Working-class heroes, of the biker kind

Cornelio-Agaid-Padilla-Jr
Tour of Luzon 1966 and 1967 back-to-back champion Cornelio Padilla Jr. Note that competitive bikers back then didn't wear helmets, just ordinary sun caps. Then as now, however, they still smelled of sweat. Image courtesy of Filipino Star News.

Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.—Ariel Ureta, popular radio-TV host in the 1970s

Ariel Ureta, forever associated with this motto under martial law, probably meant it as a harmless play or at most a subtle dig on the Marcos propaganda slogan, “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.” Rumors flew that Ariel was later called to Camp Crame and given a mild dose of Marcosian discipline by being made to bike around the camp for hours—a mere urban legend, as he himself recently clarified. Continue reading “Working-class heroes, of the biker kind”

So call it gloating. It’s my moment of superiority.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Call me serenity.
I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Call me serenity. Music saleswoman Elena Koniaraki, 39, rides her bicycle between cars at a central street in Athens July 11, 2012. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

I’ll make this short and sweet. Short and sweet, like my trip home on evenings like this.

So it’s a Friday, and a payday at that. So most everyone with bulging pockets are rushing out of their workplaces—as if they were running away from a fearsome monster.

So hordes of them are trooping to their favorite TGIF foodie corners and weekend hideaways—the farther away from the feared work monster, the better. Continue reading “So call it gloating. It’s my moment of superiority.”