Date posted on March 18, 2019
I first wrote this editorial in 2006 and republished it in 2008 and 2010. The reason I do it is to remind people of the benefits of having underbones and scooters on our roads in the hope that they will not be discriminated or neglected in the large scheme of things. Their usage should not be discouraged nor outlawed. I believe it’s a good time to reiterate this important point once again.
The rise of motorcycle and scooter sales in the country does not only mean more profits for dealers, suppliers and manufacturers. These machines can change the lives of the majority of our population for the better and I believe motorcycles do have significant impact on our nation’s development.
Aside from the obvious energy and environmental benefits (motorcycles are very economical to operate, help decongest traffic and increase the business operation efficiency), an estimated average of more than one hundred thousand new users per month are given a chance to have a new set of soul enriching lifestyle. Most of the riders join clubs or groups that enhance their social lives. The resulting activities from these affiliations help local tourism, generate new businesses and create more jobs.
I strongly believe that the effect of a motorcycle on the life of an ordinary Filipino cannot be emphasized enough. Some say that to make a nation better, we have to start with one person at a time. This is precisely what happens with every new motorcycle that is sold around the country.
Things happen every time a Filipino purchases a motorcycle.
Most Filipino earn a modest salary, work hard all day (and night) and spend at least three stressful hours a day on public transportation commuting to and from work. At the end of the month, after spending for basic necessities, they have nothing left. It’s a struggle that most Filipinos endure on a daily basis. Most feel trapped in this vicious cycle. The end result is often a negative attitude and a hopeless outlook in life.
In recent years, affordability has made it possible for the ordinary Filipino to own a motorcycle. It does not only relieve its owner that cost and stresses of daily public transportation, it also gives them PRIDE of ownership, a sense of RESPONSIBILITY, more FREE TIME (since daily travel time is reduced by 75%!) and personal MOBILITY. The pride in owning a motorized vehicle has an overwhelming effect on a person.
Owning a motorcycle is a symbol of accomplishment and satisfaction while giving new owners an elevated status among their peers. They become role models to their families and communities. The responsibility that goes with the monthly payments will make them realize the importance of having a safe and secure job. Their appreciation and attitude towards work will only get better. It will also teach them sound financial planning.
The extra time (at least 2 hours a day!) gained by not taking public transportation can be spent instead with one’s family and friends, thus, enriching their personal lives. The increase social contacts during activities with like-minded people will vastly improve and develop their sense of community. Journeys to new experiences gained by the riders will further refresh and enrich their spirits.
Lastly, having personal mobility changes the way an individual spends his/her day at work and how he/she approaches things in life. Motorcycle owners will most likely become more proactive, motivated and aggressive.
Suddenly, life is not a vicious cycle anymore!
After a few months of experiencing and enjoying this new lifestyle, they will soon develop a higher level of self-esteem and more positive outlook towards life. They will realize that they can ACHIEVE MORE and that each can be a BETTER person which will lead them to set higher goals for themselves.
And there you have it, one person with a changed and improved mindset that will surely make a positive impact on our nation.
Of course, motorcycle rider education and discipline on the road and proper law enforcement are also paramount. I know it might not be the case for all those who buy motorcycles, but hey, there are approximately one hundred fifty thousand new riders every month, just imagine!
Change is coming indeed, but the motorcycle has been doing its shares to shape the country for the past many years.
Ride safely and always fasten your certified helmet!
Al Camba (Publisher-Editor, InsideRACING Magazine)