You may have lived in Manila City for a while now—speeding through Taft Avenue on an LRT-1, passing through Roxas Boulevard on your fast car, or maybe sleeping the whole ride on a bus. The city has become just another place where you shuffle to and from work or school, not realizing that the Philippines’ capital has a beauty of its own. To let you see Manila in a different light, National Bicycle Organization (NBO) brings you a fun ride for beginners around the city with the starting point at Robinsons Place Manila. The Robinsons Place Manila Bike Tour is happening starting July 17, 2021, Saturday. To register, head to NBO’s website.
Assembly area is at Robinsons Place Manila’s Bike Repair Station near the main entrance along Pedro Gil Street. Participants are asked to be at the assembly area at 3:30 p.m.; but if you want to do some last-minute bike checks at the Bike Repair Station, you can come at 3 p.m. Ride out is at 4 p.m.; and after completing about 7.4 kilometers around Manila City’s historical and cultural destinations, the pack is scheduled to be back at Robinsons Place Manila at 6 p.m.
From Robinsons Place Manila, the group will head 1.1-kilometer north towards the National Museum of the Philippines via Maria Orosa and Padre Burgos Streets. The National Museum Complex, which comprises the National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Anthropology, and National Museum of Natural History, reopened to the public on June 19.
Bikers will then pedal towards Liwasang Bonifacio, where a statue of Andres Bonifacio designed by National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino stands proudly. The next stop is the historic Manila City Hall, which is located just 200 meters away from Liwasang Bonifacio. Opened in 1941, it boasts a Neoclassical style designed by Architect Antonio Toledo. It is most known for its clock tower, which is at 100 feet in height.
After exploring the cultural and historic sites within Ermita, participants will then bike 1.2 kilometers along Taft Avenue to drop by Quiapo Bike Shops to pick up a gear or two. The next stop is Quiapo Church (also called Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene), which was built in the Mexican Baroque style in 1984 by National Artist for Architecture José Ma. Zaragoza.
From Quiapo Church, bikers will weave through Quezon Boulevard, Quezon Bridge, Riverside Drive, and Soriano Drive—a total of 1.9 kilometers—to get to Plaza Roma in Intramuros. It is one of the three major public squares within the Walled City, and the home of the Manila Cathedral. It’s also where you can find the famous Book Stop Intramuros.
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The last stretch is about 1.5 kilometers away from Intramuros: Kilometer Zero and Luneta Park. Kilometer Zero, which is found right in front of Luneta Park across the Rizal Monument, is the exact spot from which distances all over Luzon are measured. If you’ve seen yellow markers along national roads, the top number indicates the distance (in kilometers) from Kilometer Zero. The letter and number below that indicates the next major town or city and your distance from it.
The Robinsons Place Manila Bike Tour is open to new bikers, who just finished their lessons with NBO, as well as more experienced riders, who want to have an adventurous weekend and explore some of the best sights in Manila City on a two wheel. Up to 450 bikers from Robinsons Place Manila are already expected to join this monthly activity. Bikers are asked to bring their own helmet and protective gear, water battle, reflective vest, bike light, and a bag for valuables.
The tour is part of NBO’s advocacy to teach people how to ride a bike safely on our streets in a fun way. They’ve been holding NBO Bike Lessons to get more and more people into the lifestyle of biking, which isn’t only a good way to get some much-needed exercise but also help eliminate fossil fuel-dependent vehicles in our streets and minimize air pollution.
It’s also part of Robinsons Malls’ response to the increasing numbers of bikers especially when public transportation was suspended at the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Other efforts include providing venues for NBO Bike Lessons at Robinsons Place Manila and Robinsons Metro East; opening free and self-service Bike Repair Stations at Robinsons Place Manila, Robinsons Otis, Robinsons Place Las Piñas, Robinsons Novaliches, Robinsons Place Lipa, and other Robinsons Malls; and well-lit and secure Bike Parking areas. To date, there are 49 Bike Repair Stations in Robinsons Malls nationwide with a total capacity of2,565 bikes.