Jogging in Bacolod

 

I have come to realize that I haven’t seen or lived at any place that seems better than Bacolod when it comes to jogging or biking. Let me prove that.

 

During my first years in Manila, I lived somewhere in Alabang. The village where I stayed has only four main roads. One will find jogging a bore a few minutes after he’s started. If he decides to go out, he’ll have to take a chance with crazy jeepney drivers along the service roads.

 

Taguig. This one isn’t any better than the first. The place is crowded and hilly; and the roads are quite narrow and competing with the zooming tricycles isn’t really a good idea. If one is persistent enough, he can jog around FTI but would have to deal with weird looks coming from workers of the nearby factories who will likely wonder if he’s some expat who just loves running inside the industrial zone.

 

Cavite and Batangas. Although these places are known for its wonderful resorts and beaches, the places I’ve been to aren’t jogger-friendly – unless a 5 km (or less) run is good enough for you. To break a sweat, the only way where one can jog or bike carefree here, and in the other places that I have mentioned, is either you run using the treadmill inside a gym or you live inside an exclusive village where there’s normally wide road and safe areas to take a healthy jog. Obviously, either one of the two options isn’t free. But not in Bacolod.

There are several reasons why Bacolod is such a conducive place.

  1. The place is relatively flat. In fact within the city proper, there are only few areas that would render a weekend jogger breathless; imagine how easier and enjoyable is it for regular bikers (sadly, BMX sighting has decreased significantly, or they must have gone underground).

  2. Traffic is fairly light compared to Metro Manila, even Cavite;

  3. and despite that, most vehicles are traveling at a safe pace. Though adrenalin-pumped rich kids and crazy jeepney drivers are always around – you just can’t escape them.

  4. Forget Starbucks or CBTL, but small coffee shops seem to be available everywhere you go.

  5. Bacold City’s lagoon area is still a good place to jog (we used to bike inside the area until the late ’90s but it was later prohibited) whether it’s early morning or late in the afternoon.

 

I’m not being biased but, the truth is, Bacolod is where all you need to have a good jog is a pair of running shoes, a shirt, and a short. Putting these on and waking up early though is mandatory. Hahaha.

 

***

 

However, here’s a caveat: I can’t help but notice the alarming number of places where people are burning garbage. Coming from our subdivision and until near the lagoon area, it seems that every kilometer or so, people are trying to personally incinerate their trashes. And this is very very bad especially for those who loves jogging around.

At first I thought that it was only confined to a few places where garbage collection isn’t regular that people had to burn it to avoid piling and accumulation – at least that’s what my nanay said and do so even until now. So does this mean that garbage collection around the city is also as irregular as the rest of the residential areas? If this is the case, the city mayor has to do something aggressive about it unless he has plans to make Bacolod “a city of smile and smog”. Hopefully not.

 

***

Well, this morning, after another long jog going east – to Sta. Fe, I decided to pay one of my best friends a visit. And how delighted I was when I saw this posted on their gate:

 

He also gave me several other fliers which I brought home along with me.

At least, I now know that an information campaign is being done by the good mayor – Bing Leonardia, and I hope that with this effort (and with the cooperation of his constituents) Bacolod will once again be awarded as one of the “Greenest City” like it was so many years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honk: 3/10 Honks!

 

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