I usually take the less traveled roads to get around traffic. I reached Biñan at around 6 am. The heat and traffic was tolerable along the national road but the jeeps really pose serious danger. They swerve and block without regard to cyclist. One must be very defensive in riding.
On my way back I decided to take the route near the lake. From Bo. La Paz in Biñan, I took the moderately rough road, about 6 to 8 feet wide to Bo. Landayan.
It was a surprising discovery. I’ve never seen this side of Biñan. There’s still some nature left but I doubt if it will last long. I saw several housing projects being built in the area.
The road was mildly rough. This made the ride more enjoyable. Eventually it will be paved as subdivisions and townhouses multiply along the lake shore area. Fish Vendors along the roads sells the freshest catch: bangus, tilapia, dalag and hito. The only farming present in the area is the cultivation of Kangkong (swamp cabbage or water cabbage or water spinach). I saw several men carrying sacks of banded kangkong.
The route terminates with a gate that is closed. A person opens it when someone would pass. I’m not sure why there’s a need to close the road. My guess is that the subdivision’s home owners decided to do this for security reasons.
Less than 500 meters from this spot is Bo. Landayan of San Pedro. This small barrio is home to the famous devotional icon, the Sto. Sepulcro (Holy Sepulchre) or Lolo Uweng to locals.
Another fascinating icon in Landayan are the tall, slim classic styled pedicabs. Its style has not change for almost 50 years. I asked the pedal pushing drivers if they know why and most of them said that in the area where floods are common, the old pedicab’s design is perfect. Some say that the design was retained because it was sleeker and faster.
According to a pedicab driver I interviewed, there are around 700 pedicabs in Landayan. I asked if the motored tricycles are a threat to their livelihood, an old man responded “no, because most people still prefer the pedicabs”. The guy also said he was old enough to remember the “25 centimo” riding fee back in the days. And this could be one of the reason why people still ride the pedicabs. They’ve been roaming the crowded narrow calle’s of Landayan for as long as they can remember.
A bicycle and pedicab lane should be established along the lake that would serve as a pleasure riding or travel lane.
Pedicab provides a means for drivers to train for bicycle competitions. It contributes to maintaining the purity of air in the environment. It also reduces the national demand for fossil fuel. We should give incentives to pedicab owning such as: design for lighter weight and aerodynamics; efficient energy transfer and multiplication from the driver to the bicycle; provide bicycle and pedicab lanes; and financial incentives.
JMG – I love the pedicabs! we should have more of them in Manila. Trikes and jeeps should be lessen. Infrastructure for mass transit. This should be priority!