Pedal power marks Butuan Earth Hour

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/24 March) – At least a hundred a hundred bicycle enthusiasts here commemorated Earth Hour through a fun run traversing the city’s streets in solidarity with the world wide event from 8:30 t 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Jose Rodriguez, secretary of Butuan All Terrain Riders’ Society said the idea started among friends that expanded into a bigger activity.

“We did not actually plan for the event. It just spread through word of mouth and the internet. This is our way of supporting the call in raising awareness for mother Earth and with pedal power reducing our carbon footprint, contributing to the efforts towards climate change mitigation,” he said.
Rodriguez added that they did not expect bicycle enthusiasts would show up for the planned fun ride.

“After we saw several groups and individual riders showed up even on such a short notice, we are now planning to make the activity an annual event and hopefully with bigger participation from a much wider variety of bicycle owners,” he said.

“This is a fun and worthwhile activity for all of us, even though we are using folding city bikes but we will try to keep up with the rest of the group,” said Jeralyn Mallonga.
Her friend Krispee Arante said she, Mallonga and another friend, Joan Daradar, along with some friends had been doing recreational bicycle riding in the city on their spare time.

“I’m sure this will be fun since it is a bigger group riding together across Butuan City,” said Arante.

Seven-year od Joshua de Vera, was the youngest rider to participate in the event with his father who was excited to take part in the fun ride.
But Earth Hour in Butuan City, which has been having long, daily brownouts, was known only to a few residents. Most Butuanons, including police officers interviewed in the streets,  did not know about the world-wide event and its purpose.

Butuan residents experienced an 11-hour brown out last Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. making people wonder why they should participate in the turning off of  electricity for an hour when they had been having long power outages for weeks now.  (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)