tan awa ninyo ang mga pictures, the one thing I noticed and the reason I stopped riding with all of you is ‘walang babae’”.
The young Sara, who was in her late teens and early 20’s, recalls that she didn't have anyone to talk to when they reach a destination. There was even one time that no one told her to wear long sleeved shirt and gloves on their ride to Mati, her last ride with the group. While everyone was wowed with Mati, she was “aawed” by sunburn.
“I hope on your 50th year, I will see wonderful female faces in your pictures.”
As to the objectives of OASR, Garcia said, “Actually, it’s more of people who got together with the love of riding, but later we have evolved to (include) civic causes,” and added, “We also campaigned for the president in the last election. We have become a community in itself with now 200 members.”
To be a member, the requirement is to ride with the OASR for six consecutive rides. When completed, the board, which convenes every December, will decide if one can be accepted as a member.
The most significant ride of the OASR to date was the 2016 campaign ride for Rody Duterte when he announced his bid for the presidency. The route taken was from Davao crossing the different provinces in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, which took eighteen days.
“On OASR, we really continue to be growing at an average of twelve applicants every year. I see a lot of civic actions, which will include a ride to Iligan and handing of distributions to the soldiers of Marawi on September 30.”
Catch the OASR 30th anniversary exhibit at the Abreeza Mall on its last day today.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 25, 2017.
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