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150 riders in 45.5 kilometer Victory Day Ride on V-Day

READY PADYAK. Philippine Veterans Bank first vice president Mike Villa-Real, left, explains the 45.5 kilometer Vi tory Day Ride on September 3 where stops will be made at six historical sites. PML

Some 150 bikers are expected to join the first Victory Day Ride to celebrate the “victory” of the Fil-Am forces against Japanese forces under general Tomoyuki Yamashita when he formally surrendered in Sept. 3, 1945.

The 45.5 kilometer ride will take riders to historical sites during the nearly four years of Japanese occupation which ended when Yamashita was caught in Kiangan, Ifugao before he was transported here.

Mike Villa-Real, first vice president of Philippine Veteran Bank, organizer of the event, said the bikathon is a celebration of the victory that ended the war here that killed a million Filipinos.

He said that it is a response to the Valor Run that is staged on April 9 commemorating the infamous Death March, a 110 kilometer ride from Mariveles, Bataan to the Shrine in Capas, Tarlac.

“We’ve been asked why we celebrate defeat and not victory,” said Villa-Real.

The bike for a cause will raise funds for the rehabilitation of veterans landmarks including the veterans park at Harrison Road beside the Baguio Patriotic School.

The celebration of Victory Day was started before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term through a bill filed by Baguio Rep. Mark Go.

The run said that it starts at 6AM with a simple ceremony at the City Hall, passing through Camp Allen to the Veterans marker along Naguilian Road.

The riders then proceed to the Sablan view deck, which was the site where liberating Filipino and American forces made their entry to Baguio. From there the riders go to the Philippine Military Academy where a reenactment of Yamashita capture will be made.

The riders then go to Camp John Hay where a reenactment of Yamashita’s surrender will be made.

Christan David Alacar said that event is to raise awareness on the heroism of veterans in a “70 percent learn and 30 percent ‘padyak’.”

He is also hoping that it will be a bigger event next year where it may even start in Kiangan for a nearly 190 kilometer bikathon. Pigeon Lobien

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