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Not all heroes wear capes: Making a difference during a pandemic

June 22, 2020

Celina and her husband Dennis volunteered to promote bikers’ safety on the road. (Photo courtesy of Bikers United Marshalls)

Not all heroes wear capes: Making a difference during a pandemic

“Not all heroes wear capes. Some take time to give reflective sash to bike commuters along Visayas Ave. (Quezon City) on a random day and time.”

Such was the caption of a viral Facebook post of the Bikers United Marshalls last June 5, showing a young couple helping promote safe bike riding on the road.

Featured in the said post are DMCI Homes unit owners Celina Cruz and her husband Dennis who volunteered to distribute the DIY safety accessories which is part of the UP Mountaineers’ #KitaKa project.

"With the limited public transportation available during this pandemic, a lot of citizens have opted to bike commute to work," Celina said in explaining the project.

"Unfortunately, many of them are also new to biking in our city roads—which are obviously far from bike-friendly. Even worse, many of them cannot afford proper safety gear, like helmets or blinkers," she noted.

Celina says the reflective sashes can be easily recreated.

Increasing visibility

According to Celina, #KitaKa is a project of the UP Mountaineers to promote bike safety by increasing biker visibility in the city roads, especially at night and in low light conditions by providing them safety gears and accessories.

"We have been giving out reflective sashes for free around the metro, and have been encouraging other groups to copy or create their own versions of this reflective gear so we can all reach a broader audience," the fitness instructor explained.

"We have seen other groups giving out vests, some made reflective triangles to place behind bikes. We are hoping that this simple but effective gear is a step towards protecting our bikers," she continued.

The UP Mountaineers has been raising funds to produce the easy-to-make reflective sashes which cost P20 each.

Distribution of the reflective sashes is currently limited to certain areas but the UP Mountaineers is trying its best to produce more and broaden its distribution reach according to Celina. (Photo courtesy of Bikers United Marshalls)

Safer roads

UP Mountaineers has always been active in promoting bike safety and bike use, Celina shared.

“We had a project called Padyak Project in UP Diliman before, providing bikes to students within the campus. Several bike racks have also been donated in and out of the campus,” she revealed.

“But more than that, we believe that voicing out concerns about bike safety is the key in changing mindsets about biking. We have been actively demanding for protected bike lanes and better road conditions through the #ProtectedBikeLanesNow and #SharetheRoad campaigns,” she added.

Making a difference

Apart from helping promote bikers’ safety, Celina and her husband in their own little way have also been making a difference in their DMCI Homes condominium community.

Celina has been baking healthy dog treats to share with her fellow pet-loving neighbors amid limited mobility during the pandemic.

“One thing that this lockdown has brought out is a stronger sense of community. Some residents have been supporting our hardworking staff members that have been staying-in by providing meals,” Celina shared.

“There is also more interaction in our Facebook group as more residents are supporting each other by buying food and products from each other,” she related.

Indeed, though they may not be dressed as heroes, there is no shortage of people doing selfless acts in this time of need.

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