CAMIGUIN (PIA)–Ride. Dip. Dive. Sit. Drive. Trek. Love. Shop.
These and more activities can make one’s stay in Camiguin more enjoyable and surely worthwhile, especially with the launch of northern Mindanao’s first-ever bike tour dubbed “Camiguin Isle Bike Tour,” May 28, 2023.
“We want to convert not just as sports enthusiasts but as tourists. This is the purpose of our bike event and our Bike NorthMin; we also want our riders, aside from having fun and being healthy, to be tourists and to help our economy,” Department of Tourism (DOT)-10 Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan said.
Riders of the Camiguin Isle Bike Tour pass through Benoni’s lagoon as they pedal their way to the finish line at the New Capitol Building, Mambajao, Camiguin, May 28, 2023. (JME/PIA-10/Camiguin
She further added that the impact of the riders’ visit in Camiguin is very big, and the impact of their visit all over northern Mindanao is very big.
One hundred twenty-eight riders from all over the region, including Cagayan de Oro City, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, and some personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-10, pedaled the scenic 64 km circumferential road of the island province from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Starting off from the New Capitol Grounds in Mambajao, the riders need to get five stickers from the stations established in the province’s five towns to complete the bike tour and qualify for the raffles sponsored by R.O.X.
Riders take a quick stop for water refills as well as to breathe in the fresh air and feast their eyes on the scenic overview of the Camiguin waters during the Camiguin Isle Bike Tour, May 28, 2023. (JME/PIA-10/Camiguin)
Stickers and water refilling stations were placed at Catarman, Sagay, Guinsiliban Municipal Hall, San Roque in Mahinog, and back at Mambajao.
Prior to the event proper, riders were required to have their own water bottle, wear their most comfortable cycling attire, and observe the hand signals as demonstrated during the orientation so as to avoid accidents, just in case a rider needs to take a quick stop while on the road.
“Kung gusto musakay sa wala pa nakumpleto ang ruta, dili na muqualify sa raffle nga gisponsoran. Kung mahimo, duha ra ka bikers mag-abay. Maximum sa usa ka lane, duha lang ang mag-abay para sa safety, labi na sa lugar nga under construction [ang dalan],” Mambajao Local Government Sports Coordinator Gilbert Grado said.
(If you want to ride before the tour is completed, you will not qualify for the sponsored raffle. If possible, only two bikers must ride together. In one lane, only two riders must ride together for safety, especially in areas with roads that are under construction)
A water splash awaits the riders of the Camiguin Isle Bike Tour who are on their way to the finish line at the New Capitol Building, Mambajao, Camiguin, May 28, 2023. (JME/PIA-10/Camiguin)
For her part, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Maria Vitoria Jansol said the activity is part of the province’s promotion of its new tourism brand, “Camiguin Isle Be There,” as it will enable tourists to see the offerings of the island.
“As a chairman on the committee on tourism, I would like to request our [DOT-10] director to continuously support us and all our projects sa (of) tourism and most especially the Climb Camiguin and Lanzones Festival,” she added.
As a first-time biker on the island, Melanie Galagala, 34, from DSWD-10, said she grabbed the opportunity to exercise, have fun, and enjoy the perks of a free tour and accommodation by joining the bike tour.
“Grabe ka han-ay, abunda sa pagkaon, abunda sa view, lamian pa jud kaayo ang view sama sa kalami sa pag-atiman nila sa amoa,” Galagala said.
(It was very well organized, abundant in food, abundant in view; the view was very nice, just as they took care of us)
She also urged other enthusiasts to join the bike tour, emphasizing that the experience was really “worth the try” and that it helped hit the balance between having fun and staying fit.
The Camiguin Isle Bike Tour is the first of the many bike tours set by DOT-10 to boost local economies, enhance physical and mental well-being, showcase natural and cultural heritage, foster community engagement and local pride, and encourage education and awareness, especially on road safety. (RTP/PIA-10/Camiguin)