By Iñaki Jose
Back 2017, Rider Cheggy Medina with UHAW riders, MotoPinas writer and Aris Cuevas of BOSS asked if they can get special permit from DOT to be able to open the Lahar trail for them since it was already about year that it was closed to the public due to some tension with the indigenous people living there.
Of course, I asked DOT Asec. Ricky Alegre, and he said yes we can open it but you have to remind Cheggy that the situation is sensitive. Asec. Ricky made a phone probably to Batman, and boom the trail was open for the few riders.
Riders are the friendliest tourist, a naturally happy bunch due to inhaling too much fuel. The minute they reached the community, the indigenous community immediately fell in love with them.
Ang Kwento ng Poso
Aris Cuevas, of BOSS was asking where do you get water? Doon pa daw sa baba ng bundok; Aris asked why kasi sira po yung poso namin hindi mapagawa. Upon hearing this, Aris immediately gave them money to buy a new poso. Cheggy and Brando were more concerned on the food and lively hood of the indigenous folks and asked the group to pass the hat so they can buy groceries.
After this meaningful trip, the riders were invited to comeback and visit by the very people who did not like outsiders. The group talked among themselves, with heavy and contented hearts colliding, they agreed that they will be back but with help reinforcements from other riders. In addition, every time they go back they have groceries with them for the indigenous community.
This led to group organizing the Pinatubo Charity Ride spearheaded by Brando Rosales ..... and the rest is history.
The trail is now permanently open, the Aeta community is thriving, different riding groups do medical missions or whatever help is needed. Thanks to these fine riders with big hearts and Asec. Ricky, the our indigenous friends now have a small economy there that caters to tourists.
Photo credits : Cheggy Medina, Aris Cuevas, Brando Rosales, Jacob Orbe, Joey Storm Rivero and Royal Enfield