Ilocano cyclists join artist’s crusade to promote clean air

LAOAG CITY — Over the past three years, Fil con Dumat-ol Rivera, 58 and a resident of Bayawan City, Negros Oriental had been pedaling his custom-made bamboo bike, crossing various parts of the country to promote clean air and a healthy lifestyle.

This week, Tatay Filcon is in Ilocos Norte where a group of bike enthusiasts joined him along the way.

“It is both inspiring and lucky on my part to have met a man who share the same passion for cycling and whose advocacy for environment and faith in God is deep and with glimmering rays of hope. I admire, especially his views about life and the mother nature and it makes me wonder how many more people like him that’s left on Earth who really care about humanity,” said Florante Nicolas, a father of two boys from San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, who met Tatay Filcon by chance in front of the Sta. Monica Church in Sarrat town on Saturday afternoon.

According to Rivera, he had been visiting places using his bamboo bike to reach out to more people and promote his advocacy in support to the clean air act.

In 2015, he used a wooden skate board to connect with fellow artists and environmentalists in Baguio City and some parts of Luzon.

Attached to his bamboo bike is a rattan basket where he carries some inspiring books of Light Bearers, a hammock and some personal belongings.

Dubbed as “Share the Air and Share the Road,” Rivera hopes to gather thousands of signatures which he plans to present to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez and President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I feel the hardship of cyclists when smoke belching vehicles passed by and you could hardly breath. I hope we help each other clean the air and for the government to strictly implement environment laws,” said Rivera.

In between his rest time along the way, he makes sure to drop by at churches to pray for family and friends and seek for God’s guidance to keep him safe as he carry out his mission.

“Keep living a meaningful life and inspiring people. We are always here to support you,” said RJ Peralta Miranda as he posted some of his group photos with Rivera in his Facebook account.

After Rivera’s bamboo bike pilgrimage in Ilocos Norte where he met and made a lot of friends mostly in San Nicolas, Laoag, Sarrat, Dingras, Solsona, Piddig, Bacarra and Bangui, he is now on his way to Cagayan to further promote his advocacy.

According to Rivera, he is grateful for all the support he is receiving from the friendly and hospitable Ilocanos in this northern part of Luzon, such as offering food and shelter in support to his advocacy.

While pedaling my bike on the road, I realized how rich I am. I have a very supportive family, I am healthy and I gained so many friends along the way,” said Rivera.