Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fair Play: That Road Revolution and the Kaholeros

This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Sept. 26
WHILE I laud the goals of the folks behind the Road Revolution, I don’t think closing a major thoroughfare is helping their cause.

Sure, they freed up one road, but did that encourage the use of bikes? Did that encourage the people to walk, run or were they forced to do so because of the absence of vehicles?

And based on the long faces of the drivers, commuters and pedestrians who got hassled by the closure, I don’t think these folks will be inviting the guys behind Road Revolution into their homes for coffee, soon.

Yep, I think the Colon experiment of the Road Revolution was a big step backward, but that doesn’t mean the group should stop promoting the use of bikes, running and a healthy lifestyle.

Instead of closing roads, why not encourage companies to support their employees who use bikes to go to work by providing free parking space or shower rooms?

Or how about they encourage the establishments in the area where there is heavy vehicle traffic to allocate, say, 10 percent of their parking space for bikes?

Or, even better.  Lining up for business transactions with government agencies, SSS, GSIS, Pag-ibig, City Hall or getting clearances from the NBI and the police is such a big pain in the ass, why not have the Road Revolution group pressure these agencies to devote a lane to folks
who show up on bikes?
We can’t have a bike lane, but we can have a “bike lane.”

Sure, most of “their customers” ride public transportation but if we are to encourage the use of bikes, I think knowing that you won’t have to spend the rest of the day lining up if you show up on a bike will encourage folks to show up on a bike.

These are just a few suggestions for the Road Revolution because I think, in the next few days, politicians and commentators will have a field day lambasting the group for the inconvenience they caused, and by having to defend their actions, again, the people behind the
movement are back to square one.

Promoting the use of bikes and a healthy lifestyle is nice but closing a major thoroughfare to promote the use of bikes and a healthy lifestyle isn’t the best way to do it.

Folks who got inconvenienced only got pissed off with the folks who biked and frolicked their way on the street.

KAHOLEROS.  I think, the Kaholeros are one of the best things to happen in Philippine football. These fans took time away from work and spent their own money to watch the Philippine team in Panaad.

Now, they have grouped together to form the Kaholeros, putting a Pinoy face on the football fan with their unique way supporting the team.

Not all fans are taken with the Kaholeros. Some even accuse them of being just bandwagon fans out for a free ticket or who are after the good-looking guys.

But not me. I’ve been writing about the national team in 2000, and this is the first time that fans have organized. There were plans in ‘05 and in ‘06 but sadly, nothing much came out of it except, well, the name “Azkals.”

These guys talked about organizing themselves and did it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that because there’s the Kaholeros, others fans are barred from organizing their own group, say the Ultras.

Just go ahead and do it!

But please, there’s no competition on who is the bigger fan, and which is the better group.  I think that basically runs counter to the idea of a fan group.

And drop your plans of encouraging folks to show up with flares because while the rest of Southeast Asia are having trouble with flares and fan behavior (one fan got blinded by a flare in a Malaysia vs. Singapore match), that isn’t true in Rizal, where Kuwaiti fans mingled freely with Pinoys in the general admission section.

The Kaholeros Cebu Chapter, too, also get busy when there’s no footie match by holding a free football clinic for hearing-impaired students, bringing the love of the game to the others.

And based on the photos of their first football clinic last Sept. 9, I’m pretty sure yesterday’s clinic was a big hit, too.

These Kaholeros are not just footie fans who love to paint their faces.

They spread the love for football, too.

Congratulations.

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