SUBIC: A Haven for Bikers

I always bring my bike along whenever I visit the SBMA Freeport in Olongapo – whether for work or for a vacation.

Right now, I am here with my wife to attend the wedding of Paolo Pagaduan and Marjonette Romulo; and again, our bikes are with us. We were able to squeeze in two days of leisure biking and sightseeing before the wedding.

Subic for me is a paradise for those who enjoy biking as a strenuous sport or as a leisure activity with loved ones and friends.

It has the best of both worlds … safe wide roads and nature trails amidst a central business district. Now, further enhanced with the opening of SM City and Ayala’s Harbor Point.

Redevelopment is still ongoing with new villas, resorts and hotels sprouting all over the place. The retail mix of stand alone commercial areas have the global brands and popular chains. However, it does not have the necessary volume of patrons to sustain profitable operations.

Something has to be done so we do not lose this gem of a leisure and recreation attraction so near and easily accessible to Metro Manila. SBMA is a national treasure handed down to us by the US military.

The competent people of SBMA like Armie Carvajal Llamas are doing their part. The private sector like pre-eminent property developers and manufacturers are pitching in.

We can also contribute to this effort by visiting SBMA regularly and by patronizing their commercial, business, and tourism establishments.

This is an appeal to all those who love to bike. Organize trips with loved ones and friends or even cycling clubs to SBMA. Help the local economy by booking into their accommodations, go shopping in their duty free shops, patronize their different retail locators, and dine in their restaurants and other food outlets.

Let us teach our children to visit, appreciate, and love our local attractions before bringing them on trips abroad.

As the Department of Tourism used to say … “Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan.”

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INSPIRED BIKING. Nothing beats biking with a loved one. And, I am fortunate to have my wife, GEMMA, as my biking companion. Aside from spending more quality time together, we also shed some calories together. It strengthens our relationship while helping us become more healthy.

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WIDE OPEN ROADS. Biking along the streets of SBMA is safe and less prone to accidents because of low vehicular traffic and the discipline of motorists.

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ONE WAY. A major stretch of Waterfront Road is one way so bikers are not too cramped into the side of the road.

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WIDE SIDEWALKS. A welcome treat for bikers is when they can shift to using the sidewalks whenever the road becomes congested. We have alot of wide sidewalks here in SBMA, especially in the commercial areas.

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BIKE RACKS NEEDED. It is fun being able to shop while on your bike. But, wouldn’t it be better if stores could provide bike racks for the convenience of their patrons on two wheels? Maybe the SBMA can request their commercial and retail locators to provide back racks to make it easier for bikers to shop or dine in their establishments.

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NEW LOCATORS. Segara Suites and Segara Villas are a welcome addition to the growing accommodations provided by SBMA to its local and foreign visitors. However, a market study I made in 2011 revealed that a great majority of SBMA’s visitors are domestic tourists with foreigners representing a small percentage of visitor arrivals.

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